UTC Opera Workshop presents
The Three M's
Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center
October 21 and 22, 2011, 7:30 PM
Tickets: $7.00 general admission, $5.00 Faculty/Staff/Students/Seniors
For tickets: Call 423-425-4269
Press Release 10/04/2011
Orchestral music often recognizes the three “Bʼs” - Bach, Beethoven and Brahms as being in the pantheon of composers. Likewise, opera has its own pantheon and Opera Workshop at UTC will recognize three “Mʼs” of this select group - Monteverdi, Mozart and Menotti - in an evening of opera scenes to be presented in Roland Hayes Concert Hall on the campus of UTC Friday and Saturday evenings, October 21 and 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $7.00 and $5.00 for students and senior citizens and are on sale now at the UTC Fine Arts Center Box Office.
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was the first acknowledged master of opera which had developed in the last decade of the 16th Century. We will be performing a scene from his opera LʼIncoronazione di Poppea (The Incoronation of Poppea) which Monteverdi completed shortly before his death in 1643. This was one of the first operas to be based on an historical subject rather than the traditional mythological story. Nero has exiled his wife, Ottavia, and has ordered his tutor Seneca to take his own life, all so that he will be free to marry his mistress, Poppea, and have her crowned Empress of Rome. The love duet “Pur ti miro” which concludes the opera sums up the operaʼs central theme, the triumph of love over virtue.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived. Some of his greatest accomplishments were in the field of opera. We will be performing a scene from Act III of Mozartʼs The Marriage of Figaro. In this scene, we learn during the recitative that Figaro is actually the son of Marcellina and Dr. Bartolo, all servants of the Count Almaviva. This revelation spoils the Countʼs plans to prevent the marriage of Figaro and Susanna and in the ensuing ensemble, each character expresses his delight or frustration over the new situation.We will also be performing a scene from Act I of Mozartʼs final opera The Magic Flute. The princess, Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night is being held by Sarastro, High Priest of the Sun (who is later revealed to be both beneficent, as well as being Paminaʼs father). Monastatos (tenor), an agent of the Queen while working for Sarastro, has finally managed to get Pamina (soprano) alone to himself. They are interrupted by the “bird-man”, Papageno (baritone). Both Monastatos and Papageno believe the other to be “the devil, himself!” Papageno recovers himself first and comes back to explain to the princess that he is actually there to rescue her and to tell her about the young prince, Tamino, who has fallen in love with her. While Pamina is overjoyed to learn that Tamino loves her, in spite of never having seen her before, she is sympathetic to Papagenoʼs plight of never having known love at all.
Our final scenes are taken from the work of the Italian-American composer, Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007). Menotti had a diverse career as a composer/librettist and educator. Born in Italy, he came to America in 1928 to study at the Curtis Institute of Music. Menotti was one of the first composers to recognize the musical potential of two emerging media technologies of the 20th Century: television and radio. The Old Maid and the Thief (1939),was composed to be performed on the radio while Amahl and the Night Visitors was composed for television in 1951. We will be performing the opening scene from The Old Maid and the Thief. It contains many plot elements common to radio plays and soap operas of the time. We are introduced to Miss Todd and her neighbor Miss Pinkerton, two aging spinsters who get together every afternoon for tea and gossip. Their daily routine is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor. Miss Todd bids goodbye to Miss Pinkerton and then along with her maid, Laetitia, welcomes their guest, Bob, a beggar.
The Consul (1950) won Menotti the Pulitzer Prize in music for that year. It premiered on Broadway rather than in a traditional opera house. The opera has no specific location, however given the time of the opera and the circumstances of the plot, we conclude that it must be some Eastern European country behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. In this scene, John Sorrel is a political dissident who is being pursued by the Secret Police. Magda, his wife, and Johnʼs mother have just had an intimidating visit from an agent of the Secret Police. John remains hidden while the police raid another apartment on their way out of the building. When they have gone, John explains to Magda that he must try to cross the “frontier” that night while he still has the chance. He send messages to her as he is able, but meanwhile, she is to go to the consulate and apply for refugee status for herself and their child and Johnʼs mother.
For information regarding this or any other UTC Music Dept. performance, see the Music Dept. website at http://utc.edu/music, or call the Music office at 423-425-4645.