Past Events: 2013


December 16, 2013: Pytor ilyich 
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
 

68 opera lovers of all ages were thrilled and delighted with the technical perfection that is the famed Bolshoi Ballet in a magnificent performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday favorite in a live performance from the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.  Prima Ballerina Natalya Arkhipova and Bolshoi Ballet superstar Irek Mukhamedov dazzled throughout the performance as Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, with the veteran Bolshoi dancer Yuri Vetrov as the Uncle and Magician Drosselmeyer, and Aleksandr Kopilov conducting the venerable Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra.   A beautiful reception table with a lovely Nutcracker Prince display invited our guests to enjoy gingerbread cookies with icing and slices of orange/cranberry and blueberry breads, and everyone also enjoyed a cup of foaming apple/cranberry and lemonade punch.  Our January 2014 program will feature our first ever Baroque opera offering with the celebrated production of Handel’s Rodelinda from the Metropolitan Opera that was broadcast live in HD transmission to cinemas worldwide in 2011.  We look forward to another great New Year in 2014 and bringing many more outstanding operatic performances for all to enjoy.




November 25, 2013: Gaetano Donizetti: Don Pasquale

57 opera lovers were delightfully entertained with a lively and colorful performance from November 2010 of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic gem Don Pasquale in the red-hot ticket performance of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010-2011 season.   Russian superstar soprano Anna Netrebko revived her role as Norina, in the part that made her a star in New York. Comic bass John Del Carlo’s impressive singing and acting chops as Don Pasquale are given every boost by Otto Schenk’s hilarious staging and maestro James Levine’s witty conducting.   Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien and tenor Matthew Polenzani both shined as Dr Malatesta and Ernesto.  A very colorful reception table with a lovely seasonal display invited our guests to enjoy pumpkin bars with whipped cream topping and everyone also enjoyed a cup of “Apple Cider Punch”, offered in a warm or a cool cup of refreshing apple juice, orange juice, and sparling white grape juice.  Our Holiday 2013 program will feature another outstanding performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker ballet on Dec. 16th, and in January we are excited to bring a first-time ever performance of the baroque gem Rodelinda from Handel.   We sincerely thank you, all our wonderful opera patrons, for your loyal support of this great cultural program at your library, and we look forward to another great New Year in 2014 with many more outstanding operatic performances for your enjoyment.




October 28, 2013: 
Gioacchino Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella)

46 opera enthusiasts thoroughly enjoyed a lovely and colorful performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s classic opera buffa La Cenerentola (Cinderella) in a traditional staging from a performance in 1982 from the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.  Mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade, Tenor Francisco Araiza, Paolo Montarsolo, and Claudio Desderi starred in this luminous production, with the venerable Claudio Abbado conducting the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala.   A very colorful reception table with a lovely autumnal display invited our guests to enjoy caramel apple cookies with a caramel drizzle and Rome apple wedges lightly glazed with caramel syrup.  Everyone also enjoyed a cup of “Apple Orchard Raspberry Punch”, a refreshing blend of raspberry and apple juices and garnished with fresh orange slices.   On Nov.25th we will present a sparkling performance of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece Don Pasquale, starring the incomparable Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien at the Met, with maestro  James Levine at the podium .  Our Holiday 2013 program will feature another outstanding performance of Tchaikovsky’s beloved Nutcracker ballet on Dec. 16th.  We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout the 2014 program season with Opera@theLibrary, starting in January with a first-time ever performance of the baroque gem Rodelinda from Handel.   We sincerely thank you, all our opera patrons, for your loyal support of this great cultural program at your library, and look forward to great New Year in 2014.



 
September 23, 2013: Vincenzo Bellini: La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker)

53 opera lovers took shelter from the rain and enjoyed a lovely and colorful performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s bel canto classic  La Sonnambula in a traditional staging from a live performance in October 2008 from the Teatro Lirico di Caligari in Italy.  Cuban-American soprano Eglise Gutierrez delivered a true bel canto performance as the sleepwalking Amina.  Gutierrez is an extremely gifted young coloratura soprano with an even, extended range, a wonderful sense of the legato line, and a vocal agility that is truly amazing in one so young.  Her final aria,“Ah! Non giunge”, is simply breathtaking.   The superb cast was rounded out by tenor Antonino Siragusa as Elvino and the Italian bass-baritone Simone Alaimo as the Count Rodolfo.  The staging was inspiring and overall production was perfect, and the orchestra was masterfully led by the venerable maestro Maurizio Benini .   A colorful reception table with a lovely floral display invited our guests to enjoy individual cheese wafer cookies and also enjoy a cup of “Dream Punch”, a refreshing blend of orange and pineapple juices with lemon-lime soda and tropical fruit sherbet.   On Oct.28th we will present a sparkling performance of Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) starring the effervescent Cecilia Bartoli in the title role .  We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout 2013 and into 2014 with Opera@theLibrary, and we sincerely thank you, all our loyal patrons, for your loyal support of this great cultural program at your library.



 
August 26, 2013: Jules Massenet: Werther
 

42 opera lovers positively swooned to the charms and vocal beauty of the international tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann as he took the French operatic world by storm in this premiere performance in Paris in January 2010 as Goethe’s lovelorn poet-hero in Werther.   The French daily newspaper LeMonde wrote “Kaufmann brings to the part a sublime timbre (warm, at times ‘baronial’ and musky), exceptional musicality, and a very wide palette of tonal shadings and immaculate diction.  Add to that his histrionic gifts and matinee-idol appeal and you’ve got a cocktail of qualities that rarely all come together at the opera.”   He was supported by a superb French cast, including Sophie Koch as Charlotte and Ludovic Tezier as Albert, with the venerable Michel Plasson conducting an expansive, lyrical interpretation of Massenet’s romantic score from the pit.  A colorful floral reception table with a lovely display of flowers enticed our guests to enjoy individual mini cheesecakes topped with blueberries and cherries.   Our guests also enjoyed a cup of “French Punch”, a refreshing blend of apple and white grape juices with club soda and sparkling white grape juice.   On Sept.23rd we will present a spectacular performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) starring the sensational Eglise Gutierrez .  We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout 2013 and into 2014 with Opera@theLibrary, and we sincerely thank all our loyal patrons for their fantastic support of this great cultural program at your library.

 

July 22, 2013:  Gaetano Donizetti: Anna Bolena

44 opera lovers frequently broke into applause throughout this stunning live performance from 1984 and the Canadian Opera Company as Dame Joan Sutherland took to the stage as the doomed queen Anne Boleyn in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena under the direction of her husband Richard Bonynge.  Dame Joan scored one of her greatest operatic triumphs portraying Anne Boleyn, and here she played opposite the formidable Henry VIII of renowned Met bass James Morris.  Lofti Mansouri spared no effort or expense in making this production special.  He personally directed the staging, and handpicked an outstanding cast, including a very young and then-unknown Ben Heppner as Hervey.   The visual elements of sets, costumes, and camerawork are handled with great care, and Sutherland’s positive response to this dedication can be sensed and seen in her performance as the unfortunate wife and queen of Henry VIII.  James Morris is best-known as a Wagnerian singer, perhaps the leading Wotan of our time, and he is equally at home in many of the villainous roles that are the fate of bass-baritones.  In this sinister tale of an innocent woman ruthlessly destroyed, Morris shows a surprising knack for the bel canto style.  Judith Forst excels and reigns supreme in the role of Anne’s rival Jane Seymour.  A colorful floral reception table with a lovely display of flowers greeted our guests to enjoy a vast selection of delectable fresh fruit cups and delicious cookies.  Our guests also enjoyed a special cup of a punch Fit For A Queen, a light refreshing fruity punch of strawberries and lemons.   On August 26th we will present a new performance of Jules Massenet’s Werther starring the phenomenal tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann in the title role.  We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout 2013 with Opera@theLibrary and we sincerely thank all our loyal patrons for their support of this great cultural program at your library.



June 24, 2013:  
Leo Delibes: Lakme

45 opera lovers were enchanted and thrilled to a spectacular 2011 live performance from Sydney’s iconic Opera House of Leo Delibes’s greatest opera Lakme.   This performance and production by Opera Australia starred the exquisite coloratura soprano Emma Matthews as the innocent girl priestess Lakme, and the superb tenor Aldo Di Tora as the love-struck Gerald.   The story of Lakme takes on religion and cross-cultural love against the backdrop of British rule in India in the mid-19th century.  French conductor Emmanuel Joel-Hornak brings out the full depth of the lush, dramatic score, with familiar high points being the beautiful renditions of the well-known Flower Duet in Act 1, and the Bell Song in Act 2.   A colorful floral reception table with a lovely display of flowers and brass cranes greeted our guests to enjoy a vast selection of delectable fruit sherbets and petite chocolate and sugar cookies.  Our guests also enjoyed a special cup of a light sparkling fruity punch.   On July 22nd we will be presenting the first of Gaetano Donizetti’s Three Queens with a spectacular performance of Anna Bolena, featuring the great Joan Sutherland in the title role, and on August 26th, we will bring back great French opera with a new performance of Jules Massenet’s Werther starring the phenomenal tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann in the title role.  We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout 2013 with Opera@theLibrary and we sincerely thank all our loyal patrons for their support of this great cultural program at your library.




May 20, 2013: Gioacchino Rossini: L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers)

43 opera lovers were positively delighted and thoroughly enjoyed a classic  1986 Met performance of Rossini’s early success L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers).   Superstar mezzo Marilyn Horne triumphs as the Italian girl Isabella, along with Douglas Ahlstedt as Lindoro, Allan Monk as Taddeo, Myra Merritt as Elvira, and basso Paolo Montarsolo, who delivers a classic, comedic performance as Mustafa .  This live performance from 1986 at the Metropolitan Opera House, and the Met Orchestra and Chorus were all masterfully conducted by maestro James Levine.   A colorful reception table with a lovely display of colorful tulips in varying colorful shades of pinks and purple greeted our guests to partake of petite chocolate eclairs, mini cream puff pastries, and pink lemonade and chocolate cookies.   Our guests also enjoyed a special cup of sweet and sparkling fruity punch.   On June 24th we will be presenting Leo Delibes’s exotic opera Lakme, with soprano Emma Matthews in the title role, and on July 22nd, we are pleased to bring a spectacular performance of Anna Bolena, the first installment of the Three Donizetti Queens, with superstar soprano Anna Netrebko in the title role.   We look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout the year with Opera@theLibrary 2013.



 
 
 

 April 22, 2013:  Jules Massenet:  Thais

54 opera lovers turned out and thrilled to a spectacular performance of Jules Massenet’s romantic tragedy Thaïs.  Reigning Met soprano Renee Fleming triumphed as the glamorous courtesan Thaïs, with baritone Thomas Hampson as the monk Athanaël, whose resolve is finally destroyed in the timeless struggle between earthly desire and spiritual redemption.  This live performance from December 2008 was filmed in HD at the Metropolitan Opera House, and the Met Orchestra and Chorus were conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos.  Met Orchestra violinist David Chan performed the lovely Meditation in Act 2, which earned resounding applause from the house.  A colorful reception table with scattered rose petals in varying shades of pink offered our guests bright and colorful lime, orange, and cherry cookies, and everyone also enjoyed a special cup of the  Mona Lisa of Punch’.   On May 20th we will be presenting Rossini’s delightful L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers), with the legendary mezzo Marilyn Horne in the title role, and on June 24th we are pleased to bring a spectacular performance of Leo Delibes’s Lakme.  We always look forward to bringing you more great opera performances throughout the year with Opera@theLibrary 2013.

 
 
March 25, 2013 Gaetano Donizetti:   L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love)
 
36 opera lovers enjoyed a spectacular performance of Donizetti’s bel canto classic L’Elisir d’Amore  (The Elixir of Love) which featured Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko.  The stellar cast also included Leo Nucci as Sgt. Belcore and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Dr. Dulcamara.  This outstanding performance was recorded live in April 2005 from the stage of the Vienna State Opera House, with the Orchestra and Chorus all conducted by Alfred Eschwe.   A colorful floral-decorated reception table offered individual mini cherry and blueberry trifles at the intermission, and our guests also enjoyed a special cup of Cupid’s Love Potion party punch beverage.   On April 22nd we will be presenting Jules Massenet’s Thaïs with the phenomenal Renee Fleming in the title role, and on May20th we are excited to bring a spectacular performance of Rossini’s fun-filled L’Italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algiers).  We eagerly look forward to bringing you more outstanding opera performances throughout the year with Opera@theLibrary 2013.
 

 

February 25, 2013 Richard Strauss:   Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos)
 
 52 opera lovers enjoyed a tour-de-force performance of Richard Strauss’s masterful twentieth-century opera Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) which featured divas Deborah Voigt and Natalie Dessay in the contrasting roles which embody the opera’s themes: the deserted princess Ariadne, a one-man woman who believes in loyalty unto death, and the flirtatious comedienne Zerbinetta, who takes a more pragmatic attitude toward love and life.  This sumptuous and fanciful 2003 production was recorded live in HD from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, and also featured Susanne Mentzer as the Composer, Richard Margison as Bacchus, and Nathan Gunn as Harlekin.  Maestro James Levine conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Strauss’s masterful score with fervor and passion.   A colorfully-decorated reception table offered a dizzying array of confectionary delights at the intermission, where our guests enjoyed a light, citrusy fruit punch, along with a dazzling assortment of cookies that included decadent Ghirardelli extra-chocolate brownies, delicious cookies with oatmeal, raisin & cranberry, sugar with coconut & pecan, sugar with lime, and luscious lemon tartlets.  On March 25th we will be presenting Donizetti’s popular L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love), and on April 22nd we are excited to bring a spectacular performance of Jules Massenet’s Thaïs with the phenomenal Renee Fleming in the title role.  We eagerly look forward to bringing more first-rate operatic performances in another great year of opera programming with Opera@theLibrary 2013.
 
 
 

January 28, 2013 Jacques Offenbach:  Les Contes d’Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann)

 65 opera devotees packed the house for the new year opener Les Contes d”Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and we were delighted to have some very special guests join us, from Phoenix, Arizona, and from Lille, France, and both were quite impressed and pleased with the overall program and presentation.   This splendid performance from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden featured and international all-star cast, including Placido Domingo, Luciana Serra, Agnes Baltsa, and Ileana Cotrubas, with the venerable Georges Prêtre conducting the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.   A lovely reception table offered new year wholesomeness at intermission, and our guests enjoyed a sparkling citrus punch along with fresh apples drizzled with caramel, light-as-air cheese wafer cookies, and assorted wholesome fruit and nut mini-muffins.  On February 25th we will continue our new year programming with Richard Strauss’s opera-within-a-opera Ariadne auf Naxos, and on March 25th we are excited to bring a spectacular performance of Donizetti’s frequently performed L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love).  We eagerly look forward to what surely promises to be another great year of first-rate opera programming events with Opera@theLibrary 2013 at the Cooper Memorial Library.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This page last updated  December 21, 2013
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