Posts Tagged 'Lucia di Lammermoor'

For Lesenger, whittling 800 to 26 comes down to voice

For Lesenger, whittling 800 to 26 comes down to voice

The 26 young singers filling the stage during Chautauqua Opera Company productions were once part of a pool of 800.

Months of work from General and Artistic Director Jay Lesenger and Music Administrator Carol Rausch precede what the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists do to stage operas. The Chautauquan Daily sat down with Lesenger to discuss opera auditions, modern expectations for singers and the casting process.

Lesenger joins CWC for Chautauqua Speaks

Lesenger joins CWC for Chautauqua Speaks

After the first “Artsongs in the Afternoon” performance in the Hall of Christ, Chautauqua Opera Company Artistic and General Director Jay Lesenger lingered at the back of the venue, speaking with appreciative audience members.

“Just a minute, I have to see my kids,” he said and hastened to the three performers.

His kids are quite adult, but that comment reveals the paternal care he gives to the young singers whose voices have brought Lucia di Lammermoor — and will bring Manon Lescaut — to life this season.

He will bring his electric passion as he describes “Chautauqua Opera Alive and Moving Forward” Thursday at 9:15 a.m. for the Chautauqua Speaks program in the Chautauqua Women’s Clubhouse.

Guest Review: Lucia goes daft in the Amphitheater

Guest Review: Lucia goes daft in the Amphitheater

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.

Maestro Colaneri experiences extremes through dark subject matter

Maestro Colaneri experiences extremes through dark subject matter

Blood will be spilled, families will be torn apart and a young bride will lose her mind in one of opera’s most memorable mad scenes. But conductor Joseph Colaneri has seen it all before.

Gaetano Donizetti’s classic tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor will bloody up the stage at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater, a production in Italian with English supertitles featuring Chautauqua Opera Company and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Colaneri, recently appointed as artistic director of the West Australian Opera, conducted Lucia in 2008 with the Metropolitan Opera. He looks forward to his 16th year on the Met’s conducting roster.

Colaneri is no stranger to the Amp, either. Last summer, he conducted Luisa Miller in the Amp and Norma in 2010. This year marks the 10th season Colaneri has worked as a guest artist with Chautauqua Opera.

Artistic/general director’s production presents three-dimensional tragedy in ‘Lucia’

Artistic/general director’s production presents three-dimensional tragedy in ‘Lucia’

Rachelle Durkin might have gone too far when she licked the bloody knife during rehearsal.

As the title character in Chautauqua Opera Company’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Durkin descends into insanity before killing her new husband. She has never considered herself a method actress — accessing the thoughts and emotions of the character as if the actor’s own — but Lucia’s extreme persona brought out in Durkin a tendency to become the mad murderess.

“It changes every time, I never do the same thing twice,” Durkin said. “I look in the mirror and see myself with my wig on and blood all over my dress, and try to imagine that I murdered someone. To do it properly, I must conjure up some sort of emotional feedback, but since I’ve never murdered anyone, I have to go on what I’ve seen in movies, or what I’ve seen on ‘60 Minutes’ when they interview criminals. I end up pacing the floor.”

Rev. Alan Jones: ‘Let’s get used to God’s lack of taste’

Rev. Alan Jones: ‘Let’s get used to God’s lack of taste’

“The monk I trained with, who influenced me the most, told me: ‘Alan, what you have to face and what we struggle with most is God’s absolute lack of taste. God loves everyone. It is disgusting,’” said the Very Rev. Alan Jones at the beginning of his Sunday Morning Worship sermon, “The Call to Be Human.” Jones is dean emeritus of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, Calif. His text was Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 4:1-11.