Odyssey Opera plans a festival of British rarities

March 31, 2015 at 11:07 am

By Aaron Keebaugh

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera “Sir John in Love” will be presented by Odyssey Opera in May.

Odyssey Opera will offer a festival in May and June that will showcase fully-staged productions of operas by British composers.

The company will lead off with the Boston premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love, which will feature Oren Gradus in the title role, Michael Chioldi as Ford, Samuel Levine as Fenton, and Megan Pachecano as Anne Page. Sir John in Love, with stage direction by Joshua Major and choreography by Melinda Sullivan, will be performed May 17, 20, and 23 at the Boston University Theatre. Gil Rose will conduct.

Alternating with those performances, Odyssey Opera will offer a double bill featuring William Walton’s The Bear and Arthur Sullivan’s The Zoo May 22 and 24 at Boston University Theatre.  The cast for the Walton will include Stephen Salters, Janna Baty, and Simon Dyer, and the Sullivan opera will spotlight Chelsea Beatty, Sadie Gregg, Colin Levin, Simon Dyer, and Daniel Shirley.

On May 30 at the Boston University Theatre, Gil Rose will lead an evening of monodramas that will feature some of Boston’s emerging vocalists. Mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser will perform Benjamin Britten’s Phaedra; contralto Stephanie Kacoyanis will offer Lennox Berkeley’s Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avila; soprano Elizabeth Keusch will appear as soloist in Judith Weir’s King Harald’s Saga; and baritone Thomas Meglioranza will sing Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King. Filling out the performances will by Richard Rodney Bennett’s Ophelia for countertenor and strings (soloist TBA).

The festival will conclude with three performances of Thomas Adès’ brilliant piece of social commentary, Powder Her Face June 18-20 at Boston Conservatory Theater. Patricia Schuman will star as the Duchess, and Ben Wager and Daniel Norman will perform in supporting roles. Stage and scene design will be by Nic Muni. Gil Rose, again, will conduct.

Tickets for the festival go on sale April 13. Odyssey Opera’s festival opens with Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love 3 p.m. May 17 at the Boston University Theatre. odysseyopera.org


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