One of the most exciting events we can look forward to in 2011 is the Sarasota Opera’s production of “The Crucible.” This exceptionally romantic, dramatic opera is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and it’s wonderful to know that our own opera company has decided to venture into the repertoire of American classics.
Have no fear that this 20th-century opera is inaccessible and foreign to our “classical music” proclivities. Far from it, Robert Ward’s music is, when called for by the story, beautiful, romantic, energetic, hummable, memorable and riveting. In fact, Arthur Miller, the author of the original drama, said that he liked Ward’s opera better than he liked his own play.
To fend off any (unfounded) fears of something new, Sarasota Opera is taking steps to make this opera even more approachable — if that’s possible. It is partnering with the Sarasota Film Society for showings of the 1996 film of “The Crucible,” which is somewhat different from the original Miller play but still gets the story across with excellent acting by Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder and Paul Scofield.
They’re also partnering with the Asolo Conservatory Jan. 24 for a “Spoken and Sung” program of highlights that will show you how Ward took Miller’s words and set them to music.
And, because SILL is bringing the 94 year-old composer to Sarasota for an appearance at Holley Hall for Music Monday’s March 7 program, the Sarasota Opera will have Ward not only attend the March 5 opening performance at the Opera House, but earlier in the day, it will present him in conversation with Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi.
If there’s any one opera from the 20th century I’d earmark as a classic featuring the essence of opera — a gripping story with music that actually elevates the original play — it would be “The Crucible.” If you are moved by Verdi and Puccini operas, you will find that Ward has brought their sensibilities to us in the 21st century.
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5 Fall Music Series
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
6 Fuzion Dance Artists Behind the Curtain with Larry Keigwin of Keigwin + Company
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
7 The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota & The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Present Public Art & Backstage Tours
10:00 am - 11:30 am
10 "Jazz at Two" with Eddie Tobin
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Golfer sees swinging success
Longboat Key resident Arlene McKitrick celebrated her 200th golf championship win this week at Sara Bay Country Club in an FSGA event.
Mote receives NOAA grant
Mote Marine Laboratory recently received a $99,615 grand for its dolphin and whale rehabilitation efforts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Correction: Heitlers to net 75 years in April
In its Sept. 18 issue, the Longboat Observer featured Plymouth Harbor resident George Heitler, a lifelong tennis player who has played tennis for most of his 99 years and is a regular at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center.