Opera Saratoga Announces New Summer Festival Model as the Opera Company of the Capital Region
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Opera Saratoga announced 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 masterclasses 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 on 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 from 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 (Round Lake Village)
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.
A BROADWAY CABARET
June 12 @ 2pm and 7pm
Presented by Opera Saratoga in partnership with The Mansion Inn (Rock City Falls)
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.
A JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION WITH SIDNEY OUTLAW
JUNE 19 @ 2:30pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with Proctors (GE Theater at Proctors, Schenectady)
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.
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 (Saratoga Springs)
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.
SKY ON SWINGS
JULY 7 @ 7:30pm and JULY 9 @ 2pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with The Egg (Albany)
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.
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE – IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
JULY 8 @ 7:30pm and JULY 10 @ 2pm
Produced by Opera Saratoga in Partnership with Proctors (Schenectady)
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 Siphokazi 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.
For more information, visit www.operasaratoga.org