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Edition Viva Voce, December 2017
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 email@example.com.
Reader Article submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month.
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Our goal is $2,000. If just 200 of our readers gave $10 each, we would reach it. (That's just a suggestion, you could always give more!)
Use PayPal (Click Here) and then scroll down to the Donate Button, or mail your donation to Opera Guild of Rochester,
PO Box 92245, Rochester, NY 14692-0245. Please mark your donation for Viva Voce on your check, or in the special message box if using PayPal.
2018 Beat the Blahs
4 Sunday Afternoons in January
The Haskel Rosenberg Memorial Series
Temple B'rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Avenue
Social Hall (rear entrance)
During the depths of winter on the four Sunday afternoons in January, the Opera Guild presents a DVD of an opera presented during the current MET season on the big screen, with an introduction by a Guild speaker. Refreshments are served at the intermission. A suggested donation for all four operas is $32.00 for Opera Guild of Rochester donors and $36.00 for non-donors. For individual operas the suggested donation is $9.00 for Opera Guild of Rochester donors and $10.00 for non-donors. Temple members are not asked to make a donation.
Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio
Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Talk by Agneta Borgstedt
This is a Singspiel in three acts, set in the 18th Century in the palace of Pasha Selim, with a setting as Mozart envisioned. The philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment is expressed in the Pasha's generous gesture freeing his prisoners Belmonte, Konstanze, Pedrillo, and Blonde, much to the disappointment of Osmin, the palace overseer.
Leos Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen
Sun, Jan 14, 2018, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Talk by Carol Crocca
|Bring the kids - an amusing opera with both human and animal characters. You can compare two versions: the cartoon (!) and one in familiar opera fashion. For an article about the composer, the opera, and what you may want to know if you bring children, Click Here. |
Puccini's Il tritico
Sun, Jan 21, 2018, at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Talk by Peter Dundas
Puccini's unheralded masterpiece, Il tritico (The Triptych). Hear and see three one-act operas, Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi. The work received its world premier at the Metropolitan Opera on 14 Dec 1918. Dismissed at first, but loved now for its ingenuity; three different operas with different themes ending with a deliciously funny family squabble.
Rimsky Korsakov's Sadko
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 1;00 PM to 5:00 PM
Talk by Art Axelrod
A delightful treatment by Rimsky-Korsakov of an old Russian folk tale about a musician who wants to be a merchant. He charms the daughter of the King of the Ocean-Sea, who rewards him by sending golden fishes, which he uses to finance his voyage. Bring your scuba gear, because the entire second act is set under the ocean!
Roberts Wesleyan Community Theater
Roberts Wesleyan College-Community Theater is thrilled to announce their performances of the musical, Anything Goes, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. The musical introduced such songs as "Anything Goes", "You're the Top", and "I Get a Kick Out of You." Since its 1934 debut at the Alvin Theatre (now known as the Neil Simon Theatre) on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has been filmed twice.
All performances will be in the
Andrews B. Hale Auditorium
2301 Westside Dr.
Rochester, NY 14624
Friday, January 19, 2018 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 7:30 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2018 - 2:00 PM
Friday, January 26, 2018 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 7:30 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 2:00 PM
Senior 62+ - $20.00,
Children & College Students w/ID - $17.00
GROUP RATE: BUY 10 TICKETS, GET 1 FREE! (Call Box Office to purchase 585-594-6008)
RWC STUDENT SPECIAL: Get a $5 RUSH ticket at the door on night of performance w/ ID!
Eastman OperaLes Enfants Terribles
by Philip Glass and Susan Marshall
Adapted from the Jean Cocteau Novel and 1950 French Film
February 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m.
February 4 at 2:00 p.m.
804 Black Box Theatre
Friends of Eastman OperaVoice Competition
February 9 at 8:00 p.m.
Kilbourn Hall The Light in the Piazza
by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas
Based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer
April 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m.
April 8 at 2:00 p.m.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
May 5 at 7:30 p.m.
May 6 at 2:00 p.m.
804 Black Box Theatre
*Tickets sold through the
Eastman Theatre Box Office
433 East Main St., Rochester NY
Pre-performance Talks one hour
before each Eastman Opera Theatre
performance except April 5
Information about upcoming
Eastman concerts and events can be found atwww.esm.rochester.edu/concertswww.esm.rochester.edu/voice
Enjoy the opera at The Little! Here is the 2017-18 Royal Opera House lineup
Saturday, Feb 17, 12 PM
Tuesday, Feb 20, 6 PM
Saturday, Mar 3, 12 PM
Tuesday, Mar 6, 6 PM
Saturday, Apr 14, 12 PM
Wednesday, Apr 18, 6 PM
Sunday, May 27, 12 PM
Tuesday, May 29, 6 PM
2017-2018 'Doomed Divas' season!
|Verdi's La traviata|
Feb 2 at 8 PM
Feb 4 at 2 PMSoprano Raquel Gonzalez and tenor Andrew Maughan (Eugene Onegin) return to bring Verdi's gorgeous score to life. Directed by Stephanie Havey (Rigoletto) and conducted by Christian Capocaccia.
|Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Opera Guild spring trip)|
April 13 at 8 PM
April 15 at 2 PM Soprano Toni Marie Palmertree, having debuted the role of Butterfly at San Francisco Opera in 2016, will reprise the role for Syracuse Opera. CNY native Dinyar Vania returns to play Pinkerton, with baritone Troy Cook (Eugene Onegin) as Sharpless, the American Consul. Glenn Lewis of Pittsburgh Opera will conduct, with Alison Moritz making her Syracuse Opera debut as stage director.
Tickets from $26 to $206, student tickets, $10.
Terrence McNally Master Class
2017 - 2018 Season
February 23, 24 7:30 PM
February 25, 3:00 PMTri-Cities Opera Center
Peter Brook and Georges Bizet The Tragedy of Carmen
April 27, May 4, 7:30 PM
April 29, May 6, 3:00 PMTri-Cities Opera Center
For tickets and information call (607) 772-0400 or go to http://www.tricitiesopera.com
Metropolitan Opera HD Season 2017-2018See our docents' essays on the composer and background of the operas in the Viva Voce issue published in the beginning of the broadcast month. These essays can also be found on our Website. Click Here to peruse the collection. Giacomo Puccini, Tosca
Sat, Jan 27, 2018 12:55 PMA new production by Sir David McVicar, starring Kristine Opolais as Tosca, Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi and Byrn Terfel as Scarpia. Andris Nelsons will conduct.
Gaetano Donizetti, L'Elisir d'Amore
Sat, Feb 10, 2018 12:00 PMA Bartlett Sher production, starring Pretty Yende as Adina, Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, David Luciano as Belcore, and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Dulcamara. Domingo Hindoyan will conduct.
Giacomo Puccini, La Bohème
Sat, Feb 24, 2018 12:30 PMFranco Zeffirelli's classic production, starring Sonya Yoncheva as Mimi, Susanna Phillips as Musetta, Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo and Lucas Meachem as Marcello. Marco Armiliato will conduct.
Gioachino Rossini, Semiramide
Sat, Mar 10, 2018 12:55 PMIts first appearance at the Met in almost 25 years, starring Angela Meade as Semiramide, the murderous Queen of Babylon, Elizabeth DeShong as Arsace, Javier Camarena (the current "King of the High C's") as Idreno, Ildar Abdrazakov as Assur and Ryan Green as Mitrane. Maurizio Benini will conduct.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Così fan tutte
Sat, Mar 31, 2018 12:55 PMA new production by Phelim McDermott set in Coney Island in the 1950's, starring Amanda Majeski as Fiordiligi, Serena Malfi as Dorabella, Broadway star Kelli O'Hara as Despina, Ken Bliss as Ferrando, Adam Plachetka as Guglielmo and Christopher Maltman as Don Alfonso. David Robertson will conduct.
Giuseppe Verdi, Luisa Miller
Sat, Apr 14, 2018 12:30 PMIts first Met performance in more than 10 years, starring Sonya Yoncheva as Luisa, Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo, Olesya Petrova as Federica, Placido Domingo as Miller, Alexander Vinogradov as Walter and Dmitry Belosselskiy as Wurm. James Levine will conduct.
Jules Massenet, Cendrillon
Sat, Apr 28, 2018 12:55 PMIts premier at the Met in an imaginative, new storybook production by Laurent Pelly, starring Joyce DiDonato as Cendrillon (Cinderella), Alice Coote (in a trouser role) as Prince Charming, Kathleen Kim as the Fairy Godmother and Stephanie Blythe as Madame de la Haltiere. Bertrand de Billy will conduct.
To buy individual or subscription tickets Click Here
ROCHESTER ACADEMY OF MEDICINE AFTERNOON CONCERT SERIES
1441 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14610
Sundays at 2 pm. Jan. 21, March 4, April 8
Rebecca Penneys, piano
Stefan Reuss, cello
Mikhail Kopelman, violinDoors open at 1:15. Tickets are $35 at the door for non-members and subscriptions are available. Go to www.raom.org or contact Lydia N.C. Nicolson at 585-271-1314 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
DonationsReturn to Contents
As an Amici, your contribution in any amount is greatly appreciated. All donation levels receive an invitation to the Annual Recital (see the following article); those listed below will be given priority until a date specified on the invitation.
Chorus: $60-$99Comprimario: $100-$149, one additional recital invitation.Primo: $150-$199, $20 discount on trip (except to New York City).Maestro: $200-$299, $30 discount on trip (except to New York City).
Impresario: $300 or more, $30 discount on trip (except to New York City); two additional recital invitations.
To donate online go to http://operaguildofrochester.org/donate.htmlYou may also mail a check to Opera Guild of Rochester, P.O. Box 92245, Rochester, NY 14692-0245. Please include an email or other address for your tax receipt.
Opera Guild of Rochester Annual Recital for Donors
Sunday May 20, 2018, 2 p.m.
Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Ave.
Mark Daniels' recital will include tenor arias by Donizetti, Tchaikovsky and Verdi as well as a collection of Neapolitan folk songs.
This year our recitalist is tenor Mark Daniels, accompanied by pianist Rob Goodling.
Mr Daniels is a versatile tenor who hails from Kennebunk, Maine. His early studies were with David Goulet in Portland, Maine, where he made his professional debut as Charlie Dalrymple in Lerner and Loewe's Brigadoon. Mr. Daniels continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Rita Shane, where he made his Eastman Opera Theater operatic debut as Sam in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. He performed the role of Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte in Urbania, Italy, with Benton Hess's Oberlin in Italy program and again in Buffalo, New York, with Buffalo Opera Unlimited. Other roles have included Danilo in Lehar's The Merry Widow with Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore with Genesse Valley Orchestra and Chorus, and Bingley in the world premier performance and recording of Amanda Jacobs and Lindsay Warren Baker's Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Daniels was the tenor soloist in J. S. Bach's Magnificat with the Finger Lakes Chorale under the direction of John Walker, and Great Lakes Productions created a show around him called "A Tenor," which he preformed for two years throughout the Rochester area and upstate New York with the "Tuscan Trio and Two Sopranos."
This section brings you articles written by Opera Guild docents. Previously distributed at HD performances, they are now published in Viva Voce in the beginning of the broadcast month, and are available on the Website.
In this December there is no Met HD performance. The following article previews the Beat-the-Blahs presentation of The Cunning Little Vixen.
Leos Janáček (1854-1928) and The Cunning Little Vixen
Leos Janáček's father was the schoolmaster and music teacher of a remote hamlet in Moravia. The tenth child of a rather desperately poor family, he received a scholarship to study at the choir school in the regional town of Brno, and went on to study in Prague, Leipzig and Vienna. Like other composers of the 20th century, such as Stravinsky and Bartok, he had an intense interest in the folk music of his native land, and spent much time collecting and notating the local peasant songs and dances of Moravia. He also had a fascination with the pitches and rhythms of ordinary speech, and would sometimes transcribe on music paper the conversations that he heard around him.
After a visit to his native village in 1885 he wrote about the street music: "Flashing movements, the faces sticky with sweat; screams, whooping, the fury of fiddlers' music: it was like a picture glued on a limpid grey background." He also spoke about listening to the "chords of nature." So, at the same time that expressionism and symbolism were holding sway in early 20th century music (e.g. Debussy), there was a somewhat opposite school which sought to base itself firmly in the real, material world. Bartok and Ravel were other 20th century composers who took this path, and they were also born in the countryside of their respective nations. And while Janacek spent most of his life in cities, he never forgot his roots in the country, and his success eventually enabled him to buy a home in Brno, a town near the hamlet where he was born. Jenufa, his first opera to achieve success, premiered in Brno in 1904, then opened in Prague in 1916, but it was not until it played in Berlin in 1918 that it began to command international attention.
Janáček was 50 years old in 1904 and went on to compose in the latter years of his life all his other operas, most of which have entered the repertory. He was a composer of notable versatility, who wrote his own libretti to his own very original music. Jenufa and Kat'a Kabanova are peasant tragedies, The Excursions of Mr. Broucek, a satiric comedy, The Cunning Little Vixen, a delightful fable with animal characters, The Makropolus Case, an urban tragedy with a supernatural twist, and House of the Dead, a character study based on Dostoyevsky's account of a Siberian prison camp. Many of Janacek's operas are tragic or have tragic elements, but the tragedy is not cynical and is balanced by human compassion and love.
For Janáček, naturalism meant more than a ground in gritty reality: it referred also to the natural world. As a child, he wanted to be a forester, the main human character in The Cunning Little Vixen, which is both a charming tale and a portrayal of the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
The opera is currently enjoying a spate of popularity and is being presented at Glimmerglass next summer; the Opera Guild sponsors a trip on July 30th. Because of the diverse and always diverting stagings of the animal characters, and its modern yet very lyrical music, there is no such thing as seeing this opera too many times.
THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
VERY SHORT SYNOPSIS
The Vixen is captured by the forester as a cub, then escapes to mate and have her own family. She is eventually shot by a poacher. At the end of the opera, we find the forester dreamily musing on the passage of time and the path of his own life. He awakens to find the vixen's children playing nearby. This time, however, he has no desire to capture them.
WHAT A PARENT OR CHILD'S HOST MAY WANT TO KNOW
Children and full-time students of any age are free.
We will show the cartoon version first (one hour), followed by intermission and cookies, followed by the human version (about one hour, fifteen minutes). This gives you the choice of not staying for the second half if your child or children are restless. The introduction will be aimed at the children in the audience.
(See very short synopsis above.) The cartoon version is in English; the human opera is in Czech, with English subtitles. There is less dialogue in the cartoon version and the story will be understood even without the words. The slightly shortened animated version is faithful to the original, which has beautiful orchestral music and lyrical dialogue. The animals are both anthropomorphized in some scenes (e.g., the love duet between fox and vixen) and true to their animal nature in others (e.g., the vixen sprays the badger to evict him from his den).
WHAT A PARENT OR CHILD'S HOST MAY NEED TO DISCUSS
One aspect that may require some explanation to a child (those ever-curious askers of sometimes difficult questions) is the Forester's apparent love affair with his gun. This does not pervade the opera, but is present in one or two moments. He is a forester, not a poacher or law enforcement person (at least we do not see him in this role), but he is most likely also a hunter and may legitimately depend on game for food. After the vixen eats his chicken and escapes, he fires at her in anger but does not hit her. At the end of the opera, he apostrophizes his gun as his faithful companion through the years.
Another issue is his capture of the vixen. Children may not question this; they are curious about the natural world and, if not frightened, wouldn't mind having a pet fox. But it certainly does not comport with contemporary mores about animal treatment or common sense (foxes can carry rabies). Perhaps just to say that we wouldn't do that nowadays - it is a story from another time. And then there is the matter of the vixen's death: a subject to be dealt with according to your knowledge of the child and your own beliefs.
THE SURVEY - PART 2 (For Survey Part I see November in the website archive)
|We value your feedback, both positive and negative. If you don't want to bother with a pesky survey that may or may not scratch your itch, send us an email or snail mail. For criticism to be effective, however, we ask that you include the reason for your displeasure and, if possible, suggestions for remedy. eMail us at OperaGuildofRochester@gmail.com or snail mail at
Opera Guild of Rochester
P.O. Box 92245
Rochester, NY 14692-0245
Perception of Opera Guild of Rochester - Responders were asked to pick as many as they thought appropriate from a list of adjectives.
A majority think that OGR is relevant and helpful, but not well-known.
Between 41% and 48% think it is friendly, visible in the opera community and accessible.
20% and 21% think it is fun and scholarly, respectively.
18% and 12% think it is serious and authoritative, respectively.
4% think it is boring.
Some responders added their own descriptors. "Costly" is worth commenting on. Of our programs, the newsletter and lectures are free to anyone, Beat the Blahs is nominally priced, and the Annual Recital is free to donors. Trips are costly. For example, the buses to Syracuse Opera and Glimmerglass cost $1000-2000, whether or not it they're full. When you consider what you get, and what you don't have to worry about, I think you will understand the value. There is no way to make a trip to New York City inexpensive. However, you have choices, such as how many operas you want to see, the price of the seats, where you eat, whether or not you have the Guild make hotel reservations (got relatives or friends in the City?). This flexibility can help reduce the cost.
Recommending OGR to a friend. On a scale of 1 to ten, 75% say that the likelihood of recommending the Guild is a 6 or better. Over 50% say 8 or better.
Opera and classical events attended. More or less 75% of responders attend Met Live in HD presentations, area opera productions (Eastman Opera, Finger Lakes Opera) and RPO concerts. Almost 60% attend out-of-town opera (the Met, Toronto, Glimmerglass, Syracuse). Over 50% attend classical vocal or opera concerts, and 38% attend vocal competitions. Others mentioned the Little Theater opera showings, Nazareth College, and Tri-Cities Opera, Binghamton.
OGR handouts at the Met Live in HD. 40% of responders like the handouts and 7% prefer to read them online. 4% don't like them and don't want them continued. 16% didn't recall seeing them and from 27% there was no response. Again, a mini-survey is in order to get more detailed feedback.
A majority of responders use social media many times per day, daily or at least a few times per week. 48% seldom or never use it.
The responders to the survey were female in the majority (61% to 36%) and over 55 (89%).
Respondents learned about OGR in many ways, but the most frequent were recommendation by a friend, relative or colleague (37%) and email from the Guild (23%).
92% of responders have given a donation to an arts-related organization in the last year. Of those who gave, 25% gave more than ten times! 20% gave 6-10 times; 26% gave 3-5 times; and 21% gave 1-2 times.
The City of Rochester, Brighton and Pittsford accounted for 56% of responders' residences, with the others hailing from everywhere from Spencerport to Livingston County (9% or fewer for each locale.)
From your Opera Guild
Here is a report from Cindy Battisti, who, with Mary Bonaccio, organized our new event.
Chatting It Up
Sunday, November 18, was the first official Opera Guild of Rochester Opera Meet Up!
About twenty opera lovers got together for some opera chat and refreshments in the Little Café after the Little Theatre screening of the Royal Opera's brand-new production of La Bohème. Rather than hearing a presentation or formal talk, we all enjoyed meeting new people and chatting about what we thought of the performance and our love for opera in general. Some fans reminisced about attending early performances of Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne at the Met, and one aficionado present has won the Texaco Opera Quiz three times! The Guild was also delighted to give away a pair of movie tickets generously donated by our host, the Little Theater. Everyone enjoyed getting together so much that the second Opera Guild Meet Up will be planned to follow the Little Theater's screening of the Royal Opera's Rigoletto on Saturday, February 17. We hope you will join us!
Happy Holidays! And don't forget - opera and concert tickets make great gifts.
Computer Skills Needed
Electronically publishing the newsletter requires a few fairly sophisticated computer skills and we are fortunate to have two accomplished volunteers working in this capacity. But since it is a job requiring 2-3 days per month on a regular basis, two technical publishers are not enough to make sure we have coverage for times of illness, vacation, computer malfunction, etc. If you have computer skills, please consider helping with this valuable project, even if you cannot, or would prefer not, to work every month. Thanks for your consideration! Just see the beginning of the newsletter to find a job description and how to let us know of your interest.
Please consider the Opera Guild of Rochester among your charitable organizations for 2017. Donations to the Opera Guild of Rochester are fully tax deductible and donors will receive an invitation to the Annual Recital in May 2018, which includes a dessert reception with the artists.
To donate online 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.