The Chautauqua Opera Company and Conservatory, the resident opera company and conservatory of Chautauqua Institution, today announced its 2023 Season.
The Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2023 productions will feature Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and La Tragédie de Carmen — Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carriere and Marius Constant’s adaptation of Bizet’s beloved opera. Both will be conducted by Steven Osgood and staged in Norton Memorial Hall. The Opera Conservatory, led by Director Marlena Malas and Associate Director John Giampietro, will mount three productions. Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica will be staged in Chautauqua’s Amphitheater in collaboration with the Music School Festival Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Muffitt. L’enfant et les sortilèges by Maurice Ravel, and Lady in the Dark by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin will round out the Conservatory season.
“The 2023 Opera Company and Conservatory season is an exciting one,” said Steven Osgood, “even as the Opera Company’s residency is condensed to four weeks. Sweeney Todd is a piece I have been eager to conduct, and I am pleased that it will be the first musical Chautauqua Opera Company will produce during my tenure. The large cast and juicy roles give us an opportunity to bring back familiar artists, including many former Young Artists. With performances in each of the Institution’s first four weeks, there will be a chance for lots and lots of people to see Sweeney Todd. La Tragédie de Carmen is exactly the kind of daring adaptation of a beloved classic that I know Chautauquans will love, and I look forward to sharing and exploring it with our audience. The Opera Conservatory productions will assure that opera will continue in the Amphitheater this summer, and I am pleased that the grounds will ring with those talented singers through Week Seven.”
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Chautauqua Opera’s 2023 season will take us on a journey from London to Seville. Both of the season’s Stage Directors make their company debuts, with Chía Patiño directing La Tragédie de Carmen and Dennis Whitehead Darling mounting Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Kevin Burdette sings Sweeney Todd, returning to Chautauqua for the first time since his star turn as Ko-Ko in 2016’s The Mikado. Eve Gigliotti makes her Chautauqua Opera debut as Mrs. Lovett. Chautauqua Opera Company’s commitment to fostering the ongoing careers of its former Young Artists and students from Marlena Malas’ Opera Conservatory reaches a new high in 2023. Michael Colman (Apprentice 2021), Arnold Livingston Geiss (Apprentice 2018) and Amanda Lynn Bottoms (School of Music 2015, 2016, & 2018) return as Festival Artists and are featured in leading roles. Felix Aguilar Tomlinson (Apprentice 2022), Brian Jeffers (Studio Artist 2019) and Marquita Richardson (Conservatory 2022) return along with five other Apprentice Artists to be featured in both mainstage productions and a special Opera and Pops concert with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Brian Ruggaber (Don Giovanni, 2017) returns to the company to design Sweeney Todd for the Norton Hall stage.
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Performance Dates: June 30, July 7, 12, & 21 in Norton Memorial Hall
Stage Director: Dennis Whitehead Darling
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Join us for a dark tale riddled with ghoulish humor set in Victorian London. Sweeney Todd returns from exile to seek revenge on the lecherous Judge Turpin, who destroyed what was once a happy life. When Sweeney reunites with the devious Mrs. Lovett, the owner of a failing meat pie shop, they hatch a plan that will help her with her business struggles and satisfy his hunger for revenge.
Sweeney Todd: Kevin Burdette
Mrs. Lovett: Eve Gigliotti
Beggar Woman: Amanda Lynn Bottoms*
Pirelli: Arnold Livingston Geis*
Judge Turpin: Michael Colman*
Johanna: Angela Yam^
Anthony Hope: Louis Tiemann^
Tobias Ragg: Felix Aguilar Tomlinson^
Beadle: Brian Jeffers^
*2023 Festival Artist
^2023 Apprentice Artist
LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN
Music by Marius Constant after Georges Bizet
Text by Jean-Claude Carrière & Peter Brook
Adapted by Peter Brook
Performance Date: July 20 in Norton Memorial Hall
Stage Director: Chía Patiño
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Almost 100 years after the premiere of Bizet’s Carmen, visionary director Peter Brook transformed the grand opera into a gritty 90-minute theatrical tour-de-force. Stripped down to the story’s four central characters, and including all of Bizet’s beloved melodies, this groundbreaking adaptation packs a surprising punch.
Carmen: Monique Galvão^
Micaëla: Lili Juyeon Yoo^
Don José: Louis Tiemann^
Escamillo: Tshilidzi Ndou^
^2023 Apprentice Artist
For a full list of this season’s Apprentice and Studio Artists, please visit chq.org/opera-young-artists
Purchase tickets to both productions by February 28th and Save 10%
Chautauqua Opera Company artwork created by Alexander Charner.
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
“We’re excited to share the thrilling 2023 Conservatory season, making music and memories for the Chautauqua community through the beautiful melodies of Puccini, the shimmering world of Ravel, recitals, masterclasses, and other programming featuring our extraordinary young singers, “says John Giampietro, associate director of the Opera Conservatory. “As we continue to strengthen the unification with Chautauqua Opera Company, Conservatory alum and 2023 Chautauqua Opera Company Apprentice Artist, Marquita Richardson will sing the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Another Conservatory alum, Marcus Shields, returns to direct L’enfant et les sortilèges. Over seven magical weeks with our extraordinary faculty and guest artists, Conservatory students will continue their development as the next generation of brilliant vocal performers.”
“There is no other place or program like Chautauqua, I can’t tell you how many alumni have shared with me how [the Opera Conservatory] has changed their lives; it has changed mine as well,” says Marlena Malas, artistic director of the Opera Conservatory. “The repertoire we have chosen will be enjoyed by everyone and I am counting the days until I am in my favorite place, surrounded by music!”
GIANNI SCHICCHI & SUOR ANGELICA
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano
Performance Date: July 17 in Chautauqua’s Amphitheater
Stage Director: John Giampietro
Conductor: Timothy Muffitt
The double-bill of Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi offers tragedy, redemption, and hilarity in these two one-act operas which make up part of Puccini’s Il Trittico (The Triptych). In Suor Angelica, a young woman banished to a convent by her family for bearing a child unmarried, seeks absolution and transfiguration after receiving tragic news.
In Gianni Schicchi, the scheming Donati family brings in the ‘fixer’ Schicchi to alter the will of the family patriarch. Chaos and confusion follow-with a dash of romance- including one of Puccini’s most beloved arias, “O mio babbino caro”.
Suor Angelica: Marquita Richardson
L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES
Music by Maurice Ravel
Libretto by Colette
Performance Dates: August 8 & 9 in McKnight Hall
Stage Director: Marcus Shields
In Ravel’s magical score, an unruly child is confronted by all the objects in their world that have suddenly come to life: including the wallpaper, furniture, and tea set! A fantasy-meditation on our relationship to nature and the world, L’enfant is a musical adventure in a compact one-act.
LADY IN THE DARK
Music by Kurt Weill
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Book by Moss Hart
Performance Date: August 11, location to be announced
Stage Director: John Giampietro
The driven and successful Liza Elliott has one weakness: indecision. While undergoing psychoanalysis, Liza confronts her past, present, and future in three dream sequences. Will she make up her mind? The answer lies in this dreamy, stylish score by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book by Moss Hart.
Chautauqua Opera Conservatory artwork created by Ray Downey.
2023 OPERA WEEK: July 15–22, 2023
Celebrate all Chautauqua Opera has to offer during Chautauqua Institution’s Week 4: “The State of Believing.” A week full of opera events is kicked off on July 15 by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s “Opera & Pops” concert, featuring Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2023 Apprentice Artists and conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Stuart Chafetz. July 17 sees the Opera Conservatory’s production of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, also in the Chautauqua Amphitheater. The week concludes with back-to-back Chautauqua Opera Company performances in Norton Hall, with La Tragédie de Carmen on July 20, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on July 21. Master classes and recitals fill out the schedule throughout the week.
In addition to experiencing opera, Chautauqua guests will gain access to the entire breadth of Chautauqua Institution’s programming. The Traditional Gate Pass serves as a passport to the Chautauqua Experience, giving visitors access to most events on the grounds, including all lectures, religious services, and performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. In addition, you will have access to Amphitheater entertainment, such as Chanticleer on July 19 , known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its wide-ranging repertoire and dazzling virtuosity.
Three-Day Package (July 19–22, 2023): Package begins at $730 per person (double occupancy) and $895 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included*
Weeklong Package (July 15–22, 2023): Package begins at $1560 per person (double occupancy) and $1945 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included*
To purchase your package, please visit operaweek.chq.org.
ABOUT THE CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Founded in 1929, the Chautauqua Opera Company is North America’s fourth-oldest opera company. The Chautauqua Opera Company offers many operatic events each season, including fully staged productions in the historic 1,365-seat Norton Hall, concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, art song recitals, opera for young audiences, and the playful Opera Invasion series. Chautauqua Opera productions feature internationally recognized guest artists alongside the 16-24 Young Artists who make up the core of the company each season.
As a part of the historic Chautauqua Institution, visitors to Chautauqua Opera not only witness high-quality operatic performances, but they also have access to the huge range of programming that Chautauqua Institution has to offer. It is this unique cross-pollination of disciplines that makes Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua Opera a destination for travelers from across the nation.
ABOUT THE CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
The Chautauqua Opera Conservatory is an intensive educational program that seeks to offer the highest caliber of training for young singers who are on their way to a professional career. The program has been under the leadership of Marlena Kleinman Malas for 43 years. Each year, through a competitive audition and admissions process, a select group of singers are chosen to study, coach, and perform for seven weeks on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. The Conservatory produces two operas and a musical each summer.
As part of their intensive training, students are also involved in numerous weekly masterclasses, recitals, and concerts, led by world-renowned guest artists and resident faculty which have included Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Brian Zeger, Mikael Eliasen, Ricky Ian Gordon, Ben Moore and Craig Rutenberg, among others.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of more than 100,000 attend scheduled public events. Chautauqua Institution is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social, and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.
Please visit opera.chq.org for more information about the company and about Chautauqua Opera’s 2023 Season. For press inquiries or questions, email Makayla Santiago-Froebel, Arts Marketing Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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