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Contents The Minnesota Opera Staff and Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Notes from the Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 La donna del lago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Background Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Gioachino Rossini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Education at the Opera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The Minnesota Opera Chorus and Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Opera at the Ordway Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Minnesota Opera Annual Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2006-2007 Opera Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Coming up: The Tales of Hoffmann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Young Professionals Group Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

The Minnesota Opera President & CEO Artistic Director Chair, Board of Directors

Kevin Smith Dale Johnson J. A. Blanchard, III

The Minnesota Opera, 620 North First Street Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 333-2700 www.mnopera.org The Minnesota Opera is a member of OPERA America. This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature. This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

September 2006

The Minnesota Opera Program

Corporate Administrator/Publisher Assoc. Publisher/Director of Production Account Executive Creative Designer Graphic Designers

Todd Hyde Marsha Kitchel Liesl Hyde Stacy Hawkins Sue Sentyrz Klapmeier, Robert Ochsner, Jennifer Webb

Large-print and Braille programs are available at the Patron Services Office

| LA DONNA DEL LAGO

is published by

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MINNESOTA OPERA

Staff

President & CEO Kevin Smith Artistic Director Dale Johnson Welcome to today’s production of La donna del lago. For more than four decades, The Minnesota Opera has enriched the cultural life of our community by producing outstanding and innovative operas that inspire and entertain. U.S. Bank is honored to sponsor the 2006 – 2007 season. We are proud of our 20+ year relationship with The Minnesota Opera and the spectacular Ordway in St. Paul. At U.S. Bank, we support great dreams, great art and great arts organizations. They enrich the community with vibrancy, creativity and excellence. As the sixth largest bank in America today, U.S. Bank is the only major bank headquartered in Minnesota, and we’re deeply committed to giving back to this community. Thank you for coming and enjoy the performance!

Rod Boren, Senior Vice President, Personal Trust Regional Manager, U.S. Bank Private Client Group Jose Peris, Senior Vice President, Private Banking Regional Manager, U.S. Bank Private Client Group and Minnesota Opera Board Member

Artistic

Scenery

Artistic Administrator . . . .Roxanne Stou∂er Cruz Artistic Associate . . . . . . . . Floyd Anderson Community Education Director . . . . . . . . . . . Jamie Andrews Dramaturg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Sander Production Stage Manager . . . . . Alex Farino Assistant Stage Managers . . . . . . .Kristen Burke, Angie Spencer Resident Conductor . . . . . . . .Robert Wood Resident Artists . . . . . . . . . .Kyle Albertson, Alison Bates, Andrea Coleman, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Joshua Kohl, Bryan Lemke, Bill Murray, Kelly Markgraf, Cortez Mitchell, Edward Mout, Nili Riemer, Eric Schnobrick, Hugo Vera RAP Faculty . . . . .Allysum Tai Chi Center, Nancy Boler, Claude Corbeil, Carlotta Dradi-Bower, Barbara Kierig, Peter Robinson Master Coach . . . . . . . . .Mary Jo Gothmann Librarian . . . . . . . . . . . .Griffin Woodworth Teaching Artist . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lisa Butcher Project Opera Apprentices . . . . . .Setara Barukzoy, Cleste Johnson, Siri Jorstad, Katlin Very Project Opera Music Director . . . Dale Kruse Project Opera Accompanist . . .Kathy Kraulik Apprentice Acting Coach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Doug Scholz-Carlson

Technical Director . . . . . Mike McQuiston Asst. Technical Director & Lighting Coordinator . . . Marc D. Johnson Production Admin Asst. . Katherine Cattrysse Properties Master . . Stanley Dean Hawthorne Properties Assistant . . . . . . . . . Mike Long Production Carpenter . . . . . . . . . JC Amel Scene Shop Foreman . . . . . . . . . . Rod Aird Master Carpenter . . . . . . . . . .Steven Rovie Carpenters . . Eric Veldey, Katrina Peterson, Tom Fitzsimmons, Ron Quigley Stitchers . . . . . . . Lin Hipp, Nancy Schultz Scenic Artist. . . . . . . . . . . . . Debra Jensen Charge Painter . . . . . . . . . . James Bakkom Sculptor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Noteboom

Administration Finance Director . . . . . . . . . . . . Je∂ Couture Operations/Systems Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Mittelholtz HR/Accounting Manager . . . . Jennifer Thill Executive Assistant . . . . . . . Theresa Murray Receptionist/Finance Assistant . . . .Jill Pawelak

Institutional Advancement Vice President of Institutional Advancement . . . . . . . . . . .Patrick Dewane Institutional Advancement Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kelly Clemens

Production

Development

Production Director . . . . . . . Kevin Ramach

Costumes Assistant Costume Director . . . . .Beth Sanders Drapers . . . . . . . . .Chris Bur, Yancey Thrift, Angela Yarbrough Costume Technicians . . .Helen Ammann, Sarah Bahr, Elizabeth Bigger, Jennifer Dawson, Mary Farrell, Angela Finnes, Christine Richardson, Rose Ryan, Dana Shepard, Bobbette Weber Painter/Dyer . . . . . . . . . . . . Marliss Jensen Assistant Painter/Dyer . . . .Kathleen Sullivan Wig/Makeup Designer . . . . . . .Tom Watson Wig/Makeup Assistants . . . . . . . . . . Mary Farrell, Sarah Opstad, Emily Rosenmeier, Ashley Ryan

MINNESOTA OPERA

Director of the Annual Fund . . . .Dawn Loven Corporate and Government Gifts Manager . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Johnson Institutional Gifts Associate/Gala Coordinator . . . Emily Skoblik Individual Gifts Associate . . . .Megan Stevenson

Marketing/Communications Marketing Director . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carl Lee Communications Director . . . . . Lani Willis Ticket O∑ce Manager . . . . . Kristi Paetznick Customer Relations Associate . Robert Schmidt Ticket O∑ce Associate . . . . . .Carol Corich

Volunteers

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The following volunteers contribute their time and talent in support of key activities of The Minnesota Opera.

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Keri Picket

Cafe, Bakery, Wine & Pizza Bar

850 Grand Avenue, St Paul 55105 651-224-5687 www.cafelatte.com

Catherine Ahern Ann Albertson Gerald Benson Jim Brownback* Sue Brownback Sarah Burman Christine Buss Jerry Cassidy Diane Choih Joann Cierniak Susan Cogger Caroline Coopersmith Beverly Dailey* Denis Dailey Jeanette Daun Timothy Davis Lee Drawert Judith Duncan Sally Economon Svea Forsberg Christopher Foster Hazel Francois Li-Jun Fu Jane Fuller Joan Gacki* Alex Garay

Christine A. Garner* Juhi Gupta-Gulati Mark Gustin Mary E. Hagen Mark Hahn Lucinda Hallet Merle J. Hanson John Harris* Cari Beth Head Anne Hesselroth Heather Huber Alisandra Johnson Karen Johnson Nancy Johnson Steve Johnson Jeannie Johnston Kristen Johnston Robin Keck Dawn Klassen Shannon Klonecki Eleanore Kolar Lucinda Lamont Shirley Larson Mathilda Lien Jerry Lillquist Joyce Lillquist

Maura LoMonico Abby Marier Margery Martin Joan Masuck Yasuko Matsumoto Mary McDiarmid* Beth McGuire Verne Melberg Jeanette Middleton Irma Monson Barbara Moore Doug Myhra Denise Nichols Pam Nielsen David Nifoussi Candyce Osterkamp Dan Panshin Pat Panshin Megan Pelka Holly Peterson Bill Phillips Sydney Phillips Julia Porter Carol Purvis Kathleen Riley Shannon Robinson

Leigh Roethke John Rosse Emma Rotilie Enrique Rotstein John Sauer Lynette Saucier Michael Silhavy Wendy Silhavy Angie Solomon Wendi Sott Naomi St. Gregory Karen St. John Katie Steerman Harry Swepston Dave Terwilliger Emily Thompson Doris Unger Stacey Vonderhear Carolyn Wahtera Mary Weitz Barbara Willis* Elizabeth Cutter Wilson Kathie Wojtkiewicz Eve Yang *Lead volunteer


NOTES FROM THE

Directors

Artistic Director

Welcome to the opening production of the 2006-2007 Minnesota Opera season – La donna del lago! Inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s gothic poem, “The Lady of the Lake,” Rossini’s most romantic opera follows a pair of lovers through the pitfalls of feudal Scotland. This stunning staging is the latest of The Minnesota Opera’s original and internationally acclaimed Bel Canto productions and a company premiere. Rediscovering the treasures of the fertile Bel Canto period of Italian opera is a unique specialty of The Minnesota Opera. The “beautiful singing” era had a profound impact on the art form, and it also guides the company’s artistic vision – both to produce one opera from that body of work each season, and to maintain a focus on the voice that informs every aspect of opera production, from design to casting.

Doxsee have created a stunning romantic fantasy. It’s a male-dominated world, and our heroine Elena is confronted with a difficult father/daughter relationship and hostile suitors. In the midst of troubled conditions, her story is the search for love, warmth and beauty, and of love taken away and restored.

Officers J. A. Blanchard III, Chair Jane M. Confer, Vice Chair Ruth S. Huss, Secretary Denver Gilliand, Treasurer Kevin Smith, President & CEO

We are pleased to present two of the world’s greatest Bel Canto specialists. Maureen O’Flynn, who captivated our audiences with her portrayals of Lucia di Lammermoor and the Merry Widow Hanna, will sing Elena; and Ewa Podle´s, well-known in the Twin Cities for her appearances with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Schubert Club, will dazzle in one of her signature roles, Malcom. We also welcome our new Resident Conductor Robert Wood.

Directors

Enjoy the opera!

Dale Johnson, Artistic Director Director Chas Rader-Shieber and designers David Zinn and Lenore

FROM THE

BOARD OF

President

Welcome to the 2006-2007 season! This year, we make our long-awaited return to a five-opera season. As many of you will remember, The Minnesota Opera made the prudent but difficult decision to scale back to four operas with the economic downturn following 9/11. We made that decision of quality over quantity in order to maintain the artistic integrity of our productions. At the same time, we also made a commitment to return to five operas within three years. I’m happy to report we’ve achieved that goal, and the season we inaugurate with La donna del lago is a bold one by any standard. Bold seasons are created from two factors – diverse repertoire and a committed community. We are grateful

to have the level of community support that allows us to make this leap forward both artistically and institutionally. A five-opera season heightens our ability to capitalize on our greatest strengths – the energetic, innovative exploration and production of varied repertoire. There are very few opera companies that are able to present the wide range of works featured in the coming season. Expanding our season back to five operas puts us on the next level of opera companies, a platform upon which we will build our reputation as America’s most exciting opera company.

Kevin Smith, President & CEO

Susan S. Boren Kathleen Callahan Nicky B. Carpenter Richard P. Carroll Rachelle D. Chase Susan J. Crockett Mary A. Dearing Sara Donaldson Chip Emery Thomas Foley Steve Fox Sharon Hawkins Karen L. Himle Heinz F. Hutter Philip Isaacson Lucy Rosenberry Jones

Michael F. Kelly, Jr. B. John Lindahl Lynne E. Looney Diana E. Murphy Brian E. Palmer Debra Paterson Jose Peris Mary Ingebrand Pohlad Stephanie J. Prem Elizabeth Redleaf Connie Remele Stephanie Simon Mitchell Stover Virginia Stringer H. Bernt von Ohlen

Directors Emeriti Karen Bachman Burton Cohen Julia W. Dayton Mary W. Vaughan Honorary Directors Dominick Argento Philip Brunelle Elizabeth Close Dolly Fiterman Charles C. Fullmer Norton M. Hintz Liz Kochiras Patricia H. Sheppard Legal Counsel James A. Rubenstein, Moss & Barnett

| LA DONNA DEL LAGO

FROM THE

Leadership

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Since 1896


Music by Gioachino Rossini Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola Based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake (1810) World premiere at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples October 24, 1819 September 23, 26, 28, 30 and October 1, 2006 Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Sung in Italian with English translations Conductor ..................................................Robert Wood Stage Director ....................................Chas Rader-Shieber Set and Costume Designer ................................David Zinn Lighting Designer ......................................Lenore Doxsee Wig Master and Makeup..................Tom Watson & Associates Assistant Director ......................................Kevin Newbury Choreographer ..............................................Matt Jenson Fight Choreographer............................Doug Scholz-Carlson Chorusmaster ..............................................Dale Johnson Production Stage Manager ........................Alexander Farino English Captions ............................................Cori Ellison

THE CAST Elena, the lady of the lake ........................Maureen O’Flynn Malcom, a rebel warrior ..................................Ewa Podles´ Uberto (Giacomo V), King of Scotland ................Barry Banks Rodrigo, a rebel warrior ....................Yeghishe Manucharyan Douglas of Angus, father of Elena ..................Kyle Albertson Albina, confidante of Elena ............................Alison Bates Serano, Douglas’s retainer ..............................Joshua Kohl Bertram, servant to the king............................Edward Mout Shepherds, hunters, friends of Elena, clansmen, bards, warriors, lords and ladies of the court Setting: the Scottish Highlands; Stirling Castle La donna del lago is a coproduction between The Minnesota Opera and New York City Opera. Scenery and costumes were constructed at the Minnesota Opera Shops. The scenic and costume design for this production are made possible with the support of the Dolly Fiterman Fund for Opera Design.

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This new production is made possible in part by the Somerset Foundation.

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La donna del lago is sponsored by By arrangement with Hendon Music Inc., a Boosey & Hawkes company, sole agent in the USA, Canada and Mexico for Casa Ricordi – BMG Ricordi S.P.A., Milan, a BMG Editions Company, publisher and copyright owner. The appearances of Alison Bates, regional finalist, and Kyle Albertson and Edward Mout, district finalists of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, are made possible through a Minnesota Opera Endowment Fund established for Artist Enhancement by Barbara White Bemis. Performances of La donna del lago are being taped for delayed broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio, KSJN 99.5 in the Twin Cities.

BACKGROUND

Notes

by David Sander

a donna del lago is the seventh of nine serious operas written while Rossini was composer-in-residence at the Neapolitan theaters (1815–1822). That didn’t mean the composer could not write for other Italian venus – his two most popular comedies, Il barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, were also composed during this period. But opera seria was the acid test for any maestro of merit, and this body of works, ignored until recent decades, represents Rossini at his finest. Naples was a place where Rossini’s talent could thrive. Unlike many of their Italian counterparts, the Neapolitan theaters had the best resources at their disposal, including high production values, a good orchestra and a team of fine singers. The city was also a seat of musical learning, whose conservatory churned out the likes of Gaspare Spontini, Niccolò Zingarelli, Domenico Cimarosa, Giovanni Paisiello, Federico and Luigi Ricci, Vincenzo Bellini, Saverio Mercadante and Giovanni Pacini, to name a few. It was in this academic environment that La donna del lago owes its conception. Désiré-Alexandre Batton, a French student on a prix de Rome sabbatical, tried to gain an edge with Rossini by showing him Sir Walter Scott’s narrative poem, The Lady of the Lake. Scott was relatively unknown in Italy at that time and the text probably came to Rossini in a French translation. Nonetheless, the composer was impressed

and The 2006–2007 Season Preview Recording is made possible, in part, with the assistance of Universal Music, featuring La donna del lago on its Philips label (catalogue no. 473 307-2) The Minnesota Opera season is sponsored by FAF Advisors and U.S. Bank. The appearances of the 2006–2007 season conductors are underwritten by SpencerStuart. Opera Insights is sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Intermission reception sponsored by Lowry Hill Private Wealth Management.


Notes

mysterious and distant world of the BACKGROUND Scottish highlands located on the outskirts of Europe by certainly had David Sander dramatic appeal. It also had a reputation for barbarity and rebellion – when Italian operas featuring regicide typically did not pass the censors, they were invariably reset in Scotland (yet during La donna del lago the somewhat careless and unprotected King Giacomo could have easily been offed on more than one occasion). The technical challenge to reproduce a lake (Loch Katrine) and the craggy mountainous highlands also attracted impresarios intent on dazzling their audiences. In fact, The Lady of the Lake is the first Sir Walter Scott text to be set operatically. Virtually forgotten today, the author’s works became hugely popular during the early part of the 19th century and would inspire many composers of the Romantic Age, including Flotow, Marschner, Nicolai, Auber, Carafa, Set design by David Zinn Bellini, Pacini, Bizet and most shocked audiences only three years ear- famously, Donizetti in his popular lier in Otello with the violent onstage Lucia di Lammermoor (though Carafa murder of Desdemona followed by the had premiered his own version just a title character’s suicide. Rossini began few years earlier). Donizetti would to push the boundaries a bit, and the plunder Scott’s œuvre many times setting of a work originated by a during his career, but every text virtually unknown English author was needed a bit of pruning. The self-depwithin his realm of possibilities. recating novelist admitted his own Sir Walter Scott’s original poem tendency to not stay on task, preferring dates from 1810 and became an lush and evocative description to a instant success, its 25,000 copies quickly moving plot. He also enjoyed breaking all records for the sale of dressing his stories with a few gothic poetry to that date. The text was touches, inspired in part by contempoimmediately adapted to music the fol- raries such as Matthew Lewis (whose lowing year as The Knight of Snowdoun widely read novel, The Monk, spawned by Englishman Henry R. Bishop, first two rather gruesome operas of the late performed at Covent Garden. It is also bel canto period, Donizetti’s Maria di the first significant musical version of Rudenz and Gounod’s La nonne a Scott work, which eventually would sanglante). For The Lady of the Lake, inspire over 280 distinct productions, Scott includes his own version of an his most popular in this respect. The unruly, grizzled, second-sighted monk,

showiest tunes (unlike their Italian counterparts, Parisian contraltos weren’t quite up to the task – our production will include the quartet in addition to all of Malcom’s arias). Part of the reason La donna del lago failed at its premiere may be the nature and unfamiliarity of its source. Italian opera was just beginning to deal with French and English romantic literature, previously relying on classical themes with happy endings. Though Donna concludes joyously (the only lasting tragedy being Rodrigo’s earlier demise, offstage in the original production), Rossini had

| LA DONNA DEL LAGO

enough to decide to set it to music and had veteran librettist Andrea Leone Tottola work up the libretto right away. In addition to soprano Isabella Colbran in the title role (she starred in all nine of Rossini’s Neapolitan operas), the San Carlo’s roster of remarkable tenors necessitated the incorporation of two principal tenor roles, with Giovanni David as Uberto/Giacomo and Andrea Nozzari as Rodrigo. Malcom, who is described as young, sensitive and almost feminine in Scott’s original work, was cast as a contralto pants role with devilishly difficult music first sung by Rosmunda Pisaroni. Yet, in spite the excellent casting (though Colbran’s sense of pitch was beginning to falter), the opera failed at its premiere, with only Elena’s finale rondò “Tanti affetti” encored. Rossini was visibly upset – in one version of the events, when a stagehand urged the composer to take his bow, he was punched hard – Rossini then galloped hurriedly into the night; another more plausible report has the composer fainting from the strain. The second performance fared a little better, and La donna del lago swiftly became one of Rossini’s most popular works, quickly making its way to the capitals of Europe, including Vienna, St. Petersburg, Lisbon and Munich within five years of its completion. London saw the opera for the first time in 1823 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Paris in 1824 at the Théâtre Italien and in New York, first in French (1829), then in Italian (1833). As with so many Rossini operas, substitutions became rampant, but the most lasting is the insertion of a quartet from Bianca e Falliero (written just after Donna) in the opera’s final scene to compensate for the loss of Malcom’s

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BACKGROUND NOTES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

Brian the Hermit, and a half-crazed, husbandkilling wild woman, Blanche. For the sake of brevity, both were expunged from Rossini’s opera, as well as a secondary love story between another warrior, Norman, and Mary (retained only slightly by brief encounters between Albina and Serano). The opera also omits any mention of the Fiery Cross, a potent symbol made of wood, seared in goat entrails and extinguished with the blood of the animal, and then dispatched from village to village to rally men aged sixteen through sixty when battle was required. The author Scott (1771 – 1832) was himself a Scot and quite interested in Scottish legends. The Lady of the Lake is lightly based Lady of the Lake by an anonymous artist; in history. James V (Uberto) The image supplied by Dale Johnson was a king contemporaneous with three other formidable mon- busily trying to make a son of his own archs of the early renaissance – with first wife Catherine of Aragon. In Emperor Charles V of Spain and Austria Scotland, James V’s closest heir was a (represented operatically by Verdi in cousin, the Duke of Albany, a grandson Ernani and Don Carlos), François I of of James II, who was then living in France (who would become the lascivi- France, yet Henry would try to make ous Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto) and his own assertions to the Scottish Henry VIII of England (the bigamous throne in an unrelenting quest to unite husband of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena). both countries under his single rule. To keep England in check, Henry was also James’s uncle by way of Scotland had an on-again, off-again his sister’s marriage to James IV. Scotland has a rather brutish histo- relationship with France known as the ry, and the early Stuart kings did not “auld alliance,” and one result of this have long lives. James IV was killed at relationship was the Duke of Albany’s Flodden (one of many battles that continental grooming, where he had resulted from England’s expansionist strong political ties. With his cousin, desires) when his son and namesake the Earl of Arran (another grandchild was only 17 months old. The minority of James II), they assumed power and of any infant prince could be a touchy tried to take custody of young James situation as the regency usually was led V. But the dowager Queen Margaret by a close relative. It first passed to his had made alliances of her own, taking mother Margaret Tudor, which initial- as her second husband one Archibald ly resulted in more positive relations Douglas, the 6th Earl of Angus, who with King Henry – at that time James had no ties to the Scottish throne, but V (1512 – 1542) was Henry’s only male who was in control of a powerful clan and presumptive heir, though he was that had been troublesome to the

crown for generations. Albany was eventually successful in securing the possession of James when Margaret was forced under threat of military action to give up both of her sons (she had delivered James IV’s posthumous second son, the Duke of Ross, who would soon die in the care of his captors). She fled to England to seek her brother’s support, while Douglas stayed behind in Scotland. He began to show signs of switching sides, and after a few more years, was able to get himself into the regency council, eventually forcing Albany back to France for good. One purpose of these advisors was to pass the king from member to member for safekeeping, but when it came to be Douglas’s turn, he refused to give him up, holding the young royal captive for two years. James V never forgave this outrage, and once he had come of age, banished Douglas from Scotland for the rest of the king’s life. Unlike the opera, there was no reconciliation. Here the author Scott makes a misstep by identifying “Douglas of Angus” as James Douglas, the Earl of Morton, an exiled son of Archibald. In an era swimming with clan members by the name of James, this son of Angus actually died as a child, with the Earl of Morton being a Douglas cousin. Though plagued by economic and dynastic problems of his own, Morton was never banished. Instead, James V took his revenge on another Douglas, Janet Lady Glamis. With her brothers Archibald and George safely in England, Janet faced trumped up charges of witchcraft and was burned at the stake, causing a public outcry. A Douglas nephew-inlaw, the Master of Forbes, was likewise executed and a kinsman, James

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Synopsis ACT II

Scene one – a thick wood Though his situation is somewhat precarious, Uberto still languishes for Elena and waits in the forest. When he sees her, he again speaks of love, offering his ring as a pledge – should Elena ever need a royal favor, she need only show it to their “king.” Rodrigo sees this intimate exchange, and further discovers that Uberto is partisan to the king. They agree to settle the matter in a duel.

ACT I

Scene one – on the banks of Loch Katrine Hunters and shepherds move about in the forest as dawn breaks. Elena is discovered in a boat on the lake, yearning for her absent lover, Malcom. King James (Giacomo V), disguised as Uberto, has become separated from the chase. He notices Elena and is immediately entranced. Cordially, Elena gives him assistance, bringing Uberto across the lake to her modest dwelling. Scene two – the Douglas home Elena offers Uberto rest and refreshment, but gently repels his advance. He is shocked to discover weaponry and trophies of war, realizing that he may be in the home of a hostile clan. Those fears are confirmed as Elena relays that her father is none other than Douglas of Angus, once exiled from court for his treasonous dealings. Elena’s friends enter, celebrating her recent betrothal to her cousin Rodrigo. Elena is not as enthusiastic about the arranged marriage, for she really loves Malcom. Uberto becomes jealous and speaks of his own affections for her. Albina accompanies him back to the shore. Malcom enters, distraught over Elena’s impending wedding day. When Douglas finally appears, Elena pleads her case before her father, but he will not budge – the marriage must take place. Malcom is reassured of Elena’s fidelity.

Scene three – a vast plain surrounded by tall mountains The clansmen gather on the field, ready to overthrow the despotic King James. The great warrior Rodrigo shall lead their battle cry. Reunited with Douglas, he anxiously searches for Elena, who arrives presently. But as Malcom presents his band of men to fight on the side of the rebels, Rodrigo realizes there is something between the two and isimmediately suspicious. The enemy is sighted and the two sides prepare for the onslaught. A meteor flashing across the sky foretells a promising victory for the rebellious clans. – intermission –

Scene two – the cavern Malcom has come in search of Elena, who is supposed to be hiding in the cavern. All are concerned for her safety. Douglas enters with dire news – Rodrigo was killed in the duel and their cause is now lost. Scene three – Stirling Castle Elena has gone to the royal residence hoping to gain an audience with the king. Her father and Malcom have been taken into custody, and she hopes the ring Uberto gave her will be of some use. James (Uberto) catches sight of her and leads her to the throne room, where his assumed identity is immediately betrayed. James pardons both Douglas and Malcom, and Elena is elated, for she can now be united with her true love.

Set design by David Zinn

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Set design by David Zinn

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GIOACHINO

Rossini b Pesaro, February 29, 1792; d Passy, November 13, 1868

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he most prominent Italian composer of the first half all over Europe. Returning to Italy, Rossini signed another of the 19th century, Gioachino Rossini transformed contract with La Fenice in Venice for what would become the form and content of Italian opera. Though best one of his greatest and grandest opera serias, Semiramide. With Italy and Austria conquered, Rossini turned his known for his comic operas – and for music that is sensuous, attention to France and England. brilliant and rhythmically vital – A contract was signed in London, Rossini’s contribution to stage but it appears no opera was ever works of mixed genres is equally produced. In Paris Rossini acceptimportant, making him Verdi’s ed the directorship of the Théâtre most significant forerunner. Italien for two years (1824–26) Born into the closely knit and oversaw the remounting and community of Pesaro, Italy, at a revisions of a number of his time of war and political works. For the coronation of upheaval in Europe, Rossini was Charles X, he composed a new brought up by parents who were both working musicians. His opera, Il viaggio a Reims, and a father, a horn player and teacher year later he refashioned an at Bologna’s prestigious earlier opera seria, Maometto II, Accademia Filarmonica, was also into Le siège de Corinthe for the an ardent and outspoken Paris Opéra. He would present Republican who was imprisoned three more works at that theater: briefly by the Austrians. Moise et Pharaon (reworked from Rossini’s mother, despite her the earlier Mosè in Egitto), Le lack of musical training, was a Comte Ory (incorporating music reasonably successful soprano. from Il viaggio a Reims) and Rossini entered Bologna’s Liceo Guillaume Tell. Cast in the newly Portrait of Gioachino Rossini by Vincenzo Camuccini Musicale at the precocious age of evolving form of French grand Scala / Art Resource, NY 14 and began composing as early opéra, Guillaume Tell is a lengthy as 1802–03. Shortly after finishfour-act work complete with ing his studies, he obtained a commission for a ballet. It proved to be exceedingly popular (the opera had one-act farce, La cambiale di matrimonio, for the Venetian over 500 performances during Rossini’s lifetime); it was Teatro San Moisè. Further commissions from Venice also Rossini’s last. He retired at age 37. yielded more successes, and by the time La pietra del After a short return to Italy, Rossini found himself back paragone had premiered in 1812, the 20-year-old Rossini in Paris pursuing a lifetime annuity granted by Charles X was without a doubt the leading composer in Italy. but revoked by the new government of Louis-Philippe. Rossini seemed equally confident in both serious and What was to be a short stay turned into six years of comic veins. Tancredi was a major landmark in opera seria litigation, and while his wife and father remained at and L’italiana in Algeri was the same for opera buffa – both Isabella’s estate in Italy, Rossini formed a new romantic were composed in 1813. In 1815 he had the good fortune attachment with Olympe Pélissier. When his estranged wife to be secured by Domenico Barbaja, impresario for the died in 1846, they married soon after. Neapolitan theaters, and significantly developed his style The Rossinis eventually set up house in an apartment and technique over the next seven years. One of the Teatro on the Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin and also built a villa in San Carlo’s assets was Isabella Colbran, a soprano who the Paris suburb of Passy. The famous samedi soirs were specialized in opera seria; as a result Rossini wrote many initiated in 1858 – on Saturday evenings Rossini’s salon works specifically for her voice. She was to become his became a meeting place for composers, artists and friends. mistress and later his first wife. The evening would have a prearranged musical program, Rossini’s contract with the Neapolitan theaters allowed mostly of Rossini’s own compositions, with the composer him to accept commissions elsewhere on the Italian at the piano and many young singers making their debuts. peninsula, but by 1822, the composer showed signs of his The last occurred September 26, 1868; Rossini’s chronic patience wearing thin; during the contract period he had ill health finally overcame him, and he died two months written a total of 19 operas. The composer later quipped, later. Rossini was buried in Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery “If he had been able to do so, Barbaja would have put me among the graves of his fellow composers Cherubini, in charge of the kitchen as well.” Chopin and Bellini. In 1887 his remains were brought to Rossini was released from his Neapolitan contract in the city of Florence – a procession of more than 6,000 1822. The Viennese tour that followed proved enormously mourners attended the re-internment in Santa Croce. successful for the composer, whose works were now familiar


Education AT THE OPERA

Photo by Barbara Willis

The Minnesota Opera’s Education Department is off and running for the 2006-2007 season!

PROJECT OPERA OPERA CAMP

by B Photo

In July, 37 very talented high school students from around the state spent two weeks participating in the second annual Opera Camp. Opera campers, onsite at the Opera Center eight hours per day W illi for two weeks, developed s performance skills through voice lessons and coaching sessions, choral rehearsals, stage training and collaborative work. They shared the results of their outstanding work in performances featuring scenes from operas spanning the scope of opera history, including Dido and Aeneas, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Madame Butterfly, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Candide and The Ballad of Baby Doe.

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Do you have an extremely talented singer in your choir? Are you looking for ways to give that student a real-world perspective about a career in singing? Day at the Opera is that opportunity! On October 18th, a select group of high school students are invited to see the world of opera – from behind the scenes. Participants will attend a rehearsal, perform in a master class, tour the Opera Center and more. Interested students must get a recommendation from their voice and/or choir teacher. Contact Jamie Andrews at 612.342.9573 or andrews@mnopera.org for more details.

The Tales of Hoffmann Monday, October 16, 2006 7:00-9:00 pm, The Minnesota Opera Center “I’m sorry for those people who don’t like my music, because I shall certainly die with a tune on the tip of my pen,” said Jacques Offenbach prophetically, and at the age of sixty-one he died while composing The Tales of Hoffmann. For this reason there are many editions for opera companies to choose from when they produce this work. David Grayson from the University of Minnesota will discuss what inspired Offenbach to compose this opera, why different editions exist and what was going on with French opera at that time.

| LA DONNA DEL LAGO

DAY AT THE OPERA

ADULT EDUCATION CLASS

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Artists

For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at www.mnopera.org

THE AWARD-WINNING SCOTTISH ISLAND NOVELS – LOVE STORIES WITH A SEA VIEW

Westering Home The White Rose of Scotland The Devil and the Dark Island Magic Carpet Ride

| THE MINNESOTA OPERA www.mnopera.org

By Audrey McClellan

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Everyone’s entitled to a little fantasy in their lives, and where better to find it than on a tiny Scottish island? Reviewers say “high praise, two thumbs up, grade A, first rate.”

Please Join Us for These 2006-07 Admissions Events Meet the Headmaster Saturday, November 4, 9-11:30 AM Lower School Admissions Evening Thursday, December 7, 7-9:00 PM Admissions Open House Sunday, January 21, 1:30-3:30 PM For information, call Mike Weiszel at 763-381-8202

Readers say “an entertaining read – and irresistibly Scottish!”

Perfect for your personal library, or for gift-giving www.scottishislandnovels.com Order from www.BookHouseFulfillment.com @ $17.95 each or call 1-800-901-3480 For personally autographed copies, call 612-729-7270

123 Ottawa Avenue North Minneapolis MN 55422-5189 www.breckschool.org


For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at www.mnopera.org

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Artists

Member FDIC Š2006 Marshall & Ilsley Corporation 06-321-052

| LA DONNA DEL LAGO

We Proudly Support The Minnesota Opera And The Diverse Portfolio It Has To Offer.

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Artists

For more biographical information about these artists, visit our website at www.mnopera.org

BACKGROUND NOTES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

Douglas of Parkland, was captured and nearly attained for treason. So James V, Archibald and all the James Douglases are actual people, two of whom had a real disagreement, but these are really among the only true facts. Roderick Dhu and Malcolm Graeme belong to actual highland clans with a rich lineage (Vich Alpine and Graham, respectively, with the title “Dhu” referring to the former being the clan’s chieftain). In the poem, Douglas finds refuge in Roderick’s home as they are closely related, evidenced by the

papal dispensation required due to Ellen and Roderick’s consanguinity. James was known to travel in disguise as Goodman of Ballengeich, liked to hunt game and to bed easy women (he sired a number of royal bastards), including his own wife, Mary of Guise, daughter of the powerful French Duke of Lorraine (their union a result of the continuing auld alliance). Their daughter became another famous woman of the era (and of operatic lore), the illfated Mary “Queen of Scots.” And just to keep things tidy, this Mary wed

Archibald and Margaret’s grandchild, Henry Lord Darnley, to produce James VI, who would also inherit (after the death of England’s virginal Queen Elizabeth) the run-out Tudor dynasty as James I (an ascension likely to have caused his great grand-uncle Henry a roll in his grave). His minority would be as dicey as his that of his regal Stuart grandfather amid more Douglas intrigue, as history shows its remarkable tendency to repeat itself.

Lennart Nilsson: Life An exhibition from The Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden

T H E G E N U I N E A RT I C L E

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6409 City West Parkway • Eden Prairie, MN (952) 941-9448

Life: 20 weeks © Lennart Nilsson

| THE MINNESOTA OPERA www.mnopera.org

May 31 – Oct. 8, 2006

This retrospective spans the photographer’s career from his early photo essays and portraits to his groundbreaking images of life itself. THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE

LO N NA M O S OW ’ S C E N T E R F O R M I N D B O DY F I T N E S S

2600 Park Avenue • Minneapolis Call 612- 871- 4907 or visit www.americanswedishinst.org


Minnesota Opera's La Donna Del Lago Program