Current Schedule: (as of April 17th)

Scroll down this page for details – including YouTube clips – about each scheduled performance.

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Next up at SOH:

Tuesday April 24th at 2:00pm

 ( Finish Requiem around 3:55pm )

NOTE:  We have the option of seeing the 52 minute bonus documentary “Verdi’s Backyard” after today’s performance.

YouTube: Verdi Requiem

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Tuesday May 22nd at 2:00pm

( Finish around 4:45pm )

YouTube:  DIE TOTE STADT

2018 Die Tote Stadt

Die tote Stadt (German for The Dead City) is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold to a libretto by Paul Schott, a collective pseudonym for the composer and his father, Julius Korngold; it is based on the 1892 novel Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach.

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Synopsis

Place: Bruges, Belgium

Time: End of 19th century

Act 1

When the opera opens, Paul, a younger middle-class man whose young wife, Marie, has recently died, cannot come to terms with the sad reality of her death. He keeps a “Temple of Memories” in her honor, including paintings, photographs and a lock of her hair. When his friend Frank pays him a visit at his house and urges him to honor Marie by moving on with his life, Paul flies into a rant, and insists that Marie “still lives.” He tells Frank that he has met a woman on the streets of Bruges who exactly resembles Marie (indeed, Paul thinks that it is Marie) and invited her back to his home.

 

Maria Jeritza and Orville Harrold in rehearsal for the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Die tote Stadt in 1921

Soon, the woman, Marietta, a young and beautiful dancer, appears for her rendezvous with Paul. They talk, she is put off by his odd behavior, but persists in trying to interest him in her charms—she sings (Lute Song, “Glück das mir verblieb“) and dances seductively, but eventually gets bored and leaves. Paul meanwhile is driven to a state of extreme anxiety.

Torn between his loyalty to Marie and his interest in Marietta he collapses into a chair and begins to hallucinate. He sees Marie’s ghost step out of her portrait and urge him not to forget her, but then the vision of Marie changes and tells Paul to go and move on with his life.

Act 2

After a series of visions in which his pursuit of Marietta alienates him from all his remaining friends, the act ends with Marietta finally overcoming his resistance and leading him offstage locked in a passionate embrace. All this takes place in Paul’s imagination.

Act 3

Paul’s vision continues. Back in his house, living with Marietta, he quarrels with her. She gets fed up with his quirks and continuing obsession with Marie and starts to taunt him by dancing seductively while stroking his dead wife’s hair. In a rage, Paul grabs the lock of hair and strangles Marietta. Holding her dead body he exclaims “Now she is exactly like Marie.” Then he snaps out of his dream. Astonished that Marietta’s body is nowhere to be found, he has barely had time to collect his thoughts when his maid informs him that Marietta has come back to pick up her umbrella which she left in the house when she departed a few minutes ago. With the shock of the traumatic dream still fresh in his mind, Paul is met by his friends Brigitta and Frank who note that though Paul’s vision is there, his desire is dead. Frank begins to leave and asks if Paul will leave, to which he replies, “I will try to”. The opera ends with a reprise of “Glück, das mir verblieb” sung by Paul in what is apparently his last time in his “Temple of Memories”.

 

Date & Time TBD…

YouTube: Adriana Lecouvreur Excerpt

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Francesco Cilea’s opera is an example of Italian realism, verismo, although set in the elegance of earlier 18th-century Paris. It mixes elements of comic intrigue and tragedy, the last predominating in the moving ending. The original production had Caruso in the part of Maurizio and Angelica Pandolfini as Adriana. Adriana’s Io son l’umile ancella (I am the humble handmaid) at her entrance and her later Poveri fiori (Poor flowers), when she thinks Maurizio has returned the flowers to her, may be heard in concert repertoire, as may the tenor La dolcissima effigie sorridente (The sweetest smiling representation), sung by Maurizio in the first act.

SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1730, the place Paris, the scene the foyer of the Comédie-Française, where Michonnet is busily engaged. He loves Adriana, but does not declare himself, since she tells him she has a lover, an unknown admirer. The Prince de Bouillon, a patron of the theatre, has found a letter to Maurizio that they think is from the Prince’s mistress, the actress Duclos, making an assignation that night at her house. The Prince resolves to arrange a party at the house, hoping to surprise the guilty pair.

The letter was in fact written by the Princesse de Bouillon, who opens the second act, set at the villa of La Duclos. Here she is joined by Maurizio, her former lover, who is aware of what is happening. The Prince and his friend the Abbé arrive, and the Princess hides, leaving Maurizio to deal with a situation that is complicated by the arrival of Adriana, whose true lover he is, although she did not realise his identity.

The opera continues with a story that centres on the rivalry of Adriana and the Princesse de Bouillon, but ends in tragedy when a bunch of violets that Adriana had once given to Maurizio and that he had been compelled, diplomatically, to give to the Princess, is returned to Adriana. The flowers have been poisoned by the Princess, and in the last act, as Maurizio declares his true love for Adriana, she dies.

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