MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC
OPERA THEATER
presents
ANNUAL OPERA SCENES PROGRAM

Friday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. and
Sunday, November 18, 2:30 p.m.
in the School’s Borden Aditorium

Love, Delayed and Denied
Marcello Cormio, Conductor;
Richard Gammon, Stage Director


The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater will be presenting its annual opera scenes program on Friday, November 16 (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, November 18 (2:30 p.m.) in the School’s Borden Auditorium. This year’s opera scenes program has been conceived by Richard Gammon, the program’s stage director, and Marcello Cormio, conductor. The program centers on “Love, Delayed and Denied.” Eric Southern is set coordinator and lighting designer; Karen T. Federing is the stage manager; and Jorge Parodi and Scott Rednour will be providing the piano accompaniment. Gordon Ostrowski is producer and Daniel Benavent is associate producer.

Richard Gammon states about this year’s opera scenes program, “Love, Delayed and Denied explores how Love, much like Light, has the ability to blind us. Throughout the pieces that are presented tonight we witness blinded characters, disguises that aid us in the act of blinding, blinding rage and defeat, and realizations that bring us out of our darkness. This program closely follows the relationship that we have to Light, and how it manifests itself in our lives. The conscious act of refusing Love (done either by the Gods or by ourselves) forces us to choose between hiding in or freeing ourselves from the darkness.

Opera scenes to be featured in “Love, Delayed and Denied” will include:

Alceste

Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck; Libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi;
Based on the play Alcestis by Euripides
Act I, Scene 1
It is announced that the king of Thessaly, Admeto, is dying.

Act I, Scene 2
The people of Thessaly mourn for the fate of Admeto’s wife, Alceste, and their two children. Alceste bravely addresses her subjects; the queen asks the gods to ease the inevitable fate of her and her orphaned children. She instructs the people to follow her to the temple of Apollo to consult the oracle. The message is grim: Admeto will die unless a generous soul agrees to go to the underworld in his place. Alceste vows to sacrifice herself to save her husband from death.

Carmen, Act III
Music by Georges Bizet; Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
Based on the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée

Act III
Madly in love with Carmen, Don José defected from the army to join her and a band of smugglers in their secluded retreat. Carmen has grown weary of Don José and tells him to go back to his mother. Carmen's friends Frasquita and Mercedes consult the cards to predict their future: Frasquita will fall in love with a handsome man and Mercedes will be a wealthy widow. The implacable cards are not so generous with Carmen. No matter how many times she shuffles them, they predict death for her and Don José.

Meanwhile, Micaëla has come in search of Don José. She prays that God will give her the courage to confront Carmen and convince Don José to return home to his mother. Her soliloquy is interrupted by Don José firing at an unknown intruder. It’s Escamillo, the famous toreador. Don José welcomes him but is enraged when Escamillo confesses that he has come to find Carmen. The bullfighter and the soldier fight but are separated by the smugglers. Escamillo invites everyone to his next bullfight then leaves. Micaëla emerges and implores Don José to return to his mother. He agrees to leave with Micaëla when she reveals that his mother is dying, but first he warns Carmen that they will meet again.

La Cenerentola

Music by Gioacchino Rossini; Libretto by Jacopo Ferretti

Act II, Scene 5… temporale…sestetto
At the prince’s ball, a mysterious woman and a man whom she believes to be the prince’s valet, Dandini, fall in love. Before the unknown beauty leaves, she gives the valet one of two matching bracelets. When he finds her again, she will be wearing its twin.

Alone later that evening, Angelina sings a song about a king who fell in love with a common woman for her kind and noble heart. Her stepfather Don Magnifico, and stepsisters Tisbe and Clorinda return from the ball, incensed with rage. The man they thought was Prince Ramiro was really his valet, Dandini, in disguise, and the valet they ignored was really Prince Ramiro! They order Angelina to prepare supper while a storm rages outside.

The real Dandini arrives at the door: the prince’s carriage has overturned, and they need shelter. Prince Ramiro, now outfitted in the regalia of a true prince, sees the matching bracelet on Angelina’s wrist and realizes that she is the woman from the ball; Angelina can hardly believe that her humble valet is the prince. Dandini laughs as the group, including the stupefied Don Magnifico, Tisbe, and Clorinda, marvel at this tangled web of confusion.

Lady in the Dark
Music by Kurt Weill; Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Book by Moss Hart

Act II–Circus Dream, Childhood Dream

Frustrated by her inability to decide among the men in her life, fashion magazine editor Liza Elliott turns to psychoanalysis to uncover the cause of her paralysis. In three dream sequences, her problems with the men in her life, her career, and her conflicting self-images are illuminated, tied together by fragments of a song from Liza’s childhood. The forgotten song, remembered gradually in each dream, is the key to Liza’s recovery.

In the Circus Dream, Liza is the star attraction of The Greatest Show on Earth as the Woman Who Cannot Make Up Her Mind. The gaiety of the event, heightened by the Ringmaster’s patter song of Russian composers, is interrupted when the circus becomes a courtroom. Liza is being prosecuted for her inability to decide between the three men in her life. The accused defends herself by citing the case of Jenny, a woman who ruined her life by making too many decisions. The court accepts Liza’s defense, but she falls apart when the jury hums the forgotten song of her childhood. Turning against her, the crowd hounds her for not making a decision, and Liza awakens in fear.

Liza finally confronts her biggest fear: the song from her childhood. She sings, the words and melody cascading forth from her memory, woven from her various dreams.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Marcello Cormio, Conductor
A native of Italy, Marcello Cormio has appeared with orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, the Bacau Symphony, the Orchestra della Società dei Concerti di Bari, the Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio di Bari, the Orchestra Sinfonica Domenico Sarro, the Bay View Music Festival, the Sarasota Opera, the Contemporary Music Ensemble “Makrokosmos,” and the collegiate festival orchestra at Georgia All-State. As an opera conductor, he has led fully staged productions of Die Zauberflöte at the Bay View Festival and of Gounod’s Romèo et Juliette with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, where he is currently serving as assistant conductor, chorus master, coach and rehearsal pianist. Mr. Cormio earned a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting at the Jacob School of Music of Indiana University. Previous musical studies in Italy had earned him diplomas in Piano, Instrumental Conducting, and Composition, as well as a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in History and Critical Study of the Musical Heritage. In 2006 Mr. Cormio was named a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar.

Richard Gammon, Stage Director
Direction credits include productions with Manhattan School of Music, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival (Globe Players, Sizzlin’ Shakespeare), Wolf Trap Opera Studio, the Young Artist Programs of Ash Lawn Opera and Opera North, ArtSounds at the Kansas City Art Institute, Exilkabarett (NYC), Wintergreen Summer Music Festival in Virginia, Union Station in Kansas City, the Children’s Theatre of Maine, as well as assistant work with Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Michigan Opera Theatre, Fort Worth Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Virginia Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera North (U.S.), and PORTopera. He has worked with directors Dona D. Vaughn and Baayork Lee, and with Leon Major while a Directing Fellow at Wolf Trap Opera. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at New England Conservatory, his Master’s at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale, and an Artist Diploma at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

CAST

Amelia Berry from Wellington, New Zealand; Student of Ashley Putnam
Clayton Brown from Dallas, Texas; Student of Mark Oswald
Justin Brown from Round Rock, Texas; Student of Mark Oswald
John Callison from Wyoming, Ohio; Student of Ashley Putnam
Cree Carrico from Detroit, Michigan; Student of Marlena Malas
Yahan Chen from Beijing, China; Student of Catherine Malfitano
Gideon Dabi from New York, NY; Student of Mark Oswald
Lyndon England from the Nashville, Tennesse; Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
Lawren Hill from Hagerstown, Maryland; Student of Neil Rosenshein
Rachael Hirsch from Phoenix, Arizona; Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
Scott Ingham from Corvallis, Oregon; Student of Mark Oswald
James Ioelu from Auckland, New Zealand; Student of Maitland Peters
Kim Johansen from Oslo, Norway; Student of Patricia McCaffrey
Cameron Johnson from Kingston, Canada; Student of Maitland Peters
Kurt Kanazawa from Los Angeles,California; Student of Marlena Malas
Yookyung Kang from Seoul, Korea; Student of Joan Caplan
Tesia Kwarteng from Longview, Texas; Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
Alexander Lee from Seoul, South Korea; Student of Mark Oswald
Mingjie Lei from Hengyang, China; Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
Ying-Ge Liu from Jinan City, China; Student of Neil Rosenshein
Julia Mendelsohn from Cincinnati, Ohio; Student of Maitland Peters
Michael Papincak from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Student of Neil Rosenshein
Rachelle Pike from Christchurch, New Zealand; Student of Ashley Putnam
Janani Sridhar from Singapore; Student of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell
Emily Stauffer from New York, New York; Student of Cynthia Hoffmann
Stephen Steffens from Helena, Montana; Student of Mark Oswald
Siobahn Sung from San Diego, California; Student of Cynthia Hoffmann
Hans Tashjian from East Concord, New York; Student of Spiro Malas
Peter Tinaglia from New York, New York; Student of Maitland Peters


The Manhattan School of Music Opera Program, Dona D. Vaughn, Artistic Director, has a long and proud tradition of producing some of the finest operatic artists in America and abroad. The School’s opera pro¬ductions have been praised as a significant contribution to operatic life in New York City, and many students have gone on to major careers. Among notable alumnae are sopranos Pamela Armstrong, Elaine Alvarez, Alexandra Deshorties, Lauren Flanigan, Olivia Gorra, Kathleen Kim, Catherine Malfitano, Tonna Miller, Laquita Mitchell and Dawn Upshaw; mezzo-sopranos Kate Aldrich, Beth Clayton, Jennifer Dudley, Susan Graham, and Dolora Zajick; countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo; tenors Matthew Chellis and Brandon Jovanovich; and baritone Scott Altman. Margaret Juntwait, the first woman announcer who is the voice of the Metropolitan Opera broadcast, is also a graduate.

The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater has issued a vast discography including Lee Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke (recorded at MSM in December 2010) as well as Ned Rorem’s Miss Julie, Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Gaetano Donizetti’s Il campanello di notte, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Gustav Holst’s Savitri, Nicolas Flagello’s The Piper, Ludwig Spohr’s Beauty and the Beast, the world premiere recordings of Daniel Catan’s Rappaccini’s Daughter, William Mayer’s A Death in the Family, Scott Eyerly’s The House of Seven Gables, Robert Ward’s Roman Fever, Thomas Pasatieri’s The Seagull, Lee Hoiby’s A Month in the Country, and John Musto’s Later the Same Evening.


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Contact Public Relations

Debra Kinzler
Director of Public Relations,
Marketing and Publications
917 493 4469 (office)
dkinzler@msmnyc.edu 

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