Magic, Marriage, Mayhem and Brilliant Melodies
Are Centerstage in the
Antonio Salieri’s comic opera La Grotta di Trofonio
Lowell House Opera
Edward Jones, Music Director
March 23, 25, 26, 30; April 1 and 2, 2016
In his first season as Music Director, British conductor Edward Elwyn Jones leads New England’s oldest opera company, the Lowell House Opera, in the U.S. premiere of Salieri’s La Grotta di Trofonio (Trofonio’s Cave) this spring 2016. The comic opera tells the tale of the crazy antics that ensue when a magician inadvertently swaps the boisterous and bookish personalities of two sets of lovers just before their wedding days.
Debuted at Vienna’s Burgtheater in October 1785 and in the repertory for the next 30 years, La Grotta di Trofonio was a major success in its time by a composer whose fame and popularity in Vienna far outweighed that of his younger colleague, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri’s score sparkles with inventive orchestration and exquisite melodies, and displays the fluid dramatic pacing of a true theatrical composer. The comic opera features a libretto by Giovanni Battista Casti, the Italian poet, satirist and librettist best known as the author of the Novelle galanti, and Gli Animali parlanti. The work is alleged to have influenced Mozart’s librettist Lorenzo da Ponte when he wrote the lyrics for Così fan tutte.
Fully staged with orchestra and sung in the original Italian, Lowell House Opera’s production opens March 23, with Maestro Jones leading from the fortepiano. A black tie reception follows.
La Grotta di Trofonio by Antonio Salieri
March 23*, 25, 26, 30, and April 1 and 2, 2016 at 8:30pm
Lowell House Opera
10 Holyoke Place, Cambridge, MA 02138
*March 23 performance followed by black tie reception.
Cast (double cast with covers)
Aristone: Ethan Sagin, Sean Currlin
Dori: Sara Womble, Sarah Mitchell, Nargiss Mouatta (cover)
Ofelia: Tamara Ryan, Charlotte McKechnie, Madeline Studt (cover)
Artemidoro: David Evans, Andy Troska, Joel Edwards (cover)
Plistene: Samuel Bowen, Andrew Sokol, Hunter York (cover)
Trofonio: Nyiko Ngobeni, RaShaun Campbell
Conductor: Edward Elwyn Jones: March 23, 25, April 1, 2;
Joseph Turbessi: March 26, 30.
Music Director: Edward Elwyn Jones
Stage Director: Roxanna Myhrum
Producer: Duncan Saum
Stage Manager: Ian Power
March 23 Opening Night & Reception
Students & Seniors: $20
Lowell House Residents: $15
March 25, 26, 30, April 1 & 2:
About Edward Elwyn Jones
Edward Elwyn Jones enjoys a growing career in the operatic, orchestral and choral genres as conductor, organist and choirmaster. As the Gund University Organist and Choirmaster at Harvard University, a post he has held since 2003, Mr. Jones directs the music program in Memorial Church, located in the midst of Harvard Yard, and leads the 180-year old Harvard University Choir in its daily choral services, broadcasts, tours, commissions, and recordings. Recently appointed Music Director of Lowell House Opera, New England’s longest-running opera company, Mr. Jones also serves as Music Director of the Harvard Radcliffe Chorus, and is a frequent collaborator with Yale’s Schola Cantorum. As a conductor, he has guested with such organizations as Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Grand Harmonie, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Boston Camerata, Emmanuel Music (Boston), Longwood Symphony Orchestra and the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, and led opera productions with Iceland’s Reykjavic Summer Opera Festival, Opera Boston, Lowell House Opera, Harvard Early Music Society, and Mannes Opera, among others.
Previous posts include serving as Music Director for Intermezzo Opera (2011-2014), Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master of Opera Boston (2006- 2011), Music Director, Reykjavic Summer Opera Festival (2002-03), Assistant Organist of Christ Church United Methodist on Park Avenue in New York City (2000-2003) and Chorus master and Assistant Conductor of the New York based Regina Opera Company (2001-03). Mr. Jones has also worked with William Christie, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan and Gil Rose.
A native of Wales, Edward Jones studied music at Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar of Emmanuel College, and served as conductor of three university orchestras. He received his Masters of Music in orchestral conducting from Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he was the recipient of the Felix Salzer Memorial Award. Mr. Jones resides on the East Coast with his family. www.Edwardelwynjones.com
About Joseph Turbessi
A versatile musician, Joseph Turbessi maintains a career as an associate conductor, solo pianist, organist, collaborative pianist, and vocal coach. He is particularly interested in the music of J.S. Bach and of the 20th and 21st centuries. He holds a MM from the Boston Conservatory.
Mr. Turbessi serves as the accompanist for Harvard University’s Radcliffe Choral Society and the choirs of the Boston Conservatory. He has also worked with many of the major choirs in greater Boston, including Chorus Pro Musica, the Lorelei Ensemble, the Harvard University Chorus, the MIT Concert Chorus and Chamber Chorus, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. He has coached opera at New England Conservatory’s Summer Opera Intensive under the direction of Dan Wyneken. He is also an accomplished organist and is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. He currently serves as Music Minister at St. Peter’s Episcopal of Cambridge. www.Josephturbessi.com
About Roxanna Myhrum
Roxanna Myhrum is a producer and director of opera, theater, and puppetry. La Grotta di Trofonio marks her fifth season as resident stage director with Lowell House Opera; acclaimed past productions have included Queen of Spades, Lakme, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Snowmaiden. In Boston, Roxanna has directed productions for Opera Brittenica (The Turn of the Screw), OperaHub (The Long Christmas Dinner), Commonwealth Lyric Theater (La Serva Padrona) Boston Opera Collaborative (The Cunning Little Vixen; The Crucible, Il Cambiale di Matrimonio, The Countess of Seville), Juventas New Music Ensemble (Music in Motion, Light and Power; The Hourglass) and the Diva Day Foundation (Rusalka). In 2010, Roxanna was the first opera directing apprentice at the Crested Butte Music Festival young artist program in Colorado. This spring, she will direct the Spanish-language opera El Gato con Botas for OperaHub, a collaboration with Puppet Showplace Theater and Boston Conservatory. When not working with opera singers, Roxanna is the Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater where she curates programming for audiences of all ages and instigates new works by local puppeteers. As a puppetry coach and director, she has worked with the Huntington Theater, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, SpeakEasy Stage, the Lyric Stage Company, Underground Railway Theater, Company One, Wheelock Family Theatre, and several regional colleges and universities. Roxanna is a graduate of Harvard University. www.roxannamyhrum.com
About Lowell House Opera
Established in 1938, the Lowell House Opera is the longest continually performing opera company in New England, featuring students, professionals, and community members from both Harvard and the greater Boston area. Each year, the Lowell House Dining Hall is home to a fully-staged opera production with costumes, set, and lighting, accompanied by a full orchestra. The hall functions as an intimate performance venue with superb acoustics, enabling audience members to experience professional-quality opera up close.
Lowell House Opera offers educational opportunities on many levels and is dedicated to developing skills and providing professional experience for young artists. Singers learn and perform their roles in the original language and explore the literary basis and historical context for the work. Experienced directors and production staff lead workshops and other opportunities, such as a week of master classes and performances in St. Petersburg, Russia in May 2014 with the Educational Bridge Project. www.Lowellhouseopera.com