Yale Baroque Opera Presents Scenes from Handel’s Operas and Oratorios
The Yale Baroque Opera Project (YBOP) will present its fifth biannual fully-staged production, “Le tre Stagioni” (“The Three Seasons”), a pastiche of scenes from operatic and oratorio works by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), on December 5 and 6 at Sprague Hall, 470 College St.
Both performances begin at 4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public, and seating is first-come first-served. The work will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.
“Le Tre Stagioni” — conceived by Ellen Rosand, YBOP executive director and the George A. Saden Professor of Music, along with Michael Rigsby and Andrew Eggert — draws on excerpts from Handel’s early Italian cantatas and oratorios and weaves them into a pastoral entertainment representing three seasons in the cycle of love. The performers are undergraduates enrolled in the course “The Performance of Early Opera,” taught by Richard Lalli and Grant Herried. The ensemble of baroque strings is led by Robert Mealy.
Eggert returns to Yale (having graduated in 2000) to direct “Le Tre Stagioni.” He previously collaborated with YBOP in 2008 on “Capriccio Barocco,” a dramatic pastiche of scenes from the operas of Francesco Cavalli. An emerging stage director in the opera world, Eggert received Opera America’s 2009 Director-Designer Showcase Award.
One of the world’s foremost scholars on 17th- and 18th-century Italian music, especially opera, Rosand created the Yale Baroque Opera Project in 2007 with funding she received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Since its inception, YBOP has presented two operatic productions each year, the first a theatrical construction based on the works of an individual composer (who have included Monteverdi, Cavalli and now Handel), the second a full-length opera. The most recent production, “Giasone” by Cavalli, received an enthusiastic review by Alex Ross in The New Yorker.
In addition to presenting fully staged performances with undergraduate casts, YBOP sponsors a host of academic activities at Yale that aim to expand students’ appreciation for the multidisciplinary art of baroque opera, among them, courses in the origins and early productions of the artform, visits by scholars and practioners in the field and annual scholarly conferences.
In the spring of 2010, YBOP will present the American premiere (and second world performance) of Francesco Sacrati’s “La Finta Pazza.” A popular success when it premiered in the 17th century, this early opera fell into obscurity until its long-lostmusical score was recently rediscovered.