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Opera Saratoga 2022 Summer Festival
June 2, 2022 - July 8, 2022
Opera Saratoga announces a return to large scale performances this summer with a new Festival model that embraces partnerships with multiple venues across the region, including Proctors in Schenectady; The Egg in Albany; The Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs; The Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake Village; The Barn at French Mountain in Lake George Village; and The Mansion Inn in Rock City Falls.
At the heart of the 2022 Summer Festival will be performances of Rossini’s bel canto comedy The Barber of Seville on Proctors MainStage, as well as his exquisite Petite Messe Solennelle at The Round Lake Auditorium; the deeply moving Sky on Swings by Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch at The Egg, which explores the journey of two women living with Alzheimer’s disease; and Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway masterpiece, Sweeney Todd, on the Amphitheater Stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Additional events will include A Broadway Cabaret at The Mansion Inn; A Juneteenth Celebration at Proctors’ GE Theater; and a series of master classes featuring members of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program, to be announced. In addition, the 2022 Opera Gala will take place on Sunday June 5th at The Barn at French Mountain, in Lake George Village.
Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson explains that, “while our decision to expand our geographic footprint this summer was catalyzed by the need for renovations at The Spa Little Theater, where we have been performing since 1998, it has also been inspired by our increased activity across the region throughout the year. Our education programs now serve over 20,000 children across 7 counties in the Capital and Lower Adirondack region, and our new music therapy program is similarly structured to enhance the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by bringing interactive therapeutic programs directly to them. We began asking, with so many remarkable theaters in our region, might we be able to better serve our mission by reconceiving our Summer Festival in a way that doesn’t limit us to a single venue? While we remain committed to producing in Saratoga Springs, as the opera company of the Capital Region, our goal is to provide access to our Summer Festival programming in the same way we are able to do with our year-round programs. We are incredibly excited by the opportunities of this expanded Festival model, and grateful for the opportunity to partner with so many like-minded organizations across the region to make it possible.”
Tickets for the 2022 Summer Festival will be available through Festival Passes and Single Tickets. Festival Passes, which provide a 20% discount on single ticket prices and priority seating for all productions and events, will be available beginning February 1st. Single Tickets will go on sale March 15th. Audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for all performances, and masks will be required based on prevailing conditions at the time of the Festival. All policies may be adjusted in response to changing conditions, and based on the specific requirements of each venue. Additional details about ticketing and safety policies may be found at www.operasaratoga.org
Opera Saratoga’s 2022 Summer Festival is made possible in part with support the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE
June 2 and June 3 @ 7:30pm
Presented by Opera Saratoga in partnership with The Round Lake Auditorium
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Rossini is remembered primarily for his extraordinary contribution to the Italian operatic repertoire, but he also wrote important pieces of sacred music that are notable, among other things, for their overtly operatic style. The Petite Messe Solennelle, written near the end of Rossini’s life, is scored for four soloists and a chamber chorus, with harmonium and piano accompaniment. It was not heard in public until 1869, the year after his death. The work’s title is misleading, since the Petite Messe Solennelle is neither petite nor particularly solemn. The music ranges from hushed intensity to boisterous high spirits, and the memorable tunes and rhythmic vitality for which Rossini became justly famous are abundant throughout the work.
Festival Artists from Opera Saratoga’s nationally acclaimed Young Artist Program will be featured in these special performances, conducted by Laurie Rogers, at the Round Lake Auditorium. The centerpiece of the Auditorium is the historic, 1,900–pipe Ferris Tracker organ. Built in 1847, what was the second largest organ in New York City is now the oldest, largest and unaltered organ of its kind in the United States. In place of the traditionally used harmonium – a smaller scale pump organ – Opera Saratoga’s performances of the Petite Messe Solennelle will feature the extraordinary Ferris Tracker organ, making these concerts a truly unique and not-to-be missed occasion.
Two performances are scheduled at The Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake Village, on Thursday, June 2nd and Friday, June 3rd at 7:30pm.
A BROADWAY CABARET
June 12 @ 2pm and 7pm
Presented by Opera Saratoga in partnership with The Mansion Inn
Opera Saratoga returns to The Mansion Inn for A Broadway Cabaret, featuring musical theater favorites from the 1920s to present day. Under the musical direction of Broadway conductor Laura Bergquist, the program will also include a tribute to Stephen Sondheim, who passed away at the age of 91 in December. The Mansion Inn features cabaret style table seating, with a delicious menu of Broadway inspired bistro food and drink available for purchase from Cordon Bleu trained Executive Chef Rick Bieber.
Two performances are scheduled at The Mansion Inn in Rock City Falls on Sunday, June 12th, at 2pm and 7pm.
A JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION WITH SIDNEY OUTLAW
JUNE 19 @ 2:30pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with Proctors
Opera Saratoga’s second annual Juneteenth concert features baritone Sidney Outlaw, who makes his opera debut with the company later in the season as Figaro in The Barber of Seville. Sidney was the Grand Prize winner of the Concurso Internacional de Canto Montserrat Caballé in 2010 and continues to delight audiences in the U.S. and abroad with his rich and versatile baritone and engaging stage presence. His recital debut with Opera Saratoga on Juneteenth will celebrate the legacy of Black composers and writers in American song, with a program including works by Langston Hughes, Robert Owens, Claude McKay, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Frederick Douglass, and Harry T. Burleigh.
One performance is scheduled in the GE Theater at Proctors in Schenectady, on Sunday, June 19th, at 2:30pm.
SWEENEY TODD – THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
A MUSICAL THRILLER
JUNE 29 and JUNE 30 @ 7:30pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an adaptation by Christopher Bond
Originally Directed On Broadway by Harold Prince
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Originally Produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards in Association with Dean and Judy Manos
Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was first produced in 1979 on Broadway where it won eight Tony awards including Best Musical. Widely acknowledged as Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, Sweeney Todd tells a dark tale of vengeance and murder, leavened with ghoulish humor, in Victorian London. Returning after being wrongly imprisoned, Sweeney vows revenge on the Judge who incarcerated him, and finds an unlikely ally in Mrs. Lovett, the owner of a struggling meat pie shop who finds a good use for Sweeney’s victims.
Three-time Tony nominee and Drama Desk Award Winner Carolee Carmello takes the stage as Mrs. Lovett in her debut with Opera Saratoga, alongside internationally acclaimed bass baritone Craig Colclough, who was last seen with the company in the title role of Falstaff, making his role debut as the Sweeney Todd. Laura Bergquist, who made her Opera Saratoga debut leading the company’s critically acclaimed production of Man of La Mancha last summer, will conduct the staged concert performances.
Two performances are scheduled on the Amphitheater Stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, June 29th and Thursday, June 30th at 7:30pm.
ABOUT THE SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), located in the historic resort town of Saratoga Springs in upstate New York, is one of America’s most prestigious summer festivals. Its tranquil setting in a 2,400-acre park preserve surrounded by hiking trails, geysers, and natural mineral springs draws vacation crowds and arts connoisseurs each year for immersive experiences of performances by resident companies New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and concerts by Live Nation. SPAC’s Amphitheater main stage has a 25,000 person capacity, with sheltered seats for 5,200 people and a sloping lawn that can accommodate an additional 20,000 people.
SWEENEY TODD is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com
SKY ON SWINGS
JULY 7 @ 7:30pm and JULY 9 @ 2pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with The Egg
Music by Lembit Beecher
Libretto by Hannah Moscovitch
Sky on Swings, which received its critically acclaimed premiere at Opera Philadelphia in 2018, is a riveting musical and theatrical exploration of what it feels like to live with Alzheimer’s Disease, as seen through the eyes of two women at different stages in the progression of dementia: Martha, who is far gone in the disease; and Danny, who knows what is happening to her and is in frantic denial.
Two of the country’s most distinguished, internationally acclaimed artists, mezzo sopranos Susanne Mentzer and Marietta Simpson, make their Opera Saratoga debuts in the roles of Danny and Martha in this new production, directed by Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson and conducted by rising star Emily Senturia. The production will feature scenic design by Julia Noulin-Mérat and costume design by Whitney Locher, and has been made possible in part by support from OPERA America’s Next Stage program, supported by Gene Kaufman, Terry Eder-Kaufman, and New Vision for Opera, with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Two performances are scheduled in The Hart Theater at The Egg in Albany on Thursday, July 7th at 7:30pm, and Saturday, June 9th at 2pm. Sung in English with English supertitles.
ABOUT THE EGG: The construction of The Egg began in 1966 and was completed twelve years later in 1978. The Egg was designed by Wallace Harrison for the people of New York State, and is without precedent architecturally. From a distance it seems as much a sculpture as a building. Though it appears to sit on the main platform, the stem that holds The Egg actually goes down through six stories deep into the Earth. The Egg houses two theaters – the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre and the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre, where Opera Saratoga will present Sky on Swings. The building’s curved exterior defines the interior statement as well. There are virtually no straight lines or harsh corners inside The Egg. Instead, walls along the edge curve upward to meet gently concave ceiling light for celestial effect. The backs of performing areas are fanned – inviting one inward – providing an intimacy impossible in a conventional theatre. And throughout, walls of Swiss pearwood add warmth and enhance the acoustics in the theaters.
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
JULY 8 @ 7:30pm and JULY 10 @ 2pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with Proctors
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Based on the play by Pierre Beaumarchais
The Barber of Seville is the hilarious story of a love triangle involving Dr. Bartolo, Count Almaviva, and the charming Rosina. Figaro — the local barber who, in fact, does much more than cut hair — is the ultimate “wingman” for Count Almaviva, creating elaborate schemes, aliases, and disguises to help him fool Dr. Bartolo and get the girl. Rossini’s madcap comedy is one of the most popular operas in the world, and is guaranteed to send you out laughing and humming!
Baritone Sidney Outlaw makes his Opera Saratoga debut as the beloved barber Figaro, alongside tenor Brian Yeakley– a distinguished alumnus of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program – as Count Almaviva, and South African mezzo soprano Siphokaze Molteno in her role debut as Rosina. Dean Williamson conducts the production directed by Eve Summer, another remarkable alumna of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program.
Two performances are scheduled at Proctors on Friday, July 8th at 7:30pm, and Sunday, July 10th at 2pm. Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
ABOUT PROCTORS: Built in 1926 by F. F. Proctor, the “Dean of Vaudeville,” Proctors on State Street in Schenectady was a popular theatre that used a method of continuous performance to draw huge crowds and numerous famous vaudevillians of that era. In 1930, Proctors hosted the first public demonstration of television with the help of General Electric. However, the arrival of this exciting invention and the onset of the Great Depression led to the decline of the theatre. After changing hands multiple times and almost being torn down in the 1970s, a group of concerned citizens banded together to save Proctors. With federal and city funds, ACT was able to restore Proctors and re-open in 1979. Since then, Proctors has proven its value to the community and gained momentum, becoming the motivating factor for the revitalization of Schenectady’s downtown area. Over the past decade, Proctors has expanded and made numerous renovations, which have made it possible to accommodate large Broadway productions, full scale operas, giant screen films, local performers, and ever-growing audiences from around the country.
ABOUT OPERA SARATOGA
Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. Opera Saratoga serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, therapeutic music programs, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both theaters and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. To date, the company has performed 106 different fully staged works by 66 different composers, including 42 works by American composers and 14 premiere productions. In 2014, the Board of Directors appointed Lawrence Edelson Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director. Edelson’s leadership has marked a new chapter in the company’s history, with increased emphasis on community partnerships throughout the year, diversification of the company’s repertoire, and a reaffirmed commitment to both the presentation of American opera and the mentorship of emerging artists as core activities in the company’s programs each season. For more information, visit www.operasaratoga.org