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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, September 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.

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.


OGRLectureSeriesFREE! Guild Opera Lecture Series

September 14, 21 
Fairport Library
Viennese Operettas of Johann Strauss, Jr. (9/14, 7-9 pm)
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (9/21, 7-9 pm)

RLyricRochester Lyric Opera presents Tobias Greenhalgh

In Concert at the Lyric Theater, 440 East Avenue, Rochester NY

Rochester native Tobias Greenhalgh, one of 5 upcoming lyric baritones featured in the June issue of Opera News magazine, will be presented by Rochester Lyric Opera in concert at the Lyric Theater, 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.


Photo © Christoph Seidl
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. 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.

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

NewsFromNickelCityNews from Nickel City Opera

In the summer of 2017 Nickel City Opera will put on a production of Bizet's Carmen. Details of date and place for the performance and artists, cost of tickets will be made available at a later date.

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

           2016 - 2017 Season

La traviata,
Guiseppe Verdi

The Forum Theater 
236 Washington Street 
Binghamton, NY 
3:00 PM, Oct 16, 2016
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-lider (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.

EastmanOperaEastman Opera 2016-2017 Season Preview

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

Return to Contents  

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.

TBioThe Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra) 1817

On Monday July 25 the Opera Guild of Rochester enjoyed its yearly opera bus tour to the Glimmerglass Festival for the almost unknown (in the United States) Rossini semi-seria opera The Thieving Magpie. The thunderstorm and rain took nothing away from us to see and hear this wonderful production.

After lunch at the Thaw pavilion we had a private introduction by principal coach Christopher Devlin, who patiently answered many questions from the group.

I had studied the productions on DVD from the Opera Cologne (Germany) and Bologna (Italy) and the two CDs from the Garsington Opera (England) and the Wildbad Festival (Germany). The Glimmerglass festival production could stand up to its European competitors. The Magpie itself was represented by a colorful dancer, who before the start of the opera and in the intermission moved through the crowd and was very interested in their jewelry as you can see in the picture. She was cleverly birdlike in her movements and often had to retreat into a cage on the stage where she hid shiny objects.

The music of the beautiful and well-known overture, also heard intermittently throughout the work, helped us to fall in love with the opera.

Rachelle Gilmore, the coloratura soprano who sang Ninetta, the simple servant girl, accused of stealing the silver cutlery of her employer, gave a brilliant musical performance. She effectively portrayed her pain at being falsely accused and showed her courage in refusing to implicate her father, a fugitive from the law.

I agree with Richard Osborne's analysis in the notes, that Rossini and Gherardini foreshadowed the verismo operas at the end of the 19th century, the father/child relationship of many Verdi operas in Ninetta's love for her father, and the reminder, in the village mayor's pursuit of Ninetta, of Scarpia's pursuit of Tosca almost 100 years later.

Our dinner on the way back to Rochester at the Brewster Inn in Cazenovia was delicious and allowed us a lively exchange of our impressions of the opera. I hope that other companies in the United States will bring this opera to their audiences to enjoy and get to know.

Our thanks to Helga Strasser for organizing our Opera Guild tours.
Meg Gillentine as The Magpie
The Glimmerglass production was delightful, and offered a visual twist by adorning all the costumes with feathers. Meg Gillentine's performance as the magpie was wonderful, prancing around with the movements of a rascally bird. In this photo you can see her in character as she herded the audience back into the theater after intermission. 
Photo courtesy M. Elwitt.  


Agneta D. Borgstedt, President, Opera Guild of Rochester
From your Opera Guild 

The Guild is fortunate in having several new volunteers this year who are helping us expand our reach and provide continuity for the organization.

Lida Moore of Penfield is our new Assistant Publisher for Viva Voce.  Lida has prior publishing experience and is using her considerable computer and editing skills to work with our email server, Constant Contact.  Lida and her husband Vernon, who is retired from the Air Force, are the proud parents of four daughters.

Scott Horsington of Rochester has been working on publicity for us.  Scott is an adjunct professor at SUNY Brockport, where he teaches music courses, directs the College-Community Chorus, and is Coordinator of Ensembles.  He has completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music, and expects a Master's degree in Public Administration, with a Certificate in Arts Administration, in 2018.

Ruth Leubner of Fairport, a retired teacher, is now assisting Agneta Borgstedt with preparing material for the newsletter.  Ruth always enjoyed sharing her love for classical music with her children and her son, Eapen, now has a successful career as an opera tenor.  He gave a fine performance here a few years ago as the young lover in Haydn's The Apothecary.  

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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