Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti March 26, 28 matinee, April 1, 3, 2010

In the intimate Newmark Theatre.


love isn’t always easy

 


Leonard Bernstein whisks us back to the 1950s for a lively look at marriage. Amid a seemingly idyllic suburban backdrop, this marriage has had both ups and downs. And there is much to learn—and feel—as these two people try to find their way.

Like his West Side Story and Candide, Bernstein speaks straight to our hearts in this one-act masterpiece, with music that is lively, jazzy, and uniquely American.

Sung in English with lyrics projected above the stage.

 

Two One-Act Monteverdi Works Round Out This Exciting Program!


IL BALLO DELLE INGRATE

(The Dance of the Ungrateful Women)

 

IL COMBATTIMENTO DI TANCREDI E CLORINDA
(The Battle of Tancredi & Clorinda)

Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

Performance time is approximately 2:05, including one intermission.

Audio description performance is Sunday, March 28.

 

Download the study guide here.
(The study guide requires a pdf reader. If you do not have one, please download the Adobe pdf reader here.)

 

Cast

IL BALLO DELLE INGRATE
Amore
Jennifer Forni
Venere
Daryl Freedman
PlutoneJeffrey G. Beruan
OmbreSteven S. Brennfleck
Rob Gardner
José Rubio
Barbara Vaughn
Una dell' IngrateAimee Chalfant
Jennie Spada
Chris Tolleson-Harper
Meghan Jackson
  
IL COMBATTIMENTO DI TANCREDI E CLORINDA
Testo
Steven Brennfleck
TancrediJosé Rubio
ClorindaJennifer Forni
  
TROUBLE IN TAHITI
SamJosé Rubio
DinahDaryl Freedman
TrioChris Clayton
Steven S. Brennfleck
Jennifer Forni
  
ConductorRobert Ainsley
Stage Director Nic Muni

With Third Angle New Music Ensemble.

Il Ballo delle Ingrate

(The Dance of the Ungrateful Women)  
 
Cupid is having a nervous breakdown. It seems that no one is falling in love anymore; everyone is immune to the thrilling sting of his love arrows and not only that, these pesky humans are mocking the notion of love itself. The cruelty is astounding. In desperation, he asks his mother, Venus--who has noticed the same pandemic--to let him pay a visit to his uncle Pluto in the Underworld. He plans to ask Pluto to allow the human race to witness the agony of those who have treated their lovers with cruelty, and how they now suffer eternal torment in the Underworld.

Pluto allows them entrance to his Underworld, but at a price. Cupid is blinded and Venus must give up her beauty. In exchange, Pluto permits the Ungrateful Dead to emerge from the fiery depths in order to sufficiently horrify the human race with tales of woe.

 

Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

(The Battle of Tancredi & Clorinda)
 
The first tale they tell is the epic legend of Tancredi and Clorinda, two warriors and would-be lovers who meet on the battlefield of the First Crusades. Clorinda, a maiden warrior defending the faith of Islam, has infiltrated the Christian camp in order to destroy a war machine used to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, for centuries occupied by the Saracens. Tancredi, the valiant Christian knight pursues who he believes is a fleeing Saracen warrior (in reality Clorinda, with whom he is in love).

Just prior to leaving on her mission, Clorinda's faithful retainer and guardian, fearing the mortal danger she was about to encounter, revealed to her a secret of her past: that she was born to a Christian mother.

A furious battle ensues between Christian and Saracen before the fatal blow is finally struck. Clorinda, sensing her wound to be mortal, asks her enemy if he will baptise her. Tancredi yields to her wishes and as he is about to administer the waters, he lifts her face covering. To his astonishment and agony he recognizes Clorinda, with whom he had some time before fallen deeply in love. He is crushed by this revelation, but Clorinda comforts him with the parting words: "Heaven opens itself to me, I go in peace."


Trouble in Tahiti

 
The second tale of woe is more domestic but no less complex. It involves a suburban family navigating the confusing, eddying waters of 1950s America. Junior, alone as usual, fantasizes about how family life should be, conjuring up a jazzy, perfect family to entertain his troubled mind.

Meanwhile his parents Sam and Dinah, after ritual arguing at the breakfast table, go their separate ways for the day: he to his office and she to her analyst.

A chance meeting on the streets of the big city propel the troubled couple even further apart, to affairs of the body and soul, which they pursue in hopes of fulfilling their desperate needs.

They return home after their excursions, still unfulfilled, still a couple and still parents. They try to talk it out to no avail, finally deciding to go out to a movie leaving Junior behind to continue his luscious fantasy life.

- Nicholas Muni

Tahiti’s Troubled Waters

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” —Leonard Bernstein

When he wrote Trouble in Tahiti, Bernstein certainly had a plan—he wanted to write a completely American opera without any of the falsity he perceived in the art form, with the down to earth language recognized by every American. He may also have had an axe to grind: a Freudian exploration of his parents marriage; a gloomy forecast of the waters his own marriage would sail; or a bitingly taut satirical work skewering American materialism and the “feminine mystique” Friedan would write about 10 years later. Whatever his plan, when he wrote the opera, he certainly had too little time.

In 1951, Bernstein was busy. His conducting schedule was intense and included a fundraising tour for the Israel Philharmonic. His mentor and colleague Koussevitzky was in failing health, and the older maestro was desperate to ensure that his work at Tanglewood would continue, even in the event that sickness interfered with his ability to teach. Bernstein had resolved to stop conducting for a time to focus on composing, and had moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico to write Trouble in Tahiti. Koussevitzky’s ill health called him back to Boston, where he was able to see his mentor briefly before he died. The responsibility for Tanglewood then fell to Bernstein, and, in keeping with the nurturing his own talent had received, Bernstein set himself to the administrative and conducting tasks that Koussevitzky had left undone.

In addition to his artistic responsibilities, Bernstein married actress Felicia Montealegre in the summer of 1951. As the Tanglewood festival concluded, Bernstein and his new bride headed back to Cuernavaca for their honeymoon, and Bernstein returned to Trouble in Tahiti. Again he was interrupted in his writing, having to return to Boston to replace Charles Munch at the Boston Philharmonic. His time at the podium in Boston left him no break before his visiting professorship at the recently formed Brandeis University began. Trouble in Tahiti, which was to premiere at the Festival of Creative Arts at Brandeis (June 1952), remained unfinished. Distractions in Boston made completing the score and libretto (which he was writing himself) difficult so he adjourned to an artists’ colony in upstate New York. At its opening, the opera did not fare well. The finale of a long festival evening, the one act did not begin until 11:00 pm, leaving the audience (what was left of it), exhausted. The ill-prepared cast and hissing and popping speakers left them annoyed. Chagrined, Bernstein rewrote the ending and presented it later that summer at Tanglewood with greater success. In November, Bernstein conducted a live telecast of his first opera.

Trouble in Tahiti ushered in a very prolific period of Bernstein’s stage works. Soon after Trouble in Tahiti came Wonderful Town, Candide and West Side Story. That Trouble in Tahiti had deep personal significance for Bernstein seems clear, as he revisited his characters 30 years later in his sequel, A Quiet Place (1983), which embeds the earlier work within the structure of the latter. Trouble in Tahiti is a work of great wit, which straddles the border of opera and musical theater.

—Alexis Hamilton

 

Monteverdi’s Miracles

Claudio Monteverdi was the first of the great opera composers and created operas of terrific emotional punch at the birth of this great genre. One might wonder how he could master such magnificent characterizations in music, when the concept of dramatic storytelling in music was so new. In reality, Monteverdi had been practicing writing opera throughout his entire career, had he only known it. He was invariably concerned with storytelling and dramatic impact in all of his music. In many of his madrigals, Monteverdi experimented with the “new music” of his day, sometimes including detailed performance notes, complete with gestures and facial expressions. His madrigals are vivid, intricate aural postcards of human passions, almost operatic in scope if not construction or size, and amazingly affecting given their short durations. Monteverdi began stretching the ideas of what a madrigal was, until some of his work was no longer recognizable as madrigal. His first opera, L’Orfeo, was written in 1607. Il ballo delle ingrate, or The Dance of the Ungrateful Women, was written in 1608 for the wedding of the Duke of Mantua, to a text by Ottavio Rinuccini vaguely reminiscent of the eighth story on the fifth day in Boccaccio’s The Decameron. More than a madrigal as we think of it, it is a combination of song and dance with a strong narrative thread.

The show opens with Amor, or Cupid, complaining to his mother, Venus, that his arrows no longer work as they once did—in fact, there are those who refuse to respond to the gift of love. Amor then asks Pluto to release from the underworld some of the proud, cruel women who rebuffed love when it was offered, that they might serve as a warning to the living. As the miserable women enter, two by two, Venus and Amor sing of their misery and lament the loss of the happier fate they might have lived had they been less cruel—or less beautiful. After dancing in the sun slowly and sadly one last time, the ungrateful lovers are once again consigned to the dark depths of the underworld. They sob out their regret and the agony of returning to the loveless depths with a warning to all women to learn pity and unharden their hearts to love before they fade away into the dark.

The first performance of Ballo on June 4, 1608 was energetically chronicled by Federico Follino, who describes a heart-wrenching performance of great beauty, with an impressive set and extraordinary costumes.

Another of Monteverdi’s remarkable achievements of dramatic music is a 20-minute scena, entitled Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. The magnificent use of the orchestra to paint the action of the story was quite new in 1624 when it was first performed. Up until this point, much word painting was done with the voice—medieval and Renaissance singers had sophisticated protocols of ornamentation to create aural representations of words. This kind of use of the orchestra illustrates anything from the galloping of horses to the crash of swords. In Combattimento, Monteverdi indicates the first pizzicato* (for which he included helpful instructions) and, perhaps more importantly, the first use of the tremolo** in the strings. It is nearly unthinkable to play the classical violin without a tremolo today, but at the time, the concept was so revolutionary that Monteverdi had to teach his players to do it and met stiff resistance to his new technique. It was not fully adopted by composers and musicians until the 18th century.

In Combattimento, a narrator tells us the story of a devastating clash of wills between Tancredi, knight of the Crusades, and the Saracen champion. It is not until the end of the cataclysmic battle that the Saracen knight, begging for salvation in baptism, is revealed as the beautiful and chaste Clorinda. At the end, Tancredi offers her salvation and as he opens her visor to offer her baptism he recognizes her. As she accepts the baptism and the holy words are whispered, she breathes, “Heaven opens; I go in peace…”

—Alexis Hamilton

* Pizzicato is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument.
** Tremolo is a technique that involves using the bow to create a rapid repitition of a single tone.

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)

Leonard Bernstein

“How did I know he was going to become Leonard Bernstein?” —Samuel Bernstein, Leonard’s father

 

Samuel Bernstein never wanted his son to be a musician. A Russian Jewish immigrant who escaped the pogroms and literally worked his way up from penniless young man to an American success story with a good business to leave his son, Samuel Bernstein wanted more for his child than to become what he thought of as a wastrel klezmer. But Leonard was to grow into a cornerstone of American music, a conductor, composer and educator who introduced a generation of
Americans to art music.

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 25, 1918. He made his conducting debut while attending Harvard University and in 1942, began his long association with Tanglewood. Bernstein became an overnight success in 1943 when he stepped in for an indisposed Bruno Walter and conducted a critically acclaimed radio broadcast of the New York Philharmonic.

From then on, Bernstein was a star. As a conductor, he was instantly recognizable through his affiliations with the New York City Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, Tanglewood, Brandeis, New York Philharmonic, Harvard and the Vienna Philharmonic. Despite his busy conducting and teaching schedule, Bernstein composed a variety of works, including Trouble in Tahiti (1952), Candide (1956), West Side Story (1957) and two more symphonies. His music is a skillful amalgamation of musical styles, incorporating jazz, dance rhythms, pop ballads and magnificent symphonic passages reminiscent of Mahler and Beethoven. Despite his popularity, or perhaps because of it, he struggled for many years with the musical establishment because his music was accessible and listenable, which, at the time, implied that it was not “artistic” or “serious.”

One of the reasons Bernstein is universally recognized as the first American musician to really achieve worldwide status as a conductor, composer, pianist, author and teacher was his affiliation with CBS. This fruitful partnership began in 1954, when he conducted Beethoven’s 5th for CBS’ "Omnibus." He then helped develop and teach the "Young People’s Concerts," which aired on CBS from 1958 to 1972. The Young People’s Concerts were many Americans’ introduction into the world of classical music.

His accomplishments with CBS brought Bernstein to the attention of Leo Kirch, who headed Unitel, a corporation that produced and distributed films for television and movie houses. Bernstein partnered with Unitel in 1971 and helped create 120 hours of programming, including his final production with Unitel on December 25, 1989, when he conducted Beethoven’s 9th Symphony from the fallen Berlin Wall. This concert was telecast live to more than 20 countries, reaching over 100 million viewers.

Having received so much support and inspiration from his mentors, Bernstein was dedicated to nurturing young musicians and so sought to develop programs to educate and inspire up and coming music makers. In addition to his teaching at Tanglewood, he established the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Three months after its inauguration, Bernstein died on October 14, 1990. He was mourned by a world to which he had presented “serious” music in an accessible and unique way, and he destroyed the artificial barriers and assumptions about classical music which had intimidated lay audiences. His greatest legacy is creating relevance for classical music in the minds of many Americans and teaching them that music is for everyone and that it matters.



Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Claudio Monteverdi

“Music is spiritual. The music business is not.” —Claudio Monteverdi

 

Throughout his 60-year career, Claudio Monteverdi straddled the line between two musical worlds, the Renaissance and the Baroque, ushering in the first “modern music,” as Leo Schrade calls it.

Monteverdi was born in 1567. His first published work appeared when he was only 15. By the time he was in his early 20s, he had published five volumes of music. Little is known of his childhood before this time.

What can be traced is the development of his music into two distinctive trends: Prima practica refers to polyphony, the use of multiple voices, all of equal importance singing vocal lines at the same time. This was the Renaissance practice, and many of the vivid madrigals Monteverdi wrote fall into this category. Seconda practica music is characterized by solo voice or voices over an accompaniment. This thinning of the texture allowed for a wider range of expression for the voice and text. His eight books of madrigals show this progressive experimentation, which lead ultimately to his operas.

In 1590, Monteverdi accepted a post from Duke Vincenzo of the Gonzaga Court, in Mantua. He was hired as a string player and one of many composers responsible for the stream of new music required to mark matters of the court.

In June of 1595, he attended the Duke on military campaign in Hungary. The Duke was dismissed from service during a third campaign in 1600. After his dismissal, the Duke began to sponsor lavish fetes, resulting in Monteverdi’s first opera. In the meantime, Monteverdi had taken a wife, court singer Claudia Cattaneo, in 1599.

In 1601, the court’s chorus master died, and Monteverdi made short work of securing the post for himself. He was responsible for all secular music in Mantua. For the next six years, Monteverdi continued to explore the possibilities of his seconda practica. By 1604, one of his letters describes the first known instance of his writing for the stage. It appears he was preparing, unconsciously, to write an opera.

Music in Florence had been developing apace. In 1598, Peri’s Dafne was performed, and its libretto suggests the use of a rudimentary recitative style as well as strophic passages for chorus and soloists. Peri’s second opera Euridice appeared in 1600. It is unknown whether Monteverdi saw either of Peri’s works, but the Duke’s son Francesco certainly knew of them and commissioned a similar work from Monteverdi.

Monteverdi’s Orfeo was performed at court on February 24, 1607. Orfeo went well beyond Peri’s operas, enhancing its emotional impact with an extraordinary degree of sophistication. Paralleling the fortunes of his mythic hero, Orfeo, Monteverdi lost his beloved wife a mere six months later.

Within weeks, however, he was recalled to Mantua to compose music for Francesco’s wedding. The resulting opera, Arianna, was performed to an audience of 5,000. Despite the success of his works for Francesco, Monteverdi was summarily dismissed upon the death of his father, the Duke.

Venice was a cultural hub, attracting audiences from all over Europe. Venice allowed Monteverdi to be on the “ground floor” of opera as a commercial venture, rather than simply a court entertainment. In 1637, Venice opened the world’s first public opera house. Sixty years later Venice had 15 more and had produced 358 operas for the public.

Monteverdi wrote no fewer than 19 theatrical works. His influence on opera—and indeed, on music in general—is impossible to exaggerate. Monteverdi first recognized the full potential of the musical innovations of his time, and his concern for the humanity of his subjects allow his operas to transcend time and distance.

Jose RubioJosé Rubio - Cardinal #1 / Priest

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Mercury, La Calisto (2009); Marullo, Rigoletto (2009); Schaunard, La Bohème (2009); Policeman, Orphée (2009); Baron Douphol, La Traviata (2008)
 

Internationally acclaimed Baritone José Rubio has quickly established himself as an important young artist, performing at major and regional venues across the country.

Jose Rubio

José Rubio - Cardinal #1 / Priest

Baritone

Previously at Portland Opera: Mercurio, La Calisto (2009); Marullo, Rigoletto (2009); Schaunard, La Bohème (2009); Policeman, Orphée (2009); Baron Douphol, La Traviata (2008)

 

Internationally acclaimed Baritone José Rubio has quickly established himself as an important young artist, performing at major and regional venues across the country.  Equally comfortable in the concert hall as on the operatic stage, Mr. Rubio recently made his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut which was met with great acclaim.  The Opera Insider proclaimed that the "...recital was nothing short of stellar." describing the performance as "...an hour of intensely passionate singing and playing. It could have gone on forever without complaint." 


This past summer he performed the title role of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Music Academy of the West.  The LA Times heralded him as a “…Figaro with an impressively booming baritone.”  While in Santa Barbara, he was personally selected by legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne to perform for William and Catherine Windsor, the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at a high profile charity event at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.  During the same summer, Mr. Rubio was selected as runner up  in the prestigious Marilyn Horne Song Competition.


This past season marked his New York City operatic debut in a world premiere production with Encompass Opera.  Mr. Rubio's performance was praised in creating the male lead, Luiz, for the new American opera,  Angel of the Amazon.  In North Carolina, he was engaged to perform the title role in Gianni Schicchi as a guest artist at Elon University.  José began the 2011 season as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he is currently a candidate for the Artist Diploma in Opera.


In 2010 he completed a 2-year engagement as a Studio Artist with the Portland Opera. During his time there, Mr. Rubio performed and covered over twelve roles for the mainstage, and performed two recitals as part of the Portland Opera's recital series.  His mainstage perfomances with Portland Opera include; Schaunard in La Bohème, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Mercurio in La Calisto, Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Marullo in Rigoletto, Barone Douphol in La Traviata, and Tancredi in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda.  He also covered Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, Germont in La Traviata, and the title role in Rigoletto.  His other leading credits include; Marcello in La Bohème, Dr. Rappaccini in La Hija de Rappaccini, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Masetto in Don Giovanni.   


He received his Master’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and holds a Bachelor’s from the University of Washington.  José Rubio is a three time alumnus of the prestigious Music Academy of the West summer festival where he worked closely with Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, and music staff from San Francisco and Metropolitan Opera.  He has also spent three summers in Italy performing and studying language at the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca.  In 2008, Mr. Rubio won the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Competition in Oregon. 

 

Steven Brennfleck

Steven Brennfleck - Gonzalve
The Teapot / The Arithmetic Teacher / The Frog

Tenor

Portland Opera Studio Artist

Previously at Portland Opera:

Parpignol, La Bohème (2009); Cégeste, Orphée (2009); Ombre, Il Ballo delle ingrate (2010); Testo, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (2010); Trio, Trouble in Tahiti (2010); Officer, The Barber of Seville (2010); Beppe/Tenor Soloist, Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (2010); Pang, Turandot (2011)

Steven Brennfleck

Steven Brennfleck - Gonzalve
The Teapot / The Arithmetic Teacher / The Frog

Tenor

Portland Opera Studio Artist

Previously at Portland Opera:   
Parpignol, La Bohème (2009); Cégeste, Orphée (2009); Ombre, Il Ballo delle ingrate (2010); Testo, Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (2010); Trio, Trouble in Tahiti (2010); Officer, The Barber of Seville (2010); Beppe/Tenor Soloist, Pagliacci/Carmina Burana (2010); Pang, Turandot (2011)

Steven Brennfleck is from Trenton, New Jersey.  His opera credits include Giuseppe in La Traviata at Glimmerglass Opera; Un Medico in La Bella Dormente and Un Dombien in Lakmé at Spoleto Festival USA; Lauri in Little Women, Remendado in Carmen, Gaby in New York circa 1950, Trio in Trouble in Tahiti and Flute/Thisby in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Westminster Opera Theater; and Dr. Binch in Elmer Gantry at Montclair State University with Nashville Opera.  Steven has been a Soloist with Princeton Pro Musica, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Princeton Youth Orchestra, Princeton Baroque Orchestra and Westminster Choral Festival. He received both his Masters and Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College.  He was the winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in New Jersey and a finalist in The Marion Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists.  Last summer he was a member of the Glimmerglass Opera Young American Artists Program.  Last fall, he was a winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Oregon.  During the 2009/10 Season he sang Parpignol in La Bohème, Cégeste in Orphée, Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Testo in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Ombre in Il ballo delle ingrate and Officer in The Barber of Seville.  In the 2010/11 Season he sings Beppe in Pagliacci, Tenor Soloist in Carmina Burana, Pang in Turandot, Gonzalve in L’heure espagnole and Teapot, Arithmetic and Frog in L’enfant et les sortilèges.

 

Jennifer Forni

Jennifer Forni - Amore/Clorinda/Trio

Soprano

Portland Opera Debut


Also from the Northwest is soprano Jennifer Forni who hails from Puyallup, Washington. Her credits include Nannetta in Falstaff and Coryphee in Alceste for Santa Fe Opera.

Jennifer Forni

Jennifer Forni - Amore/Clorinda/Trio

Soprano

Portland Opera Debut

Also from the Northwest is soprano Jennifer Forni who hails from Puyallup, Washington. Her credits include Nannetta in Falstaff and Coryphee in Alceste for Santa Fe Opera. She covered the roles of Kitty in Anna Karenina, Berta in The Barber of Seville and sang 1st Nursemaid in Street Scene at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. At the Maryland Opera Studio she sang Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. For Oberlin Opera Theatre she sang Mme. Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites and Minerva in Orpheus in the Underworld. In concert she was the Soprano Soloist for French Melodies, The Song Continues for the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Knoxville, Summer of 1915 for Oregon Mozart Players and A Sea Symphony for Oberlin Orchestra Musical Union. She graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received her Masters of Music from the University of Maryland where she was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio. This season she will sing Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Amore in Il ballo delle ingrate and Clorinda in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and cover the roles of Mimi in La Bohème, Eurydice in Orphée and Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte.

 

Daryl FreedmanDaryl Freedman - Concepción
Mama / The Chinese Cup / The Dragonfly

Mezzo Soprano

Portland Opera Studio Artist

Previously at Portland Opera:   
Aglaonice, Orphée (2009); Venere, Il Ballo delle ingrate (2010); Dinah, Trouble in Tahiti (2010); Sandman, Hansel and Gretel (2010)

Mezzo soprano Daryl Freedman comes to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Daryl Freedman

Daryl Freedman - Concepción
Mama / The Chinese Cup / The Dragonfly

Mezzo Soprano

Portland Opera Studio Artist

Previously at Portland Opera:   
Aglaonice, Orphée (2009); Venere, Il Ballo delle ingrate (2010); Dinah, Trouble in Tahiti (2010); Sandman, Hansel and Gretel (2010)

Mezzo soprano Daryl Freedman comes to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her opera credits include Juno in Semele, Thelma Yablonski in Later the Same Evening and Olga Olsen in Street Scene at Manhattan School of Music; Sorceress and Spirit in Dido and Aeneas at Central City Opera; Aloès and Zinnia in L’Étoile at Wolf Trap Opera; and she sang Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann, Soeur Cadette in Les Malheurs d’Orphee and covered the role of Meg in Falstaff at Temple University. Daryl graduated with a Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music.  She received a Bachelor of Music from Temple University and has been a member of the Central City Opera Studio, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice and Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca.  Last season she sang Aglaonice in Orphée, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti and Venere in Il Ballo delle ingrate and covered the roles of Dorabella in Così fan Tutte and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.  This season she sings Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, Concepcion in L’heure espagnole and Mama in L’enfant et les sortilèges, and covers the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel.

 

Robert AinsleyRobert Ainsley - Conductor

 

Previously at Portland Opera
The Return of Ulysses, 2006; Albert Herring, 2008; La Calisto, 2009; Trouble in Tahiti, 2010

Robert Ainsley began his musical career at the age of eleven, studying the piano and violin at Durham School, in England. He became a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music, London, in solo piano performance at age 17 and won the National Schools’ Chamber Music Competition twice.

 Robert Ainsley

Robert Ainsley - Conductor

 

Previously at Portland Opera
The Return of Ulysses, 2006; Albert Herring, 2008; La Calisto, 2009; Trouble in Tahiti, 2010

Robert Ainsley began his musical career at the age of eleven, studying the piano and violin at Durham School, in England. He became a Licentiate of Trinity College of Music, London, in solo piano performance at age 17 and won the National Schools’ Chamber Music Competition twice. Subsequently, Mr. Ainsley was awarded the organ scholarship to St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he studied with Dr. Peter Hurford, Dr. John Butt, and David Sanger. He also directed the chapel choir for three years, conducting and playing in many major venues around the world.

In 1999, he graduated with a degree in Mathematics, and later that year became the senior organ scholar at Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut. During his time on the East Coast, he also served as assistant conductor and accompanist of the New Haven Chorale and Greenwich Choral Society. Musical Director of the Marsh Singers, and completed a Master’s degree in solo piano performance at Mannes College of Music, New York City. After serving as Maestro Joseph Colaneri’s assistant in the opera department for a year at Mannes College of Music, Mr. Ainsley joined the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. His two years in the program culminated in his acting as assistant conductor and pianist for Wagner’s Die Walküre with Maestro Valery Gergiev and Plácido Domingo.

Mr. Ainsley is now the Principal Coach, Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor for Portland Opera, where his work is already receiving critical acclaim. Opera Magazine said of his work on John Adams’ opera Nixon in China; “Robert Ainsley did a superb job in getting a well-balanced and precise sound from the chorus.” Mr. Ainsley has conducted The Return of Ulysses (2006), Albert Herring (2008) and La Calisto (2009) for Portland Opera.

Mr. Ainsley spends his summers continuing to devote his time to the Greenwich Music Festival, of which he is the Co-founder and Principal Conductor.  Previous projects with this group include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2005) and Orff’s Carmina Burana (2006), Handel’s Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (2007), and Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses (2008), in addition to his work with other companies such as the Utah Festival Opera.

Other recent projects include Ullman’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis with the Greenwich Music Festival (June 2009) and Handel’s Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra (December 2009).

 

Nicholas MuniNicholas Muni - Stage Director

 

Previously at Portland Opera: Faust, 2006; The Turn of the Screw, 2009

Bold, no-holds-barred style and innovative ideas make Nic Muni an opera director for the 21st Century. His vision is unique, whether rethinking the standard repertoire and creating new twists to old favorites, or bringing engaging and accessible new or less familiar works to life.

Nicholas Muni

Nicholas Muni - Stage Director

 

Previously at Portland Opera: Faust, 2006; The Turn of the Screw, 2009

Bold, no-holds-barred style and innovative ideas make Nic Muni an opera director for the 21st Century. His vision is unique, whether rethink-ing the standard repertoire and creating new twists to old favorites, or bringing engaging and accessible new or less familiar works to life. Having the experience of directing over two hundred productions with companies in North America, Europe, and Australia, Nic is able to meet a company’s needs, be it a minimalistic production or one of epic proportions. Nic is currently preparing a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Indiana University.

Recent projects include Macbeth with Canadian Opera Company in Toronto (nominated for a DORA award for best production of 2006), Show Boat (in the world premiere of his own version, based on the 1927 original production) with Stadttheater Bern, Tosca with Theater Erfurt, Albert Herring, Une Éducation Manquée, Le pauvre Matelot, Werther, Assassins, Così fan tutte, The Coronation of Poppea with Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; Faust with Vancouver Opera, Portland Opera and Canadian Opera (the latter of which was nominated for a DORA award for best production of 2007), Madama Butterfly and The Love for Three Oranges with Indiana University Opera Theater, The Turn of the Screw with Portland Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande at Canadian Opera which was nominated for a DORA award for best production of 2008 and the US premiere of Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot at Glimmerglass Opera. Upcoming projects include Postcard from Morocco and Of Mice and Men with Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, L’amico Fritz with the San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera where he previously directed the American premiere of the Neopolitan version of Bellini’s I Puritani, and the triple bill of Il ballo delle ingrate/Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/Trouble in Tahiti with Portland Opera.

His fruitful relationship with Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera has resulted in two acclaimed co-productions: Il Trovatore, which has been seen in Seattle, Houston, Tulsa, Melbourne, at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and at the San Francisco Opera, and Norma, which has been presented in Seattle, Houston, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Additional work with Houston Grand Opera includes the world premiere of Jackie O, an opera based on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that was also presented at Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. For the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he has created productions of La finta giardiniera, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Iphigènie en Tauride. For The Minnesota Opera he has directed Rusalka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, and two world premieres: Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus, and Robert Moran’s From the Towers of the Moon. His tenure as the Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera saw new productions of Don Giovanni, Faust and The Turn of the Screw, and the North American premiere of Der Kaiser von Atlantis/The Maids, as well as revivals of his Pelléas et Mélisande, Salome, Elektra and Nabucco among others.

Internationally, his work at the Canadian Opera Company includes Lulu, Rigoletto, Pelléas et Mélisande, and Jenůfa, for which he received the 2003 DORA award for best theater production. In what is considered one of his most interesting projects, he directed a unique chamber version of Berg’s Wozzeck in a co-production of the Banff Center for the Arts and Montreal Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne. Nic made his European debut at Stadttheater Gießen with La Fille du Régiment. Its success led to subsequent engagements at that same theater for productions of Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte, and The Rake’s Progress. Additional European credits include La bohème at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria, Der Fliegende Holländer at Opera Ireland; Street Scene with the International Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau; and the world premiere of La Conquista by Lorenzo Ferrero at the National Theater in Prague.

http://www.nicmuni.com/

 

3rd Angle New Music Ensemble logoThird Angle New Music Ensemble

 

Third Angle New Music Ensemble is one of the foremost producers and performers of contemporary chamber music in the United States. Its recent CD, “Chen Yi: Sound of the Five,” was named one of the top 10 best classical releases of 2009 by National Public Radio and received glowing reviews from the prestigious Gramophone magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle and Willamette Week.

 3rd Angle New Music Ensemble logo

Third Angle New Music Ensemble

 



Third Angle New Music Ensemble is one of the foremost producers and performers of contemporary chamber music in the United States. Its recent CD, “Chen Yi: Sound of the Five,” was named one of the top 10 best classical releases of 2009 by National Public Radio and received glowing reviews from the prestigious Gramophone magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle and Willamette Week. The ensemble has created and presented more than 100 programs of contemporary music, commissioned more than 40 new works, and released 12 recordings to critical acclaim since its founding in 1985. The group’s musicians are among the best players from the top performing institutions in Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon Symphony, Florestan Trio and Chamber Music Northwest. Third Angle has maintained a steadfast commitment to working with leading composers from the region, nation and world, bringing to Portland such noted composers as Ye Xiaogang, Steve Reich, Chen Yi and Jennifer Higdon, for programs devoted to their works. Third Angle will close its 24th season with a concert “Views from Cascadia” on May 7 at The Old Church, where it will perform works by Tomas Svoboda and David Schiff before showcasing them at the Beijing Modern Music Festival in China in late May. Third Angle is thrilled to partner with Portland Opera and accompany its Studio Artists.

 

Director - Nicholas Muni

Conductor - Robert Ainsley

Costume Designer - Sue Bonde

Listen to the Music

Il ballo delle ingrate, selection 1

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Il ballo delle ingrate, selection 2

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Il cambattimento di Tancredi E Clorinda

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Unfortunately, we were unable to aquire the rights to provide audio clips from Trouble in Tahiti.

Please enjoy these excerpts from Il Ballo Delle Ingrate and Il Combattimento di Trancredi e Clorinda.

Courtesy of Hyperion logo

Schedule

Mar 26, 2010
Friday 7:30 pm
Mar 28, 2010
Sunday 2:00 pm
Apr 1, 2010
Thursday 7:30 pm
Apr 3, 2010
Saturday 7:30 pm