Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone...

[Musical theatre sing-along]: …a Comedy To-night!" OR fans may encounter Sondheim's tag from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum NOT because we are programming his first musical comedy hit, but for the other musical comedies on the horizon.

This Saturday, May 10, the MET "Live in HD" season concludes with Rossini's sparkling version of the Cinderella story, La Cenerentola (click here to see more info and a preview video of superstar Kansan and mezzo extraordinaire Joyce DiDonato).

While I will not be able to attend our screening at Virginia Western Community College (tickets and info here), members of the OR team will be on hand to share info about our 2014-15 season, which - funnily enough - features "Comedy Tonight" as one of its tag lines. We'll end our 39th season next Spring with a new production of Rossini's Cenerentola, our first-ever in the Jefferson Center.

Next week, I have the pleasure of making my local professional directorial debut at W&L, May 13 & 15. I've been working with colleagues and music students on Offenbach's spoof of the famous European salons and soirees, Mr Choufleuri restera chez lui (which we're doing in English as "Mr Cauliflower Will Be at Home for Dinner"). More info is on our homepage. We are having a blast!

If opera fans only know Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, then his zanier one-acts (he wrote some 90 operettas!) may come as refreshing palette cleansers. "Mr Choufleuri" provides a glimpse into why Offenbach not only helped launch the genre known as Viennese operetta, but influenced Gilbert & Sullivan, and musical comedy in English to this day. Rossini called him "Mozart of the Champs-Elysées," and Nietzsche credited him with the "supreme form" of operatic "wit." One could do far worse...