My mistake. I initially assumed that the Chautauqua Opera production of Macbeth would be in Norton Hall, a natural setting for this midsize masterpiece of Verdi’s early maturity. Only on my arrival did I realize that it was booked as a one-off in the Amphitheater. Could Macbeth really fill the space à la Aida?
The weather may be cool, but the Chautauqua Opera Company Young Artists and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will heat up the Amphitheater Saturday night with hot Broadway and pop tunes, all about summer.
“Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, “Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years and “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me, Kate are just some of the selections the Young Artists and the CSO will perform, starting at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night in the Amp. The program will be conducted by Stuart Chafetz, CSO principal timpanist and guest conductor.
If not for her monotone voice, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have been a great operatic diva. Instead, she became what she considered to be the next best thing: a lawyer.
The first woman to serve on the prestigious Harvard Law Review and the first tenured female professor at Columbia Law School, Ginsburg won four out of the five cases she argued before the Supreme Court preceding her appointment to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The law may be her calling, but opera was her first love.
If the soothing strains of 1940s crooners elicit nostalgia for love, optimism and innocence, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby succeeded in their job: to distract Americans from the horrors of World War II.
At 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, Chautauqua Opera Company’s Studio Artists will revisit the era of escapism in their second musical theater revue, “The Dreamland Radio Hour.” Saturday’s performance and Thursday’s, also at 10:30 p.m. in Lenna Hall, begins 20 minutes after the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra concert ends.
Director Teddy Kern and Music Director and Arranger Sterling Price-McKinney crafted a live radio show from songs such as “Jeepers Creepers,” “Accentuate the Positive” and “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” broadcast from the fictional WCHQ studio. In harkening back to the golden age of radio, Kern and Price-McKinney create a picture of unfailing optimism among Americans who faced hardship.
How many dead tenors does it take to bring Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor to blazing life? Usually two. One portrays Arturo, the wealthy nobleman whom the conflicted heroine dispatches on their wedding night. The other is Edgardo, the mad maid’s true love — and enemy of the family — who stabs himself when he learns that Lucia has expired after doing her loony coloratura thing.
In Chautauqua Opera Company’s stirring production of Donizetti’s greatest hit Saturday in the Amphitheater, Lucia used her bloody knife on a third tenor, Normanno, during the mad scene. He’s the fellow who made major trouble by providing Enrico, Lucia’s dastardly brother, with a fake, forged note from Edgardo about an alleged infidelity.
The increased body count wasn’t the only ghoulish touch in Jay Lesenger’s inventive staging. Even before Lucia sang her first aria — about a jealous young man who stabbed his sweetheart — the ghosts of those figures danced across the stage. At key moments throughout the opera, they returned to reinforce the theme of doomed love.