Oswego Opera Theatre Presents Love In Drama And Comedy

OSWEGO, NY – Opera is first and foremost theater.

And, theater has long been represented by the familiar opposing masks of Tragedy and Comedy.

In Oswego Opera Theatre’s first production of the 2009-2010 season, all-powerful, all-consuming love is the unifying theme in a program of scenes from seven operatic masterpieces by five different composers.

“Opera Love Stories” – Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. in Waterman Theatre in Tyler Hall, SUNY Oswego Campus.

Love – Opera’s Ultimate Expression.  Enjoy an evening or afternoon of dramatic and comic scenes from seven of opera’s greatest love stories!

Claudio Monteverdi: “The Coronation of Poppea,” Prologue – 200 years before the “other” Verdi hits the Italian opera scene, this inventor of opera creates his masterpiece.

“Poppea” opens with a “discussion” between the goddesses Fortune and Virtue as to who is the more powerful in guiding the actions of mortals.

When their snarky and passive-aggressive argument heats up, the child-god Love scolds each for her vanity – and says he, Love, is more powerful than either of them, and he will prove it in the ensuing drama.

Giocomo Puccini:  “Madama Butterfly,” from Act II

Butterfly’s “Un bel dì” leads to the emotional climax of the opera as the American consul Sharpless tries to read a letter to Butterfly from her three-years absent husband, Lt. Pinkerton.

Butterfly’s despair turns to defiance as she reveals the secret that will ultimately lead to the tragic ending.

Gaetano Donizetti: “Don Pasquale,” from Act I

Donizetti may seem to be king of love stories, as two comedies and one tragedy represent him on this program.

In this solo scene from a farcical comedy, Norina is the foil to the rich, old, crusty, silly bachelor Don Pasquale, who has decided to disinherit his nephew Ernesto who happens to be Norina’s boyfriend.

In Norina’s big cavatina, “Quel guardo il cavaliere” (As her glance fell upon the young cavalier), she gives full account of her accomplishments in snaring men’s affections – and in getting exactly what she wants.

Gilbert & Sullivan: “HMS Pinafore,” highlights

Honoring Oswego Opera’s first production 31 years ago!

Even in straight-laced Victorian England there is room on board ship for young love and major

Donizetti: “Lucia di Lammermoor,” from Act I

Based upon the Sir Walter Scott Romantic novel set in Scotland, Lucia and Edgardo pledge their love and engagement despite the treachery of her tyrannical brother, Enrico – who plans to force Lucia into a marriage of convenience, and who earlier killed Edgardo’s father and stole his in heritance.

Donizetti’s tragic masterpiece.

Donizetti: “The Elixir of Love,” from Act II

Buffoonish Dr. Dulcamara arrives in a rustic Italian village peddling potions and elixirs guaranteed, after one day’s time (to give him time to get out of town), to cure all manner of ills and misfortunes.

Does he have an elixir that will help the poor country boy Nemorino win the hand of village hottie Adina, or will she succumb to the blustering but dashing Sgt. Belcore?

Donizetti’s comic masterpiece, and a teaser-preview for Oswego Opera’s Spring Production.

Verdi: “Aida,” from Act II

Amid the building excitement of the Triumphal Scene, the Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris, desperately in love with Radames, the victorious general of the Egyptian armies, ponders her suspicions that her slave Aida and Radames are secretly in love.

In the famous confrontation scene, Amneris tells Aida that Radames fell in the battle to gauge her reaction.

Aida’s despair turns to joy and back to despair when Amneris reveals that Radames lives, and it was only a trick to get the truth – and that Amneris will have Radames for herself while Aida remains a humbled and defeated slave.

This production is under the musical direction of Artistic Director Mack Richardson, a member of the SUNY Oswego adjunct music faculty.

Stage Director is J.J. Hudson, a baritone and stage director from Rochester and Eastman School of Music now teaching at SUNY Oswego and Nazareth College.

The company pianist and coach is music faculty member Rebecca Horning, and Technical Director is Steven Braun, director of the Ralph M. Faust Theatre of the Performing Arts.

Featured singers will be well-known local and regional artists as well as other highly accomplished soloists who have not been heard before with Oswego Opera.

Among the latter is Richard McKee, recently retired Artistic Director of Syracuse Opera who will appear as Dr. Dulcamara in “The Elixir of Love.”

Appearing in the Prologue to “The Coronation of Poppea” are Jody Doktor of Ypsilanti, MI; Angela Libertella Calabrese of Geneva; and Kathy Magee Querec of Syracuse.  Eileen Mackintosh of Middletown and Elizabeth Bouk of Hamilton appear as Aida and Amneris, respectively.

Elisabeth Kisselstein of Baldwinsville and Robert Allen of Liverpool portray the lovers in “Lucia,” with Ms. Bouk as Lucia’s confident.

Ms. Libertella Calabrese is the spunky Norina in “Don Pasquale.”

Ms. Magee and Mr. Allen are Adina and Nemorino in “The Elixir of Love” with Mr. McKee.

Ms. Doktor appears as Madame Butterfly, Ms. Bouk as her servant Suzuki, and J. J. Hudson as the American consul Sharpless.

The crew of HMS Pinafore are Nancy James of Syracuse as Josephine, Dan Williams of Oswego as Captain Corcoran, Peter Irwin of Syracuse as Sir Joseph Porter, Ms. Bouk as Little Buttercup and Mr. Allen as Ralph.

Tickets are available through the Tyler Hall Box Office or calling 315-312-2141.

For more information, go to www.OswegoOpera.org or email
[email protected]