The power of music, the strength of love.
Colin Balzer, tenor, Orfeo
Madeline Apple Healey, soprano, Euridice
Emily Cuk, stage director
by Claudio Monteverdi
August 26 and 27, 2022, 7:30pm
August 28, 2022, 3:00pm
Hart Theater at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center
1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester
We were so proud to present, after two years delay due to the pandemic, this ground-breaking opera, written in 1607 and considered the first “real” opera. It clearly still has the power to captivate audiences over 400 years later, with its universal story, virtuosic expressive music, and colorful orchestration. Its themes of love and loss, human weakness and strength, redemption and the power of music, remain relevant today and resonated profoundly with our audiences.
As Orfeo, famous for his musical prowess, joyfully celebrates his marriage to Euridice, a messenger brings the news that she has died. Orfeo travels the treacherous path to the Underworld to win her back—with his seductively entrancing music —only to lose her again because of his own doubt. Eventually escorted by the god Apollo, he ascends to the heavens where he can be reunited in the stars with his Euridice. A cast of shepherds, nymphs, spirits, and gods support the flow of the drama with dance, heartfelt solos, and dynamic choruses, that comment on and interpret the action.
We were thrilled to present tenor Colin Balzer in the virtuosic and dramatically expressive role of Orfeo, the singer who must travel to Hell and back to regain his beloved Euridice.
Michael Beattie, music director
Emily Cuk, stage director
Julia Noulin-Merat, scenic and production designer
Peggy Murray, choreographer
Whitney Locher, costume designer
Marcella Barbeau, lighting designer
Orfeo: Colin Balzer, tenor
Musica & Proserpina: Laura Heimes, soprano
Apollo: Sumner Thompson, tenor
Messenger & Speranza: Angela Young Smucker, mezzo-soprano
Caronte: Steven Hrycelak, bass
Euridice: Madeline Apple Healey, soprano
Plutone: Mischa Bouvier, baritone
Pastori, Spiriti: Andrew Fuchs, Jonas Budris, tenors; Douglas Dodson, countertenor
Pegasus Rising Young Artists: MaryRuth Lown, soprano; Ashley Mulcahy, mezzo-soprano; Nathan Halbur, baritone
Dancers: Zahra Brown, Samantha Howe, Megan Kamler, Ryo Munakata
Andrew Fouts, Boel Gidholm, violin
Aika Ito, viola
Christopher Haritatos, cello
David Morris, gamba and lirone
J. Tracy Mortimore, violone
Liza Malamut, Ben David Aronson, Erik Schmalz, Garrett Lahr, Mack Ramsey, trombone
Jared Wallis, trumpet
Bruce Dickey, Kiri Tollaksen, cornetto
Mack Ramsey, Kiri Tollaksen, recorder
Christa Patton, harp, percussion
Daniel Swenberg, Deborah Fox, theorbo
Michael Beattie, Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord, organ, regal
This opera was presented with support from our generous donors; with CARES and Project grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; and with grants from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Gouvernet Arts Fund at the Community Foundation, the Lennox Foundation, Dawn Lipson at the Community Foundation, the Farash Foundation; and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
Echoes of Orpheus
We’d like to welcome you to Echoes of Orpheus, a new series of concerts in addition to our regular concert series that will happen throughout this season. We will introduce you to the opera, its characters, our creative team, and Monteverdi’s colorful and evocative soundworld. This is music at the intersection of renaissance and baroque style, and the formation of an entirely new art form, a story in music, or opera.
April 12, 2022: The Harp of Orpheus with Christa Patton, historical harp. In this live presentation, Christa demonstrated the triple harp of the 17th century, told us about Monteverdi’s female harpist, and played the famous harp solo from L’Orfeo.
Feb. 24, 2022: Dancing with Orpheus, online presentation with Peggy Murray, historical dancer and scholar. Click here to watch!
October, 2021: Tales of Orpheus, online presentation with Deborah Fox, Pegasus director
August, 2021: Echoes of Orpheus concert, with Laura Heimes, soprano, Ben David Aronson and Liza Malamut, sackbuts, and others