||Critics are saying:
"Whether visiting or a permanent resident, summer opera by Cape Cod Opera is an investment worthy of your time".
DON PASQUALE by Donizetti
Friday, August 4 and Sunday, August 6, 2012
The Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable, Mass.
Don Pasquale - Adrian N. Smith
Norina - Sarah Callinan
Dr. Malatesta - Paul Soper
Ernesto - Christopher Lucier
The Notary - RaShaun Campbell
Sam the Piano Man - Dr. Matthew Larson
(non singing roles) Don Pasquale's housekeeping staff, Claire Briand, Jefferson Dexter, Denise Wilson, Taylor Belliveau, Brian Hurley, Maxwell Dexter
Producing Artistic Director - David McCarty
Music Director/Accompanist - Dr. Matthew Larson
Set Design - Robert R. Troie
Lighting Design - Anne B. Kiefer
Costume Design - Linda M. Arthur
Don Pasquale proves to be another feather in the cap for this small but innovative and determined summer opera company with a secret.
Review by Paul Wolowski - OperaonLine.us
Read the review here :
Cape Cod Opera's production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale came off just as they promised: fast and fun. Excerpted review by Susan Blood - Inside Out Cape Cod:
For people new to the opera, it was an easily understood introduction. For people who have seen Don Pasquale (it's one of the most frequently presented operas in the comic repertoire), it was an innovative refresher. The most unusual thing they did was to take the accompaniment out of the pit and put it in the middle of the stage. Instead of an orchestra, the singers were accompanied by a pianist - who became part of the cast. Sam was Musical Director and accompanist, Dr. Matthew Larson. With the piano in the center of the stage, Larson came off as part of the Pasquale household, playing familiar tunes (La Vie en Rose, Mack the Knife, etc.) while the domestic staff, collectively and comically referred to as Jefferson, went about their business. Pasquale bantered with the pianist, starting with don't play that again, Sam and Stop! I don't care how many degrees you have . A quick google search shows that Larson serves on the faculty at Boston University, and is pianist for the Boston Symphony Chorus and Vocal Coach for Brown University and Walnut Hill School for the Arts. This company doesn't mess around when it hires talent. Sarah Callinan is nothing short of grand in her role as Norina. She is glamorous, with a stunning voice and stage presence.................................................... Adrian Smith was an especially sympathetic Pasquale, with just the right amount of bluster. ................. As Dr. Malatesta, Paul Soper stole nearly every scene he was in....................... Christopher Lucier was a young and vulnerable Ernesto. I couldn't help feeling a little worried for him, Norina's a handful. And RaShaun Campbell was hilarious. He didn't have nearly enough to sing, but his characters were unforgettable, adding laugh-out-loud moments throughout the opera. I have to admit, I was a little leery of a nip-and-tucked version of the opera. I like my opera on the grand side. But this company is to opera what ikebana is to flower arranging. It's so tight and perfect, you don't miss all the ribbons and fluff. What Cape Cod Opera has done here is create a Don Pasquale that is completely unique to the company and the Cape. In short, the company has made a new niche for itself, presenting ephemeral, can't-miss opera. Artistic Director David McCarty seems to be following Cape Cod Symphony's model of programming concerts that are so unique, you are very unlikely to see them anywhere else.
All photos courtesy of Robert Tucker, Focalpoint Studios, Orleans
SUMMER SCENES, LOVE, BETRAYAL & DEATH,
WITH A FEW PIRATES TOSSED IN!
Staged scenes from La Traviata, I Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen and Pirates of Penzance
Friday, July 29, Sunday July 31 and Monday August 1, 2011
Mashpee H.S. Auditorium, Dennis Yarmouth H.S. and Provincetown Town Hall Auditorium
David McCarty, Producing Artistic Director
Lucy Banner, Piano
Margaret Bossi, Guest Music Director
Anne B. Kiefer, Lighting Designer
Linda M. Arthur, Costume Coordinator
performed by Brian Cheney, Robin Farnsley, Daniel Greenwood, Jessica Grigg, Melissa Manseau, Sam Savage, Sarah Caldwell Smith, Paul Soper, Patrice Tiedemann, with the Cape Cod Opera Chorus, Jo Brisbane, Gordon Bellemer, Geraldine Boles, Terrie Cugno, Jefferson Dexter, Kristen Howard, Marc Howard, Jen Kangas, Diana Landau, Joshua McKiernan, Anne Seeley, Christopher Sidoli, Christopher Tufts, Kathy Wimberly, Alexandra Wright and Denise Wilson
All photos courtesy of Focalpoint Studios, Orleans (no reproduction without permission)
Margaret Bossi - Guest Music Director Lucy Banner, Piano
Act I - La Traviata by Verdi - Robin Farnsley as Violetta, Brian Cheney as Alfredo with the Cape Cod Opera Chorus
Excerpts from I Pagliacci by Mascagni - Patrice Tiedemann as Nedda, Paul Soper as Sylvio with the Cape Cod Opera Chorus
Excerpts from Cavalleria Rusticana by Leoncavallo - Melissa Manseau as Santuzza, Sam Savage as Turridu and Sarah Caldwell Smith as Lola with the Cape Cod Opera Chorus and Principal Ensemble
Excerpts from Carmen by Bizet - Jessica Grigg as Carmen, Brian Cheney as Don Jose
Excerpts from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan - Daniel Greenwood as Frederic, Sarah Caldwell Smith as Mabel, Paul Soper as The Major General, Melissa Manseau as Ruth with Christopher Tufts as The Pirate King, Joshua McKiernan, Christopher Sidoli, Brian Cheney, Sam Savage as The Pirates, Marc Howard, Police Constable and The Cape Cod Opera Chorus with Patrice Tiedemann, Robin Farnsley and Jessica Grigg.
THE MERRY WIDOW by Lehar
Saturday August 7 and Sunday August 8, 2010
The Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, Rte 132, W. Barnstable, Massachusetts
Cast: Hanna - Natalie Polito Danilo - George R. Cornelius Valencienne - Sarah Callinan Baron Zeta - Paul Soper
Camille - Gregory Zavracky Betush - Kyle Torrence M. St Brioche - Christian Schwebler
M. Cascada - Matthew Astone General Cromov - Matthew Vavalle Olga - Kristina Riegle
General Bogdanovitch - Duncan Macallister Sylvaine - Lara Fox Praskovia Pritschitz - Abigail Southard
with The Cape Cod Opera Chorus
Alexandra Bacon, Tonya Bishop, Stuart Bugg, Terrie Cugno, Gene Cummings, Karen Dash, Anneke Elmhirst, Ashlee McCarty, Susan McLaughlin, Lisa Rudy, Anne Seeley, Chris Tufts, Anne Tupper, Mattie White, Denise Wilson, Kathy Wimberly,
Grisettes: Karen Dash, Mattie White, Ashlee McCarty, Alexandra Baron, Anneke Elmhirst, Lisa Rudy
Staff at Maxim's: J. Pendleton Vineyard, Tonya Bishop, Chris Tufts
Producing Artistic Director/Set Design/Choreography - David McCarty
Lighting Designer - Anne B. Kiefer
Costumes - Linda M. Arthur
Guest Conductor/Chorus Master - Christopher McMullen Laird
Lucy Banner - Piano Mark Prall - Percussion Ira Schaefer - Bass
Cape Cod Opera has once again delivered a solid, professional looking production, bolstered by a superb cast, a solid chorus and a nicely toned musical ensemble that, though small in number, brings with it a sound that is full and superbly balanced for the task. Cape Cod Opera has wrapped up its performances for the season with this production, and as I have in the past, I recommend to those who enjoy live theater to give this worthwhile company a look next time you're on the Cape. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised. ..............OperaOnline
'Merry Widow' a lively production
By SUSAN BLOOD - CONTRIBUTING WRITER
CAPE COD TIMES - August 10, 2010 2:00 AM
Asked what he would do if he caught a man cheating with his wife, General Cromov (Matthew Vavalle) answers, "I would tie him to a chair and force him to listen to the entire Ring Cycle." This is not Wagner's 19-hour, four-opera cycle. It is the popular operetta "The Merry Widow," by Franz Lehar presented in English . And with characters like Cromov and lines like that, no one needed to be tied to a chair. In the title role of Hanna Glawari, soprano Natalie Polito was money. I imagine half the audience wanted to marry her by the final curtain.Stealing the show was Paul Soper as Baron Zeta. He either had the best lines or was best at working his lines to comic advantage. He certainly had one of the finest voices. Sarah Callinan, Baron Zeta's wandering wife, has a voice I hope we'll be hearing more of. She was especially well-paired with her clandestine lover, Camille (Gregory Zavracky). Kyle Torrence played Betush, Zeta's secretary. Betush started off looking like a walk-on character and ended with laugh-out-loud moments. Along with the other main male characters, Torrence was terrific in "Girls, Girls, Girls," a number that ensures the audience is still awake and having a good time. Judging from the cheering, the audience did not need waking up. Producing artistic director David McCarty brought it all together with style to spare. Costume designer Linda M. Arthur must be commended on her Marsovian attire in Act 2. When things get bawdy in Act 3, Arthur comes through for the grisettes with more French finery. Paula Duguay should also be applauded for several heads of elegant French hair. I was a little nervous about the trio of piano, bass and drums. I didn't realize that the drums would be timpani and percussion, played by Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra's Mark Prall. With resident music director Lucy Banner on piano and Ira Schaefer (also of Cape Symphony) on bass, the trio was perfect. There was a lot of local talent involved, and roles that were not filled locally were easily imported (guest music director Christopher McMullen-Laird is on the musical staff of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich).
A final note: More people should take up Cape Cod Opera on its offer of student-priced tickets. How do you know if your child will like opera? You don't, but with $15 student tickets, dancing girls, a mostly spoken story line and great costumes, this would have been a good way to find out. It's not, after all, the Ring Cycle.
Images copyright Focalpoint Studio, Orleans - Robert Tucker 2010
(No reproduction without authorization)
Dress Rehearsal The Merry Widow, Friday August 6th, 2010
COSÌ FAN TUTTE by Mozart
Sunday August 16, 2009
The Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, Rte 132, W. Barnstable, Massachusetts
Cast: Dorabella - Meredith Ziegler Fiordiligi - Rachele Schmiege
Ferrando - Gregory Zavracky Giuglielmo - Eugene Heard
Despina - Sarah Callinan Don Alfonso - Richard Michael Cassell
Artistic/Stage Director - David McCarty Lighting Designer - Anne Kiefer
Set Design - David McCarty Costume Design - Linda M. Arthur
Music Director/Orchestra Conductor - John Yankee Resident Music Director - Lucy Banner
Stage Directors Note:
For me, Così Fan Tutte is a timeless gem as perfect as a delicious summer supper with all the very best of ingredients. A gorgeous score by Mozart matching a humorous libretto by Da Ponte that although light, still raises some of the questions and obstacles those seeking relationships can be asked to navigate. Physical attraction, love, commitment, temptation, fidelity, trust, honesty and communications between two people are the "lessons" we learn along the way.
With a splendid cast of talented American singers, it seemed logical to perform this piece in English as well as update it and set it in a time in our country's history that evoked a change in the very culture of male/female relationships, To me, the mid to late 1920's seemed a perfect fit both culturally and stylistically speaking.
Enjoy these photos of Così fan Tutte dress rehearsal of Friday August 14th, 2009.
David McCarty, Director
Images copyright 2009 Focalpoint Studio, Orleans www.focalpointstudio.com
(No reproduction without authorization)
|TOSCA by Puccini
Friday August 15, 2008 and Sunday August 17, 2008 - The Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, Rte 132, W. Barnstable, Massachusetts
Entire cast first-rate in Tosca ......................
Review Extracts - Anna Crebo, Contributing Writer, Cape Cod Opera August 19, 2008
Cape Cod Opera's production of Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" last weekend had lots of vocal and dramatic sizzle. The visuals — ingeniously designed sets by Andrew Arnault and period costumes by Linda Arthur — were striking as well. And, finally, after so many seasons of sparse, albeit tasteful, accompaniment, there was an honest-to-goodness orchestra of 14 players, including piano and harp, astutely led by talented Cape newcomer John Yankee. It would seem our fledgling local opera company has had a serious growth spurt and is fleshing out nicely. Sunday afternoon's taut, animated presentation, its usual three-scenorio condensed into two, immediately drew in and held the audience, which responded irresistibly to the all-out dramatic commitment and high-level vocal peformance of the seven-member cast. Even the minor roles.....................................were fully enacted and well-sung. For example, Angelotti, the escaped political prisoner whose questionable fate generates both the plot and the opera's pervading undercurrent of threatening violence, appears only once, at the beginning of the first act, fleeing from his persecutors into a church chapel. Veteran opera performer Paul Soper, his baritone voice strong and resonant, his movements tense and catlike, gave the part full measure. Likewise, the "comic relief" role of the simple-minded old sacristan and choirmaster, who unwittingly betrays Angelotti's connection with the painter Cavaradossi (the leading tenor role), was convincingly drawn and vigorously sung by Cape baritone Thomas Crumb, who, incidentally, is himself a bona fide minister and church music director. His prancing antics while leading the spirited chorus of black-frocked nuns and clerics drew audience laughter and applause............................... Boston-based baritone Philip Lima effectively used his 6-foot-7-inch athletic frame and commanding stage presence to deliver a chilling portrayal of the brutal police chief, Scarpia, who lusts after Tosca and seeks to eliminate Cavaradossi as his rival for her affections. He was at his vocal best in the second-act dramatic monologue, "Ha piu forte sapore," in which he sings of his pleasure in ruthlessly possessing what he desires.
As Cavaradossi, young New York-based singer John Tsotsoros was first-rate. Lithe and handsome, he fully looked and vividly acted the part of the passionate bohemian lover and patriot. He created vocal fireworks with his brightly penetrating, wide-ranging tenor...............................................But the artistic conquest of the afternoon belonged to Tosca herself. As the ardent, idealistic diva, soprano Diana Toscano-Gross, a former regional opera singer who is now a music and drama teacher at Harwich Middle School, made a spectacular comeback as a high-powered vocal performer. Her colorful, flexible spinto easily projected to the back of the hall, even in a nuanced pianissimo, and her high notes were thrilling. Her soulful delivery of "Vissi d'arte," the opera's most famous aria, moved some in the audience (including this reviewer) to tears...................................................Huge kudos also to artistic director David McCarty, whose adept staging kept the plot boiling and the soloists mainly at stage front, where they could be better heard by the audience.
|CARMEN by George Bizet
August 10 and 11, 2007 - The Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable
A Carmen with a lot of soul.
Review by Paul Joseph Walkowski OperaOnline.us
Cape Cod Opera is not the Boston Lyric, but like so many small opera companies struggling to keep interest alive and serve an opera community that is clearly present and interested on the South Shore, it does its best...................................
Cape Cod Opera is now doing fully staged productions, and before getting to the singers, a word about those productions: the shows are always colorful and, on Tilden's large stage, always impressive. Three things seem to be a staple for this company, and are applicable, especially, in this production: Its costuming is always rich and era appropriate thanks to costume designer Linda Arthur; its lighting is superb, always colorful and well-utilized (background as well as main stage), thanks to Anne Kiefer; and its set design here, as in other productions, was imaginative and right on mark, thanks to Robert Troie. When you combine the three elements of a production: lighting, costumes and stage design, as well as Cape Cod Opera does, the result is going to be a a great visual feast that is on par with larger and more heavily funded companies.
In bringing this latest production to stage Cape Cod Opera called upon the talents of mezzo-soprano Jodi Karem,........... As "Carmen," she was just what we hope to see in this role. Indeed, Ms. Karem brought to the role the zest and sex appeal that "Carmen" is supposed to, but doesn't always, possess, in other singers. Here, she combined a smooth vocal performance with strong sensual physicality and melded the two in our minds and kept everyone's attention whenever she was on stage. That's what Carmen's supposed to do, and she did it well!
Singing the role of Don Jose was tenor Neal Harrelson. Mr. Harrelson's characterizarion of Carmen's obsession-driven suitor was a good match here. His ringing highs seemed without a limit on top notes, and his acting, especially the final murder scene, was believable. His physical interaction with Karem, I thought, was rough, though. When he shoved her, he really seemed to shove. ..........Lyric Mezzo-soprano Marie McCarville, as Mercedes, and soprano Alisa Cassola, as Frasquita, two gypsy friends of Carmen, performed magnificently throughout and displayed both solid vocal talent and commanding acting skills. Singing the role of Don Jose's neglected girlfriend, Michaela, was soprano Melissa Manseau, who turned in another solid vocal performance, coupled with good stage and acting skills -- a pleasure to hear. In the role of the flamboyant, ever-confident Toreador, Escamillo, was baritone Anton Belov. Mr. Belov has a commanding, full baritone voce and delivery that is easy and comfortable throughout the range. ..................
Filling out this talented cast, were equally talented support members: Thomas Crumb, singing the role of Morales; Aaron Guckian (maybe a little too overbearing and swaggering) singing the role of Zuniga; Brian Ballard, singing the role of El Doncairo; Laurent Martin, singing the role of Remondado; and Pav Wilkinson, singing the role of Lilias Pastia. All did a fine job, all contributed to making this a worthy ensemble. And lastly, hats off to the Cape Cod Opera chorus for another job exceedingly well done. ............. As for this production of Carmen, it was another example of what a small company on a small budget can do with the right talent and creative staff. In my book, it was a "Carmen" with a lot of soul.
|HANSEL AND GRETEL
November 24, 25 and 26, 2006 Cape Cod Technical Regional High School, Harwich
Singers sparkle in classic 'Hansel and Gretel' tale
|THE MIKADO by Gilbert and Sullivan
Friday August 11 and Sunday August 13, 2006 The Tilden Arts Center, W Barnstable
Gifted soloists make Cape 'Mikado' a success
Extract from a review in Cape Cod Times by Anna Crebo Contributing Writer
The singing of the lead and major roles was exceptional for a Gilbert & Sullivan production. All too often one hears either insufficiently trained classical voices or, worse, an edgy nasal Broadway-type sound, while Sullivan's music distinctly calls for a light opera approach. Each soloist, besides singing well, looked and, for the most part, acted his or her part to a turn. Moreover, all seemed to be enjoying the romp.
Cape Cod Opera delivers a Mikado that is brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed, providing the gold standard of excellence for others to follow
Extract by Paul Joseph Walkowski, OperaOnline.us
see the full review at http://operaonline.us/mikadocape.htm
Everything about this production was noteworthy: from gloriously colorful, full costumes, to an economical and simple, yet elegant, set design (consisting of three traditional Japanese arches in aqua on a burnt orange faux marble platform, set off again a scrim that changed colors from scene to scene and mood to mood) courtesy of set designer Cara Marcy, to a kaleidoscopic array of color -- in one scene the backdrop gradually changed from light orange at the top fading into a dull blue at the bottom, with a large white sun projected on the background, to a full deep blue sky with a red sun - brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, thanks to Anne B. Kiefer. Add to these artistic achievements, smart stage direction by Richard Conrad that moved characters about fluidly and naturally from scene to scene, and all presumably under the overall artistic direction of Beth MacLeod, and you have a sure fire winner on all production counts. Everything about this performance deserves high praise and receives it here. What made this production so truly amazing, though, is that each of the performers never missed a cue. They sang, they acted, they danced, they jumped about, they moved around the stage naturally and smoothly while doing everything a performer is supposed to do, keeping the audience's pleasure foremost in their sites as they went about their business. Multiple Bravos for this wonderful cast. Brava! Brava! Brava!
|Amahl and The Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti
Touring Production over two seasons: November 2004, November 2005 and January 2006
Extract from a review by Anna Crebo Cape Cod Times - November 2004
"Amahl awakens season's spirit - Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night
Visitors" ? the tale of a crippled shepherd boy and his widowed mother who
receive a surprise visit from the Three Kings en route to Bethlehem ? has
the power to awaken the miraculous Christmas spirit of selfless giving. At
the climactic end of Friday night's sold-out opening performance by Cape Cod
Opera in Pilgrim Congregational Church, many in the raptly attentive
audience were dewy-eyed. No less moved was lead soprano Martha Evans, a
company regular, who must have realized she had just delivered one of the
best performances of her career as Amahl's embittered mother, fiercely
solicitous of her son's needs and discouraged by her inability to surmount
their impoverishment. Indeed, as important to the work's success as are the
colorful pageantry of the Three Kings and the animated chorus of shepherds,
the emotional linchpin of the tightly-knit one-act opera is the nuanced
relationship between the dreamily imaginative, somewhat fragile Amahl and
his robust, pragmatic mother, resentful of her lot. Cape Cod Opera was
fortunate to have discovered Benjamin Young of Lakeville, who made his
highly successful stage debut as Amahl in Friday's performance. The slight-appearing
youngster has an utterly natural, winsome stage manner and what's
more important, refined diction, a bell-like tone, and an infallible sense
of pitch. Music director Thomas Vasil conducted unobtrusively and
effectively. Making their majestic entrance through the center aisle, the
Three Kings, in full regalia, were amusing studies in contrasting
personalities. Kaspar is paunchy, hard-of-hearing and comically obsesses
about his box of semi-precious healing stones. Melchior has a stately
regality. Balthazar is possessed with a dark philosophical aplomb. The three
were aptly portrayed by tenor Howard Whitmore, baritone Thomas Crumb, and
bass Michael Wrobleski (Brian Gilman performed the role of Balthazar in
November 05 and January 06) The chorus of shepherds sang in a nicely
animated stage appearance.
Costumes, designed and executed by Linda Arthur, were impressive throughout.
Dan Rojay was the pompous, surly Page, a speaking part. The staging by Ann
Kiefer and set design by Robert Troie were simple and effective. "
|Trouble in Tahiti presented by Cape Cod Opera performed by Intermezzo of Boston
Gianni Schicchi performed by Cape Cod Opera August 2005
Trouble in Tahiti
Photos by Argo Video
Extracts from a review by Anna Crebo, Cape Cod Times ? August 30, 2005
"It is refreshing to see operas not drawn exclusively from the dozen or so perennial favorites endlessly repeated by some
regional companies in the belief that audiences will not like anything that is unfamiliar. Kudos to Cape Cod Opera for last
weekend's production of two one act operas that are perhaps not as performed as they should be, although their
composers, Bernstein and Puccini, are practically household names.
The pairing of Trouble in Tahiti and Gianni Schicchi was an ingenious one.
For Information on Cape Cod Opera please call 508 246 0039