Stony Brook Opera and Stony Brook Baroque Ensemble present
Fully Staged Opera at Staller Center Recital Hall,
April 9 and 11, 2010
On Friday April 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm, and Sunday, April 11 at 2:00 pm, Long Island residents will have the opportunity to experience a professionally staged opera close to their doorsteps when Stony Brook Opera and the Stony Brook Baroque Ensemble will present a fully staged production of Pier Francesco Cavalli’s 1667 opera Eliogabalo at the Recital Hall of the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook.
With this production Stony Brook Opera begins another three-year repertoire cycle that includes one Baroque opera, one contemporary opera, and a standard work. The most recent cycle featured Monteverdi's Orfeo in 2007, a double bill of Argento's and Hoiby's The Boor and The Scarf in 2008, and Mozart's Così fan tutte in 2009.
Eliogabalo, one of Cavall'’s last operas, was never performed during his lifetime, because of political and religious censorship in Venice. Stony Brook Opera's production will be the New York premiere of the opera. Eliogabalo will be sung in the original Italian, with projected titles in English.
David Lawton, Professor of Music and a well-known opera conductor and Verdi scholar, will conduct the production, which will feature innovative staging and design concepts. Members of the production teams responsible for recent Stony Brook Opera productions of Baroque operas will be returning for Eliogabalo. Jennifer Griesbach, a specialist in Baroque movement and gesture will direct the production; Theatre Arts faculty member Jeanette Yew will design the lighting and projections; Sidney Shannon of the Metropolitan Opera returns as costume designer. Mauro Calcagno, a faculty member at Stony Brook and expert in Baroque opera, is the musicological adviser for the production.
"We truly have an international cast for Eliogabalo: American soprano Greta Feeney and tenors Andrew Fuchs and Isai Jess Muñoz; Canadian soprano Mariane Lemieux; Korean soprano Seung-Hee Lee, mezzo soprano Ryu-Kyung Kim, and bass Tae Suk Suh; and Russian soprano Roza Tulyaganova and mezzo soprano Elena Mindlina," Lawton said. "The cast members are all advanced graduate voice majors studying with Stony Brook Performing Artists in Residence Elaine Bonazzi and Fred Carama. The singers hail from prestigious schools—Julliard and Mannes School of Music among them—and are already pursing successful international opera careers."
Cavalli's score calls for an instrumental ensemble that includes string instruments, recorder, Baroque bassoon, and a large continuo group comprised of two harpsichords, two arch-lutes, Baroque harp, viola da gamba, Baroque cello, and violone. Members of the Stony Brook Baroque Players (Arthur Haas, director), which include students in the distinguished performance program at Stony Brook, will perform on period instruments.