A Letter from the Director of the Stony Brook Opera

For our chamber opera production on Friday, February 24 in the Recital Hall (with a repeat performance at the Second Presbyterian Church in Manhattan on Saturday, February 25), we are pleased to present Impressions de Pelléas, Peter Brook’s and Marius Constant’s brilliant adaptation of Claude Debussy’s operatic masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande. Impressions de Pelléas (Impressions of Pelléas) is scored for a cast of six, two pianos, and percussion. Soprano Catherine Sandstedt and tenor Jeremy Little play the title roles of Mélisande and Pelléas, while baritone Alexander Hahn performs the role of Golaud, mezzo soprano Kristin Starkey that of Geneviève, and Elyse Saucier that of the child Yniold. Guest artist Charles Temkey, who last appeared with Stony Brook Opera as Raimondo in our semi-staged concert performances of Lucia di Lammermoor two seasons ago will sing the role of King Arkel. I will conduct the performances, and Metropolitan opera soprano Jennifer Aylmer, who directed our chamber opera production of The last five years in 2015, returns as stage director. Although not even the Staller Center Main Stage could accommodate a full production of Debussy’s original opera, the Recital Hall is ideally suited for an intimate chamber production of Impressions de Pelléas. The opera will be sung in the original French language, with projected titles in English.

This issue of our Newsletter is devoted entirely to Impressions de Pelléas, and includes background articles about Debussy’s original opera and Peter Brook’s 1992 Paris production of Impressions, a synopsis, and brief bios of our artists, with their photos. I am convinced that this will be a wonderful evening in the theater. Tickets for the Stony Brook performance are available at the Staller Center Box Office for $10 each.

Finally, my sincere thanks to all of you who have made tax-deductible contributions to the Long Island Opera Guild in support of our 2016-2017 season. If you have been meaning to make a contribution but have not yet done so, it is still not too late. Please make your check out to the Stony Brook Foundation. Your tax-deductible contribution will be deposited in the Long Island Opera Guild account and will be used to help finance Impressions de Pelléas, as well as our full production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia in April. Our March issue will be devoted to The Rape of Lucretia.

David Lawton