Bard SummerScape presents Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Euryanthe
The revival of Carl Maria von Weber’s “musically rich, lyrical, and expansive” Euryanthe (Wall Street Journal) opened to two sold-out houses last weekend. There are two more chances (August 1 and 3) to see this highly acclaimed production by director Kevin Newbury, aided by evocative lighting by D. M. Wood and a simple but elegant set by Victoria Tzykun. “Secrets, suicide, spirits, even a serpent: The ingredients are in place for a parody of Romantic opera. But Mr. Newbury and Mr. Botstein admirably—even miraculously—avoid camp. The American Symphony Orchestra plays with sober, purposeful energy, and the production, whose set eloquently blurs the distinction between graceful interiors and nature’s wildness, takes every twist seriously” (New York Times). The production is anchored by the “radiant soprano” (Parterre.com) Ellie Dehn and “the vocal star of the evening,” William Burden, who gives “a searingly emotional performance as Adolar” (Wall Street Journal).
Hailed as “musically sublime” (The Guardian), Euryanthe is a story of jealousy and betrayal in which layers of deceit and repressed desire motivate lovers traveling in a darkly gothic world. Bard’s original staging is by Kevin Newbury, creator of SummerScape’s “gold standard production” (WQXR) of Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae. Euryanthe’s performances feature the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of music director Leon Botstein.
Euryanthe is headlined by Ellie Dehn, whose “melting yet clear soprano” impressed the New York Times when she portrayed Catherine of Aragon with “eloquence and power” in SummerScape’s presentation of Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII two years ago. Opposite her, as Euryanthe’s fiancé Adolar, is lyric tenor William Burden, who may be heard on the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 Grammy Award–winning recording of The Tempest by Thomas Adès. Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, pronounced “spellbinding” in view of her “enormous range, fortitude, and bewitching command” (Opera News), sings Euryanthe’s ill-fated rival, Eglantine, with bass-baritone Ryan Kuster lending his “beautiful tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice) to the role of Lysiart. And playing King Ludwig is Peter Volpe, back at Bard after bringing his “robust voice and charismatic presence” (New York Times) to 2009’s staging of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.
Tickets start at $25. For more information visit fishercenter.bard.edu or call 845-758-7900.