Chautauqua Opera Company and Conservatory, the resident opera company and conservatory of Chautauqua Institution, announced today its 2024 season.
Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2024 season will feature two productions. Opening the season is Love and Longing by the Lake, a trio of chamber operas, including two world premieres from The Summer Place, music by Rene Orth and Kamala Sankaram
, and libretto by Jerre Dye. Four performances of this triple bill will be staged down the hill from Chautauqua’s Athenaeum Hotel. Engelbert Humperdinck’s beloved Hansel and Gretel will receive one performance in the Amphitheater with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Chautauqua Opera Conservatory will also mount two productions. Nino Rota’s I Due Timidi will be staged in the Amphitheater in collaboration with the Music School Festival Orchestra (MFSO), conducted by Music Director Timothy Muffitt, with Handel’s Alcina rounding out the Conservatory season in McKnight Hall.
The presentation of Hansel and Gretel is made possible by support from the Chautauqua Opera Guild. Through significant fundraising efforts, the Guild has been instrumental in supporting the Chautauqua Opera Company’s ability to produce opera, including in the Amphitheater, in 2024. Chautauqua Opera Company is incredibly grateful for their dedication and collaboration.
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Stage Director Keturah Stickann returns to the Amphitheater to mount Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck’s captivating interpretation of the classic tale, presented at a family-friendly 7:30 p.m. curtain time. Ned Canty will direct the triple-bill Love and Longing by the Lake, which will be performed outdoors, the lakeside in the early evening against the enchanting backdrop of the Athenaeum Hotel. Both will be conducted by General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood.
“I am excited by the balance we have struck between the traditional canon and new work we have found in Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2024 season.” said Osgood. “Hansel and Gretel will feature members of our Young Artist program alongside a children’s chorus drawn from the Institution and Chautauqua County. A.E. Reverie and Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us, our two world premieres, have been in the works since 2016, and I cannot think of a more meaningful way to celebrate the Institution’s 150th Anniversary than with the creation of new operas which tell its story. Last summer’s workshop performance on the lawn below the Athenaeum Hotel showed us how magical this location would be for their 2024 premieres. It is thrilling to see how this unique outdoor venue and the Amphitheater will ensure that our productions will be inviting to all audiences.”
Love and Longing by the Lake
A trio of chamber operas, including two world premieres from The Summer Place, a new opera inspired by oral histories and true accounts of life at Chautauqua Institution across the decades. Conceived to be performed outdoors on the grounds of Chautauqua, The Summer Place is a fitting celebration of Chautauqua in its sesquicentennial year. This hour-long evening of opera is rounded out with the -charming and poignant story of Pepito.
Performance Dates: June 28, July 5, 12 & 21 on the Athenaeum Hotel lawn
Stage Director: Ned Canty
Conductor: Steven Osgood
A.E. Reverie (world premiere)
Music by Kamala Sankaram
Libretto by Jerre Dye
A.E. Reverie unfolds the night after Amelia Earhart gracefully landed her plane at Chautauqua in 1929. After witnessing Amelia’s empowering Amphitheater lecture, a young woman stares at the night sky, dreaming of taking her own life to new heights.
Love, Loss, and the Century Upon Us (world premiere)
Music by Rene Orth
Libretto by Jerre Dye
In Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us, we find young lovers from different worlds strolling beside Chautauqua Lake in 1899. The Athenaeum hotel, ablaze with the brilliance of electricity for the very first time, is the backdrop for their courtship and reflections of the impact of this historic transformation.
Music by Nicolás Lell Benavides
Libretto by Marella Martin Koch
In Pepito, written in 2019, a lonely shelter dog is yearning for his old family until a young couple, Camila and David, visit, seeking the ideal canine companion. When Camila immediately forges a bond with the dog, Pepito, the shelter manager, questions whether Camila and David are truly prepared to take on a new pet.
A.E Reverie and Love, Loss and the Century Upon Us were co-commissioned by Chautauqua Opera Company and Opera Memphis, with the generous support of the Chautauqua Opera Guild, Jeanie Mercer and Breen Bland. The libretto of The Summer Place was commissioned in full by the Chautauqua Opera Guild.
Hansel and Gretel
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
Libretto by Adelheid Wette based on the story by the Brothers Grimm
Performance Dates: July 24 in Chautauqua’s Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m.
Stage Director: Keturah Stickann
Conductor: Steven Osgood
This timeless fairytale follows two siblings bravely navigating a mysterious forest, and their perilous encounter with a mischievous witch and her delectable gingerbread house.
Chautauqua’s Amphitheater is the perfect setting to bring Engelbert Humperdinck’s mesmerizing and lush score to life with the full power of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, sung in English and transporting audiences of all ages into a fantastical realm.
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
Chautauqua Opera Conservatory’s 2024 season brings productions written in the 18th and 20th centuries, featuring the conservatory’s talented students. Following the passing of the conservatory’s luminary director, Marlena Malas, in December of 2023, John Matsumoto Giampietro will lead the conservatory as interim director. We seek to honor her legacy with these two vibrant productions, which she programmed and cast in the fall of 2023.
“Though we mourn the loss of our dear Marlena, we will continue her extraordinary legacy of teaching, nurturing, and developing 20 young singers with our world-class faculty and guests,” said Matsumoto Giampietro. “Our McKnight opera is Handel’s masterpiece Alcina: a story of magic, power, and the entanglements of love. In collaboration with the MSFO in the Amp, we are eager to introduce audiences to Nino Rota’s lush, enchanting, and bittersweet opera I Due Timidi, the story of two young people too shy to express their love to one another. This season we celebrate Marlena and the gifts she gave to all of us: community, connectedness, and generations of beautiful singing.”
Music by George Frideric Handel
Libretto by Antonio Marchi
Performance Dates: July 16 & 18 in McKnight Hall
Stage Director: John Matsumoto Giampietro
Welcome to the island of illusions. Peer beyond the palms to discover the beautiful Alcina, a sorceress skilled in the art of seduction. Her passion burns red hot — until she tires of her conquests and turns them into wild beasts or stone. When dashing knight Ruggiero succumbs to this femme fatale‘s dangerous charms, his fiancée Bradamante takes on a daring disguise to free her betrothed and break the curse. But is Alcina finally falling for the man of her dreams?
I Due Timidi
Music by Nino Rota
Libretto by Suso Cecchi d’Amico
Performance Date: July 29 in Chautauqua’s Amphitheater
Stage Director: Jen Pitt
Conductor: Timothy Muffitt
Nino Rota’s one-act romantic/comic opera I Due Timidi is the story of two young people who, having seen each other from across the courtyard, have fallen madly in love and are desperate to find the courage to speak to each other. When calamity befalls Raimondo, namely a window shutter falling on his head and knocking him out, he must reveal his emotions to his beloved. What happens next is a charming, bittersweet love story about Raimondo and Mariuccia, who are too timid to let their feelings be known, and the grim consequences of failing to communicate our desires.
Please visit opera.chq.org for more information about the company and about Chautauqua Opera’s 2024 Season. Email Makayla Santiago-Froebel, Arts Marketing Specialist, for press inquiries or questions at email@example.com.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Founded in 1929, Chautauqua Opera Company is North America’s fourth-oldest opera company. Beginning with the 2024 and 2025 seasons, the company is refocusing its vision toward incubating new American works as well as continuing to provide formative coaching and performance experiences for young artists. Chautauqua Opera Company offers many operatic events, including concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, art song recitals, opera for young audiences, and the playful Opera Invasion series. Its productions feature internationally recognized guest artists alongside the Young Artists who make up the core of the company each season.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
Chautauqua Opera Conservatory is an intensive educational program that seeks to offer the highest caliber of training for some of the most promising young singers who are on their way to professional careers. The program has been under the leadership of the late Marlena Kleinman Malas for 44 years. Each year, through a competitive audition and admissions process, this select group of singers are chosen to study, coach, and perform for five weeks on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution. The Conservatory produces two operas each summer, one with the Music School Festival Orchestra in the historic Amphitheater and a smaller, more intimate opera in McKnight Hall.
As part of their intensive training, students are also involved in numerous weekly master classes, 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, Adam Nielsen and Craig Rutenberg, among others.
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