CHAUTAUQUA, NY — The Chautauqua Opera Company and Conservatory, the resident opera company and conservatory of Chautauqua Institution, today announced the first season of its newly unified program under the leadership of General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood and Conservatory Director Marlena Malas. The company and former Chautauqua Voice Program unified in fall 2021.
The Chautauqua Opera Company’s three 2022 productions will be Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca; Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz’s chamber opera Thumbprint; and The Mother of Us All, by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein. The Opera Conservatory will produce Don Giovanni by Lorenzo Da Ponte and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; The Secret Garden by Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman; and The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček. The summer season will conclude with a developmental workshop of The House on Mango Street, a new opera by composer Derek Bermel and librettist Sandra Cisneros.
“It has been a joy to work so closely with Marlena in planning the inaugural season of the unified Chautauqua Opera Company and Conservatory– a season which reflects a huge leap forward for the arts at Chautauqua,” Osgood said. “Our combined season of six productions guarantees that this thriving artform will be experienced by audiences of all ages in a wide variety of venues. I am also thrilled that Chautauqua’s commitment to new work will be reflected in the workshop of The House on Mango Street, which will feature singers from both the Opera Company and the Conservatory.”
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Stage directors Sarah Ina Meyers and Omer Ben Seadia will make their Chautauqua Opera debuts directing Tosca and Thumbprint, respectively, and Keturah Stickann will return to direct The Mother of Us All. Liliana Duque Piñeiro joins the company to design the sets for Tosca and Thumbprint. Guest Artists Elaine Alvarez, Wendy Bryn Harmer,and Alan Held will make their Chautauqua Opera debuts in 2022. Chauncey Packer returns to Chautauqua after the 2021 season in which he both sang Antonin Scalia in Derek Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg and directed As the Così Crumbles: A Company Developed Piece. Chautauqua Opera’s productions of Thumbprint, Tosca, and The Mother of Us All were originally programmed in 2020 to join the national celebration of the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the fight for suffrage in America. Still timely, the 2022 season will celebrate three powerful female figures, each at the center of their opera’s story.
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Performance Dates: July 15, 18 & 29 in Norton Memorial Hall
Stage Director: Sarah Ina Meyers
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Puccini’s glorious score brings to life one woman’s struggle for love, art, and freedom in a male-dominated world at the turn of the 19th century. Religion, politics, and passion collide in this stirring work.
Music by Kamala Sankaram
Libretto by Susan Yankowitz
Performance Dates: July 1, 5, 11 & 28 in Norton Memorial Hall
Stage Director: Omer Ben Seadia
Conductor: Kristin Roach
Thumbprint is a chamber opera inspired by the experiences of Mukhtar Mai, a contemporary real-life warrior for women’s rights and education in Pakistan. Sankaram’s dynamic score blends Hindustani and European opera influences to tell this astonishing story of courage in the face of oppression.
Thumbprint premiered in 2014 and was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and the HERE Arts Center for the PROTOTYPE Festival.
THE MOTHER of US ALL
Libretto by Gertrude Stein
Performance Date: July 30 in the Chautauqua Amphitheater
Stage Director: Keturah Stickann
Conductor: Steven Osgood
For one performance only, Chautauqua’s Amphitheater will once again ring with the voice of Susan B. Anthony in Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s joyfully surrealist homage to one of the foremothers of our country and the suffrage movement in America.
This performance will bookend Chautauqua Institution’s Week Five programming, themed “The Vote and Democracy.”
Susan B. Anthony
Wendy Bryn Harmer
Jo the Loiterer
- Chautauqua Opera Company artwork created by Alexander Charner.
2022 FESTIVAL WEEKEND: July 28-July 30, 2021
After the success of the company’s inaugural 2019 Festival Weekend, celebrating Beaumarchais’ “Figaro Trilogy” and the company’s 90th anniversary, the 2022 mainstage season will conclude with its second Festival Weekend (July 28 to July 30, 2022), during which audiences will be able to see all three mainstage productions on consecutive days.
In addition to experiencing this unique trio of operas, visitors to Chautauqua will have access to the entire breadth of Chautauqua Institution’s programming. The gate pass serves as a passport to the Chautauqua Experience, giving visitors access to most events on the grounds, including all lectures, religious services, Amphitheater entertainment, and performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, as well as water sports and outdoor leisure activities.
Three-Day Package (July 28-July 31, 2022): Package begins at $774 per person (double occupancy) and $887 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included*
Weeklong Package (July 24-July 31, 2022): Package begins at $1,650 per person (double occupancy) and $1,950 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included*
To purchase your package, please visit operafestival.chq.org.
CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
“We have an exciting season planned for our students,” said Conservatory Stage Director John Giampietro. “I can’t wait to see them engage with this music, grow as artists and people, and share their enormous gifts with the Chautauqua community.
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Performance Dates: July 21 & 23 in McKnight Hall
Stage Director: John Giampietro
Mozart and Da Ponte’s dark masterpiece is held up to a new light as the arch-seducer’s behavior and accountability is examined through a contemporary lens.
THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
Music and Libretto by Leoš Janáček
Performance Date: August 8 in Chautauqua Amphitheater
Stage Director: John Giampietro
Conductor: Timothy Muffitt
Featuring the Music School Festival Orchestra, The Cunning Little Vixen is the heartrending story of how the human and animal worlds interact, mirror, and ultimately depend upon each other.
THE SECRET GARDEN
Music by Lucy Simon
Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Performance Date: August 10 in Norton Memorial Hall
Stage Director: Marcus Shields
The Conservatory musical returns in a new home, Norton Memorial Hall, for the 2022 season. Francis Hodgson Burnett’s beloved novel on the flowering of love and family comes to life in Lucy Simon’s touching and lush score.
“We have two operas, a musical, and many other programs that I hope the Chautauqua population will come and enjoy,” said Marlena Malas, director of the Chautauqua Opera Conservatory. “We are looking forward to a brilliant summer, enjoying beautiful Chautauqua and all of our exciting musical events.”
- Chautauqua Opera Company artwork created by Ray Downey.
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET, THE OPERA
Music by Derek Bermel
Lyrics by Derek Bermel and Sandra Cisneros
Libretto by Sandra Cisneros
Public Reading: August 12 at Norton Hall
Derek and Sandra’s new opera, based on Sandra’s novel The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Mexican American girl told through 44 self-contained episodes. The account details a year in Cordero’s life after she moved to a house on Mango Street in a barrio of Chicago, struggling simultaneously with both assimilation and marginalization. After a week-long workshop, this special project is to have a public reading at Norton Hall followed by a conversation with the creators. This project is one of many in the overall efforts of Chautauqua Institution to amplify important and diverse American voices in the arts, fostering new work and catalyzing the creative process.
ABOUT THE CHAUTAUQUA OPERA COMPANY
Founded in 1929, the Chautauqua Opera Company is North America’s fourth-oldest opera company. The Chautauqua Opera Company offers more than 30 operatic events each season, including fully-staged productions in Chautauqua Institution’s 4,500-seat Amphitheater and in the historic 1,365-seat Norton Hall, concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, art song recitals, opera for young audiences, and the playful Opera Invasion series. Chautauqua Opera productions feature internationally recognized guest artists alongside the 16-24 Young Artists who make up the core of the company each season.
As a part of the historic Chautauqua Institution, visitors to Chautauqua Opera not only witness high-quality operatic performances, but they also have access to the huge range of programming that Chautauqua Institution has to offer. It is this unique cross-pollination of disciplines that makes Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua Opera a destination for travelers from across the nation.
ABOUT THE CHAUTAUQUA OPERA CONSERVATORY
The Chautauqua Opera Conservatory is an intensive educational program that seeks to offer the highest caliber of training for young singers who are on their way to a professional career. The program has been under the leadership of Marlena Kleinman Malas for 42 years. Each year, through a competitive audition and admissions process, a select group of 45 singers are chosen to study, coach, and perform for seven weeks on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. The Conservatory produces two operas each summer. The first production is semi-staged with a reduced instrumental ensemble and is performed in McKnight Hall. The second production is fully staged with costumes and props and is performed in the Chautauqua Amphitheater with the Music School Festival Orchestra. The Conservatory season closes with a musical, which will be produced in Norton Memorial Hall for the first time in 2022.
As part of their intensive training, students are also involved in numerous weekly masterclasses, recitals, and concerts, led by world-renowned guest artists and resident faculty which have included Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Brian Zeger, Mikael Eliasen, and Craig Rutenberg, among others.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of more than 100,000 attend scheduled public events. Chautauqua Institution is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social, and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.
Please visit opera.chq.org for more information about the company and about Chautauqua Opera’s 2022 Season. For press inquiries or questions, email Makayla Santiago-Froebel, Arts Marketing Specialist, at email@example.com.
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