A Letter from the Director of the Stony Brook Opera

We are pleased to announce our 2017-2018 season, which will include three events: a gala concert featuring famous scenes from opera and operetta in November, a staging of Rameau’s opera-ballet Pigmalion in March, and a full production of Johann Strauss’s beloved operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat) in April. In November, our scenes program will be performed from memory, semi-staged, accompanied by piano, and sung in the original languages with projected titles in English. The program features duets, trios, quartets and large ensemble scenes from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Zaide; Massenet’s Manon; Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Barber’s Vanessa, Bernstein’s Candide, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus I will host and conduct this exciting program, and Brenda Harris will stage it. In March, our chamber opera will be Jean Philippe Rameau’s opéra-ballet Pigmalion. This production will be a collaboration between Stony Brook Baroque Players and Stony Brook Opera, and will also feature the exciting Parnassus Historical Dance ensemble from New York City. Arthur Haas will conduct the production, and Catherine Turocy, a leading director and choreographer of Baroque opera and dance, returns to direct the show. The work will be sung in the original French language, with projected titles in English. In April, we are pleased to present a full production of Johann Strauss Junior’s celebrated comic operetta, Die Fledermaus. The opera will be sung in a clever English translation, with projected titles as well. Brenda Harris will direct, and Elizabeth Mak, will make her Stony Brook Opera debut as projections and lighting designer. I will conduct the Stony Brook Opera cast, chorus and members of the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. For the dates, times and locations of all our performances this season, see the Dateline column at the end of this Newsletter. We are very excited about this year’s programming, and we look forward to seeing you at our performances. Finally, although many of our singers have gone on to successful careers, only Christine Goerke, who received her AB degree from Stony Brook in 1994, has arrived at the highest level of her profession, and is now widely considered the finest Wagnerian soprano in the United States. She will sing a benefit concert for Stony Brook Opera on Saturday, December 9 at 8 pm on the Main Stage. Timothy Long will conduct the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra for this concert. See below for details. Don’t miss this spectacular event!

-David Lawton