A Gala Evening
ENSEMBLES FROM OPERA AND MUSICAL THEATER
Berkner Hall, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Recital Hall | Staller Center for the Arts
Sachem Public Library
Our first program this season is a concert of famous ensembles from Italian, French, and German operas and American musical theatre. Ensemble numbers for more than one solo voice, such as duets, trios, and quartets, are the glory of opera. This stirring program includes longer excerpts from Act III of Puccini’s La bohème and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). The Puccini segment consists of all of the third act after the opening scene with the customs officers : the duet for Marcello and Mimì, the duet for Marcello and Rodolfo, Mimì’s beloved aria “Donde lieta,” and the wonderful Quartet in which Mimì and Rodolfo, after saying farewell to each other, decide to stay together through the winter, while Marcello and Musetta quarrel and eventually break up at the end of the act.
From the Magic Flute we will perform the opening scene, in which Tamino is pursued by a dragon, which is subsequently slain by the three Ladies, continuing with Papageno’s delightful song “Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja,” and ending with Tamino’s sublime aria “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön,” as he sees Pamina’s portrait for the first time. The segment will conclude with the charming duet for Pamina and Papageno in Act I (“Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen”) and Pamina’s heartbreaking aria in Act II, “Ach, ich fühl’s, es ist verschwunden,” which she sings after Tamino refuses to answer her during his trials. The program will also include duets from Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers)—the glorious duet for Nadir and Zurga “Au fond du temple saint,” the duet for Cenerentola and Ramiro (“Tutto è deserto”)—in which the two first meet and fall in love—from Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), and the famous “Sous le dôme épais” for Lakmé and Malike from Délibes’ Lakmé. For this duet, Performing Artist in Residence Brenda Harris will sing the role of Lakmé. From American musical theatre there will be two duets from Kurt Weill’s musical Street Scene: “When birds get old enough” for Rose and Sam, and the Lullaby “Sleep, baby dear” for the two nursemaids.Finally, the gala evening will include Carmen’s seductive “Habañera” from Bizet’s Carmen, in which the choral parts will be sung by the remaining cast members.
Performing our opera gala program are most of the singers who sang leading roles in our highly successful Main Stage production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw last season: sopranos Tory Browers and Jennifer Sung, who sang the Governess and Flora, respectively; mezzo sopranos Kristin Starkey and Gloria Park, who portrayed Mrs. Grose and Miss Jessel, and tenor Christopher Reames, who was Peter Quint in that production. Joining these fine singers are two very exciting vocalists who are new to our program: David Guzman, a wonderful tenor with a thrilling voice and charismatic stage presence, and Joseph Han, an excellent lyric baritone. The program will be sung in the original languages, with projected titles in English, with the accompaniment provided by our accomplished pianists Annie Brooks and Bowei Chen, both doctoral students in piano performance. Timothy Long, who conducted The Turn of the Screw last year, will be conductor and music director for this gala program.
There will be three performances at different locations: Wednesday, November 19 at 12 noon at Berkner Hall, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Friday, November 21 at 8 p.m. at the Recital Hall, Stony Brook; and Sunday, November 23 at 2 pm at the Sachem Public Library. Admission for the Stony Brook performance is $10 general/$5 students and senior citizens.