Yale Opera presents double-bill and evening of Italian art songs

The end of April and the beginning May will be filled with the song of music, as performed by members of the Yale Opera Program.

The Yale School of Music and Yale Opera will present two evenings of short operas by Henry Purcell and Lee Hoiby on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30. In addition, the rising stars of Yale Opera will be featured in an evening of Italian art songs on Monday, May 2.

Purcell-Hoiby double-bill

Yale Opera will present Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” along with “The Scarf” by Hoiby, who recently died at age 85. The performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College St.

The creative team features stage director Mark Streshinsky, the artistic director of Berkeley Opera who is acclaimed for his “seamless and imaginative staging” (Cincinnati Enquirer). William Warfel provides original lighting design, and Jeremy Knight has designed the evocative projections.

Each evening opens with the baroque-era classic “Dido and Aeneas,” which tells the story of Dido’s abandonment by her lover Aeneas. Dido’s lament, “When I am laid in earth,” has become one of the opera’s most well-known songs.

Hoiby’s first opera, “The Scarf,” became an instant hit upon its premiere in 1957. The American composer is best known for his vocal works, from short songs to operas, which were known for their lush tonality and lyricism, which set him apart from composers writing in more dissonant idioms. His music was championed by such figures as Gian Carlo Menotti and Leontyne Price.

Timothy Shaindlin and Douglas Dickson will provide musical direction and accompaniment for “Dido and Aeneas” and “The Scarf,” respectively. Doris Yarick Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera.

Tickets to this production are $10 to $15; $5 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203-432-4158.

Evening of Italian art songs

The following Monday, singers from the Yale Opera program will present a Liederabend (the German word for “evening of song”) featuring works in Italian ranging from the baroque to the 20th century.

The performance will take at 8 p.m. in Sprague Hall.

The program will include music by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first composers of opera, as well as the 19th-century composer Gaetano Donizetti and two figures that carried opera into the 20th century: Giuseppe Verdi and Pietro Mascagni. All these composers are best known for their vocal writing, though their solo works are less frequently performed than their operas.

Dickson is coaching the singers in the repertoire and will perform with the singers on this program.

This concert is free and open to the public.

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