Opera program to feature high drama at the altar Performance is Sunday at St. Mary's church

March 12, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Operatic high drama often takes place at the altar.

Chevalier de Grieux forgets his priestly vows as he flees with Manon in the opera of the same name by Jules Massenet. In "Suor Angelica" by Puccini, Sister Angelica learns from her aunt that her child has died and her parents have disinherited her, and Scarpia plots the seduction of Tosca in Puccini's opera of that name as he joins the congregation in prayer.

So the Annapolis Opera gives us famous opera scenes from the altar at 8 p.m. Sunday; the altar of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis, that is.

The church substitutes for others in Paris, Rome, Verona, Antwerp and Sicily.

Soprano Laura Vicari, a regular with the Baltimore Opera and Opera Vivante, sings Manon to tenor James Bailey's Chevalier as he abandons his priestly vows and flees St. Sulpice in Paris.

Contralto Deborah Kieffer, who has sung principal roles with the New York City Opera, and bass-baritone Robert Cantrell, who was Escamillo in the Annapolis Opera's "Carmen" last fall, join Vicari and Bailey to sing the wedding quartet from Charles Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet" from a church in Verona.

Kieffer also will be heard as Mama Lucia of Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," longing for her dead son in a church in Sicily on Easter morning, and as the princess in the scene from "Suor Angelica."

Cantrell also will sing Scarpia plotting the seduction of Tosca in St. Andrea della Valle in Rome as he prays with the rest of the congregation.

Soprano Connie Coffelt, one of the winners in the Annapolis Opera's vocal competitions this year and last, will be heard as the star-crossed Sister Angelica and as Santuzza in the aria "Innegiamo" from "Cavalleria Rusticana."

George Aud, also from Opera Vivante, will be heard as Spoletto in the scene from "Tosca."

Jeffrey Pollock of Opera Vivante will be music director.

Other selections to be heard include the Easter Hymn from "Cavalleria Rusticana," the Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin" and the church scene from "Faust."

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and senior citizens, and $10 for children under 12.

Information: 410-267-8135.

Pub Date: 3/12/98

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