Center Stage Opera presents a double bill of Italian operas: I pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, paired with L'amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni. The Mascagni opera will be of particular interest to Jewish audiences: the action is set in a Jewish community in Alsace. The rabbi figures as a central character in the action which features a retelling of the biblical story of Rebecca.
While the two composers are often paired together (more usually I pagliacci is paired with Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana), this pairing is unusual: the very dramatic Leoncavallo opera here balanced with the delightfully romantic plot of the Mascagni work. Sung in Italian with piano, the performances will take place in three locations in Camp Hill, York and Doylestown. The production features the exceptional talents of emerging professional singers from Maryland, Virginia and eastern & central Pennsylvania.
WHO: Center Stage Opera
WHAT: A double bill of Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci and
Mascagni's L'amico Fritz
WHEN & WHERE: Sat JUN 17 @ 7:30pm & Sun JUN 25 @ 2:30pm
Covenant Moravian Church
901 Cape Horn Rd., York, PA
Fri & Sat JUN 23-24 @ 7:30pm
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
1610 Carlisle Rd, Camp Hill, PA
Fri JUN 30 @ 7:30pm
Family of God Lutheran Church
4770 Rte 202, Doylestown, PA
TICKETS: For sale at the door: $20 for adults and $10 for Students; cash or check sales only
INFORMATION: Gregory Stuart at: email@example.com or 917-621-6005.
Visit the Center Stage Opera at http://www.csopera.org/home.htm
ABOUT THE OPERAS
I pagliacci is a short opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, with a libretto by the composer, which premiered in 1892. It is the most widely performed of Leoncavallo’s operas. I pagliacci was written by the unknown Leoncavallo in response to Pietro Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria rusticana. Like Mascagni’s work I pagliacci was written in the verismo (realism) style. Purportedly, the plot which concerns a troupe of traveling players presenting a commedia dell’arte show, is based on a real life murder that occurred in the composer’s hometown.
L’amico Fritz is a pastoral comedy by Pietro Mascagni, with a libretto by P. Suardon, which premiered in 1981. The comedy is Mascagni’s most popular work after Cavalleria rusticana. Set in Alsace on a cherry orchard, the “Cherry Duet” has remained an enduringly popular staple in the operatic duet repertoire.
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS
Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) was an Italian opera composer and librettist. He wrote numerous operas and songs, though I pagliacci was his enduring success. His opera La bohème which premiered in 1897 met with success but was outshone by Puccini’s opera of the same name which had premiered the previous year. Today, I pagliacci is oftern produced, while La bohème and Zaza are sometimes revived. His song ”Mattinata” was made famous by Enrico Caruso.
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) was an Italian composer most noted for his operas. Cavalleria rusticana, the winner of the Sonzogno competition, which premiered in 1890, is generally accorded to be the first opera written in the verismo (realism) style of Italian opera, caused one of the greatest sensations in operatic history and ushered in a musical significant musical trend. Though best known for his verismo work, in fact, Mascagni created varying styles for his works.
ABOUT CENTER STAGE OPERA
Center Stage Opera is a non-profit (501c3) opera based in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. CSO provides opportunities both to local, qualified singers and instrumentalists, and to regional and national opera singers, mainly those living on the East Coast - from Florida to Boston. The production staff is from the immediate region. Founded and operated by Kathryn McCarney Foster in 2005, the company is the only touring opera company based in the region.
Kathryn Foster (Founder & General Director), herself a singer having performed many leading soprano roles with Harrisburg Civic Opera, Capital Opera Sacramento, Capital Opera Harrisburg and Center Stage Opera. More recently she has become the musical director for most productions; at the piano she realizes the instrumental score.