Jay Lesenger, the general/artistic director of the Chautauqua Opera Company, has always said that if kids are to get interested in opera, then “there has to be somebody bringing it to them” on a weekly basis.
At Chautauqua Opera Company’s third showing last month of its family-friendly “Alice and Alex in Operaland” at Smith Wilkes Hall, there was barely an empty seat in the audience.
Sandy D’Andrade, a veteran costume designer from Philadelphia, has been creating handmade knitwear for well over 30 years. With her rich-colored collection of skirts, scarves, jackets and gowns, D’Andrade has turned her artistry to supporting the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists through the Chautauqua Opera Guild for the last 12 years.
In honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, playwright and producer Meredith Bean McMath opted to commemorate the milestone with an opera based on the life on one of its characters: Oliver Willcox Norton.
On July 12, tenor Andrew Lunsford sang Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” to help close the annual Opera Highlights concert. With the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra behind him, Lunsford vibrantly sustained the final high A, while the audience wildly applauded the Apprentice Artist’s talent.
Last Thursday, the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists began to sit down one-by-one in Carol Rausch’s office for their end-of-the-season exit interviews.
In Stanley McCandless’ A Method of Lighting the Stage, the lighting pioneer said that the role of the designer is to “give visibility where and when it is wanted” and to “control and conquer” the medium as “to provide a new horizon for artistic direction.”
At 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater, the entire ensemble of Apprentice and Studio artists will be waving goodbye to Chautauqua via a grand concert that features the music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
At 4 p.m. today in Norton Hall, the 18 singers will be performing a part of an opera Scenes Program. Similar to the Highlights Concert their fellow Apprentice Artists performed during Week Four, the Studio Artists will be taking center stage with their own biggest highlight of the season.
At 4:15 p.m. today at the Hall of Christ, three Young Artists will be performing at the last Artsong recital of the season.