Peabody Opera Theatre presents
 

A Little Night Music

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Suggested by the film “Smiles of a Summer Night” by Ingmar Bergman
 

Peabody Concert Orchestra

Erin Freeman, guest conductor

Roger Brunyate, stage director and designer

Carol A. Bartlett, choreographer

Eileen Cornett, musical preparation
 

Wednesday–Saturday, March 15–18, 2006, at 7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall
Peabody Conservatory of Music
1 East Mt. Vernon Place
Baltimore, Maryland
Admission $24 / Seniors $12 / Students with ID $10
Box Office: 410/659-8100 x4415, or book online

Sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Allan D. Jensen

with additional support from the Maryland State Arts Council

Photographs by Jesse Hellman          Current season calendar


“…attractive singing, especially by Daniel Seigel (Fredrik) and Jessica Medina (Countess).”

“Veteran soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, joining the student cast in the delicious role of Madame Armfeldt, …  sang Liaisons with a touch of real class.”

“The big star was the orchestra, led sensitively by Erin Freeman.”

Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, March 21, 2006


Three Smiles for Sondheim: Director Roger Brunyate looks again at Ingmar Bergman’s comic masterpiece of 1955, Smiles of a Summer Night. Besides noting its close influence on Hugh Wheeler’s screenplay for A Little Night Music, he suggests that Stephen Sondheim’s musical concept of the work may be a tribute to Bergman’s inherent musicality as a film-maker.


Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film masterpiece, Smiles of a Summer Night, is the Swedish director’s most genial work. The echoes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are not confined to the title, for the movie breathes the same enchanted air as Shakespeare’s comedy. The connections with the final act of Falstaff and Pastorale & Masque, the other two works in the present season, are both delicious and on our part entirely intentional.

In the Shakespeare play, two mismatched couples come to a magic place for a night strewn with jealousy and confusions – one that will end nonetheless with their affairs being sorted out. So it is with Bergman. But he and Sondheim after him go further in setting up a veritable chain of relationships. Desirée Armfeldt, the aging but still charismatic actress, meets up again with a former lover, the lawyer Fredrik Egerman. Fredrik is married to Anne, a wife half his age, and their marriage is still unconsummated. Fredrik’s son Henrik, a divinity student, is desperately attracted to his stepmother, but turns to their maid Petra for guilt-ridden practical experience. Meanwhile, Desirée’s present lover, Count Malcolm, has trouble enough with his own wife Charlotte. The whole story is framed by Desirée’s mother Mme. Armfeldt, a former courtesan to princes, and her illegitimate daughter Fredrika, whose experience of life is just beginning.

Working from a magnificent adaptation by playwright Hugh Wheeler, Sondheim wrote his version of the score entirely in waltz time, ringing an astonishing variety of pace and mood from the basic three beats to the bar. The songs range from the boistrous ensembles “The glamorous life” and “A weekend in the country” which frame the first act, to the moving “Send in the clowns,” Desirée’s solo towards the end of the second, which became the hit single of the show. Additionally, Sondheim introduces the action by a chorus of five singers, whose own previous liaisons, though merely hinted at, weave a filigree that further embellishes this most intriguing of summer nights


PRINCIPAL SINGERS

* Cast performing Wednesday 15 and Friday 17 March
** Cast performing Thursday 16 and Saturday 18 March
Pausing the cursor over singers’ names will show some previous roles

Anne Egerman * Erin Brittain
** Elisabeth Halliday
Mrs. Anderssen ** Ruth Carver
* Heather Craw
Charlotte Malcolm * Jessica Medina
    ** Mary Catherine Moroney
Carl-Magnus Malcolm     * Dan Kempson
** David Krohn
Desirée Armfeldt * Elspeth Davis
** Beth Stewart
Mr. Erlansson ** Hyuk Chae
* Lucas Tannous
Fredrika Armfeldt * Elizabeth Horton
** Claire Plumb
Fredrik Egerman ** Brendan Curran
* Daniel Seigel
Frid Conrad Buck
Henrik Egerman ** Matthew Heil
* Joseph Regan
Madame Armfeldt * Phyllis Bryn-Julson
** JoAnn Kulesza
Mr. Lindquist ** Jason Buckwalter
* Christopher Magiera
Mrs. Nordstrom * Brittany Robinson
** Michelle Seipel
Petra * Jenni Lynn Bank
** Amanda Franecki
Mrs. Segstrom ** Sarah Hershman
* Laura Strickling