Mark Markham would like audiences to reconsider their approach to opera. This Sunday evening at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Markham, along with a quartet of singers, will present a concert of operatic excerpts designed to focus attention on the music.
"People get so caught up in the staging of an opera that they forget what it is really about." he says. The essential ingredients of opera, according to Markham, are human relationships and music. With that in mind, he chose selections from several operas specifically for the relationships they contain. "They may be friends, lovers, parents or enemies. Whatever characters the singers are, their interaction will tie the program together," he says.
Markham, a noted pianist and faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory and Morgan State University, was intrigued by the variety of operatic styles that were popular with audiences. He pulled together arias, duets, trios and quartets from operas such as "La Traviata," "The Barber of Seville," "Cosi Fan Tutte," "La Cenerentola," "Rigoletto" and "The Pearl Fishers." Then he invited singers he had previously worked with and asked if they would be interested in performing.