SJSU Opera Theater Twin Bill
Puccini's Suor Angelica and Reese's The Three Fat Women of Antibes
Host: SJSU Opera Theater
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Last show: Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Location: SJSU University Theater
City: San Jose, CA
Description: Topping off gripping melodrama with frothy social satire, the San Jose State Opera Theater will present Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Mona Lyn Reese’s The Three Fat Women of Antibes at the University Theater (on San Fernando and Seventh, adjacent to MLK Library) beginning the second weekend in May.
The double bill will play Saturday May 9, Monday May 11 and Tuesday May 12 at 7:30, as well as Sunday May 10 at 3.
The operas will be fully produced, with the San Jose State Orchestra in the pit.
Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica is the central panel of a triptych of one-acters composed late in his career. It is intended to be preceded by Il tabarro, a tragedy, and succeeded by Gianni Schicchi, a comedy. In fact, given considerations of length and budget, the three are rarely performed together, though they were, of course, at the 1918 premiere by the Metropolitan Opera. The melodrama takes place in a seventeenth-century convent, to which a young nun has been consigned by her aristocratic family for having borne a child out of wedlock. Seven years later, her relationship with her son resumes in a mystical manner. The opera merges austerity with lush passion, exploiting compositional nuances refined in a lifetime of masterful creativity.
Mona Lyn Reese has recently moved to San Jose with her husband, Thomas Hassing, who is the librettist of The Three Fat Women of Antibes. She is a former Composer-in-Residence with Minnesota Opera. Her works have been performed by the Minnesota and Atlanta Orchestras, among others, and an oratorio of hers has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The Three Fat Women of Antibes is a musical setting of a short story by Somerset Maugham depicting the trouble that ensues when a naturally slim woman becomes the bridge partner of three other women dieting in a Riviera spa. The San Jose Opera Theater production will be the first with orchestra, in an updated version. Reese says “I want to create music that is intellectually and emotionally satisfying and accessible to people who never studied music as well as those who did.”
The San Jose Opera Theater’s production will feature two large alternating casts. Janet Averett (Sunday, Monday) and Music Director Michel Singher (Saturday, Tuesday) will share conducting duties. Daniel Helfgot is the director, John York the designer.
Tickets are $50 for preferred seating, $25 general, and $15 for seniors and student); they may be reserved by leaving a message at (408) 924-4654, emailing SJSUOpera@gmail.com or purchased at the box office an hour before showtime.
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