Media Contact:Ginny Greenberg
202 Hofstra Hall
Phone: (516) 463-6819
Fax: (516) 463-5146
Send an E-mail
Date: May 08, 2008
The Bronx Opera Company Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary with Two Performances at Hofstra University
Performed in English; John Cranford Adams Playhouse, May 16 and 17, 2008
Benjamin Spierman, Director; Michael Spierman and Elizabeth W. Scott, Conductors
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … In the spirit of the theatrical-masque symbols – comedy and tragedy – The Bronx Opera will celebrate its 40th season with performances of Mozart’s The Impresario and Leoncavallo’s Immortal Pagliacci at Hofstra University’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse on May 16 and 17. This year, 2008, also marks the 10th anniversary of Bronx Opera Company performances at Hofstra.
Mozart’s comic operetta, The Impresario, is the story of a producer besieged by wild and wooly divas and other "artistic-types." Mozart wrote this as his entry in a musical competition in which his chief competitor was
none other than Antonio Salieri. For this production, an impresario will be playing an Impresario: Deputy Director of the Bronx Council on the Arts Ed Friedman makes a special appearance as Max Scruples, the producer of the off-the-wall opera troupe in Mozart's comedy. He joins cast members Gary Giardina, Matthew Pena, Long Island native Nicole Lee Aiossa, and Katherine Wessinger.
Mr. Friedman is no stranger to the stage with credential spanning many genres. He appeared in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Taming of the Shrew; off-Broadway in the premiere of Roadsigns at the American Theatre of Actors; and musical star-turns in Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Grease.
The second entry in the Hofstra performance is Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Obscure composer Ruggero Leoncavallo soared to immortality with this operatic masterpiece about a pagliacci – a clown – and his heart-breaking discovery of his wife's infidelity. One of Enrico Caruso’s recordings of the famed "Vesti la giubba" was the first record to sell one million copies; Pagliacci became the first entire opera to be recorded; and it became the first complete opera to be filmed with sound. Pagliacci features a company of powerful young artists including Kirsten Chambers, Jenny Searles, Juan Jose Ibarra, Jerrett Gieseler, Jacob Feldman, Matthew Pena, Jeremy J. Moore, Justin Ryan, and sharing the role of Canio, the pagliacci, is Percy Martinez and Roger Ohlson
Conducted by Michael Spierman, The Bronx Opera Company’s founder and artistic director (along with Elizabeth W. Scott), the production also has the distinction of being directed by Benjamin Spierman – Maestro Michael Spierman’s son – a nationally acclaimed operatic stage director in his own right. Ben Spierman also translated both operas into English.
Both productions will be performed in English – a trademark of The Bronx Opera.
Performances take place at Hofstra on Friday, May 16, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 17, at 2 p.m. at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. Tickets are $40, $37 for senior citizens; and $10 for children under 12. Members of the Hofstra community may purchase up to two tickets for $22 each upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets and more information call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Tickets are also available for purchase online at www.tickets.com.