Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anna Bolena - no small task

While I wanted my first post to be about the year-long project, I can't neglect the current one: dell'Arte Opera Ensemble's upcoming production of Donizetti's Anna Bolena.  Most of the time when I program a piece, it's because I already love it.  With this project, though, the love has come from the work.  I have to admit, I didn't really know the story or the music very well at all when it got programmed.  It hasn't hurt that we're all learning this incredible piece together....For everyone in the cast it's a new piece.

If you're interested in full cast information, or a libretto or synopsis, visit the dell'Arte website at but suffice to say, everyone is wonderful. It's unfair to single out one person, but I think everyone will be truly 'wowed' by the wonderful Jill Dewsnup in the title role.

Today is props day.  Stage Director Nathaniel Merchant (whom we congratulate on the birth of baby Penelope a couple of weeks ago!) visits storage to pick out everything we need.  At the moment, rehearsals are suspended while cast members visit with family and friends for the holidays, and I'm neck deep in preparing the orchestra parts for printing.  The new orchestration (7 winds, double bass and piano) is designed specifically for the theater and has been a particular obsession since September.  Thankfully, I feel like I was able to retain most of Donizetti's colors.

Performances are Friday, January 29 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 31 at 3 p.m.  Tickets, if you're interested are available at

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