Sonoma State University Departments of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance presents "Island Passions: Two One-Act Operas," a double bill of comedy and tragedy. Joseph Haydn's "The Deserted Island (L' Isola Disabitata)," features sublime music and arias as it follows the romantic, comic adventures of two sisters abandoned on a Caribbean island. "Riders to the Sea" features passionate, atmospheric music by Ralph Vaughan Williams evoking a windswept ocean as it tells the tale of two sisters and their mother trying to save the last of six sons from his fate on the sea.
Mistaken identity and conflicting desires make up the romantic comedy"The Deserted Island" when two young women become stranded on a strange island. Both harbor conflicting desires and waver from staying away from the injurious world of traitorous men and embracing the possibility of desire and love. The opera, by the great composer Joseph Haydn, features music that is sublime ~ from the overture which uses a contrast of dark and light themes; sumptuous arias for the two female singers; the impressive tenor and bass arias; and magnificent concluding ensemble.
Adapted from the classic play by great Irish playwright John Millington Synge, "Riders to the Sea" is set in a traditional Irish fishing village that lives and dies by the sea. Maurya, a mother whose many sons have been claimed by the waves, wants to save her remaining son from a similar fate. This stirring tale is beautiful and atmospheric and passionate with its evocative melodic gifts of Vaughan Williams, one of the great composers of the twentieth century.