Hi, just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Opera Guild of Rochester. Don't forget to add operaguildofrochester@gmail.com to your address book so we'll be sure to land in your inbox!
You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

VivaVoceLogo -01

Thanks to all who responded to our Fall Donation Campaign! 
Of course, we are grateful to receive donations at anytime. Watch for the announcement of our program next month for the Annual Recital for Donors in May.

Please also keep in mind that we are a volunteer organization!
You can enjoy the opportunity to meet and work with other opera fans and help sustain the programs you like. Currently we are looking for an assistant treasurer, event helpers, and publicity committee volunteers. For information about these jobs or to speak with us about any volunteer interest, write to operaguildofrochester@gmail.com and the appropriate person will contact you.


Edition Viva Voce, February 2019

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.

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.

Our Website and Facebook pages serve as a clearinghouse for local and regional opera, concert, and recital information, with links to other music organizations in our area. Please visit our Website at operaguildofrochester.org.   

For up-to-date information on opera-related news and events, please visit us on facebook.com/OperaGuildofRochester.

Some events are now being recorded.  Click the YouTube logo to visit us there.
For OGR Channel
Reader Article submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month.


Feb 2                       Met Opera HD                           Carmen
Feb 3                       Salon Concert
Feb 10                     Rescheduled Beat the Blahs   Arabella
Feb 15                     Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition
Feb 19                     Bravo Night
Feb 24, 26               Little Theatre                             Queen of Spades
Feb 24                     Pegasus                                     Fandango
Feb 26                     Opera Guild Lecture                 Bellini & Donizetti
BeatBlahBeat the Blahs, The Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Series
The 2019 Beat the Blahs program has been generously underwritten 
by Angeta D. Borgstedt, M.D.


Opera DVDs on the big screen, introductions by Opera Guild docents, refreshments at intermission. $9/10 suggested donation; children and students always FREE. 
Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue, Sundays, 1-5 pm.

Feb 10, 1-5p.m. Richard Strauss's  Arabella
Opera Talk, Peter Dundas
From 1928. Librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal convinced Strauss to abandon the dissonant style of Electra and to return the lyrical style of Rosenkavalier, with this delightful opera as the result. Today's production features Kiri te Kanawa.


We are pleased to announce three dates for our popular Bravo Nights series - come and hear emerging opera talent of the highest caliber.

*February 19
*April 23
*June 12

All will be held from 7-9 PM at The Little Café. The performances are free. Food and drink are available for purchase at the café, and we advise coming early if you are eating at the café before the performance.  Beloved arias and other musical hits will delight all sectors of the opera community. We encourage you to invite anyone with a budding interest in opera, as this casual, free event will be perfect for them!

Our February 19 performers are graduates students at the Eastman School of Music.

Kathie Kane Mezzo-Soprano
Hannah Harrow Soprano
Kathie Kane is a mezzo-soprano and a current master's student at the Eastman School of Music studying under Katherine Ciesinski. Her recent role credits include Melissa (La liberazione di Ruggiero, concert version), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Lazuli (L'Etoile), and Nate (The Fox and the Pomegranate). Partial role credits include Romeo (I Capuleti ed I Montecchi), Cenerentola (La Cenerentola), and the title role in Albert Nobbs. In 2017, she graduated summa cum laude from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She has participated in several educational programs, including the Frost School of Music summer program in Salzburg, Austria (2015), the OperaWorks Emerging Artists program (2016), and Si parla, si canta (2018). This past November, Kathie performed the role of Mezzo I in the Eastman Opera Theater production of Ricky Ian Gordon's The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Soprano Hannah Harrow, a native of Rochester, has been praised for her "brightness, enthusiasm and directness" (Graham Johnson), as well as her "vocal strength" and "radiant expression" (The Lake Placid News). She received her BM ('15) and MM ('18) in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Robert Swensen, and recently began her doctoral studies in the studio of Kathryn Cowdrick.
Hannah's notable roles with the Eastman Opera Theater include the comedic step-sister Noemie in Massenet's Cendrillon, and the gossipy Miss Pinkerton in Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief. In 2017, she won second prize in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition. During the summer, Hannah regularly sings a variety of repertoire with the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and is a featured artist on their 100th Anniversary recording.

Hannah enjoys teaching her voice students at the Eastman Community Music School and working as a Teaching Assistant for the Eastman Voice and Opera Department, where she won the prestigious Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2018.  She has also coached alongside Kim Kowalke, president of the Kurt Weill Foundation and a founder of the prestigious Lotte Lenya Vocal Competition.

OGLectureSeriesOpera Guild of Rochester Lecture Series

Brighton Memorial Library
2300 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618

All lectures are on Tuesdays from 7-9pm.

Tuesday February 26th:
Comparison of Bellini's Mad Scene in I Puritani with Donizetti's in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Agneta Borgstedt.

Tuesday March 5th:
Party Scenes and Drinking Songs.
Art Axelrod.

Tuesday March 19th:
Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss: Scenes and Memories of the 1960 Salzburg Festival Production.
Peter Dundas.

Tuesday March 26th:
The Legacy of Halevy.
David Dean.

Tuesday April 2nd:
Puccini's Heroines.
Rosalba Pisaturo.


From Sorrow to Joy
Orfeo ed Euridice
In Italian with English supertitles
Music by Christophe Willibald Gluck, Libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi
January 31, February 1 and 2 at 7:30 pm; February 3 at 2 pm, Annex 804 Black Box Studio

From Seduction to Damnation
Don Giovanni
In Italian with English supertitles
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
April 4, 5, and 6 at 7:30 pm; April 7 at 2 pm, Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

The Voice and Opera Department presents
L'enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells)
Sung in French and performed with piano
Music by Maurice Ravel, Libretto by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
May 3 and 4 at 7:30 pm, Annex 804 Black Box Studio

Eastman Theatre Box Office (585) 274-3000; To purchase tickets Click Here

Announces the Eighteenth Annual 
Voice Competition
Adjudicator: Patricia Racette
Opera Singer extraordinaire, Director, Teacher

Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music
Friday, February 15, 2019, 8 p.m.

A reception follows immediately on Cominsky Promenade. The public is cordially invited to attend this memorable and exciting event. Admission is free.

For more information visit www.esm.rochester.edu.


Crouse-Hinds Theater at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center
Free conductor's talk an hour prior to each performance

Christian Capocaccia, Conductor
Symphoria Orchestra
Syracuse Opera Chorus, Ensemble

To purchase a subscription, Click Here
Mozart, Don Giovanni
Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM  
Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM
Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Ophelie Wolf, Director
Marcus DeLoach, Don Giovanni
Julia Ebner, Donna Anna
Pamela Armstrong, Donna Elvira
Robert Mellon, Leporello

Weill, Three Penny Opera
Friday, April 12, 2019 at 8:00 PM  
Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 2:00 PM  
Sung in English with English surtitles.
Cara Consilvio, Director
Peter Kendall Clark, Macheath
Ron Lloyd, Peachum
Melissa Parks, Ceila Peachum
Gregory Sheppard, Tiger Brown

To purchase single tickets, Click Here

MetHD2018-2019SeasonMetropolitan Opera HD Season 2018-2019

Bizet, Carmen
February 2, 12:55
Synopsis and other info: Click Here
Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine reprises her remarkable portrayal of opera's ultimate seductress, a triumph in her 2017 debut performances of Bizet's masterpiece. Tenor Roberto Alagna is her lover, Don José, in Sir Richard Eyre's powerful production, a Met favorite since its 2009 premiere. Louis Langrée conducts. For an essay on Carmen Click Here.

Donizetti, La Fille du Régiment
March 2, 12:55
Synopsis and other info: Click Here
Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of Donizetti's bel canto vocal fireworks-including the show-stopping tenor aria "Ah! Mes amis," with its nine high Cs. Maurizio Muraro is the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield and Enrique Mazzola in the pit.

Wagner, Die Walküre
March 30, 12:00 
Synopsis and other info: Click Here
In what is expected to be a Wagnerian event for the ages, soprano Christine Goerke plays Brünnhilde, Wotan's willful warrior daughter who loses her immortality in opera's most famous act of filial defiance. Tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek play the incestuous twins Siegmund and Sieglinde. Greer Grimsley sings Wotan, Fricka is Jamie Barton, and Hunding, Gunther Groissbock. Philippe Jordan conducts.

Poulenc, Dialogues des Carmélites
May 11, 12:00 PM 
Synopsis and other info: Click Here
Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Poulenc's devastating story of faith and martyrdom. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met as the Prioress.

Royal Opera House Film Series at The Little

Sunday performances at The Little are followed by informal meet-ups in the café to chat about the opera with other fans. Everyone is welcome.  

Sunday February 24 (Noon)
Tuesday February 26 (6 pm)
Est. RT: 3:30

Sunday March 24 (Noon)
Tuesday March 26 (6 pm)
Est. RT: 3:35

Sunday April 28 (Noon)
Tuesday April 30 (6 pm)
Est. RT: 4:15

Sunday May 26 (Noon)
Tuesday May 28 (6 pm)
Est. RT: 3:45

Pegasus Logo
2018-2019 Season

All concerts at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh Street, Rochester. Pre-concert talk at 3:15 pm, concert at 4:00 pm

For more information or to buy tickets, Click Here

February 24, 2019 @ 4 pm

It's a musical party as we celebrate with 17th century music and dance from Spain and the New World, including Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico.

April 7, 2019 @ 4 pm

"The magical duo Bedlam" (Fanfare Magazine) is Kayleen Sanchez, soprano, and Laudon Schuett, lute. Our first Pegasus Rising artists, they return to Rochester with a program of renaissance French and English lute songs. Sacred, secular, bawdy and tender!

Acis & Galatea
May 5, 2019 @ 4 pm

A semi-staged concert version of this beloved pastoral opera by Handel. Will the monster Polyphemus woo Galatea to his side? Michael Beattie, musical direction; Emily Cuk, stage direction.

SalonConcertsSalon Concerts with the Rochester Academy of Medicine

Join us for a performance by The Academy Salon Trio 
followed by a reception with the artists.
1441 East Avenue, 14610

21st Salon Concert Season

February 3, 2019
March 24, 2019
April 28, 2019

All concerts take place at 2:00 pm in the Lyon Family Salon in the Rochester Academy of Medicine. Tickets are $35 at the door, $30 with reservation by phone, online or message. $26 Academy Members with reservation and $5 student. Seating is extremely limited. For more information Click Here.

RochIntVocCompAnnouncing the Rochester International Vocal Competition

The Rochester Oratorio Society is pleased to announce the rebranding of its signature fundraising event. It will now be known as the Rochester International Vocal Competition. The competition, now in its 13th year, culminates in a final round gala, featuring live performances and real-time commentary from a panel of distinguished judges.

"We see the rebranding as an opportunity to showcase the growth in talent and prestige the competition has gained over the last 12 years," said Eric Townell, Artistic Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society. "What started as a showcase of local talent has expanded in to an internationally respected and highly regarded competition in the classical vocal world."

The final round will be held on May 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Temple B'rith Kodesh in Brighton. The evening will feature 9 finalists as well as wine, hors d'oeuvres, desert, coffee, silent auction and raffle. "We look forward to another year of outstanding talent," said Townell.

Rochester Oratorio Society, 1050 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

Left to right: Jorell Williams, First Place, 2018 Competition, Host Julia Figueras, Christine Lyons, Second Place.

(For those wishing to explore opera without spending a lot of money)

FREE - Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition. Look for listing in February 2019 Viva Voce. 8 pm, Kilbourn Hall, Gibbs Street, Rochester.
FREE - The Lotte Lenya Competitionyoung multi-talented singer/actors performing both opera and musical theater selections.  See Viva Voce for Saturday in April, 11am-4 pm and an evening concert, Kilbourn Hall, Gibbs Street, Rochester.
FREE - Opera Guild Lectures in February and March (with many video selections) at Brighton Memorial Library, 7 pm, 2300 Elmwood Ave, Look for listing in January 2019 Viva Voce
$9/10 suggested donation - Opera Guild "Beat the Blahs."  Opera DVD presentations at Temple B'rith Kodesh.  
Four Sundays in January at 1 pm, see the 2019 schedule in this issue.  Pre-performance talk, refreshments at intermission, children and students always FREE.
$18 - Pre-recorded operas from the current season of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (London). Queen of Spades, Feb. 24, 26; La traviata, March 24, 26; La forza del destino, April 28, 30; Faust, May 26, 28; followed by informal chats in the café.  The Little Theater, 240 East Ave, Rochester. See listing in Viva Voce.
$24; UR students $10 with ID - The Eastman Opera Season:  (Eastman voice students).  Pre-performance talks; see full listing in Viva Voce.
$25 per (senior) ticket - Metropolitan Opera simulcasts in HD of live performances on Saturdays usually at 1 pm.  An encore performance, not live, is given on the Wednesday following for $23.  Theaters are at Tinseltown, Eastview, Webster and Henrietta. See full listing and essays in Viva Voce.
FREE - Opera Guild Bravo Nights at The Little Café, live accompanied singers perform opera favorites in an informal atmosphere.  See Viva Voce for next date, in 2019.


Feb 22 & March 1, 2019 - 7:30pm
Feb 24 & March 3, 2019 - 3:00pm
Tri-Cities Opera Center
315 Clinton Street
Binghamton, NY 13905

Three Decembers is a 90 minute one-act opera based on Terrence McNally's original script for Some Christmas Letters. The story takes place over three decades of the AIDS crisis, each section recalling the events of a December, as the characters struggle to connect when family secrets are revealed.

For details and tickets, Click Here

 April 28th, 2019 - 3pm
The Forum Theatre
236 Washington St.
Binghamton, NY 13901

Gilbert & Sullivan's beloved operetta takes place aboard the ship HMS Pinafore. The captain's daughter is in love with a lower class sailor although her father intends her for Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. They declare their love for each other and eventually plan to elope. Will their plan succeed?

For details and tickets, Click Here

Nickel City Opera Season

Villa Maria College, 
May 24 and 26, 2019


The beloved classic opera by Verdi about a woman who is misunderstood and misguided. Violetta falls in love with Alfredo and loses everything. Memorable and popular tunes abound including the drinking chorus 'Libiamo!' Don't miss a full opera with costumes, sets, chorus and a full orchestra at the majestic 1250-seat Villa Maria College Theatre in Buffalo near Pine Ridge and Doat St. Plenty of parking, easy access and a great acoustic will leave your ears ringing with opera. 


Richard Strauss, ELEKTRA
For more details, Click Here
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, COSÌ FAN TUTTE
FEBRUARY 5 TO 23, 2019
For more details, Click Here
Giacomo Puccini, LA BOHÈME
APRIL 17 TO MAY 22, 2019
For more details, Click Here
Giuseppe Verdi, OTELLO
APRIL 27 TO MAY 21, 2019
For more details, Click Here

OperaGuildFrom Your Opera Guild

The snow is piled high, it's bitter cold and the Jan 20th Beat the Blahs has been cancelled - but the good news is that there is more than enough to cheer us in February. The re-scheduled presentation of Arabella on February 10th, our first Bravo Night of the New Year on February 19th with great talent, and the beginning of the Guild's lecture series on February 26th with Bellini and Puccini are our contribution to the month's calendar. Add Eastman Opera Theater, the Met Live in HD, and Covent Garden at The Little (with a meet-up afterwards on the Saturday in the Café), and you'll be too busy to mind the weather. See the listings elsewhere for particulars of all these events. Having gone to ground the past couple weeks because of illness and the weather, I am eager to resume the musical season!

Meanwhile, plans for the Annual Recital are well underway. If you haven't donated already, secure your invitation to this event that's free for donors. Watch for the announcement next month - I'm sure you will be pleased by our soprano and the program.

I had laryngitis and was unable to attend our presentation of Little Women on January 13th. That opera would have been too much for my 2-year-old granddaughter, but I have a DVD of The Little Prince that I played for her. Not surprisingly, her attention didn't stretch to the whole thing, but she seemed fascinated by the half-hour or so that she did see. "Grandma, they're singing!" she exclaimed. It was a great moment, and I look forward to taking her to other offerings, such as Little Red's Most Unusual Day, which can introduce even young children to the pleasures of music drama. I would love to hear from those of you who have had experience exposing young ones to opera or classical music. And would there be any interest out there in an Opera Book Club? (That would be for adults.)

Carol Crocca, President


As an Amici, your contribution in any amount is greatly appreciated. All donation levels receive an invitation to the Annual Recital; those listed below will be given priority until a date specified on the invitation, and at the Comprimario level and above may request extra tickets.

Chorus: $50 per person, $80 per couple.
Comprimario: $100-$149.
Primo: $150-$199.
Maestro: $200-$299.
Impresario: $300 or more. 

You may also mail a check to Opera Guild of Rochester, P.O. Box 25613, Rochester, NY 14625. Please include an email or other address for your tax receipt.

Return to Contents

OperaEssaysOpera Essays

This section brings you articles written by Opera Guild docents, previously distributed at HD performances. Other essays previously published as Reader Articles are also published in this section. All these essays are available on the Website in the Reading Room.

A misnomer. This beautiful aria is unusual and not a "song" in the conventional sense. 
There have been several standard forms of aria in opera history, one of the most common being the "ABA," comprised of the statement of a theme, in both music and lyrics, a second section with a contrasting musical and lyrical statement, and the restatement of the first theme. Another form, "AB" consists of a statement and a response to that statement, with no repetition. There are many variations on these forms, but generally, the first is more static and tends to be used to express emotional states, while the second is used to advance the action.

But the "Flower Song" is an "A" aria. There is no statement and response, no repetition in the musical phrases or the lyrics, and no specific melodic pattern. It is therefore the most difficult to compose. It uses none of the standard devices by which an aria is differentiated from recitative or dialogue: The test of this is that one cannot leave the theater humming The Flower Song in the way that one can more easily grasp the Toreador Song or the Habenera or "Woman is fickle," or "Una voce poco fa" without the coloratura. Nevertheless, it succeeds wonderfully as an expression of Don Jose's feelings about Carmen. To quote George Martin:

"It has patterns in rising and descending sequences and these, together with some secret magic of Bizet, are more than enough." The Opera Companion, Dodd, Mead & Company, NY, NY, 1961, p.16.

The libretto, by L. Halevy and H. Meilhac, is poetry in regular meter and rhyme, recognizable without knowing French. Here are the aria's first four lines:

La fleur que te m'avais jetée
dans ma prison m' était restée,
flétrie et sèche, cette fleur
gardait toujours sa douce odeur;

But just as poetry must be given life by the speaker's intonation, the libretto must be given life by the composer's art. When the aria is sung, one is aware of the underlying poetic meter and rhyme, but it is the music and the singer's expression which provide the emotive force. In addition to the application of Bizet's magic, as to which I have no more insight than George Martin, this is achieved by a pattern of rising and descending sequences, each of which builds tension to a climax followed by resolution or release, which is the most basic structure of Western tonal music. The pattern occurs three times in the aria. The first pattern begins with Don Jose's description of the flower and what it meant to him in prison. It culminates with moderately increased emphasis on "de cette odeur je m'enivrais" (this fragrance intoxicated me). The second pattern begins with his relating how he began to curse Carmen and ask why fate put her in his path. This seems to be a moment in which he senses the irrationality of his obsession; but he goes on to embrace it, calling his question "blasphemy." He cries out that he had "un seul désir, un seul espoir" (a single desire, a single hope), a point of tremendous power, which resolves in his wish to see her again. This is the second and most forceful climax. The aria ends with a statement of his love: "You had only to appear, to throw me a glance, to possess my whole being!" The climax occurs at "I became yours! (Et j'étais une chose à toi!)" with a run right up the scale to toi. Then a relatively quiet "Carmen, je t'aime."

This is indeed an aria with one idea: Don Jose loves Carmen, come hell or high water. It is at once a rebuttal of Carmen's accusation, a cri du coeur, and a statement of Don Jose's entire predicament, magnificently elaborated from the device of a simple flower.

While it succeeds brilliantly with the audience, however, it does not convince Carmen. And Don Jose is nevertheless willing to give her up (he thinks) rather than desert his military duties. Only when the lieutenant tells him to get out, leaving Carmen to him, does Don Jose's passion overcome his judgment entirely. The drawing of his sword against his officer seals their fates, for he reluctantly becomes an outlaw with little of importance left to him but to obsess over Carmen's waning affection.

The basic problem of this opera is culture clash: a dutiful but confining role in conventional society vs the adventure and romance of the smugglers' life. Either prospective mother-in-law could have predicted it would never work. Or, as the Carmen of Merrimee's 1845 novel put it: "Chien et loup ne font pas longtemps bon ménage" (Dog and wolf do not long live happily together).The opera tells the male version of the allure of the charming vagabond for the bourgeois housewife. Can we ever have our cake and eat it too? That would be a different opera....

Note: I am indebted to George Martin for the idea quoted and for the general statements in that paragraph about the "A" aria. The reference cited is a wonderful book about opera. It develops such topics as the voice as an artistic and mechanical instrument, orchestration and the individual instruments of the opera orchestra, interesting aspects of opera history, and the biological foundation of music appreciation, in addition to the standard summaries of popular operas, all in an eminently readable and common-sense style. First published in 1961, a re-issue in 2008 attests to its continuing value and popularity. It is available on Amazon both new and used.

For another piece about Carmen, La Mogador, which includes interesting quotes from contemporary sources about the opera, see the Collection of Opera Essays accessed through the Reading Room on our web site operaguildofrochester.org.

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

Free subscription on-line at operaguildofrochester.org

Facebook Visit Icon
For OGR Channel  
Some events are now being recorded.  Click the YouTube logo to visit us there.

Opera Guild of Rochester, P.O. Box 25613, Rochester, NY 14625
Sent by operaguildofrochester@gmail.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact