OPERA TAKES FLIGHT:

Singers from Eastman’s CED celebrate Kurt Weill’s centenary and Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight with performance at the Greater Rochester Airport

May 10, 2000

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY – Air travelers to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport are in for a rare musical treat at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 20: That’s when approximately 20 talented students from the Eastman School of Music’s Community Education Division (CED) will celebrate in song the centenary of composer Kurt Weill – as well as Charles Lindbergh’s historic first flight across the Atlantic, which took place May 20-21, 1927.

The singers, all voice students of Eastman’s Jane Gunter-McCoy who live or work in the Rochester community, will perform Weill’s short opera/cantata Der Linberghflug (The Flight of Lindbergh) on the airport’s second floor observatory. This 40-minute performance, sung in German, is a dramatic choral work that Weill wrote in 1929 (initially as a radio opera) in honor of Lindbergh’s flight. The CED students – a lawyer, physician, computer specialist, Kodak executive, teacher, and other working professionals in "real life," all with a passion for music – will be joined by Gunter-McCoy in song and accompanied on piano by Howard Spindler, Eastman’s acting director of the CED. Emi Takahashi, from Eastman’s collegiate class of 2000, will conduct the performance.

"This started out as a celebration of composers," explained Gunter-McCoy. "We’ve been studying Kurt Weill, who would have turned 100 this year. My research led me to this opera. It seemed like the airport was the only ‘right’ place to perform this work on the actual anniversary of Lindbergh’s first flight. It should be entertaining and enlightening."

The performance is free and open to the public.

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