LAWRENCE, KS- KU Opera will present a double bill consisting of two works by famed composer Leonard Bernstein. Productions of both Arias and Barcarolles and Trouble in Tahiti will take place November 16-19, 2012, in Murphy Hall’s Robert Baustian Theatre, with performances at 7:30 PM.
The first work on the bill, Arias and Barcarolles, is a song cycle consisting of eight works. After a 1960 White House performance by Bernstein, former President Eisenhower stated, “I like music with a theme, not all those arias and barcarolles.” Taking the title from this remark, Bernstein created a song cycle that covers a diverse range of music styles. When premiered in 1988, Arias and Barcarolles was performed by KU’s own Professor Joyce Castle with Bernstein himself at the piano. KU Opera will be performing the song cycle as it was first premiered, with four singers and four-hand piano accompaniment. The song cycle includes the movements “Prelude,” “Love Duet,” “Little Smary,” “The Love of My Life,” “Greeting,” “Oif Mayn Khas’neh (At My Wedding),” “Mr. and Mrs. Webb Say Goodnight” and “Nachspiel (Postlude).”
Continuing Bernstein’s theme of love, KU Opera will present Trouble in Tahiti, a one-act opera in seven scenes, first performed in 1952 at Bernstein’s Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. In this opera, we meet a married couple and witness the unhappiness in their relationship and the experiences they go through trying to reconcile their love.
“Presenting two different works by Leonard Bernstein that in no way are connected was the task for our production,” said guest stage director, Dean Anthony. “What I found was the simple idea of love ties them together. As we know, love can impact us in many different ways and lead us in many different directions. We are striving to skim the surface of these emotions in the brilliant music and text that Bernstein has given us,” said Anthony. “We focus on the good, the bad, the loss, the pain, and in the end, the hope. But, as we know, in life it never quite works out that way…”
Tickets for these performances are $10/general admission and $5/students and seniors and can be purchased by calling 785-864-3436.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music for more information at 785-864-3436. MUSIC.KU.EDU.