|The Mannes Opera presents works by Stravinsky and Rossini on December 19 (Photo: Genie Ames 2012)
NEW YORK, November 27, 2012 - Mannes College The New School for Music presents a program composed of two rarely performed one-act operatic gems: Igor Stravinsky's Mavra (1922) and Gioachino Rossini's La Scala di seta (1812). Entitled "Igor Meets Gioachino," the production features the young artists of The Mannes Opera with The Mannes Orchestra. It will be presented on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 in two performances at Hunter College's Kaye Playhouse, with a fully staged performance at 7:30 p.m. and a semi-staged matinee at 1:30 p.m.
"Mannes Opera is defined by emerging artists realizing their vision of classical music in the 21st century," said Richard Kessler, Dean of Mannes College. "These terrific but rarely programmed operas, paired together in a fresh interpretation, are an ideal showcase for Mannes' innovative approach to music education and performance."
"Igor Meets Gioachino," ties the two operas together by setting them both in the same house just outside of Paris about 100 years apart. Mavra takes place just after World War I as we follow the difficulties of finding domestic help in the house now occupied by White Russian émigrés. Scala takes us back 100 years prior, to tell the story of Giulia and her secret marriage to Dorvil. Mavra will be sung in English, La Scala di seta in the original Italian. Both performances will include supertitles in English.
"Igor Meets Gioachino" is conceived, supervised, and conducted by Joseph Colaneri. After 15 seasons as a member of the conducting roster of the Metropolitan Opera, Colaneri is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera in Perth, concurrently serving as Artistic Director of The Mannes Opera, a position he has held since 1998. Under Colaneri's leadership, The Mannes Opera has been praised by The New York Times for "a stellar reputation for the quality of its presentations and the excellence of its student singers."
Colaneri says, "The pairing of Stravinsky's Mavra and Rossini's La Scala di seta seems natural to me: Scala demonstrates the significant influence of Rossini's bel canto idiom on Stravinsky's operatic works, and, more broadly, the program illustrates the continuity of opera from 19th century romanticism to 20th century modernism. Further, the two pieces represent important starting points for each composer: Scala is right at the beginning of Rossini's career as an opera composer and Mavra stands at the beginning of Stravinsky's neo-classical period. Rossini's comic farce sets the stage both structurally and musically for the later comic masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816) and the techniques used in Mavra to parody opera buffa culminate in The Rake's Progress (1951)."
In presenting "Igor Meets Gioachino," Colaneri is joined by a production team which offers Mannes' students a chance to work with a group of world-class opera professionals, including Laura Alley (stage director), Roger Hanna (set designer), Helen E. Rogers (costume designer), Jeff Davis (lighting designer), and Amanda Miller (makeup and wig designer).
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Fully Staged Performance at 7:30 p.m.
Semi-Staged Matinee at 1:30 p.m.*
The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College,
68th St. between Park and Lexington Avenues
Both performances free to the public.
General admission tickets required,
available at the Kaye Box Office: 212.772.4448.
*The semi-staged matinee will be presented with the same sets, lighting, stage direction, and orchestra as the fully staged performance, but with a different cast in black dress instead of the fully staged costumes.