November 02, 2012 — Coral Gables — The Frost Opera Theater will open its 2012-2013 season on Thursday, November 15 and Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. with “Supernatural Scenes on Stage,” at Clarke Recital Hall in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, 5501 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, Florida. “Supernatural Scenes on Stage" is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. English subtitles will be provided. To reserve, visit http://www.music.miami.edu/concerts.
In “Supernatural Scenes on Stage,” the Frost Opera Theater will present highlights from operas whose storylines are inspired by the paranormal, with characters ranging from witches, fairies and ghosts, to ghouls, vampires and devils. Programming is scheduled to include scenes from Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) by Maurice Ravel, Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner, Faust by Charles Gounod, The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky and Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Vocal students enrolled in the Frost School of Music’s Department of Vocal Performance will be featured throughout. Assistant Professor and Frost Opera Theater Program Director Alan Johnson will provide stage direction, with set consultation by Miami-based visual artist Sherri Tan.
Also on Saturday November 17, the Frost Opera Theater will host their annual “Wall to Wall Opera for All Festival” from 11 am to 4 pm, in Broby Rehearsal Hall, Clarke Recital Hall and other facilities of the Frost School of Music. The annual one-day festival provides free community engagement activities designed to introduce those unfamiliar with opera to its theatrical and musical drama in short, informative sessions. At 11 a.m., Professor Johnson will host a free introductory session on Mozart’s The Magic Flute for children and families, with performances by vocalists who will appear in the Frost Opera Theater’s production of the popular opera in February 2013. Then, from noon to 4 p.m., vocal students will perform “Arias on the Hour” where they will discuss their curriculum, and the rigors of preparing for major operatic roles and the challenges of being an under-study. In addition, motion pictures focusing on opera will be shown all day long in Clarke Recital Hall. The Frost Opera Theater’s “Wall to Wall Opera for All Festival” is free and open to the public. No ticket required.
In Spring 2013, the Frost Opera Theater, with the Frost Symphony Orchestra, will present three full performances of The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on February 28 at 7:30 p.m., March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at 3:00 p.m. All performances will be staged in UM Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables. The opera will be performed in German, with English subtitles, and alternatively conducted by Alan Johnson and Thomas Sleeper. Tickets are $15 adults, and $10 seniors (free for UM students at the door). To order tickets by telephone call 305-284-2400 or order online at http://www.music.miami.edu/concerts. Ticket fees apply.
The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte, K. 620) is a fairy tale opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that includes both singing and spoken dialogue. It premiered in 1791, and remains one of the most popular and most often performed operas in the world today. Its storyline features a handsome prince (Tamino), and a bird catcher (Papageno) who are both in search of love and end up on a dangerous mission to rescue a beautiful damsel (Pamina) who is caught between a disagreement between a witch (The Queen of the Night) and a magician (Sarastro). The rescuers are aided in their efforts by magic bells and a magic flute as they overcome a series of challenges, including initiation rites to join the Temple of Light. Tamino and Papageno ultimately find true love, the witch is destroyed, and light prevails over darkness.
The Frost Opera Theater’s 2012-2013 season will conclude with the premiere of a new opera by composer Charles Norman Mason titled Entanglements that examines the types of personal, family and work relationships that evolve over time and explores universal feelings of love, jealously, anger, depression, and joy. An hour in length, there are five scenes that occur simultaneously; the audience may choose to experience the scenes in any order that they wish. Due to the physical space needed for the production, it will be staged in five different galleries throughout the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables. There will be three performances in all: Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. General admission is $10. Admission is free for all UM Students, Faculty, Staff, as well as Lowe Members. Visit http://www.lowemuseum.org for further details.
Dr. Charles Norman Mason teaches composition at the Frost School of Music. He often composes works that have a parallel with architecture or a physical space, or that affects the flow of people through time and space. He calls this area of interest “Music for Porous Architecture.” He has written a number of pieces contemplating what it means to take into consideration the architectural space within which the work will appear.
Mason also describes his composition style as Hyper-Connectivism. He elaborates, “The word Connective refers to the idea of disparate parts working together towards a common goal. The term Hyper refers to on the one hand, the edge where great things happen; and on the other hand to the point where at any moment, all could fall into disarray, the border right before chaos.”
He has combined both concepts in his opera Entanglements. “Since scenes are occurring simultaneously, a one hour performance is actually four hours of music,” he explains. “If the scenes were presented sequentially, it would be a Wagnerian-length opera, but since five scenes occur simultaneously, it only lasts an hour.”
In a rare feat, Mason authored both the libretto and composed the music for Entanglements in a single summer, directly after receiving a University of Miami Provost Research Grant to do so in 2012.
While Mason was composing Entanglements, he was also composed a youth symphony, and a new work for the chamber ensemble Pulse, which they premiered in Rome in October 2012. He is currently working on a commission for the Ritz String Quartet and a piece for flute and string orchestra for the North/South New Music Ensemble that will be premiered in New York in June 2013.
Mason has received many awards for his compositions including the American Composers Orchestra “Playing it Unsafe” prize, the 2005 Rome Prize (Prix du Rome), the Premi Internacional de Composició Musical Ciutat de Tarragona Orchestra Music prize, and a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Award. His music is published by Living Artist Publishing and is available on ten different compact disc recordings. For further information about Dr. Mason please visit his website.
All artists, schedules, times and locations are subject to change without notice. Please refer to http://www.music.miami.edu for the most current event information.
About the Frost Opera Theater
Frost Opera Theater recognizes that today’s opera world is vibrant, eclectic, and ever changing—offering tomorrow’s opera singer multiple career choices of tradition and innovation.
Under the supervision of music director Alan Johnson, the Frost Opera Theater’s performance activities reflect the broad range of programming in the twenty-first century, from Baroque opera to the most progressive works of our time. Recent projects have included Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), The Beggar’s Opera (Gay/arr. Britten), Così fan tutte (Mozart), L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), The Merry Widow (Lehár), L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel), Albert Herring (Britten), and the Florida premieres of Strawberry Fields (Torke) and Ballymore, Part One: Winners (Wargo).
Frost Opera Theater was recognized by Classical Singer magazine (“Acting and Dancing for Singers,” September 2009) for its efforts to address the needs of today’s emerging opera singers. Frost Opera Theater performed excerpts from Libby Larsen’s Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus in New York City under the auspices of the Center for Contemporary Opera in February 2011.
About Frost School of Music
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. With over 700 students and 100 faculty, it is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive in all of higher education. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was one of the historic highlights in the life of the School.
The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings.
The Frost School has pioneered new curricula and was the first in the nation to offer professionally accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Business and Music Engineering Technology, was among the first to offer degrees in Music Therapy, and Studio Music and Jazz. Renowned for its Instrumental Performance programs, it is the home of the Frost Chamber Orchestra, Frost Symphony Orchestra, and Frost Concert Jazz Band and is a leader in vocal training with the Frost Opera Theater, Frost Chorale and other notable choirs.
Frost is the exclusive home of the Frost Experiential Music Curriculum which fully integrates performance, music history, ear training, music history and composition through chamber music and skills ensembles; the Henry Mancini Institute which provides students with cross-genre performance opportunities in real-world professional settings; the Stamps Family Distinguished Visitors Series which brings free music master classes and lectures to the community; and the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program which develops the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions of American songwriting.
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