Love Triangles – Comic and Deadly
In collaboration with New Jersey Festival Orchestra
MASCAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana
SCARMOLIN The Interrupted Serenade
David Wroe conductor
International guest soloists
New Jersey Festival Orchestra
Love can inspire the human spirit to soar skyward, but it is the corrosive element of jealousy that plunges it into the depths of darkness. David Wroe leads Opera at Florham and NJ Festival Orchestra for a breathtaking performance of Love Triangles–Comic and Deadly presenting two dramatically opposing operatic takes on jealousy and love: Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Scarmolin’s The Interrupted Serenade.
Ridge Performing Arts Center at Ridge High School
268 S Finley Ave., Basking Ridge
Rusticana Cavalleria Synopsis:
The action takes place on Easter Sunday in a Sicilian village. The soldier Turiddu has had a love affair with Santuzza and has left her to carry on with a married woman, Lola, whose husband, Alfio, is a teamster. Only Santuzza, the most innocent of the involved parties, has been punished: she has been excommunicated for her sins. As the opera begins she confronts Turiddu’s mother, Lucia, and begs her to take pity on her, as Christ did the woman taken in adultery. Her son’s behavior leaves Lucia disgusted.
Turiddu, when confronted, denies any guilt and orders Santuzza to be silent. Lola adds insult to injury by mocking her, just before entering the church for Mass. Santuzza and Turiddu continue their fight until he throws her to the ground and follows Lola into the church–where Santuzza cannot go.
At this point, with the village scare empty, the orchestra plays one of the most famous pieces from the opera, the intermezzo.
After Mass, Santuzza confronts Alfio, convincing him of his wife’s betrayal and adultery with Turiddu. Alfio, in turn, confronts Turiddu and challenges him to a duel (which in Sicily–at least according to this oepra–is done by biting his ear). Turiddu is finally convinced of the error of his ways, and he asks his mother to be as a mother to Santuzza, then prays to God for forgiveness. He goes off to fight his duel. Santuzza and Lucia are in each others’ arms when they hear that he has been murdered.
The Interrupted Serenade Synopsis:
Clara Carli is a young married woman exasperated with her husband Alfredo’s incessant jealousy. To combat it she and her brother Arnaldo Monti hatch a dubious scheme: Arnaldo will masquerade as an adulterous lover to smoke out Alfredo’s rage, because “jealousy wants release.” Don’t try this at home. Arnaldo serenades his putative lover so convincingly (with the help of a passing chorus), that Clara is forced to flee from Alfredo’s volcanic rage. Arnaldo stops Alfredo as he chases his wife from their house, and explains the situation to him. Like Mozart’s Count Almaviva, Alfredo is revealed as a fool and apologizes and the couple is reconciled.
About the Soloists:
Kristen Sampson | Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana
Praised by The New York Times as a “plush-voiced soprano” and “rich and ample dramatic soprano” by Opera Insider, Kristen Sampson has recently champoined performances as Cio-Cio San in a touring production of Madama Butterly. Noted for singing with “primal force and excellent control”, her signature roles include Tosca, Cio-Cio San, Nedda, Emmeline, Mimi and Violetta. Ms. Sampson has performed throughout the United States with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Augusta Opera, El Paso Opera and the National Lyric Opera among others, and internationally with the Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theater of Szeged, Teatro Munipal de Santiago and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
Raúl Melo | Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, Alfred in The Interrupted Serenade
“Melo is that rarity, a honeyed bel canto tenor in the true lyric tradition” – Miami Herald
NY Metropolitan Opera Tenor, Raúl Melo, is a celebrated performer in the US, Europe, and Asia. With the Metropolitan Opera, he has performed the Duke in Rigoletto opposite Anna Netrebko and Pinkerton to Patricia Racette’s Madama Butterfly. He has thrilled Eurpoean audiences performing the principal tenor roles with Berlin’s Deutsche Oper and State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Stuttgart’s State Opera, Zurich State Opera, Düsseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Frankfurt Opera, and Dresden State Opera to name a few. In 2014, he triumphed in Hong Kong with the role of Calaf in Turnadot. In the United States, he has performed with Washington Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Cleveland Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Connecticut Opera among others. Mr. Melo won the prize of “Best Lyric Tenor” in the 1992 Alfredo Kraus Competition.
Maria Todaro | Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana
“Rich, even tone and dramatic skill” – The New York Times
Maria Todaro’s luxurious soprano and outstanding artistry has won her acclaim in the United States and in Europe. Ms. Todaro made her operatic debut as Miss Helen in Lakmé at the Sebastopol of Lille (France) and as Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Maria Todaro made her debut in the United States in two recitals for the TODI Music Festival in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her career has flourished in France and abroad with in concert and opera, her favorite roles being Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Angelina in La cenerentola, Helena in La donna del lago, Magdalena in Rigoletto, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte.
Joshua Jeremiah | Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Alfred in The Interrupted Serenade
“Joshua Jeremiah stole the show with a large-scale performance …and robust singing and acting” – The Seattle Post-Intelleger
Acclaimed baritone, Joshua Jeremiah’s singing has been described by critics across the country as “splendid”, “other-worldly”, and “exuding of confidence”. Mr. Jeremiah recently made both his company and role debut as Rigoletto with Arizona Opera to critical acclaim. He has delighted audiences in the roles of John Sorel in The Consul, Opera Santa Barbara; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas to Stephanie Bythe’s Dido with Mark Morris Dance Group at the Mostly Mozart Festival; Ford in Falstaff with Opera Louisiane; Deputy Mayor in Anna Nicole and Don Pedro La Périchole with NYCO to name a few. His versatility as performer has led him to excell in concerts with the New Haven Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, and a Jazz at Lincoln Center debut in a work by Rufus Wainwright.
Claire Kuttler | Clara in The Interrupted Serenade
American lyric soprano, Claire Kuttler, is a dynamic singing actress whose characters come to life with psychological depth and rare intensity onstage. Recently praised in Opera News for her “glistening torrents of sound”, Claire has performed the role of the Female Chorus in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with the Green Mountain Opera Festival and with Mannes Opera. Claire was a young artist at Palm Beach Opera for the 2014 season, singing the role of Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town and the title role in Handel’s Alcina. Other highlights include Mimì in La Bohème at Central City Opera and Fargo Moorhead Opera and the originating the role of Elaine O’Neill in John Musto’s Later the Same Evening.