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Season 2004–2005

Peabody Opera Workshop

Opera Potpourri: The Art of Song

Friedberg Hall, November 1

The Peabody Opera Workshop presents scenes from less-familiar bel canto operas by Gioacchino Rossini, showcasing Peabody’s new talents, sung in their original languages, with piano accompaniment, and staged by guest director Edward J. Crafts.

Peabody Opera Theatre

Jules Massenet’s

Cinderella (Cendrillon)

Friedberg Hall, November 18–21

Massenet’s retelling of the Cinderella story combines magic, comedy, and splendor in a musical setting which is the distilled essence of fairy-tale romanticism. Hajime Teri Murai conducts the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Roger Brunyate directs, and the production is designed by Erhard Rom.

This production is funded in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council

Peabody Chamber Opera

Ordo Virtutum

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, February 18 & 19

The Peabody Chamber Opera presents a revival of its 1998 production of Hildegard von Bingen’s sacred drama Ordo Virtutum, or “The Company of the Virtues.” Hildegard’s morality play, written for her religious sisters around 1150, combines a corruscating verbal vision with her extraordinary use of the female voice to celebrate the spiritual qualities which give the community its purpose, energy, and joy. Webb Wiggins and Mark Cudek are the musical directors; the production is staged by Roger Brunyate.

Peabody Opera Theatre

The World Premiere Production of

The Alien Corn

Opera in two acts after the story by W. Somerset Maugham
Music by Tom Benjamin; Libretto by Roger Brunyate

Friedberg Hall, March 9–12

Maugham’s tragi-comic story about a young man of an Anglo-Jewish family who goes against his parents’ wishes in seeking to become a concert pianist becomes a study in the problems of assimilation and, beyond that, an examination of the role of the artist as outsider. JoAnn Kulesza makes her conducting debut with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra; Garnett Bruce, returning to Peabody after last year’s successful Abduction, will direct.

This production is funded in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council

Peabody Opera Workshop

Opera Potpourri: Handel’s Heroes

Friedberg Hall, April 4

The Peabody Opera Workshop presents extended scenes from the operas of Handel, which dominated the operatic stage in the first half of the 18th century. The excerpts will be sung in Italian, with chamber accompaniment directed by Webb Wiggins, and staged by student directors under the aegis of Roger Brunyate.

Peabody Chamber Opera

Hotel Eden

Theatre Project, Baltimore, April 29–May 7

Composer Henry Mollicone and librettist Judith Fein set three stories from Genesis in a resort hotel whose bellhops, cleaners, and waitresses are Angels carrying out the wishes of the unseen Manager. The main characters — Adam, Eve, and her rival Lilith; a drunken Captain Noah and his night-club-singer wife; and Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar — sing with a graceful lyricism, while the Angels comment irreverently in a variety of popular styles. The opera is funny and touching by turns, with the final scene surrounding the birth of Isaac being especially moving. Director and conductor will be announced shortly.

Peabody Opera Workshop

Singing Shakespeare

Theatre Project, Baltimore, May 6 and 8

Music has always played a special part in Shakespeare's works, from the music of the poetry itself, through his frequent use of songs, and extending to the numerous settings of his words by composers of the past four centuries. This unique presentation by the Peabody Opera Workshop under the direction of Roger Brunyate will combine spoken excerpts with musical settings, including dramatic scenes written for the program by Peabody composers.

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