Bard Conservatory presents opera double bill

Features World Premiere of Commissioned Opera by Composer Elena Langer

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The Graduate Vocal Arts Program of The Bard College Conservatory of Music presents evening and matinée opera performances in the Sosnoff Theater of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m.

The double bill features two professionally staged one-act operas, including the world premiere of a Conservatory-commissioned opera, Four Sisters by Elena Langer, and Nélée et Myrthis by Jean-Philippe Rameau. The operas will be preceded by two short works­, Claudio Monteverdi’s Dialogo di ninfa e pastore and Michel Pignolet de Montéclair’s La mort de Didon. The production is directed by Marc Verzatt and conducted by James Bagwell and features the singers of the Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program and the Conservatory Orchestra. Tickets are $15, $25, $35, and $100 (the latter includes priority seating and an invitation to the March 11 postconcert champagne reception with the artists). All ticket sales benefit the Conservatory’s scholarship fund. To purchase tickets, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or go to www.fishercenter.bard.edu.

Composer Elena Langer

“We are delighted to present the world premiere of Four Sisters, an opera by the London-based composer Elena Langer and librettist John Lloyd Davies,” says Dawn Upshaw, artistic director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program. “Langer came to our attention by way of the Young Composer/Singer Professional Training Workshop, which Bard has undertaken with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Collaborating with composers has been a vital and enriching part of my musical life, and it’s a joy I wish to pass on to the students in the Graduate Vocal Arts Program. We’re thrilled that Elena and John agreed to be part of our opera project, and we’ve enjoyed working with them, James Bagwell, and Marc Verzatt on this new piece. Together with Rameau’s beautiful Nélée et Myrthis and the shorter gems by Monteverdi and Montéclair, this is a rich and varied musical and theatrical offering and is a key part of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program experience for our young artists.”

The opera programs showcase new and classic works performed by the highly skilled and talented singers of the Graduate Vocal Arts program. This production will be performed by sopranos Faylotte Crayton, Lucy Dhegrae, Hannah Goldshlack, Vanessa Langer, Heejung Lee, Kameryn Lueng, Marie Marquis, and Jacquelyn Stucker; Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano; Hyunhak Kim and Barrett Radziun, tenors; and Matthew Morris and Logan Walsh, baritones.

The Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts program produces a fully staged opera program every two years, giving young artists the opportunity to collaborate with theater professionals. In addition to director Marc Verzatt and conductor James Bagwell, this year’s opera production engages the talents of costume designer Michelle Tarantina, scenic and lighting designer Vin Roca, choreographer Marjorie Folkman, and projection designer Laura Eckelman.

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