Saratoga Springs, NY - Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson announced today the three exciting new productions that will comprise the company’s 2017 Summer Festival, which will build on the company’s commitment to producing masterpieces from the operatic cannon, important American works, and works in which dance plays an integral role.
At the center of the 2017 Summer Festival will be a new production of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock, directed and choreographed by Edelson, and conducted by noted Maestro John Mauceri, who has been responsible for many significant operatic restorations, including Blitzstein’s Regina. The Cradle Will Rock has been almost exclusively produced with piano since its infamous opening night, which was shut down by the Federal Government in 1937. Both an attack on the abuse of political power by the wealthy and a paean to labor and poor people struggling to get by, “Cradle” is as timely now as it was when it premiered in 1937. Opera Saratoga celebrates the 80th Anniversary of Blitzstein’s revolutionary American labor opera in a new production that will be performed with Blitzstein’s original orchestrations – the first such performances since the 1960 production at New York City Opera. Mezzo Soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson will be featured as Moll in her company debut, alongside baritone Christopher Burchett who returns to Opera Saratoga as Larry Foreman.
The Festival will open on July 1st with a new production of Verdi’s comic masterpiece, Falstaff, which has not been produced by Opera Saratoga in 26 years. The production will be directed by Chuck Hudson, and will be conducted by Craig Kier. Featured singers will include bass baritone Craig Colclough, one of the country’s leading interpreters of Falstaff, and acclaimed soprano Caroline Worra in her role debut as Alice Ford.
Rounding out the season will be André Grétry’s Zémire et Azor (Beauty and the Beast), directed by James Ortiz, whose recent critically acclaimed production of The Woodsman was a sensation off-Broadway this past season. Grétry’s 1771 opera-ballet – a favorite of Mozart - will incorporate both dance and Ortiz’s signature use of puppetry in his opera-directing debut. The production will be conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya, and will feature soprano Janai Brugger and tenor Andrew Bidlack in the title roles, all in their company debuts.
In making the announcement today, Edelson stated, “Every year, my goal is to put together a season that reflects the incredible power of opera to tell vivid and compelling stories through music in very different ways. I am also committed to ensuring we provide opportunities for some of the country’s most exciting emerging artists alongside preeminent artists from the world’s great opera houses – providing local audiences and visitors to Saratoga Springs alike with extraordinary experiences in our intimate theater in Spa State Park.”
“The Cradle Will Rock is an incredibly powerful work that I feel has been unjustly neglected by opera companies,” Edelson continued. “It’s edgy combination of social commentary and popular culture of the time has influenced writers and works from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. While ‘Cradle’ has understandably become a favorite of theater companies, Blitzstein’s original orchestration deserves to be heard, and we are putting together a cast of some of the country’s most exciting singers to provide a fresh look at this American masterpiece. Alongside ‘Cradle’ we will be presenting Grétry’s enchanting version of Beauty and the Beast, which builds on our commitment to present works that incorporate dance each season; and one of the greatest works in the operatic repertoire, Verdi’s Falstaff. It is season that will showcase incredible music, phenomenal singing, and riveting theater.”
Complete casting for all three productions, along with additional concerts, master classes, and related Festival events, will be announced in the fall.
Subscriptions for the 2017 Summer Festival, as well as single tickets for Opera Saratoga’s current 2016 season (which runs through July 17th and features Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Catán’s Il Postino, and the American premiere of Glass’s opera-ballet The Witches of Venice), are on sale now at www.operasaratoga.org. Single tickets for the 2017 Summer Festival will go on sale February 1st, 2017.
Varies per performance:
Theater: Opera Saratoga
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