Mozart operas reign supreme this season Music: 'Hamlet,' 'Cosi Fan Tutte' and 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' are among operas of interest in the coming months.

September 01, 1998|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Last week's column outlined the seasons of the area's opera companies. Here are some single operas hiding in the corners of the year to come.

Other than "Samson et Dalila" at Washington Opera, French opera is largely neglected this season -- except by Washington Concert Opera, which will present an unstaged version of Ambroise Thomas' "Hamlet."

Canadian baritone Russell Braun sings the title role (which the French pronounce "omelet"), and Ruth Ann Swenson (who sang Juliette for Baltimore Opera in 1997) is Ophelia.

It's Sept. 11-13 in Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University. Information: 202-333-1768.

Mozart's comedy of deception, "Cosi Fan Tutte," will be produced by Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore (Oct. 23-25) and the elegant farce "The Marriage of Figaro" by Annapolis Opera (Oct. 9-11). Information: 410-329-6874 or 410-785-2090 (Municipal Opera); 410-267-8135 (Annapolis Opera). With "The Abduction From the Seraglio" (Washington Opera, Dec. 26-Jan. 24), this makes Mozart the most-performed opera composer of the season.

Gian Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" will be performed by the choir and soloists of St. David's Episcopal Church in Roland Park (Dec. 11-13) and by Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore (Dec. 18-20).

Information: 410-467-0476 (St. David's).

Municipal Opera Company plans an April production of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca."

"Die Fledermaus," Johann Strauss Jr.'s delicious marital masquerade, will come to the U.S. Naval Academy in a production by the London City Opera (Jan. 26). Information: 410-268-6060.

Human rights concerto

Chen Yi, who was composer in residence at the Peabody Conservatory of Music for the 1996-1998 academic years, has been commissioned by the New Heritage Music Foundation to write a concerto honoring Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The foundation is associated with the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

The commission seems appropriate to the 45-year-old composer, who in her teens spent two years hauling rocks at a "re-education" work camp in China as part of the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s.

Chen Yi left Peabody this summer to become a professor of composition at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Peter Schickele, better known as the alter ego of P.D.Q. Bach, also has been commissioned to write a piece under the same program. His work is to be an ode commemorating Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Schickele will visit the Baltimore area Feb. 6 as pianist with the Lark Quartet when it plays in the Candlelight Concerts series in Columbia.

Other composers who will create works for the New Heritage program are Dan Welcher (an oratorio based on the speeches of John F. Kennedy); Behzad Ranjbarian (homage to Thomas Jefferson); and David Ott (an orchestral work honoring the space program and the 1969 moon landing).

Pub Date: 9/01/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.