Seagle Music Colony to continue opera tradition

SCHROON LAKE Seagle Music Colony is excited to announce that it will continue its tradition of the past few years, by holding workshops and workshop performances of two brand new operas. A combination of 2008 Seagle Music Colony young artists and returning alumni will be in residence at the Colony beginning Aug. 19 and will be working directly with three composers on their new operas. For an intense eight day period, these artists will prepare the music and semi-stage two pieces. The first workshop performance, that of Thomas Pasatieris The Heir Apparent, will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. followed by the second workshop performance of Jorge Martins Before Night Falls on Friday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. Pasatieris The Heir Apparent, has been commissioned by Fort Worth Opera and will be the second of his operas to be workshopped at Seagle Music Colony. The first was his Frau Margot, workshopped in 2005 and premiered in 2007. Frau Margot marked Pasatieris return to operatic composition after decades of work in theatrical scoring in Hollywood. Prior to his work in the film industry, Pasatieri composed a string of well known operas, most famous of which is The Seagull. His new work, The Heir Apparent is based on two Henry James novels, The Beast in the Jungle and The Jolly Corner with a libretto created by Frank Corsaro. Were so excited to be able to support the creation of another opera by Tom. Hes one of the most prolific American opera composers and its a true treat to have him here in Schroon Lake to work with our young artists, says Tony Kostecki, Seagle Music Colony General Director. Jorge Martins Before Night Falls is based on the autobiographical novel by Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. The story follows Arenas struggle with the Cuban government as a homosexual writer in the oppressive state, his attempted escape by water and eventual exile and tragic death in New York City. Martin, of Cuban descent himself, has already had very well received readings of parts of Before Night Falls and a staged workshop performance is the next logical step in the creation process. It is the hope of Mr. Martin and Seagle Music Colony that this workshop performance will help to jumpstart a full production of the opera in the near future. To support the two workshops as well as a musical reading of a new opera by Joseph Illick, entitled Bliss, Seagle Music Colony was the recipient of three grants. Partial support was given by the National Endowment for the Arts, the first grant for the Colony from this prestigious national fund. Grants from two private foundations also helped to support this post-season expansion of Seagle Music Colony for 2008. Mr. Kostecki continues, It is our hope to continue this extended season of new opera workshops that support our mission to train young artists by giving them exceptional opportunities to work with living composers. Supporting new works also shows our commitment to sustaining the art form of opera into the future. Seagle Music Colony has a long tradition of hosting vocal music composers, and workshops like these continue that tradition. Since the Colonys workshop of Frau Margot in 2005, it has supported the creation of other new works including a fully-staged production of Ricky Ian Gordons Morning Star in 2006 and a workshop performance of one act of Stephen Schwartzs opera S_ce on a Wet Afternoon during its 2007 season. Although is has been great in the past few years to incorporate these new operas into our regular season, performing them after our regular season this year not only offers our young artists more performing opportunities, but also gives our Adirondack audiences two more performances to attend this summer, says Kostecki. Tickets to the two workshop performances on Aug. 28 and 29 are $20 per ticket or package tickets for both evenings can be purchased for $30. Call 532-7875 for reservations or more information.

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