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Eastman Opera Theatre (EOT) is thrilled to premiere Mozart Mayhem, released for on-demand streaming starting May 28.Mozart Mayhem will bring an inventive, immersive twist to scenes and arias from three of the composer’s most beloved operas: Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte. The selections of scenes and arias have been reimagined for site-specific, outdoor performances set amidst the unique landscape and architecture of Rochester. This production will be directed by Madeleine Snow (current MM degree candidate) and music directed by Wilson Southerland.
Mozart Mayhem has been a great opportunity for students at Eastman to prepare and perform partial roles and opera scenes. EOT conducted music and staging rehearsals at Eastman, as they do with traditional opera productions, but rehearsed and ultimately filmed off-site in outdoor spaces in Rochester, including both the Sunken Garden at Highland Park as well as various locations around Ellison Park. For this project, the audio, including vocals, piano, and flute, was pre-recorded to achieve the highest possible musical quality while filming outdoors. The singers, all fully masked, following all the COVID-19 safety protocols, allowed in-person collaboration at these special Rochester locales.
As so many schools struggle with the challenges of vocal and operatic practicing and interacting due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, EOT is choosing to turn unusual and difficult circumstances into positive and unique experiences for Eastman students, focusing on the creative process.
“As a director,” said Madeleine Snow, “I think that this kind of site-specific work is an exciting way to bring something new and fresh to beloved classics, to explore places around Rochester that can be reimagined for performance, and to experiment with new ways of creating opera.”
Finishing out the EOT season will be Elizabeth Cree by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell, streaming online July 9-August 7, and Postcard from Morocco by Dominick Argento and John Donahue, streaming online August 13-September 13.
Visit here for more information on all three of EOT’s Summer Season shows.
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About Eastman Opera Theatre:
Eastman Opera Theatre offers a comprehensive program of training and performance opportunities. Many Eastman graduates, like distinguished alumni Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Julia Bullock, Erin Morley, and Nicole Cabell, enter the operatic profession as a natural extension of this experience.
A minimum of three productions are mounted yearly, each within a different-sized performance venue at the Eastman School, including the recently renovated 2300 seat Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, the 450-seat Kilbourn Hall, and the 75-seat Opera Studio. Productions feature a wide range of musical styles, most are performed in the original language, and depending on the venue, many use full orchestral accompaniment. Studio productions, scenes programs, and outreach events are also presented to further enhance the variety of performance experience. Eastman Opera Theatre utilizes a “class and degree blind” approach to casting, meaning that roles go to the singer with the best audition, starting their Junior year in school and with the approval of their studio voice teacher. Most of our productions feature a mix of upper-class undergraduates (juniors and seniors), masters, and doctoral students.
Recent and past productions include Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, and Don Giovanni; Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore; Puccini’s La Rondine and La Bohème; Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Albert Herring; Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret; Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Assassins;Floyd’s Susannah; Handel’s Xerxes and Orlando; Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia; Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges; Bock’s She Loves Me; Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites; Lehár’s The Merry Widow; Weill’s Street Scene; Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea; Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox and Les Enfants Terribles; Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza; and Gordon’s Tibetan Book of the Dead. In December 2020, Eastman Opera Theatre represented its first full online presentation, Our Voices, six separate videos featuring the vocal music of six contemporary composers: Anthony Davis, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, Missy Mazzoli, Ben Moore, and Errollyn Wallen.
About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.
More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,500 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.