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Call for Volunteers

Enjoy meeting others in Rochester's opera community and contributing to the availability of opera activities by volunteering for the Opera Guild!  Learning a small job or part of a larger one will pay off in numerous ways for anyone who wants to participate.  Currently there are several jobs posted: Assistant Publisher, Publicity Manager, Mail & Database Maintenance Assistant, Document Designer, and Audio/Visual Technician.

If you would like to volunteer in some other way, just let us know what your interest is and we will certainly find a place to accommodate it.  Contact Carol Crocca, Director of Development, at operaguildofrochester@gmail.com.


Edition Viva Voce, April 2016
The Opera Guild of Rochester, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to support opera and opera education in the greater Rochester area.

The Guild presents free opera lectures at local libraries, tours to productions of local opera companies and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and our popular Beat-the-Blahs, Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Series, at Temple B'rith Kodesh in Brighton.

Our Website serves as a clearinghouse for local and regional opera, concert, and recital information, with links to other music organizations on our area. Please visit us at operaguildofrochester.org.   

This newsletter is sent via eMail each month, currently to over 3,000 subscribers.  For a free subscription send your contact details, including your eMail address, to operaguildofrochester@gmail.com.

The Opera Guild of Rochester is also on facebook. For up-to-date information on opera-related news and events, please visit us on facebook.com/OperaGuildofRochester.

Reader Article submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month.

eastmanEastman Opera Theater  
Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart 
April 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 PM, April 10 at 2 PM 
Eastman Theater 
Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte's most popular and delightful comedy in which the servants succeed in thwarting the Duke's lecherous plans. 
Friends of Eastman Opera Annual Dinner
April 7 at 5:00 PM at Miller Center
Tickets sold through the Eastman Theater Box Office
433 East Main Street, Rochester NY
Tel: 585-454-2100

Except for April 7, introductory talks will begin one hour before each performance. 
More information can be obtained at www.esm.rochester.edu/voice/eastman-opera-theatre/   

METHDHD Season Live at the Met 

Click on the following links to get more information

Madama Butterfly
Puccini, Giacosa/Illica
April 2, 2016
Anthony Minghella's breath-taking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. One of the world's foremost Butterflys, soprano Kristine Opolais, takes on the title role, and Roberto Alagna sings Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly's heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.

For a synopsis of Madama Butterfly Click

Roberto Devereux - Met Premier
Donizetti, Cammarano
April 16, 2016

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky takes on the extraordinary challenge of singing all three of Donizetti's Tudor queens in the course of a single season, a rare feat made famous by Beverly Sills - and not attempted on a New York stage since. In this climactic opera of the trilogy, directed by Sir David McVicar, she plays Queen Elisabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini.
For a synopsis of Roberto Devereux Click Here
Elektra - New Production
Richard Strauss, Hofmannsthal
April 30, 2016

The genius director Patrice Chereau (From the House of the Dead) didn't live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme - unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner - who portrays Elektra's primal quest for vengeance. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra's fearsome mother, Klytamnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass Eric Owens are Elektra's troubled siblings. Chereau's musical collaborator, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducts.

For a synopsis of Elektra  Click Here

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LotteLenyaLotte Lenya Competition

The Kurt Weill Foundation will have their Lotte Lenya competition on Saturday April 16, 2016 at Kilbourn Hall.

Click here to see the finalists and more information on both the competition and the Kurt Weill Foundation.   

Annual Recital

The Annual Recital for donors to the Opera Guild will be on May 15, 2016. For the first time in 25 years we will offer a bass baritone, Carl DuPont. He is a mature, well-known singer whose theme for this presentation is power and corruption. He will sing Sarastro's aria "In diesen heilgen Hallen" from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Wolfram's aria "O! du mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser, and Wotan's aria "Abschiedslied" from Wagner's Die Walküre, among others. 

Click here for the complete program

Click here for more information and Mr. DuPont's biography.

Carl DuPont
Carl DuPont

festivalGlimmerglass Festival Season 2016

La Boheme
Puccini / Illica & Giacosa
July 8 - August 26, 2016
Sweeney Todd
Sondheim / Wheeler
July 9 - August 27, 2016
The Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra) 
Rossini / Gherardini
July 16 - August 25, 2016
The Crucible
Ward / Stambler
July 23 - August 27, 2016
More information can be obtained at www.glimmerglass.org
or by calling (607) 547-2255

Single tickets from $26 on sale January 25, 2016

OperaTourGlimmerglass Opera Tour

The Opera Guild of Rochester will conduct a tour to the Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra)
on July 25, 2016. For a copy of the opera tour flier and registration sheet click here. Please look for it and respond quickly if you'd like to go on the tour. The bus seats 55 people. See the Reader Article in this issue for more information about the opera. Helga Strasser, our tour director,  obtains excellent seats in the Festival Circle, and our group is treated to a special introductory talk after lunch.

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Robert's Wesleyan College
April 29 and 30, 7:30pm

The Old Maid and the Thief
Gian Carlo Menotti
- Intermission - 
Quintet from the Magic Flute, Act 1

Scenes from 
La Boheme 

Act 1  "Che gelida manina," "Si, mi chiamano Mimi," and "O soave fanciulla."
Act 2  "Quando m'en vo"
Act 3  "Donde lieta" and final quartet

The Boheme scenes will be performed by Robert's Wesleyan alumni Jessie Keim, Jessica Moss, Chad Dehaven, and Marc Falco. The Menotti and Mozart will be performed by our outstanding current students. The operas will be staged by Judith Ranaletta, resident stage director of the Rochester Lyric Opera, who directed the very successful production of West Side Story last season. Constance Fee is the producer, Paul Shewan will conduct.
Cost of tickets: general $12, seniors $10, students $5.
Box office: Tell: 585 594 6008, online: https://www.roberts.edu/clc  or at the box office

NickelNickel City Opera

International debut of Persis Vehar's SHOT!
Libretto by Gabrielle Vehar

Shea's Performance Arts Center, Buffalo
Friday June 10, 2016, at 8 p.m. and Sunday June 12 at 2:30 p.m.
For details and tickets call the Box Office at (716) 939-3722

Shot is the seventh opera by Buffalo native and Composer-in-Residence, Persis Parshal Vehar.

The opera deals with the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition. He was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz and died on September 14, 1901 from his  wounds. 
Persis Vehar
Persis Vehar
Photo: Jim Bush
The opera was commissioned by Valerian Ruminski, the Director of Nickel City Opera, who will be singing the bass-baritone role of President William McKinley.

Click here for much more information and a small preview:   http://operaguildofrochester.org/shot.html

For Nickel City Opera Facebook page click here: https://www.facebook.com/NickelCityOpera/.   
Geneva Light Opera
Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Johann Strauss Jr.
One of the most beloved operettas of Johann Strauss, Jr., its beautiful music and comic situations add up to wonderful entertainment. This production is sung in English at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva, NY. The Geneva Light Opera is sponsored by American Landmark Festival.
Tickets at thesmith.org Tel: (315) 781-5483. The Copy Shop, Seneca Falls, and Mobile Music, Canandaigua.
July 21, 23, 24, 2016
$35 Individual, $50 Couples, $20 Students and Seniors, and free for Children K-12

ClassicalIdolClassical Idol competition
The 10th Classica ldol competition of the Rochester Oratorio Society will take place at Temple B'rith Kodesh on April 9 at 7 p.m. This is a fund-raising event, with dessert in the intermission. Many former participants, such as Katherine Lewek, now have international careers.

Tickets are $75.00 per person, or $68.00 per person for a table of 8.
For tickets call the ROS office (585) 473-2234 or use BrownPaperTickets.com.

Rochester's most engaging vocal competition returns for its tenth year in CLASSICAL IDOL, Saturday, April 9, 2016, 7:00 P.M., at Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue in Rochester. In this gala event, ten rising stars of the international vocal performance scene demonstrate the expressive power of the human voice through polished renditions of the most moving classics of opera, art song and oratorio. Their thrilling performances mark careers in the making as distinguished judges offer constructive commentary in real-time. Cash awards and concert appearances go to the top performers. Audience members sample elegant refreshments in a cabaret setting, then submit their ballots for the Audience Favorite cash award.
Tickets are available through the ROS Office, (585) 473.2234 or online at http://bpt.me/2220360 
Widely recognized as an essential career step for vocalists pursuing professional performance at the top levels, Classical Idol provides the opportunity for young artists to compete before a live audience and receive feedback from established authorities in the field. Selected from national and
international applicants, twenty vocalists come to Rochester for the semi-final round of the competition, held at Asbury First United Methodist Church on April 8. Panelists choose ten contestants to advance to the final round on April 9.
The 2016 Idol panelists include Metropolitan Opera star soprano and professional vocal performance coach, ERIE MILLS, and international performing artist, Vocal Program Director and Associate Professor of Vocal Performance at Roberts Wesleyan College, CONSTANCE FEE, and ERIC TOWNELL, Artistic Director for the Oratorio Society and for Rochester Lyric Opera. JAMIE JOHNS will be the accompanist, and BRENDA TREMBLAY, Morning Drive Host/Producer for Classical 91.5 FM, will emcee the event.

Rochester's Classical Idol is one highlight of the 70th season of the Rochester Oratorio Society, the region's leading large choral ensemble. Information on the ROS and on Classical Idol is at http://ROSsings.org.
Tickets to the final round ($75) are available at http://bpt.me/2220360 
For more information, contact the Rochester Oratorio Society at (585) 473-2234 or e-mail info@ROSsings.org.

The Opera Guild will have three tables in the front.  If you would like to sit with the Guild, tickets to our tables are $68 each.  Please call Dennis Rosenbaum at the Oratorio Society Box Office (585) 473-2234 to register for and purchase Guild table tickets, and also eMail Agneta Borgstedt at agneta.borgstedt@rochester.rr.com for seating arrangements.   

FLOFinger Lakes Opera
 At SUNY Geneseo
La Traviata 
Giuseppe Verdi

Wadsworth Auditorium Mainstage
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Danielle Talamantes¹ sings Violeta, Yi Li sings Alfredo, Mark Walters sings Germont
Friday August 12, 7:30 pm
Sunday August 14, 2:00 pm
Tickets at FingerLakesOpera.com,  (585) 245-5650
Adults $ 75 Red Carpet seating, $50 Premium, $40 General, Students/Faculty/Staff $30 Premium/General.
The Opera Guild of Rochester will coordinate transportation for each performance; fliers will be sent out at the end of May.
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In previous editions Ms. Talamantes name had been inadvertently misspelled.  We regret the error.

SeagleSeagle Music Colony 
2016 Summer Season
999 Charley Hill Rd
Schroon Lake, NY 12870

The Most Happy Fella by Frank Loesser
      July 6,7,9 at 8 pm, July 8 at 2 pm
      Tickets $37.50 adults, $27.50 12 and under
The Elixir of Love (L'elisir d'amore) by Gaetano Donizetti
July 20, 21, 23 at 8 pm, July 22 at 2 pm
Tickets $32.50 adults, $22.50 12 and under
Roscoe - a world premiere  
Music by Evan Mack, Libretto by Josh McGuire, based on the novel by William Kennedy
August 3, 4, 6 at 8 pm, August 5 at 2 pm
Tickets $32.50 adults, $22.50 12 and under
The Music Man by Meredith Willson 
August 17, 18, 20 at 8 pm, August 19 at 2 pm
Full season tickets on sale now at 15% discount over single tickets. Individual tickets go on sale April 1, 2016. Call the box office at 518 532 7875 or visit  www.seaglecolony.org for information
The Seagle Colony is one of the oldest organizations (101 years) that has helped young singers to develop their voices and find their repertoire. This is a wonderful vacation place where people with love for opera can discover young singers building their careers.

ReaderArticlesReader Articles

This section brings you articles written by anyone involved in opera, from impresarios, to singers, to fans.  If you have seen a performance that you want to review, or have attended a class or workshop that you want to write about, or have a story or a review that would interest others, we encourage you to submit it to us and we will schedule it for inclusion.  Please send your submissions to operaguildofrochester@gmail.com and please limit them to 500 words.  All submissions are subject to editorial review.

The Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra)
Agneta D. Borgstedt

Composer, Gioachino Rossini   Librettist, Giovanni Gherardini

The Glimmerglass Festival should be congratulated for bringing one of Rossini's masterpieces, La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie), to an American opera house in its 2016 season in Cooperstown, New York.

Rossini's work premiered with much success on May 31, 1817 at La Scala, Milan. The opera is a semiseria, a serious opera with comic elements, also called a dramma giacoso. It is based on a real-life event in France, the subject of a subsequent play, in which a peasant girl was convicted and hanged for thefts which were later discovered to be the work of a magpie.

For the opera, Gherardini, who was a philologist, poet and medical man, gave the story a happy ending. The story plays against the background of the Napoleonic wars in Italy in which the French fought the Austrians, who dominated the area of Bologna and Pesaro, Rossini's birthplace. Rossini's father was imprisoned in 1800 by the French for a short time, a painful childhood memory for him.  The opera also reflects the conflict of the harsh authorities of the time and the common people.

It tells the story of the servant girl Ninetta, in love with her employer's son Gianetto, who is coming home from the war. Fernando, Ninettas's father, comes to visit her.  He is in flight from the authorities, having been insubordinate to his superior officer and subsequently escaped from prison. He witnesses the mayor pursuing his resisting daughter, during which the mayor receives a message. Since he does not have his glasses, he demands that Ninetta read it to him;  to protect her father she changes the description of the fugitive. The mayor is angry that Ninetta does not respond to his advances.

Meanwhile another piece of silver cutlery is missing and Ninetta is accused of stealing it. The mayor demands a trial, Ninetta is found guilty, imprisoned, and condemned to death. Her father has tried to save her at the trial, which results in his being discovered as the deserter and he is also imprisoned. The village boy Pippo, who is in love with Ninetta, sees the magpie snatching a coin, and he finds the other missing objects in the magpie's nest. This news comes just in time to prevent Ninetta's execution and the happy ending is completed when her father's friend brings a message from the king, pardoning him. The whole village now celebrates the marriage of Ninetta and Gianetto.

Pippo's love for Ninetta reminds us of Cherubino's love for the Countess in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro.  The village background of the story gives us a taste of the verismo operas to come at the end of the 19th century. The deep love between Ninetta and her father foreshadows the father-daughter relationships of Verdi's operas. The mayor's fierce pursuit of Ninetta reminds us of Scarpia pursuing Tosca. The king's forgiveness for Ninetta's father shows that the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment of the latter part of the 18th century (represented by Sarastro's aria in The Magic Flute) is also reflected in this opera at the beginning of the 19th century.

At least two DVD's (Kultur, Cologne, 2009 and Dynamic, Rossini Opera Festival, 2008) and one recording (Naxos, Wildbad, 2009)  are available in Italian.  These are each about three hours long, the length of the original opera.  Chandos has a CD version in English (Garsington, 2002) which, at two hours twenty minutes, obviously leaves out some scenes.   In my opinion, the Opera Cologne production comes closest to the interpretation of the story Rossini and Gherardini envisioned.

Reference: Osborne, Richard, Rossini  (Master Musician Series), Oxford University Press, IBNO 19-816490-4, 1986, 1987.  

From your Opera Guild 
The Opera Guild is pleased to announce that the Lecture/Listening Series of opera presentations is changing its schedule.  Up to now, this program of five lectures with video selections has been given on successive Monday evenings in January and early February at the Brighton Memorial Library.  Disadvantages of this schedule included freezing and sometimes worse weather, and the fact that during this time the Guild is also presenting its "Beat the Blahs" program on Sunday afternoons at Temple B'rith Kodesh.  Additionally, there could be as many as three HD simulcasts from the Met on Saturdays during this period.  Sometimes it might be just too much of a good thing!

So, our Lecture/Listening series in 2017 at Brighton Memorial Library will be presented on five consecutive Monday evenings beginning on February 27th and continuing to March 27th.  We hope to see you there for everything from French comic opera to ensembles to Verdi and Mozart.   

Please consider the Opera Guild of Rochester among your charitable organizations for 2016. Donations to the Opera Guild of Rochester are fully tax deductible and donors will receive an invitation to the Annual Recital in May 2016, which is our gift to our donors, followed by dessert reception with the artists.

Enjoy our free Lecture/Listening series, which you can download from the web site at operaguildofrochester.org by clicking on Reading Room. While at our Website you can also learn about our opera program at Temple B'rith Kodesh, our opera trips to regional opera companies including the Glimmerglass Festival, and our Metropolitan Opera trips.

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