Showing posts with label Opera Delaware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opera Delaware. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

OperaDelaware Delights with L'Elisir d'amore

Opera fans have a lot to be excited about with OperaDelaware's production of L'Elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love), Gaetano Donizetti's comic two-act opera, with two performances at The Grand on October 11 and 13. Conducted by Maestro Jerome Shannon, with a truly stellar cast of performers, including rising star tenor William Davenport, nationally-known soprano Sharin Apostolou, and Metropolitan Opera baritone Trevor Scheunemann, L'Elisir d'amore will not disappoint those who already love the genre.

William Davenport as Nemorino. Photo: Mark Garvin 

For those who find the idea of the opera intimidating, L'Elisir d'amore is also the perfect opera for new fans, because it's just really a lot of fun, with fast pacing, a clear storyline, romance and lots of laughs. Of course, the music is stunning, with Davenport and Apostolou leading the story of a young man and woman playing the game of love.

The tale centers around Nemorino (Davenport), and Adina (Apostolou), who have known each other since childhood, though Nemorino is poor and Adina is from a higher class. Adina loved Nemorino as a little girl, but young Nemorino blew it when he found himself distracted by a baker passing with fresh pastries. That fateful doughnut would follow him to adulthood, when beautiful Adina, all grown up, shows little interest in him -- or anyone in particular, really. When she is courted by the flashy soldier Belcore (Scheunemann), Nemorino confesses his love to her, she tells him that true love doesn't exist, and he should be like her and date around. A scammy traveling salesman, Dr. Dulcamara (Stephen Eisenhard, basso buffo), sells Nemorino a phony love elixir. His behavior after drinking the elixir starts to intrigue Adina, she decides to make him jealous, leading to a comical chain of events as the couple tries desperately to get the other to fall in love with them.

Scheunemann, Apostolou, Davenport. Photo: Mark Garvin

Don't worry if you don't speak Italian -- the opera is subtitled on screens on either side of the stage.

Every aspect of the opera, from the magnificent stage sets to the lush costumes, come together to create an experience that's as magnificent visually as it is to the ear. Bring the family, bring your friends, but don't miss this one-weekend-only event.

For tickets, go to

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Toast to the Fallen Woman

Danielle Rice, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum, hosted a delightful open discussion about fallen women of the Nineteenth Century and asked the audience why the theme permeated literature, music and art of the time. She started the ball rolling by showing slides of art depicting fallen women. Her first example was William Holdman Hunt’s The awakening conscience since it had been completed in the same year as Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (the fallen woman). Her partner in leading the discussion was Lee Kimball, general and artistic director of Opera Delaware, who will present La Traviata at the Grand Opera House on November 7, 12 and 13. The two are friends, which made the lively discussion even more fun. Mr. Kimball bravely pointed out that usually it is the fallen woman who gets killed or arrested or punished, while the fallen man tends to walk away with only a few regrets.

After the discussion, the crowd mingled and enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks which they brought to the entrance hall of the museum, where the grand piano was waiting for Jeffrey Miller, chorus master and associate music director of Opera Delaware and Colleen Daly, soprano and Alak Kumar, tenor. The two will be singing the lead roles in La Traviata and if this foretaste in which they sang La Brindisi is any indication, the next time we hear those two could be at Lincoln Center.

The intimacy of the setting, the lively discussion and the informal concert made it feel as if we were attending a party at Barone Douphol’s house watching Alfredo flirt with Violetta in front of her rich lover…

Having had the hors d’oeuvre, my appetite has been whetted for the main course. See you at the Grand.