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Summer Opera Workshop

I got my scene assignments today. I'm double-cast in both my scenes -- blech! -- but almost everyone is double-cast and in only two scenes. My concern is that I will only do one scene per night, so anyone who wants to watch both my scenes would have to come to both performances, and that would suck. I'll campaign to have both scenes performed on one night.

By the way, performances will be at 8 p.m. on June 23 and 24 at Brown Hall (Jordan Hall Building) at New England Conservatory (corner of Huntington and Gainsborough, near the Symphony stop on the Green Line).

The first scene I'm in is the Act II Duet from Donizetti's Elixir of Love. Donizetti was a delightful comic composer (one of my colleagues recently called him the Gilbert and Sullivan of Italian opera). My one complaint is that we are singing in English translation. One of my pet peeves is opera sung in translation! I'm of the opinion that the translated words often don't fit the musical phrase. Plus, I'm a musical elitist and don't particularly care that the English is easier for American audiences to understand, or that the Europeans sing in translation all the time. Yuck! I will appeal this decision but don't expect to have much luck.

The second scene is the Act I love duet from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet. Ooh, I hope the soprano singing Ophélie opposite my Hamlet is cute! <grin> This is a Hamlet with a happy ending, as Hamlet is proclaimed king after he kills Claudius, but it has been well-received over time despite its faithlessness to Shakespeare's play.

Additionally, scenes from the following operas will be performed: Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio (in English); Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto (very early opera, chosen no doubt for our countertenor); Bernstein's Candide; Puccini's Suor Angelica; and Thomas Pasatieri's Washington Square.

So, mark your calendars. I hope several of you will come out to enjoy an evening (or two) of delightful opera scenes.

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