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Gotham Chamber Opera Comes to the Met Museum, 2/26-27

Related: Gotham Chamber Opera, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, I Have No Stories to Tell You, Metropolitan Museum Galleries

Met Museum Presents and Gotham Chamber Opera presents a double bill co-produced with and staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, consisting of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Monteverdi, and a newly commissioned work, I Have No Stories to Tell You, by Gotham Chamber Opera Composer-In-Residence Lembit Beecher, on February 26 and February 27, 2014 at 7pm at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), NYC.

Tickets, including admission to the museum, are $175, and can be purchased at http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/concerts-and-performances/gotham-opera-1.aspx?eid=4162.

The double bill includes Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, music by Claudio Monteverdi and I Have No Stories To Tell You (World Premiere), music by Gotham's Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher and libretto by Hannah Moscovitch, commissioned by Gotham Chamber Opera for performance. The creative team consists of Neal Goren, conductor and Robin Guarino, stage director, with set design by Andromache Chalfant and costume design by Gabriel Berry. Featured singers will be mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton and baritone Craig Verm. The cast also includes tenor Samuel Levine, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, soprano Sarah Tucker, and mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway.

The performances will be staged in two locations in the Museum: Monteverdi's opera will be performed in the Museum's Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court, and Beecher's new work will be performed in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Instruments from the Met's musical instrument collection will be used in the performances.

Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was published in 1638 in the composer's Eighth Book of Madrigals. This operatic scena tells the story of the Christian soldier Tancredi who battles with a Muslim soldier, unknown to Tancredi as his lover Clorinda because she is disguised in armor. When Clorinda is mortally wounded, Tancredi discovers her identity. As she lies dying, she asks to be baptized. The instrumentation for the scena is string quartet and continuo.

Gotham Chamber Opera composer-in-residence Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch respond to Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by focusing on the aftereffects of war. Their 30-minute opera, I Have No Stories To Tell You, turns from the battlefield to domestic life to tell the story of a soldier's return home after extended assignment in the Middle East. Haunted by her experiences and reluctant to discuss them with a husband who no longer seems to understand her, she struggles to readjust to home. As we see glimpses into her life over the course of a year, we begin to understand the burden of guilt she carries, her inability to communicate it with her husband, and the way in which her husband's need to know will drive their relationship to the brink. Scored for a period instrument ensemble and inspired by interviews with soldiers and army psychologists, I Have No Stories To Tell You explores the effects of war on one's identity and sense of home. The instrumentation for the opera is string quartet, theorbo, harpsichord, Baroque oboe, and electronics. The cast includes Beth Clayton, mezzo-soprano, and Craig Verm, baritone.

Gotham Chamber Opera's 2013/2014 season will conclude with the United States premiere of The Raven by Toshio Hosakawa at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater in May 2014 as part of the New York Philharmonic's inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.


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