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Edition Viva Voce, November 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.   

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


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SondheimReviewRochester Lyric Opera
Lyric Theater
440 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

Presented by the Rochester Lyric Opera

Sondheim Review: "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow"
Seven singers and a small ensemble perform a pastiche of Sondheim's great songs

Saturday Oct 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm
General admissions $25, $20 for seniors.
Tickets can be obtained at the door or on the website of Rochester Lyric Opera.

Eastman Poster
EastmanOperaTheaterEastman Opera Theater

The Turn of the Screw 
by Benjamin Britten
Eastman School of Music Kilbourn Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, Friday, November 4, and Saturday, November 5; with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, November 6. Pre-performance lectures will be given one hour earlier in the School's Ray Wright Room (Room 120).

Tickets are $25 to $35 (discounts with UR ID), and are available at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St.; by phone: (585) 274-3000; or online at EastmanTheatre.org

For commentary and a summary of the plot, see
Reader Article by Stephen Carr.


EastmanOperaEastman Opera 2016-2017 Season

The Turn of the Screw 
Benjamin Britten, libretto by Myfanwy Piper
November 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 PM 
November 6 at 2:00 PM 
Kilbourn Hall

Out of Darkness  
Jake Heggie
February 2, 4,  9, 11 at 7:30 PM 
Annex 804

Selected Chamber Works 
Jake Heggie
February 3 at 7:30 PM 
February 5, 12 at 2:00 PM 
Annex 804

Jules Massenet, libretto by Henri Caïn
April 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 PM 
April 9 at 2:00 PM 
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater

Tickets sold at Eastman Theater Box Office (585) 274-3000

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LittleTheaterThe Little Theater
240 East Avenue,  
Rochester, NY 14604

Royal Opera House at Covent Garden Productions, 2016-2017

Mozart, Così fan tutte
Nov 26, 12 p.m.
Nov 29, 7:30 p.m.
Semyon Bychkov conducts rising stars.

Offenbach, Les contes d'Hoffmann
Dec 3, 12 p.m.
Dec 6, 7:30 p.m.
Vittorio Grigolo, Sonya Yoncheva and Thomas Hampson.

Verdi, Il trovatore
Feb 18, 12 p.m.
Feb 21, 7:30 p.m.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anita Rachvelishvili.

Verdi, Otello
July 22, 12 p.m.
July 25, 7:30 p.m.
Antonio Pappano conducts Jonas Kaufmann in his title role debut.

Met201617SeasonMet HD 2016-2017 Season

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 a complete synopsis 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. 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

TinseltownNotice to Tinseltown Attendees of Met HD Simulcasts

Tinseltown in Gates has converted to reserved lounge seating and there will be fewer seats available. Tickets may now be purchased and seats reserved on-line at cinemark.com. The box office phone is (585) 247-0042. When on-line, search for the opera by name if there is no picture or listing. 


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Syracuse 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

           2016 - 2017 Season

Hansel and Gretel,
Englebert Humperdinck
The Opera Center
315 Clinton Street
Binghamton, NY
7:30 PM Nov 11, 12, 18, 19
3:00 PM Nov 13,20
 L'Heure Espagnole
Brettl-lieder (cabaret songs)

The Opera Center 
315 Clinton Street 
Binghamton, NY 
7:30 PM Feb 17,24
3:00 PM Feb 19, 26 
Hydrogen Jukebox
The Opera Center 
315 Clinton Street 
Binghamton, NY
7:30 PM April 21, 28
3:00 PM April 23, 30 
For more information click here.



More Info, Buy Tickets
More Info, Buy Tickets
The Magic Flute
More Info, Buy Tickets
FEBRUARY 2 TO 25, 2017
More Info, Buy Tickets
Louis Riel
APRIL 20 TO MAY 13, 2017
More Info, Buy Tickets
APRIL 30 TO MAY 20, 2017
More Info, Buy Tickets

BeatTheBlahsBeat the Blahs
The Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Series
January, 2017
Temple B'rith Kodesh,
2131 Elmwood Ave.
Social Hall (rear entrance)

On each of four Sunday afternoons in January the Opera Guild presents an opera on DVD on the big screen, with an introduction by a Guild speaker.  Refreshments are served at the intermission.

Jan 8, 12:30 p.m. (double bill)
Johann Strauss Jr.'s Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood)
The glamour of Imperial Vienna is captured in this 1971 film with Rene Kallo leading the cast.
Franz Lehar's Der Zarewitsch (The Tsarevich)
This 1973 film presents Teresa Stratas as the Russian dancer with whom the Tsar falls in love.
Opera talk: Agneta Borgstedt

Jan 15, 1 p.m.
Antonin Dvorak's Russalka
A Met Opera production with Renee Fleming and Pyotr Beczala, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Opera talk: Art Axelrod

Jan 22, 1 p.m.
Donizetti's La fille du regiment
Covent Garden production starring Natalie Dessay, Juan Diego Florez and Alessandro Corbelli; Bruno Campanella conducts.
Opera talk: Carol Crocca

Jan 29, 1 p.m.
Mozart's Così fan tutte
Met Opera production recorded from TV in 1996 starring Carol Vaness, Jerry Hadley, Suzanne Mentzer, Dwayne Croft, Cecilia Bartoli and Thomas Allen; conducted by James Levine.
Opera talk: Peter Dundas

The public is invited.  If you received a flyer, registration is appreciated.  A donation of $9 per person is requested.


Competitions2017 Rochester Opera Competitions
Watch for additional information closer to the events.
Friends of Eastman Opera's Voice Finals Competition
Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, 8 pm (free)
Eastman School of Music
Kilbourn Hall
Each academic year the Friends of Eastman Opera sponsor an aria competition adjudicated by an outside guest from the opera world for Eastman students who are seniors or graduate students. Finalists will prepare three arias featuring at least two languages. For general information, Click Here.

Eleventh Annual Classical Idol Competition
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 7:30 pm
Temple B'rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Avenue
The Rochester Oratorical Society presents the finalists in its annual international competition for young artists on the rise. For more information, Click Here.

Lotte Lenya Competition
Saturday, April 22, 2017, free
In prior competitions, 11 am to 3pm, semi-finals; finals in the evening
Eastman School of Music
Kilbourn Hall
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music sponsors this international competition for versatile singers aged 19-32 who must perform opera/operetta, both older and contemporary Broadway selections, and the music of Kurt Weill.  For more general information about the competition, Click Here

Return to Contents

Tour to Syracuse Opera

FYI, there will be an Opera Guild of Rochester tour to Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin on Sunday, April 9, 2017, by the Syracuse Opera. Details to follow closer to the event.

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 500 words.  All submissions are subject to editorial review.

Eastman Opera Theatre Presents
Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw
Stephen Carr, Associate Professor of Opera and Musical Theater Studies at the Eastman School

A young woman is charged with caring for two children in an isolated, enormous manor house. Is she being challenged by two malevolent spirits for control of her wards? Or is she descending into paranoia? The questions are left unanswered in The Turn of the Screw, Benjamin Britten's dark opera that will be presented by Eastman Opera Theatre November 3 through 6.

The piece walks a fine line between a traditional ghost story and a tale of mental instability.  It's deliciously ambiguous, and the production fully embraces that.

Britten's 20th-century opera is based on Henry James's famous 19th-century novella and there are other themes that appear in the work.  James's insistence upon ambiguity was itself a critique of the Victorian mentality of his time, when issues of good versus evil were seen in very black-and-white terms. Reality, as our protagonist discovers, is more often gray.  She is charged with the care of two impossibly innocent and pure children, qualities she feels bound to protect and guard, both in them and in herself. But when news arrives that the boy has been expelled from school for reasons too awful to name, a crack appears in the façade, and her white-knuckled grip on her own narrowly-defined reality begins to slip.

The Turn of the Screw follows a young parson's daughter who is hired by a charming man to serve as governess to his niece and nephew. But there is one condition: If she accepts the position, under no circumstances is she to contact him. Whatever happens, it is she who must be responsible. Not long after arriving at the estate, she is confronted by sightings of the house's former governess and manservant, both of whom are now dead. Convinced that these ghosts have acquired an unnatural influence over the children, she engages in what she sees as a battle with the ghosts for the children's souls, with tragic results.

Two casts of Eastman voice students will alternate performances and will be accompanied by a small ensemble of Eastman student musicians conducted by Benton Hess, Distinguished Professor of Voice, and Music Director of Eastman Opera Theatre. The two-and-a-half-hour production will be sung in English with supertitles.

From your Opera Guild 
A pristine Yamaha C3F piano was dedicated for use at the Lyric Theater by Opera Guild of Rochester, highlighting an October 1, 2016 performance by acclaimed lyric baritone Tobias Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh was accompanied by Michael Brofman, who was the one of the first to perform on this instrument in its new and magnificent home.

Dr. Agneta Borgstedt and Carol Crocca [pictured left] of the Opera Guild of Rochester proudly announced its gift of use for the piano, pointing out its dedication plaque mounted to the piano. Click here for a photo of the dedication plaque.

Joe Heintzman, a long-time Guild supporter and volunteer, now resides at St. Ann's Home.  Agneta Borgstedt, Joe Mancini and Guild volunteers gathered there in June to enjoy a video tape of the Annual Recital, and also celebrated his birthday in August.

With sadness, the Guild announces the death of Janet Patlow, a founding member of the Guild, on October 1.  Mrs. Patlow taught English at RIT, where she met Haskell Rosenberg, the Guild's first president.  Mrs. Patlow also contributed to the formation of Mercury Opera.  She leaves many friends in Rochester who shared her love for the art form.

At a luncheon on Sunday, October 23, Agneta Borgstedt hosted seven of the Guild's dedicated volunteers.  Elizabeth Beumer, Lillian Bonanni, Cindy Battisti, Rachel Stuhlman, Joe Mancini, Linda Dunn and Joan Schultz enjoyed the meal and each other's company while sharing ideas about opera activities in Rochester.

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.

To donate on-line Click Here.  

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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