The Select Conservatory of Hubbard Hall Opera Theater (HHOT) will present a two-show opera evening Aug. 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. at Hubbard Hall’s Freight Depot Theater, 25 E. Main Street, Cambridge, New York.Featured performances are Cox and Box by Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) & Burnand, and Trouble in Tahiti by Berstein. The shows will be directed by Jason Dolmetsch, and musically directed and accompanied by Elizabeth Bonomo of the Manhattan School of Music.
Tickets are pay-what-you-will, thanks to sponsorship by The Golub Foundation and The Vermont Country Store.
About Cox and Box
In Cox and Box, Sergeant Bouncer, an old soldier, has a scheme to get double rent from a single room. His unsuspecting tenants are Mr. Cox, a hatter who works by day, and Mr. Box, a printer who works by night. Inevitably, the two bump into each other and hilarity ensues. It was Arthur Sullivan’s first successful comic opera. Sullivan wrote this piece five years before his first opera with W. S. Gilbert, Thespis.
About Trouble in Tahiti
In Trouble in Tahiti, love isn’t always easy. Amid a seemingly idyllic suburban backdrop, a 1950’s marriage has had both ups and downs. There is much to learn and feel as two young people try to find their way. Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera in seven scenes composed by Leonard Bernstein with an English libretto by the composer. The opera also features a scat singing jazz trio; Bernstein refers to them as “A Greek chorus born of the radio commercial”. They sing in quasi-gibberish, sounding like an advertising jingle, contrasting with the young couple’s lament.
The Conservatory and its Singers
“The Select Conservatory is an intensive, four-week workshop that teaches college and graduate-level students the basic and finer points of classical and musical theatre performance from the perspectives of both actor and singer,” said HHOT Artistic Director Alix Jones. The 2012 featured student performers are:
· Mezzo-soprano Elaina Pullano of Dalton, MA, an incoming sophomore at Williams College, with a double major in biology and music. Pullano began her solo career at age 13 and has been performing since then in various choirs and competitions. She currently studies with Keith Kibler at Williams and privately with Claude Corbeil of Stockbridge, MA.
· Soprano C. Paige Porter recently completed her master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied under Mignon Dunn. Recent opera work includes chorus in Tosca with Opera New Jersey, chorus in the U.S. premiere of Proserpina at Spoleto Festival USA, and the title role of Semele in Manhattan School’s Baroque Aria ensemble.
· Tenor Alexander Canovas of Bethlehem, NY, has been featured with the Ithaca College Opera, Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute, and Opera Cowpokes. Canovas has worked with Brian DeMaris, David Lefkowich, Thomas Bagwell, and Elizabeth Hastings, among other artists. He has performed roles from a diverse repertoire, including Orfeo from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, The Vain Man from Portman’s The Little Prince, and Monostatos from Die Zauberflöte.
· Bass baritone Jeffrey Martin of Frederick, MD, will begin his second year in the master’s program at Peabody Conservatory come September. He just finished playing his first Osmin with HHOT in June for the outreach production of Abduction from the Seraglio, and will debut his Leporello in Don Giovanni with Peabody Opera Theater at the Lyric Baltimore this fall.
· Baritone Joshua Gurwitz is a student at State University of New York at Albany majoring in general mathematics and music. He is currently studying with mezzo-soprano Frances Wittmann.
· Tenor Julian Ramos of Rutgers University is the youngest member of the Conservatory and very excited to make his operatic debut with the Greek chorus trio in Trouble in Tahiti.
About Hubbard Hall Opera Theater (HHOT)
clip_image002Founded in 2008 by Jones, HHOT recently was named a semi-finalist to receive The American Prize for Opera Performance, Community Division, for its 2011 production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. HHOT has presented three other critically acclaimed productions with orchestra, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte (2008); Bizet/Brooks’s La Tragedie de Carmen (2009); and Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel (2010). The upcoming season includes Guerilla Opera’s Heart of a Dog in September with chamber orchestra, a traveling La Boheme production in October with piano, and a February 2013 orchestra production of Verdi’s La Traviata in the GE Theater at Proctor’s.
Building off of the rich tradition of arts in the Cambridge Valley, HHOT seeks to bring yet another element of culture to an already bustling center. Its mission is to provide classically trained singers and instrumentalists in New England and upstate New York greater opportunities to create something beautiful close to home, while also giving rural audiences the chance to enjoy an opera without having to spend the night in a city to do so. Through the Select Conservatory, HHOT also provides young artists with the chance to perform key roles in a nurturing environment alongside experienced field professionals.
Hubbard Hall is an historic opera house located at 25 E. Main St. in Cambridge, NY. For more information, visit www.hubbardhall.org