Sorcery and Illusion — a Night of Enchanted Opera
Six nationally acclaimed singers will take concertgoers on an enchanting, seductive, show-stopping tour of G.F. Handel's masterful opera, "Alcina," Sun., Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., at the Church of the Redeemer in downtown Sarasota. Powerhouse Metropolitan Opera singers Rebecca Price and Jason Stearns, along with established and up-and-coming singers Adelaide Boedecker, Adam Bielamowicz, Monica Pasquini and Reba Evans will perform select arias of the opera with narration provided byJune LeBell. The singers will be accompanied by a full chamber orchestra led by Todd Craven, conductor for the First Brass ensemble, with Redeemer's Choirmaster Ann Stephenson-Moe playing harpsichord.
"Alcina is a beautiful and powerful sorceress," says Stephenson-Moe. "Men swoon and fall in love with her, but when she tires of them, as she inevitably does, she uses sorcery to turn them into stones or trees. She must never fall in love — if she does, she loses her powers."
Twists and turns of love, betrayal, desire and illusion compel the story: Alcina (Boedecker) is embroiled in a passionate love affair with Ruggiero (Price), but Ruggiero is affianced to Bradamante (Evans). With her tutor Melisso (Stearns) along for the ride, Bradamante disguises herself as a young man named Ricciardo and travels to spy on her straying fiancé. Alcina's sister Morgana (Pasquini) becomes besotted with Ricciardo/Bradamante, and her regular lover, Oronte (Bielamowicz) responds by fueling jealous rage in Ruggiero. In the end, some relationships are torn apart, some prevail, as powers of sorcery and seduction fail and illusions are exposed for truths.
Stearns is a baritone soloist, with the Metropolitan Opera since 2008. His performance as Iago in last summer's performance of "Otello" at the opera festival in Utah was hailed by The Salt Lake Tribune for the singer's "burnished, resonant tones," and "thrilling top notes." Price is a cover singer with the Metropolitan Opera.
Pasquini is a coloratura soprano known for singing in altissimo soprano range, and her voice soars a full octave above high C. She has studied with Sherry Overholt in New York City, and currently performs with the Choreo Theatro Company in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Also from New York City, Evans has recently performed as alto soloist in Vivaldi's "Gloria RV 588" with the Metropolitan Greek Chorale.
Bielamowicz will be making his Carnegie Hall debut this December. In 2011, he played Borsa in the Sarasota Opera's performance of "Rigoletto."
Boedecker is a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature. She was a Marcello Giordani Young Artist at the Crested Butte Music Festival in Crested Butte, Colo., over the past summer.
Advance ticket purchase for this special concert is highly recommended. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at redeemersarasota.org or through the Parish Office (941-955-4263) during regular business hours. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 S. Palm Ave. in downtown Sarasota.