Thursday, May 25, 2023

Opera Coming to the Hudson Opera House

For everyone who remembers the production of The Mother of Us All, the opera about Susan B. Anthony directed by R. B. Schlather at the Hudson Opera House in November 2017, there is some exciting news. Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House has announced an ambitious multi-year series of operas by George Frideric Handel directed by Schlather. The first of these is Rodelinda, which will have six performances to take place October 20, 24, 26, 28 at 7:00 p.m. and October 22 and 29 at 3 p.m. Click here for a video of Schlather talking about Rodelinda.

The following is quoted from a press release from Hudson Hall.
The production features a stellar cast and a re-orchestration performed by early music band Ruckus. Envisioned as an ongoing collaboration to create opera for a new generation, this inaugural production builds on the extraordinary success of Schlather's sold-out run of Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein's The Mother of Us All at Hudson Hall in 2017, named one of the Best Musical Performances of the Year by The New York Times.  
"Handel is a perfect fit for Hudson Hall's historic 1855 theater. He's an opera composer whose works become more potent and more thrilling on an intimate scale where the focus becomes the talent and virtuosity of the individual musicians," says R. B. Schlather. "Rodelinda is a crime thriller about a woman protecting her home and her child after the disappearance of her husband. It explores ideas about love, power, loyalty, tyranny, grief, and ultimately, redemption, with characters audiences can deeply connect with. Rodelinda is ideal for people who are curious about opera and want an introduction to it, as well as for people who love opera, especially baroque repertoire."
An immediate success when first performed, Rodelinda was the third opera Handel wrote in twelve months. It followed the triumph of Giulio Cesare and Tamerlano but then fell into obscurity. With the revival of interest in Baroque music since the mid-20th century, Rodelinda is finding its way back into the repertory. When it had its American premiere in 1933 in Northhampton, Massachusetts (just east of Hudson), The New York Times called the opera "Handel at his operatic best."…
Schlather's vision and determination to bring Handel to the Hudson Valley has found the ideal partner in Hudson Hall in Hudson, New York, his hometown since 2014. Schlather's deepening collaboration with Hudson Hall signals an exciting new direction for the artform and reflects a pandemic-accelerated shift of creative artists and theater goers to Upstate New York and the surrounding areas.…
With Rodelinda, Schlather brings together a dynamic group of rising stars and creative collaborators, many of whom hail from or currently reside in the region. Playing Rodelinda, the soprano Keely Futterer was praised by The Wall Street Journal as the "stand out singer" in Tenor Overboard in the 2022 Glimmerglass Festival; mezzo-soprano Sun-Ly Pierce debuts as Bertarido, following her string of debuts with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Fisher Center at Bard College; GRAMMY Award-winning tenor Karim Sulayman plays Grimoaldo; Hudson-based mezzo-soprano Teresa Buchholz (The Mother of Us All) is Eduige; Massachusetts-based early music specialist Douglas Williams (bass-baritone) is Garibaldo; and countertenor Brennan Hall is Unulfo.…
Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in nearby Tivoli, NY, joins as a cultural partner, and is where the cast will be in residence for the month of October. The creative team includes writer and historian Joseph Cermatori as dramaturg, lighting by Masha Tsimring, and Jiayang Zhang as associate designer.

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