Transgressive Theatre-Opera Announces its 2017/2018 Season
Transgressive Theatre-Opera announces its fifth season, bringing Chicago a staged version of a little-heard Sullivan cantata, an updated gender-rollercoaster of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, a Count Ory transported to a new locale and time, and a concert of arias and ensembles revolving around letters of love and legal documents, the second half of which is Le Nozze di Figaro's Act II in its entirety, in the original Italian.
The Masque at Kenilworth, was commissioned in 1864 by the Birmingham Music Festival, the libretto's conceit being a courtly entertainment for Queen Elizabeth during a mythical visit to Kenilworth Castle in 1575, as imagined by Sir Walter Scott in his novel, Kenilworth. Originally labeled as a cantata, The Masque at Kenilworthwill be presented fully staged and choreographed. A twenty-two-year-old Sullivan's foray into this light entertainment was considered by some to be an unfitting outing for a composer at the beginning of such a promising career. Transgressive Theatre-Opera gives one of few performances of this largely-lost work, which proves a youthful Sullivan already in possession of his gifts for composing lush choral music and fresh melody.
Trial By Jury is a comic opera in one act that premiered in 1875, concerning a breach of promise of marriage. TT-O updates it to the contemporary, altering the original tale of heterosexual disagreement by casting the arguing couple as two men, and the sexually enterprising Judge as female. Attracted by a mutual interest in leather fetish and S&M, the warring couple fights for personal equilibrium at a moment in society when a non-traditional homosexual couple first acquired the legal right to traditional marriage. You won't soon forget the reveal at the denouement!
Singing Sullivan's rich melodies will be sopranos Teaira Burge, Katherine Petersen, and Emily Cox, countertenor Bruno Rivera, mezzo-sopranos Susan Gosdick, Katherine B. Dalin, Brittany Jeffery, and Pamela Torrey, tenors Joshua Louis Smith, Alex Carey, W. Ryan Frenk, and Brian Pember, baritone Jonathan Wilson, and bass Alex Rattana. Sarah Jenks musically directs, with stage direction by Producing Artistic Director Aaron Hunt and choreography by Emily Brantz. Paul Knappenberger is the lighting designer, with co-costume designers Kate Setzer Kamphausen and Tim McAdams providing leather and lace. Nathaniel C. Fishburn is the assistant director.
There will be two performances of this musically adroit and side-splittingly funny duo, on September 21 and 22, 8:00 PM, in the auditorium of the historic Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster, on Chicago's northside.
Tickets are available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3577726
Transgressive Theatre-Opera will continue their season with a transgressive twist on Rossini's comic masterpiece, Count Ory.
While Count Ory is considered a comic opera, Rossini's writing stretches the boundaries of the opéra comique genre with its sung dialogue and musical forms considered inappropriately loquacious at its premiere. Transgressive Theatre-Opera's new English translation, transporting the story to a more contemporary time and a new location, turns the recitatives into sparkling dialogue, and adds a secondary love-couple, a format that would have excited Rossini's first audience, and will do the same for ours!
Count Ory will also play in the auditorium space of Ebenezer Lutheran Church, on March 22 and 23, 2019. Max Hosmer will sing the titular tenor, withMary Lutz Govertsen as Countess, Brittany Jeffery in the trouser role of Isolier, Kota Terrace as Tutor, and Noah Gartner as Raimbaud.
Transgressive Theatre-Opera closes its 2018/2019 season the following weekend with a concert entitled, Letters of Love and Subterfuge. Along with some cast members from their production of Count Ory, Transgressive will invite guest artists both familiar to their audiences from past productions along with some new faces and voices to explore the lyric theatre's fascination with letters and legal documents. The second-half of the program will be Act II of Mozart's letter-and-document fulsome, Le Nozze di Figaro, sung in the original language. This is Transgressive Theatre-Opera's first foray outside the English language, for which our audiences have clamored, and brings great anticipation to all sides of TT-O's production table. In the Le Nozze portion of the program, Mary Lutz Govertsen will sing The Countess, Noah Gartner The Count, and Brittany Jeffery will remain in pants for the trouser role of the page, Cherubino. Kota Terrace is cast as Bartolo, and Jori Jennings sings Marcellina.