Syracuse Opera Ends Season

On Friday April 20 and Sunday April 22 the Syracuse Opera will end its season, performing Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow as directed by Richard McKee. The opera first opened in Vienna, Austria in 1905, and made its composer a very rich man. The story is that of a young woman by the name of Hanna Glawari whose fiancial success is critical to the well being of her native country, Pontevedro. (This is a fictitious country, supposedly located near Paris, France.) The Count Danilo is given the task of marrying Hanna as to prevent her wealth from leaving the country. The problem? Count Danilo has rejected Hanna once before, and she has not forgotten. At the same time, it seems as though the ambassador to Pontevedro is having problems with his wife who constantly flirts with a good looking Parisian gentleman. This lovely opera is full of party scenes, moving from one to another, and even including the ever famous "Cancan".

Soprano Jill Gardner will be making her Syracuse Opera Debut as Hanna Glawari. Tenor Robert Allen, who has been seen with the S. O. in both Otello and The Mikado, will make his debut in the role of the Count Danilo. Supporting roles will be sung by mezzo soprano Adriana Zabalaand tenor Darren T. Anderson (making his Syracuse debut). Doris Lang Kosloff will conduct the Syracuse Symphony in the pit as well as the Syracuse Opera Chorus, who will appear on stage.

Benny M.

Upcoming SSO Event

On Friday March 30 and March 31, 2007 the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra will say goodbye to Residence Conductor, Grant Cooper. This will be his last Post-Standard Classics Series concert with the symphony, as his tenure with the symphony will expire in July of this year. The concert will consist of three pieces. Cooper will open with Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of Faun. Debussy wrote this piece with inspiration from Richard Wagner. Anything expected will be just the opposite. Cadences and Chord Progressions? Who needs that?

Silvestre Revueltas’ Sensemayá , a composition inspired by a poem of the same name written by Nicolás Guillén tells the story of an Afro-Caribbean chant, often preformed while killing a snake. The piece by Revuelta is written in 7/8 time, and along with the build up of “orchestral powers” it will give a real sense of an unexpected hemiola. (A hemiola is a musical term that is used to describe a piece of music that is written in a key signature, lets say 3/4 time, but sounds like it is in another, lets say 2/4 time. This is done in a pattern of specially placed accents and rests.)

The program will finish with a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. This piece is based on 13th century songs written by clergymen which were found in a German Monastery in 1803. The power of the piece will be seen throughout the entire composition, starting off with the ever popular “O Fortuna” (used by the SU lacrosse team as a warm-up song) and going full speed ahead until the very end. “The text attacks the decline in moral standards among the clergy, but also speaks of the joys of eating, drinking, gaming and love. It proved the perfect inspiration for the kind of vivid music that Orff composed.” said Daniel Hege, SSO Musical Director.

The Syracuse University Oratorio Society, Syracuse Children’s Chorus, and guest artists soprano Janet Brown and tenor Gerald Gray will be joining Cooper for the last piece along with our very own Joe R. who is a member of the Oratorio Society. Joe was not available for comment. It looks to be a wonderful concert and with help from Cooper, emotional (in a musical sense) to say the least.

Benny M.