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Enjoy meeting others in Rochester's opera community and contributing to the availability of opera activities by volunteering for the Opera Guild! Currently there are three jobs posted: Event Host or Hostess, Mail & Database Assistant, and Assistant Publisher.  Click on links for the job descriptions.  

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Edition Viva Voce, January 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 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.

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

Jan 8, 12:30 p.m. (double bill)
Johann Strauss Jr.'s Wiener Blut (Viennese Spirit)
The glamour of Imperial Vienna is captured in this 1971 film with René Kollo 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 Rusalka
A Met Opera production with Renee Fleming and Pyotr Beczala, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Opera talk: Carol Crocca

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

SalonConcertSeriesSalon Concert Series

Rochester Academy of Medicine
1441 East Avenue, Rochester

All concerts at 2 pm

January 22 - Trios by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
February 5 - Trios by Hummel and Beethoven
April 2 -        Trios by Dvorak and Brahms

For notes on the programs, click here.

Rebecca Penneys, piano; for bio, rebeccapenneys.com
Stefan Reuss, internationally recognized cellist, Principal Cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mikhail Kopelman, violin; for bio, esm.rochester.edu/faculty.

Competitions2017 Rochester Voice 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

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OGRLectureSeriesGuild Opera Lecture Series
Brighton Memorial Library
2300 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14618, (585) 784-5310

Monday, Feb 27 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Verdi's Don Carlo (Rosalba Pisaturo)

Monday, Mar 6 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (Peter Dundas)

Monday, Mar 13 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Jacues Offenbach's Comic Operas (Agneta Borgstedt)

Monday, Mar 20 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
E Pluribus Unum: Operatic Ensembles (Art Axelrod)

Monday, Mar 27 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Mostly Mozart: Italian Comic Opera in the 18th Century (Carol Crocca)

EastmanOperaEastman Opera 2016-2017 Season

Out of Darkness   Click here for more information about these operas.
Jake Heggie
February 2, 4,  9 at 7:30 pm and February 12 at 2:00 pm
Annex 804

Into the Fire
Jake Heggie
February 3, 11 at 7:30 PM 
February 5 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

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

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, 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

PenfieldPenfield Symphony Orchestra "Operatic Gems"

Monday, February 13, 7:30 pm
Penfield High School Auditorium, High School Drive, (off Five Mile Line Road)
Tickets (at the door):   Adult, $15; group of 6 or more, $10; Senior, $12, group of 6 or more, $8
Click here to order tickets.

The soprano soloist is Keely Futterer, doctoral student at Eastman School of Music, where she studies with Katherine Cowdrick. Among many other recognitions, she received the Encouragement Award at the Met National Council auditions.


Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
"Dove sono" from The Marriage of Figaro
"Una voce poco fa" from The Barber of Seville
"Song to the Moon" from Rusalka
"Quando m'en vo" from La Boheme
Overture to La forza del destino
"Prelude" and "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
Porgy and Bess, selections

           2016 - 2017 Season

 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.



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


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. 

For a flyer and registration materials click here

Opera Guild of Rochester Annual Recital for Donors
Sunday, May 21, 2017, 2 pm
Rochester Academy of Medicine, 1441 East Avenue

Our recitalist this year will be Paige Kiefner, a recent graduate of Eastman School of Music. She has appeared as Emily Webb in Ned Rorem's Our Town and in Dialogues of the Carmelites, She Loves Me, and Street Scene. Paige starred as Maria in Roberts Wesleyan's production of West Side Story. Her credits also include Rochester Lyric Opera's production of The Tales of Custard the Dragon and Little Red's Most Unusual Day. She is a section leader in the Third Presbyterian Chancel Choir under the direction of Peter Dubois as soprano soloist. Paige is from Cape Girardeau, MO.

The program, "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History," will include selections by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, and Donizetti, as well as some more modern repertoire from Broadway musicals.

Ms. Kiefner will be accompanied by Jacob Stebly. He studied Vocal and Opera Performance at the Eastman School of Music.  Since then he has held positions at Syracuse University as a Music Director and Pianist for their Musical Theater Program, as well as assistant to the Rare Books Department at the Sibley Music Library.  He has recently appeared in You're Gonna Love Tomorrow with the Rochester Lyric Opera and was music director for A Little Night Music with Syracuse University. 


As an Amici, your contribution in any amount is greatly appreciated.

All donation levels below receive an invitation to the Annual Recital. (See Annual Recital and Beat the Blahs information.)

Chorus: $60-$99
Comprimario: $100-$149, 4 passes to Beat the Blahs or two additional recital invitations.
Primo: $150-$199, 5% discount on all trips (except to New York City).
Maestro: $200 or more, 10% discount on trips (except to New York City).
To donate go to  http://operaguildofrochester.org/donate.html

 Of course your donation in any amount is greatly appreciated.

You 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.

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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.

Friedrich von Schiller's Don Carlo and Verdi's Don Carlo
by Agneta D. Borgstedt

The German playwrights Friedrich von Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are the pillars of the German classical period of literature. Verdi loved both Schiller and Shakespeare. The Italian scholar Andrea Maffei translated both of them and they became Verdi's favorite authors, whose works he kept at his bedside.

Schiller's aesthetic and philosophical beliefs are reflected in this opera. He sees the human being as divided between the senses (the focus of nature) and the moral spirit. In the beauty that art (Kunst) gives man (Mensch) both worlds come together and the harmony of true freedom arises. This is an extension of Kant's philosophy.  Schiller also sought to meld the style of the antique poets with the style of Shakespeare, the philosophy of which had been explored by the German classical poet Kleist.

Verdi's Don Carlo, the last of the four Verdi operas based on Schiller's plays, was written for the Paris Opera in 1867.  The original French presentation was followed by the Italian translation of Achille de Lauzieres and Angelo Zanandieri, which premiered at La Scala in 1864.  Over the next 17 years Verdi made many revisions, resulting in many different versions of the opera. Modern productions can choose, cut or substitute musical parts, depending on the director's interpretation and the length preferred.

The original play by Schiller was written in 1788, just before the French Revolution. In the character of Rodrigo, Marchise of Posa, Schiller set a poetic monument to his own emerging view of an ideal world in which mankind can live with freedom of thought, governed by just leaders. Schiller's play has a large political and philosophical scope with many sub-plots, depicting the oppressiveness of the Spanish government, and the even greater fear of the bloody Inquisition of the Catholic Church (represented by the Grand Inquisitor), before which even kings gave way.

Only a fraction of the great philosophical drama could be taken into the libretto and music of the opera, and even so, the length of the opera has always been a problem.  However, by 1867 Verdi was experienced in writing for the Paris Opera and he was now a mature orchestrator.  Much of the musical expression in Don Carlo foreshadows the late works, particularly Verdi's masterpiece, Othello.

On February 27, 2017, the first lecture at the Brighton Memorial Library, Rosalba Pisaturo will present the Italian version of the opera produced by the Metropolitan Opera with Placido Domingo as Don Carlo.

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From your Opera Guild 
We hope your holiday season is going well.  The Guild has suffered two setbacks.  First, Art Axelrod, one of our mainstays as docent and technical guru, had a fall on the ice, fracturing his ankle and breaking the smaller bone in his arm.  After surgery, he is now in rehabilitation at the Jewish Home and says his physical therapy (ouch!) is progressing well.  His incapacity was not a good time for our computer, which resides in the home of President Agneta Borgstedt, to be attacked by ransomware.  Fortunately, the attack was not a very sophisticated one, and it now appears, after much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth, that our important documents will be recovered. 

Although Art will not be very mobile for several weeks, we have regrouped and will proceed with "Beat the Blahs" and other scheduled activities.  It's worth it to work your way through some cold and slush to enjoy those beautiful traditional productions on the large screen.  Hope to see you there.  Happy New Year!

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 2017, which is our gift to our donors, followed by 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.

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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