2014 GLOW Festival Season:
July 31, August 3(m), 7 & 9(m), 2014 • Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre, Greenville, SC
Enjoy the classic 1895 operatic adaptation on Henri Murger’s 1851 novel La vie de Bohème by Giacomo Puccini.
In an attic apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris, a group of young artists are living together in poverty. Their neighbor, the poor and ailing seamstress Mimi, introduces herself to the poet Rodolfo and they fall in love. Later that Christmas Eve at the Café Momus, Rodolfo presents Mimi to his friends Meanwhile, the singer Musetta abandons her elderly rich lover Alcindoro in order to join Marcello, the painter. Time passes and Mimi moves in with Rodolfo. They quarrel because of his apparent jealousy, but in reality due to his inability to care for her in her failing health. They end their relationship. Weeks later Musetta returns to Rodolfo’s attic apartment, bringing with her the dying Mimi. They attempt to find medicine and comfort her, however, she dies despite their best efforts. The score has provided some of the most beloved arias and ensembles in the operatic repertoire, particularly the Rodolfo’s Che gelida manina, Mimi’s Mi chiamano Mimi, and Musetta’s Waltz, Quando me’n vo’. Stage directed by Jenna Tamisiea. Christian Elser conducts the GLOW Festival Orchestra.
August 1, 2(m), 2, 3, 6, 8 & 9, 2014 • Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre, Greenville, SC
99 years after Puccini, Jonathan Larson re-adapted the Murger novel for the American Musical Theatre, creating the Broadway smash Rent. Based on Murger’s novel and Puccini’s La Bohème, Rent tells the story of a group of friends struggling with love, drugs and AIDS. Among the group are the narrator – nerdy filmmaker Mark; his former lover, Maureen; Maureen’s public interest lawyer lesbian lover Joanne; Mark’s roommate HIV+ former drug addict, Roger; Roger’s lover the HIV+ drug addicted exotic dancer, Mimi; their former roommate HIV+ computer genius Tom Collins; Collins’ HIV+ drag queen street musician lover Angel; and Benjamin Coffin III a former member of the group who, after marrying a wealthy woman, has since become their landlord and the opposite of the group’s Bohemian values. The second act is filled with tragedy as Angel dies and couples break up. But at the very end, when Mimi is about to die, Roger is able to sing one song that brings her back to life and leaves the audience with a sense of hope. GLOW’s production is complete with four piece rock band led by NYC based composer-in-residence, Karl Johnson. Stage directed by Jenna Tamisiea. Music directed by Christian Elser.
2014 Chamber Opera Series:
Scènes de Carmen
June 5-8, 2014 • Younts Center for Performing Arts, Fountain Inn, SC
Set in Seville around the year 1830, Carmen deals with the love and jealousy of Don José, who is lured away from his duty as a soldier and his beloved Micaëla by the gypsy factory-girl Carmen, whom he allows to escape from custody. He is later induced to join the smugglers with whom Carmen is associated, but is driven wild by jealousy. This comes to a head when Carmen makes clear her preference for the bull-fighter Escamillo. The last act, outside the bull-ring in Seville, brings Escamillo to the arena, accompanied by Carmen, there stabbed to death by Don José, who has been awaiting her arrival. This exciting concert adaptation of Bizet’s great work features all of the arias and ensembles you’ve come to love, within an intimate one-act framework.
Carmen, the most famous of Bizet’s operas, with its exotic Spanish setting, introduced a note of realism into opera that proved unacceptable to many who saw the first performances. Objection was taken to the wild and immoral behaviour of Carmen, the chorus of cigarette factory- girls and their smoking and the final murder of Carmen on the stage. Orchestral suites have been derived from the score, while popular excerpts must include Carmen’s seductive Habanera and Séguidilla, the famous Toreador’s Song and Don José’s later reference to the flower Carmen had once thrown him, La fleur que tu m’avais jetée (The flower that you threw me), with Micaëla’s moving aria Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante (I say that nothing frightens me). This production features Metropolitan Opera tenor, Hugo Vera as Don José, and Austin Lyric Opera mezzo, Liz Cass as Carmen. It is music directed by Dr. Lynn Kompass.
Amahl & The Night Visitors
December 19-21, 2014 • Younts Center for Performing Arts, Fountain Inn, SC
Throughout the decade of the 1950′s, Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera Amahl and the Night Visitors was a beloved Christmas television tradition. Amahl was the first opera to be commissioned for television, and the first to fully exploit the potential of the new medium. With a libretto (in English) of great lyrical beauty, penned by the composer himself, and a cast of superb singing actors, Amahlmagnificently achieves the goal of NBC Opera Theatre’s founders, which was “to bring sincerity and realism to opera.” The work, tailored by Menotti for children, was for many an eye-opening introduction into the world of opera as musical theater. It remains a delightful, inspirational, and ultimately deeply moving experience. GLOW is looking forward to making Amahl an annual Holiday tradition, and invites you to bring the whole family to enjoy this charming one-act opera.
The cast includes GLOW favorites, soprano, Sara Magun, as “The Mother,” and GLOW General Director, and baritone, Christian Elser as “Melchior.” Porter Stokes conducts the GLOW Festival Orchestra and Chorus. Members of the Carolina Ballet Theatre perform the lovely Shepherd’s Dance. Stage Directed by Jenna Tamisiea.