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Chautauqua Opera Company to perform with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra for ‘Pops Concert’

Soprano Rachael Braunstein sings “Dich, tear Halle!” from Tannhaüser during the Chautauqua Opera Company’s Opera Highlights concert July 14 in the Amphitheater. DAVE MUNCH / PHOTO EDITOR

For their final performances, Chautauqua Opera Company Young Artists will explore the Week Six theme, “The Changing Nature of Work.”

The Opera Pops Concert at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, August 4, in the Amphitheater will feature songs from music theater repertoire; songs that showcase a multitude of professions, including factory workers, an immigrant worker and a waitress. The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stuart Chafetz, will provide the music for the eight Apprentice Artists.

The program features some well-known titles such as “Getting to Know You” from The King and I, “The Company War” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun. There will also be a mashup of “Heigh-ho!” and “Whistle While You Work” from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Some selections might be new to the audience, including “He Plays the Violin” from 1776, “Ooh! My Feet!” from The Most Happy Fella and “Children of the Wind” from Rags.

The Young Artists prepared this repertoire earlier in the week with teachers Andy Gale, Shane Schag and Teddy Kern. The program is centered around music well-known in America, which should be enjoyable for the audience, Schag said.

“Maybe they’ll sing along, which is fabulous,” Schag said.

Though the pieces being performed will be familiar to most people in the audience, the majority of opera singers do not get the opportunity to learn songs from musical theater, said Carol Rausch, music administrator and chorus master for Chautauqua Opera.

“Some of this repertoire, even though (the songs are) classics, our young singers may have never done it before, so they’re getting to do it,” Rausch said. “But the audience will absolutely love it. I think they’ll really enjoy it.”

Musical theater works, in particular, put the text before the voice, Gale said. Teaching the Young Artists how to connect with the text will help them connect better with opera roles as well.

Gale said performing with an orchestra adds to the experience of listening to these American staples. Most people might know the piano versions of some of these songs, but being exposed to the full orchestration enhances the lyricism of the work. Chautauqua Opera’s Young Artist Program is unlike any other because it provides the opportunity to perform with an orchestra, Gale said.

“Who wouldn’t have the dream to sing a wonderful song with an orchestra? It’s sublime,” Gale said. “I get chills just thinking about it.”

“Some of this repertoire, even though (the songs are) classics, our young singers may have never done it before, so they’re getting to do it,” Rausch said. “But the audience will absolutely love it. I think they’ll really enjoy it.”

Musical theater works, in particular, put the text before the voice, Gale said. Teaching the Young Artists how to connect with the text will help them connect better with opera roles, as well.

Gale said performing with an orchestra adds to the experience of listening to these American staples. Most people might know the piano versions of some of these songs, but being exposed to the full orchestration enhances the lyricism of the work. Chautauqua Opera’s Young Artist Program is unlike any other because it provides the opportunity to perform with an orchestra, Gale said.

“Who wouldn’t have the dream to sing a wonderful song with an orchestra? It’s sublime,” Gale said. “I get chills just thinking about it.”

Tags : Chautauqua Opera CompanyChautauqua Opera Company Young ArtistsChautauqua Symphony OrchestraOpera Pops Concertyoung artists
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The author Georgia Davis

Georgia Davis is a rising senior at Ohio University, where she studies journalism. Georgia covers the Chautauqua Opera Company and Children’s School for the Daily. Georgia is a cinephile, and her favorite movies of 2017 were The Big Sick and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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