Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
“All opera is about saints, sinners, seducers, victims and death! In this evening of drama and excitement we present four contrasting operas that show elements of all these traits that make opera so compelling,” said Paul Goodwin
George Frideric Handel: Acis and Galatea
- Chorus : Oh the pleasure of the plains
- Tenor Aria (Acis): Love in her eyes
- Soprano Aria (Galatea): As when the dove
- Bass-Baritone Aria (Polephemus) : I Rage – / O Ruddier than the cherry
- Trio : The flocks shall leave the mountains
- Tenor Aria: Help, Galatea, Help!
- Chorus : Galatea Dry thy tears
Igor Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
- Instrumental Introduction
- Chorus: With Air Commanding/To Venus and Mars
- Tenor Aria: Here I stand
- Chorus and Bass Solo: The Sun is Bright
- Soprano – cabaletta: I go, I go to him
- Mezzo-Soprano Aria : Come, sweet, come; Scorned, Abused
- Chorus : Ruin, Disaster. Shame
- Tenor aria : I Burn, I burn! I freeze; With roses crowned
- Chorus: Mourn for Adonis
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
- Soprano and Bass-Baritone Duet: Cinque, Dieci, Venti
- Bass-Baritone Aria: Se vuol ballare
- Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Voi che sapete
- Tenor Aria: In quagl’anni
- Soprano, Tenor, Bass-Baritone Trio: Cosa sento
- Chorus : Gio Vani liete
Georges Bizet: Highlights from Carmen
- Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Gypsy song
- Tenor Aria: La fleur que tu m’avais
- Mezzo-Soprano and Chorus: Habanera
- Soprano Aria: Je dis que rien
- Bass-Baritone and Chorus: Toreadors Song
The Tuesday evening performances explore the saint and sinner characters as depicted by four major opera composers. The evening begins with the story of the beautiful Galatea’s (Mhairi Lawson) love for the shepherd Acis (Thomas Cooley), and of the monstrous giant Polyphemus (Dashon Burton) jealousy and desire for Galatea.
Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress is a neo-Baroque work, and is nothing like you might have heard before from the Russian master. The story tells of Tom Rakewell (Thomas Cooley), an impressionable young man who jilts his fiancée, Anne Trulove (Mhairi Lawson), for the get-rich-quick promises made by the sinister Nick Shadow (Dashon Burton), who really is the Devil. After several misadventures, all initiated by the devious Shadow, Tom ends up in Bedlam, an insane asylum. In true devotion to Tom, Anne Trulove rescues his soul at the opera’s conclusion.
Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro begins with one of the shortest but most memorable overtures in the repertory. The opera tells the story of the servants Figaro and Susanna, who get married. This spoils the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna, teaching the sinner Count a lesson in fidelity. Marriage of Figaro’s lighthearted and melodic sensibility has made it an audience favorite since its debut in 1786.
The evening concludes with Carmen, which has everything that makes for a beloved opera: passionate drama, great characters, a love story, and some of the best known and loved music. Bizet’s work is packed with great and instantly familiar melodies including the Habanera and the Gypsy Song—sung by the title character as performed by Meg Bragle— and concluding with the Toreador’s Song, as performed by our Toreador, Dashon Burton. The character of Carmen is both saint and sinner and serves as the perfect capstone for the evening. She is a seducer, yet is also a fragile victim and strong feminist.