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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 two jobs posted: Event Host or Hostess, Mail & Database Assistant.   

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, August 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 in 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.

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


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Glimmerglass Festival Season 2016

La Bohème

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 

SeagleSeagle Music Colony
2016 Summer Season

999 Charley Hill Rd
Schroon Lake, NY 12870

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

Call the box office at (518) 532-7875 or visit www.seaglecolony.org for tickets and 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.

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ChautauquaChautauqua Opera Company

Song from the Uproar (concert performance)
Missy Mazzoli/Royce Vavrek
August 8, 5 p.m., Norton Hall
Tickets at no additional cost with evening or seasonal gate pass.

Abigail Fischer sings the part of 19th-century Swiss adventuress Isabelle Eberhardt, who traveled alone to North Africa where she dressed as a man, joined an all-male Sufi sect, married an Algerian soldier, and was drowned in a flash flood at the age of 27. Fragments of Isabelle's writing and diaries are woven into this dreamlike opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek, two of the most prolific and exciting writers of their generation. This uniquely theatrical performance features Abigail Fischer and the NOW Ensemble, for whom the opera was composed, and includes original film by Stephen Taylor projected above the performers.

Ticket Office: Tel (716) 357-6250 or chqtickets.com; call for parking fees and details.

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FLOFinger Lakes Opera
 At SUNY Geneseo

La Traviata, Guiseppe Verdi
Wadsworth Auditorium Mainstage 
Sung in Italian with English supertitles 

Danielle Talamantes 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 a trip to La Traviata. It includes tickets and dinner, but participants are responsible for their own transportation. Carpooling is recommended and the trip host might be able to coordinate carpooling arrangements. To see the trip flyer Click Here.

RLyricRochester Lyric Opera presentation
Concert at the Lyric Theater, 440 East Avenue Rochester NY
Rochester native Tobias Greenhalgh, one of 5 upcoming lyric baritones presented in the June issue of the Opera News magazine, will be presented by Rochester Lyric Opera in concert at the Lyric Theatre, underwritten by Hon. John C. Ninfo II and Judith Ranaletta on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a special piano dedication by the Opera Guild of Rochester

Program can be found by clicking here

General admissions $25, $ 20 for seniors. 
Tickets can be obtained at the door or on the website of Rochester Lyric Opera.


Tobias Greenhalgh
is a versatile singer on the rise, whom Opera News recently claimed was "so clearly headed for success". Most recent credits include the title role in 
Eugene Onegin
Argante (Rinaldo), Cecco (Gli Uccelatori), Le Directeur/ Gendarme (Les Mammelles de Tiresias), and Ramiro (L'heure Espangole) at the Wiener Kammeroper in Vienna, Austria. 
In addition to his work in Vienna in 2015, Tobias sang the role of  Schaunard (La Bohème) with Palm Beach Opera and Argante (Rinaldo) at the New Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia. Tobias also made his European recital debut in April 2015 in Vienna, and sang Carmi in a concert version of La Betulia Liberata with Bach Consort Wien.
Upcoming engagements include Cold Genius/Aeolus (King Arthur) at the Gärtnerplatz Theater in München, a leading role in an upcoming production for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Leo Stein/ Man Ray (27) with the NY Collegiate Chorale, Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus) at the Franz Lehàr Festival at Bad Ischl, Samuel (Pirates of Penzance) at Palm Beach Opera, Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) at the Theater an der Wien, Escamillo (Carmen) and The Father (Hansel and Gretel) at the Wiener Kammeroper, and Morales (Carmen) with Palm Beach Opera. Recently, Tobias has collaborated with Czech choreographer and dancer Martin Dvorak to create a newly-staged version of Schubert's Winterreise, which he will perform several times in Central Europe this season. Tobias will be giving recitals in Vienna, Brno, Prague, Palm Beach, and Opava. 
Previously as a Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, he created the roles of Leo Stein and Man Ray in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's 27 (released on Albany Records) and sang Samuel (Pirates of Penzance). He also joined Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Artist, singing Le Mari  (Les mamelles de Tirésias) and Le Dancaïre (Carmen), and as a former member of Palm Beach Opera's young artist program, sang Figaro in family performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia as well as Fiorello in the company's mainstage performances and Hermann/ Schlémil (Les contes d'Hoffmann). On the concert stage, he has sung Bach's Saint Matthew Passion with Soli Deo Gloria, The Druid Priest in Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht, and Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs with Saint George's Choral Society, as well as joining the Opera Orchestra of New York for a gala concert at Alice Tully Hall. He was presented by the Brooklyn Art Song Society in a recital of Wolf's Mörike Lieder with the Brooklyn Art Song Society and joined the New York Festival of Song for three concert programs, and was a Schwab Vocal Rising Star at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Additionally he was a vocal fellow in the 2013 Toronto Summer Music Festival.

Mr. Greenhalgh is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, from which he earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. In his final year at Juilliard, he sang Malatesta (Don Pasquale) and the Ferryman (Curlew River) following previous performances of Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), and The Voice of Pokayne in Maxwell Davies' Komilitonen!  He is a first place winner of the 2013 Liederkranz Competition in the opera divison. In past seasons, his other competition wins included grand prize in the Metropolitan International Music Festival Competition, first place in the Mario Lanza Competition, second place in the Oratorio Society of New York Competition, third place in the Gerda Lissner Competition and the Nico Dostal Operetta Competition, an encouragement award in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition, career grants from The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, The Bel Canto Scholarship, Giulio Gari Foundation, Opera Index, and finalist in the Operalia Competition. Additionally, he is the co-creator of Operation Superpower, a superhero opera for kids that promotes an anti-bullying stance from early school years. The program was recently featured on a PBS Newshour special on entrepreneurship in the classical arts and has been performed by the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Saratoga, The Peoria Symphony, and Young Audiences.

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Met201617SeasonMet HD 2016-2017 Season

Tristan und Isolde, Richard Wagner
Sat, Oct 8, 2016 12:00 PM

Tristan und Isolde opens the Met season in a new production by Mariusz Trelinski (the director responsible for last season's double bill of Iolanta and Bluebeard's Castle), and will be well served by a cast of outstanding Wagnerians: Nina Stemme as Isolde, Stuart Skelton as Tristan, Ekaterina Gubanova as Brangäne, and René Pape as King Marke, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting, in one of his rare appearances at the Met.

For a complete synopsis Click Here
Don Giovanni, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sat, Oct 22, 2016 12:55 PM
Simon Keenlyside will perform the role of the title hero, who goes to hell in a dazzling coup de théâtre. The ensemble of great Mozartean singers includes Hibla Gerzmava, Malin Byström, Serena Malfi, Rolando Villazón, Adam Plachetka, Matthew Rose, and Kwangchul Youn. Conducted by Fabio Luisi. 

For a complete synopsis Click Here 

L'Amour de Loin, Kaija Saariaho
Sat, Dec 10, 2016 12:55 PM
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's breakthrough opera was described by the New York Times as "transfixing...a lushly beautiful score." Commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, where it was first seen in 2000, it will now finally have its Metropolitan Opera premiere in a dazzling new production by Robert Lepage, featuring glimmering ribbons of LED lights that extend across the length of the stage and over the orchestra pit. Eric Owens is the knight on a quest of love and Susanna Phillips is his lover on the other side of the sea. Conductor Susanna Mälkki makes her Met debut.

For more information Click Here

Nabucco, Giuseppe Verdi
Sat, Jan 7, 2017 12:55 PM
The legendary Plácido Domingo brings another new baritone role to the Met under the baton of his longtime collaborator James Levine. Liudmyla Monastyrska is Abigaille, the warrior woman determined to rule empires, and Jamie Barton is the heroic Fenena. Dmitri Belosselskiy is the stentorian voice of the oppressed Hebrew people.

For a complete synopsis Click Here 

Roméo et Juliette, Charles Gounod
Sat, Jan 21, 2017 12:55 PM

When Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo starred opposite each other in Manon at the Met in 2015, the New York Times said, "the temperature rises nearly to boiling every time Damrau and Grigolo are on stage together." Now they're back as opera's classic lovers, in Gounod's lush Shakespeare adaptation. The production, by director Bartlett Sher, has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the sumptuous score.

For a complete synopsis Click Here

Rusalka, Antonín Dvorák
Sat, Feb 25, 2017 12:55 PM

Kristine Opolais stars in the role that helped launch her international career, the mythical Rusalka, who sings the haunting "Song to the Moon." Mary Zimmerman brings her wondrous theatrical imagination to Dvorák's fairy tale of love and longing, rejection and redemption. Brandon Jovanovich, Jamie Barton, Katarina Dalayman, and Eric Owens complete the all-star cast, and Mark Elder conducts.

For a complete synopsis Click Here 

La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi
Sat, Mar 11, 2017 12:55 PM

Sonya Yoncheva sings one of opera's most beloved heroines, the tragic courtesan Violetta, a role in which she triumphed on the Met stage in 2015, opposite Michael Fabiano as her lover, Alfredo, and Thomas Hampson as his father, Germont. Carmen Giannattasio sings later performances of the title role opposite Atalla Ayan, with the great Plácido Domingo as Germont. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

For a complete synopsis Click Here

Idomeneo, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sat, Mar 25, 2017 12:55 PM   

Mozart's first operatic masterpiece returns to the Met in the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production, conducted by Music Director James Levine. The superb ensemble includes Matthew Polenzani as the king torn by a rash vow; mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of his noble son Idamante; soprano Nadine Sierra as Ilia; and soprano Elza van den Heever as the volatile Elettra, who loves Idamante to the bounds of madness.

For a complete synopsis Click Here

Eugene Onegin, Peter Tchaikovsky
Sat, Apr 22, 2017 12:55 PM

Tchaikovsky's setting of Pushkin's timeless verse novel is presented on the Met stage in Deborah Warner's moving production, starring Anna Netrebko and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Tatiana and Onegin. Alexey Dolgov sings the role of Lenski, and Robin Ticciati conducts.

For a complete synopsis Click Here

Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss 
Sat, May 13, 2017 12:30 PM

The dream cast of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Elīna Garanča as Octavian star in Strauss's grandest opera. In his new production, Robert Carsen, the director behind the Met's recent Falstaff, places the action at the end of the Habsburg Empire, underscoring the opera's subtext of class and conflict against a rich backdrop of gilt and red damask, in a staging that also stars Günther Groissböck as Baron Ochs. Sebastian Weigle conducts the sparklingly perfect score.

For a complete synopsis Click Here

OperaToursFall 2016 Opera Tour

Metropolitan Opera Tour, Fall 2016
The Guild organizes informal group trips to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. The Guild will buy tickets and make group hotel and restaurant reservations. Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. You need not attend all three operas nor join the group for meals.

Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (new production)
Monday, October 17, 2016
With a star-studded cast: Nina Stemme, (Isolde), Stuart Skelton (Tristan), Ekaterina Gubanova (Brangäne), Evgeny Nikitin (Kurwenal), and René Pape (King Marke). Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.

Rossini's Guillaume Tell (new production)
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
With Marina Rebeka (Mathilde), Gerald Finley (William Tell), Janai Brugger (Jemmy), Marianna Pizzolato (Hedwige), Bryan Hymel (Arnold), and Marco Spotti (Walter Fürst). Conductor: Fabio Luisi.

Rossini's epic telling of the William Tell fable returns to the Met stage after an absence of more than 80 years. Gerald Finley sings one of his signature roles as William Tell, the revolutionary on a quest for freedom.

Mozart's Don Giovanni
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
With Hibla Gerzmava (Donna Anna), Mailin Bystrom (Donna Elvira), Serena Malfi (Zerlina), Rolando Villazón (Don Ottavio),  Simon Keenlyside (Don Giovanni), Adam Plachetka (Leporello), Matthew Rose (Masetto), and Kwangchul Youn (Commendatore). Conductor: Fabio Luisi.

See Met HD Season, above, for links to opera casts and descriptions.

Syracuse201617SeasonSyracuse Opera 2016 - 2017 Season

Friday, Oct 28, 2016, 8 PM
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016, 2 PM
Rossini's La Cenerentola 
Sung in Italian with projected subtitles.
In his variation of the traditional Cinderella story, the wicked stepmother is replaced by a wicked stepfather, Don Magnifico. The Fairy Godmother is replaced by Alidoro, a philosopher and the Prince's tutor. Cinderella is identified not by her glass slipper but by her bracelet.

Friday, Feb 10, 2017, 8 PM
Sunday, Feb 12, 2017, 2 PM
Verdi's Rigoletto 
Sung in Italian with projected subtitles.
Its tragic story revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto's beautiful daughter Gilda.

Friday, Apr 7, 2017, 8 PM
Sunday, Apr 9, 2017, 2 PM
Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin 
Sung in Russian with projected subtitles.
The story concerns a selfish hero who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman's love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend.

For more information Click Here

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.  We generally limit articles to a nominal 500 words.  All submissions are subject to editorial review.

TBioTobias Greenhalgh 

I clearly remember a September morning in 2004 in my Voice 2 class at Greece Athena High School.  A young freshman, already too accomplished to be placed in a Voice 1 class, stood up to sing his first solo.  Moving to the front of the room with a rather confident, athletic stride, he smiled and began to sing. Hearing this beautiful, mature and natural voice, I realized that I would be blessed, for the next four years to be one of Tobias Greenhalgh's teachers and mentors.

After class, I asked Toby about his dreams and if music was among them. I didn't even hesitate to tell him that if he hadn't thus far considered singing as a career, he should.  Having taught for many years and guided dozens of students to successful careers in the performing arts, I know a talent when I see and hear it. I am also realistic enough to know not to encourage just anyone who might have a passion for the arts, but not necessarily the talent, the temperament, and the drive to succeed in this highly competitive field.  But Toby was exceptional.

Later that fall, I met with Toby's parents and expressed my feelings about their very gifted son. Practical and protective, they clearly had other hopes for him.. Toby was a scholar and an athlete. A natural leader, he was also handsome, engaging and mature....destined to succeed!

I was confident that eventually Toby's destiny would find him. High school was a succession of artistic building blocks, as Toby was a consistently featured soloist in the Athena Choirs, a four-year winner in numerous area and county voice competitions, a scholarship winner in the National Young ARTS Competition in Classical Voice.  Finally, Toby was among the seven winners of Jeff Tyzik's First Annual Performance Competition.  High school students from many counties competed for the privilege of performing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Tyzik, impressed with Toby's beautiful voice, as well as his maturity and professionalism, featured Toby in two more RPO concerts.

From his sophomore year in high school, Toby was cast in numerous leading and secondary roles in the Athena musicals. As his voice teacher, choir director, and stage director, I appreciated his constant desire to learn. Toby was glad to get feedback and quick to assimilate it. He was intrigued with the creation and motivation of characters, and added layers to a character few would imagine possible for such a young performer.  His final role at Athena was the Phantom, in Maury Yeston's Phantom, in which his performance was mature and powerful.

After nearly four years of artistic success, his parents agreed that Toby had the ability to succeed in a performance career. Toby's dream was Julliard, but he was realistic as he considered the competition for this very prestigious school.

But for Tobias Greenhalgh the dream of attending Julliard came true, and he was awarded a full scholarship, a truly impressive accomplishment for such a young singer.  My heart was full, believing that Toby was where he deserved to be.

Toby went on to get his Master's Degree at Julliard as well.  In the years since I taught him, he has continued to build his skills and enthrall audiences with his voice, artistry, and musicianship.  I am thrilled to be able to share my joy at his accomplishments at the concert on October 1.

Judith A. Ranaletta
Resident Stage Director, Rochester Lyric Opera
Former Vocal Music & Drama Director, Greece Athena High School

From your Opera Guild 
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 2017, 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 Website 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.

Cindy New Ad 2016

Submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month

Opera Guild of Rochester, P.O. Box 92245, Rochester, NY 14692-0245
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