On Stage at Curtis

Operatic Favorites with the Curtis Vocal Studies Department

We feature scenes from The Barber of Seville, Joshua, Pique Dame, La Cenerentola and Le Nozze di Figaro. The program:

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia, selections
Spencer Lang, tenor; Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano; Julian Arsenault, baritone; Thomas Shivone, bass-baritone; Danielle Orlando, piano
Rossini’s delightful romp is based on the French farce Le Barbier de Séville by Pierre Beaumarchais. The opera saw the first of its many performances in February, 1816 at Rome’s Teatro Argentina, and has remained a fixture on the world’s stages ever since.

Handel “See the Raging Flames Arise” from Joshua
Jamez McCorkle, baritone; Danielle Orlando, piano
Handel’s oratorio flew from his pen in a month’s time in the summer of 1747, and premiered at London’s Covent Garden Theatre the following year. Based on the Old Testament story of Joshua, it features a libretto by Thomas Morrell.

Tchaikovsky “Ya vas lyublyu” from Pique dame
Jamez McCorkle, baritone; Danielle Orlando, piano
Known in English as “The Queen of Spades,” Tchaikovsky’s three-act opera premiered in 1890 in St. Petersburg, on a libretto by his brother Modest. The opera was an immediate success, pleasing Tchaikovsky greatly.

(Pictured: Tchaikovsky and his two lead singers for the premiere, Medeya and Nikolai Figner)

Rossini: “Non più mesta accanto al fuoco” from La Cenerentola
Nian Wang, mezzo-soprano; Danielle Orlando, piano
This time, Rossini takes his inspiration from the world of fairy tales. Cinderella is the abused step sister who wins the heart of a handsome prince, thanks to a magic slipper. Cenerentola initially met some grumbling from the opera-going public; apparently the lack of stagecraft called for a rather mundane happy ending. But the charm of the music eventually won the day for this lovely opera.

Mozart: Act II, Scene XI “Voi signor, che giusto siete” from Le nozze di Figaro
Alize Rozsnyai & Rachel Sterrenberg, sopranos
Shir Rozzen, mezzo-soprano; Spencer Lang, tenor
Jarrett Ott, baritone; Andrew Bogard & Thomas Shivone, bass-baritones
Anthony Reed, bass; Danielle Orlando, piano
Mozart, of course, was a master of the operatic stage, joining Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini as the greatest of opera composers. Le Nozze di Figaro is one of his great laugh-fests, with a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, based on another gem by Beaumarchais.

Music Word of the Week: Oratorio
…a sacred work for soloists, chorus and orchestra on a large scale, neither liturgical nor theatrical, but intended for concert performance.”(from The Oxford Companion to Music)

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