CYRANO Student Guide | Opera Company of Philadelphia

Page 1

1420 Locust Street Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA 19102 T (215) 893-3600 F (215) 893-7801 www.operaphila.org

2007-08season *

2007 October 5, 7m, 10, 12, 14m & 17

2007 November 14, 16, 18m, 23 & 25m

2008 February 8, 10m, 13, 15 & 17m

2008 March 14, 15 & 16

2008 April 4, 6m, 9, 13m, 16 & 18

* The Kimmel Center Presents Curtis Opera Theatre’s production in association with Opera Company of Philadelphia


David DiChiera, composer Bernard Uzan, librettist

Cyrano

and The School District of Philadelphia

Season Sponsor


The School District of Philadelphia School Reform Commission Sandra Dungee Glenn, Chairman Martin G. Bednarek, member James P. Gallagher, Ph.D, member Denise McGregor Armbrister, member

Sounds of Learning™ was established by a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation. Dedicated funding for the Sounds of Learning™ program has been provided by:

$20,000 to $49,999 Connelly Foundation

$5,000 to $9,999

Glenmede

Alpin J. & Alpin W. Cameron Memorial Trust

Hamilton Family Foundation Tom M. Brady Interim Chief Executive Officer

Cassandra W. Jones, Ed.D. Interim Chief Academic Officer

Lincoln Financial Foundation Presser Foundation

Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D. Administrator, Office of Creative and Performing Arts

Opera Company of Philadelphia Robert B. Driver General and Artistic Director

Corrado Rovaris Music Director

David B. Devan Managing Director

Michael Bolton Director of Community Programs

The ARAMARK Charitable Fund at the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program

The Opera Company of Philadelphia receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Deluxe Corporation Foundation

Samuel S. Fels Fund Sheila Fortune Foundation Wachovia Foundation

Citizens Bank Foundation Ellis A. Gimbel Charitable Trust

$1,000 to $4,999

Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund

Louis N. Cassett Foundation

Eugene Garfield Foundation GlaxoSmithKline

Merck & Co., Inc.

Additional support is provided by the Independence Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Barra Foundation

McLean Contributionship

$10,000 to $19,999

Hirsig Family Fund

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is supported by major grants from The William Penn Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Lenfest Foundation.

Bank of America Foundation

Morgan Stanley Foundation The Patricia Kind Family Foundation PNC Bank Foundation


Opera

A Family Guide to

Pennsylvania’s standards in education call for students to show what they know and are able to do. Children need to share what they have discovered or learned. Thus, the title of our program is Sounds of Learning.™ It reflects our belief that children must be actively engaged in sharing ideas. The Sounds of Learning™ workbook and teacher guide will integrate with local core literacy curriculum in many ways. Just as opera is a uniquely integrated art, combining orchestra, voice, literature, drama, and dance, Sounds of Learning™ is an interdisciplinary and student-centered program. The goal of the Active Learning sections is to have your children engaged in the process of self-teaching. They will be able to show how they have gained insights into their learning by drawing, writing, and discussing the issues most relevant to them. In this way, students demonstrate what they can do with what they know. We believe the family is the most important foundation to learning. Let your kitchen table become a classroom where your children can build their knowledge of opera and the humanities. As you join in the teaching and learning process with your children, watch their eyes sparkle. Opera is a communal celebration; so too should be your children’s education. In reading the libretto, we suggest that you and your family members take turns reading particular roles. Dr. Ellen Winner of Harvard’s Project Zero found that: “drama helps to build verbal skills that transfer to new materials;” helps students in “reading readiness and achievement;” and “oral and written language development.” (Journal of Aesthetic Education, v34, #3/4, Fall/Winter, 2000.) In preparing for the opera, we suggest you take advantage of additional resources on our website at www.operaphila.org. We are grateful to Bernard Uzan for allowing us to use his libretto in our program. Together, we hope to build future audiences for, and performers of, the arts.

Goals and Objectives of the Student Opera Experience • Understand the plot, characters, and their motivations • Learn something about the composer, and others involved in writing the opera • Know something of the historic and social context of the story • Know some of the key musical elements, recognize certain melodies, and differentiate between voices • Understand the role music can play in expressing emotions and heightening the dramatic experience • Discover what is involved in putting together an opera and the functions of those involved; e.g. conductor, director, set designer, technical crew, etc. • Develop the ability to make judgments about the opera, production, and performance • Relate incidents in the opera to those of the present day

Best Practices in Arts Education is sponsored by Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Table of Baritone Marian Pop as Cyrano. Photo courtesy of John Grigaitis, Michigan Opera Theater.

Please visit our webpage at

www.operaphila.org/community for more Cyrano information and downloads!


Contents Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera 4 6 7 8 10 11 12 13

A Brief History of Western Opera A Brief History of American Opera Opera Etiquette 101 Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Broad Street: Avenue of the Arts Philadelphia’s Walk of Fame Game: Connect the Opera Terms Why I Like Opera

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection 14 15 16 18 20 21

As Plain as the Nose on Your Face From the Pages of History: The Real Cyrano de Bergerac Events During Cyrano’s Lifetime Louis XIII, Louis XIV and the Absolute Monarchy in France France and the Three Estates Women and the Enlightenment

Cyrano Libretto and Production Information 22 24 25 26 28 29 30 58 60 61

From Start to Finish: Creating a New Opera Meet the Artists Composer David DiChiera and Librettist Bernard Uzan Voice on the Rise: Stephen Costello Acting the Libretto Cyrano Synopsis Cyrano LIBRETTO The Highs and Lows of the Operatic Voice The Subtle Art of Costume Design Careers in the Arts

62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 72 73 74

Cyrano Discussion Questions Poetic Styles and Cyrano Sounds of Learning™ in the Classroom Rostand’s Cyrano: Contemporary Literature Conflicts and Loves in Cyrano Parlez-Vous Français? A L’Opéra Game: A L’Opéra Seek and Find Produce Your Own Opera! 2007-2008 Season Subscriptions Invest in Grand Opera! The Night They Invented Cuisine

Lessons

Glossary State Standards State Standards Met

76 79 80


A Brief History of

4

Western Opera

Theatrical performances that use music, song and dance to tell a story can be found in many cultures. Opera is just one example of music drama. In its 400-year history each opera has been shaped by the times in which it was created and tells us much about those who participated in the art form as writers, composers, performers, and audience members. The first works to be called operas were created in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century. They were inspired by a group of intellectuals known as the Camerata who, like many thinkers of their time in the late Renaissance, admired the culture of the ancient Greeks. They proposed the invention of a new type of musical theater that would imitate Greek drama’s use of music. The result was a series of operas based on Greek myths, starting with Dafne by Jacopo Peri in 1598. The most famous work of this early period is Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607), based on the myth of Orpheus. These early operas had all the basic elements that we associate with opera today, including songs, instrumental accompaniments, dance, costumes, and scenery.

These early operas were performed in the courts of noblemen in Italy, but soon opera became Claudio Monteverdi popular among the general public 1567-1643 as well. Europe at the time had a growing middle class with a taste for spectacular entertainment. As opera’s popularity grew, so did the complexity of operas and the level of spectacle. Many opera houses had elaborate machinery that could be used to create special effects such as flying actors and crumbling buildings. There was much debate about whether an excess of visual elements in opera detracted from the quality of the music and drama. Some people even worried that too much comedy in opera could lead to immorality among the public! During the period from about 1600 to 1750, the Baroque period in music, Italian opera spread across Europe. In fact the Italian style of opera was so popular that even though other countries and regions often had their own traditions of musical drama, the Italian form was usually preferred. George Frederick Handel was a German-born composer who lived and worked in England, but his operas such as Julius Caesar (1724) were in the Italian language and used an Italian style of music. The only nation to develop a national

A tense scene from Act II of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. (l-r: bass Richard Bernstein, baritone Simone Alberghini and sopranos Christine Brandes and Mary Dunleavy.)


Bass Kevin Glavin gets a close shave from baritone Roberto DeCandia in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

tradition to rival the Italian was France, where operas often included ballets inserted into the story. Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau are the most famous French Baroque opera composers. By the middle of the seventeenth century Europe was changing. The growing middle class was more influential than ever, and people were starting to talk about new forms of government and organization in society. Soon the American and French Revolutions (1776 and 1789) would seek to establish the first modern democracies. Music was changing, too. Composers abandoned the complicated music of the Baroque period and began to write music with simpler, more expressive melodies. In opera, this meant that composers could write melodies that would allow characters to express their thoughts and feelings more believably. One of the first operas to use this new style was Cristoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice (1762). With the new democratic sentiments came interest in operas about common people in familiar settings, rather than stories from ancient mythology. A good example is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786), in which a servant outsmarts a count. Several of Mozart’s operas remain among the most popular today. They include Figaro, Don Giovanni (1788), Così fan tutte (1790), and The Magic Flute (1791). In the nineteenth century operas continued to grow more diverse in their subject matter, forms, and national styles. The Italian tradition continued in the bel canto movement. Operas written in this style, which means “beautiful singing”, included arias with intricate ornamentation, or combinations of fast notes, in the melodies. The most famous composers of bel canto are Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Gioacchino Rossini, whose The Barber of Seville (1816) is one of the most beloved comic operas.

Later in the century the Romantic Movement led many composers to take an interest their national identities. As a result, operas in languages other than Italian became more common, and new works often reflected pride in a country’s people, history and folklore. Among the operas that show the growth of national traditions are Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (Germany, 1821), Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmilla (Russia, 1842) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen (France, 1875). In Italy Giuseppe Verdi composed in a bold, direct style, and his operas often included elements of nationalism. In Germany Richard Wagner took the Romantic style to the extreme in an ambitious series of operas known collectively as The Ring of the Nibelung (1876) based on Norse mythology. In the twentieth century opera became even more diversified and experimental, to the point that it sometimes became difficult to distinguish it from other forms of musical theater. Some composers such as Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) continued to write operas that were similar in many ways to those of the nineteenth century. Others, horrified by the destructive effects of World War I (1914-1919) and other aspects of modern life, created works with radically experimental and dissonant music. These operas often explored topics that were either disturbing (Wozzeck by Alban Berg, 1925) or absurdist (The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky, 1951). American opera also came into its own in this century, beginning with George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935) which incorporated jazz and blues styles of music. In the latter part of the century a repetitive and hypnotic style known as minimalism was exemplified in Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach (1976), a piece that would hardly be recognized as an opera by earlier standards. The late twentieth century even saw a return to some of the traits of Romantic opera in works such as John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (1991). Today, opera is a living art form in which both new works and those by composers of the past continue to be performed. It remains to be seen what the future of opera will be, but if history is any indication, it will be shaped by the creativity of librettists, composers and other artists responding the changing times in which they live.

5

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791


A Brief History of

6

American Opera Perhaps when we think of opera, we often think of singers in exotic costumes singing in languages other than English. Although operas in English have been performed in our country since colonial times, they have mostly been overshadowed by the operas of such European composers as Verdi, Puccini, Gounod, and Wagner. American composers first imitated European styles of opera, then struggled to find their own American voice, and finally became trend setters by creating new operatic styles. The first operas performed in the colonies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were ballad operas: light-hearted plays from Great Britain with songs in a popular style. They often poked fun at current events and authority figures. The earliest known ballad opera to be performed in the colonies was Colley Cibber’s Flora in 1737. In the nineteenth century, many of the most popular operas from Europe were performed in the United States, usually translated into English. Their popularity was partly a result of growing numbers of European immigrants, including those from Italy and Germany. Rossini’s Cinderella was perhaps the most popular opera in American. By this time, Americans had begun to write their own operas. One of the first examples is William Henry Fry’s Leonora (1845). George Frederick Bristow’s Rip Van Winkle (1855) is a rare example of an opera from this period with an American setting. American opera finally developed its own identity in the twentieth century. Around the time of World War I (1914-1919), American composers began to create a recognizable American style in classical music. In the 1930’s, some important steps forward were taken. Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts (1934), with a libretto by the poet Gertrude Stein, successfully blended the style of American hymns and folk songs with the operatic form. This was followed in 1935 by George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess which brought a vital and distinctly American musical style to the opera, by using jazz and Broadway sounds as inspiration. American opera flourished after World War II (1939-1945). Several of the most-performed American operas are from this period and include Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951, the first opera written for television), and Samuel Barber’s

Vanessa (1958). Responding to the hypocrisy and blacklisting of the McCarthy era, composer Carlisle Floyd wrote his first opera, Susannah (1954). By using the Bible story of Susannah and the Elders, Floyd brilliantly criticized McCarthy’s corrupt anti-Communism policies in this tale of a young woman rejected by her community in Appalachia. In the late twentieth century, the United States had become a center of innovation in music. American opera was often at the forefront of new trends. In 1976 Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass shattered traditional opera conventions by setting nonsense syllables to music and dispensing with any kind of definite story. Contemporary and American themes are important in this and other recent operas, such as John Adams’ Nixon in China (1987). There has been a recent renaissance in American opera with such works as Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1995), Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (2000) and The End of the Affair (2004), Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison’s Margaret Garner (2005), John Adams’ Dr. Atomic (2005), Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel (2006), Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (2007), and David Carlson’s Anna Karenina (2007). These works have tended to rely on literary or theatrical sources for inspiration. Musically, most have moved away from the repetitious minimalist style into a more romantic and melodic style of writing. American opera includes both works that are highly experimental and those that combine modern techniques with a traditional emphasis on melody. This diversity contributes to the United States’ continuing influence on the international world of opera.

Active Learning 1. If you were to turn your favorite book, play or movie into an opera, what would it be and why? What would be the criteria that you would use in choosing which book, play or movie would make a good opera? What would the music sound like?

2. Choose one book, play, or movie for your new opera. Use the lesson on page 58 to figure out which role would be sung by which voice type. Use the lesson on page 70 to determine a budget, draw set and costume designs, and more!


Opera Etiquette101

7

Attending the Opera There’s nothing quite as exciting as attending the opera in a beautiful theater like the Academy of Music. If this is your first time at the opera there are a few things for which you should prepare: You will be attending the final dress rehearsal for this opera. This is the last opportunity that the artists will have to rehearse the entire opera before opening night just a few nights away. The goal is to treat this rehearsal exactly like a performance and perform the entire opera straight through without a pause. You may notice in the center of the Parquet level, the floor level of the Academy, several computer monitors and a large table spread out over the seats. Seated in this area is the production team: Director, Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, and other members of the production team. They’ll be taking notes and communicating via headset with the many people backstage who help make all of the operatic magic happen: Stage Managers, Master Carpenter, Lighting Technicians, Supertitle Operator, Stage Managers and more. They’ll be able to give notes so changes can be instantly made. Should things go awry, they may stop and repeat a section to make sure that it is perfect.

Opera Etiquette Unlike actors on television or in the movies, performers onstage are acutely aware of the audience and want very much to share their love of singing and acting with you. Everything you do in the audience affects what happens on stage and behind the scenes. Because this is a working rehearsal, we ask that you please refrain from talking. The production team needs to concentrate on fine-tuning the production. You can show them how much you appreciate their work and the opportunity to come to this free rehearsal by being as quiet as possible. Have you ever tried to study for a test and there’s just too much noise at home or outside? It’s almost impossible to concentrate! So, please refrain from talking out of respect for the cast, musicians, and the entire production team. Give the artists and the production your full attention.

The Holland Homeschool is prepared for the Sounds of Learning™ Dress Rehearsal of La bohème.

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts so that everyone in the theater can enjoy the opera:

Please Do... • Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” for the men and “Brava!” for the women. • Enter and exit the theater in an orderly fashion. • Please use the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins or at intermission. • Be careful in the auditorium! Because the theatre is 150 years old, it’s not necessarily designed for modern conveniences. • Turn off your cell phones and all electronic devices. • Enjoy the rehearsal. You’ve worked too hard preparing for the rehearsal not to!

Don’t Forget... • Food, gum and beverages are not allowed inside the Academy of Music. • Photographs or video footage may not be taken during the performance. • No talking or whispering during the rehearsal. • No shoving, jumping, running, or spitting in the Academy of Music. • No hooting, whistling, yelling or singing during the rehearsal. • Keep all objects to yourself. If you throw something, you might hurt someone and cause a disruption in rehearsal. It is grounds for removal from the auditorium. • MAKE YOUR SCHOOL PROUD!


Philadelphia’s

8

Academy of Music

Few Philadelphians know that the great Academy of Music was dedicated to the memory of Mozart. As the guests enter the Opera House’s main hall, there above the proscenium arch, over the Academy stage, a bas-relief of Mozart looks down upon the audience. This place of prominence for Mozart indicates that the builders of the Academy expected to attract the finest performing arts known to the world. However, building this Opera House was not an easy task for the young country. Between 1837 and 1852 there were five attempts to raise the funds needed to build an Opera House within the city limits of Philadelphia. After Commissioners were appointed by an act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Charles Henry Fisher began to sell stock in the Academy of Music on May 24, 1852. On October 13, 1854, the land on the southwest corner of Broad and Locust Streets was purchased. At that time, the area was undeveloped. (The Old State House, now known as Independence Hall, was the heart of the city at that time.)

The Commissioners held a competition to select the design of the Academy. Fifteen architects submitted designs between October 3 and December 15 of 1854. The winners were announced on February 12, 1855. Gustav Rungé and Napoleon le Brun won the $400 prize. It was their idea to dedicate the Academy to Mozart’s memory. Within four months the ground-breaking took place. This project was so important that President Franklin Pierce, along with Governor James Pollock and Mayor Robert T. Conrad, laid the cornerstone on July 26, 1855. On January 26, 1857, the Academy held the Grand Ball and Promenade Concert of its opening. The first opera presented in the brand new opera house was Verdi’s Il trovatore on February 25, 1857. Gounod’s opera Faust had its American premiere here on November 18, 1863. On February 14, 1907, Madama Butterfly premiered to “emphatic success” with its composer, Giacomo Puccini, in attendance. On May 14, 1897, John Philip Sousa’s composition “The Stars and Stripes Forever” was premiered on the Academy stage. On March 29 and April 5, 1900, Fritz Scheel conducted two serious concerts of professional musicians. These two concerts are considered the genesis of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Today the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet call the Academy home. Numerous presidents have visited the Academy, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon. The Academy has had many world-famous performers on its stage: Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Anna Pavlova, George Gershwin, Arturo Toscanini, Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, and thousands more.

A wood engraving from the Academy Proscenium Box in 1857. Historic images of the Academy courtesy of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

The Academy was made a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. Since then, a few changes have been made to the structure. In 1996 the “Twenty-First Century Project” began, which allowed for a new rigging system, replacement of the stage floor, and cleaning and restoration of the historic ceiling. With Mozart’s image looking down on the Academy’s audiences from his position above the stage for over one hundred years, let the joy of opera and dance continue forever.


9

Academy Facts ✒ Built in 1857, The Academy of Music is the oldest grand opera house in the United States used for its initial purpose.

✒ In 1963, The Academy was honored as a National Historic Landmark. As a National Historic Landmark, live flame can never be produced on the stage.

The auditorium seats 2,897; 14 columns support the Academy’s tiers; and the auditorium is encased within a three foot thick solid brick wall.

The red and gold pattern on the Academy’s stage curtain simulates that of a pineapple, a Victorian-era symbol for “welcome.”

The Academy of Music has an expandable orchestra pit to accommodate works with larger orchestral requirements. The first two rows of seats on the Parquet level are on a platform which can be removed to enlarge the pit. The decorative brass and wooden orchestra pit railing is then adjusted to ornament the expanded pit as well.

In the 1800’s, an artificial floor was placed over the Parquet level seats for balls, political conventions, gymnastic and ice skating expositions, carnivals, parades, and other events. You’ll see a wooden guide along the edge of the Parquet wall that helped support the floor.

The first-ever indoor football game was held on the Academy’s Parquet level on March 7, 1889 between University of Pennsylvania and Riverton Club of Princeton. At halftime, tug-of-war matches were held as entertainment.

A motion picture was first screened at the Academy on February 5, 1870. The silent movie consisted of an oratory, an acrobatic performance by a popular Japanese gymnast, and a waltz danced by the presenter, Henry H. Heyl and his sister. 1,600 people attended.

There were talks underway to turn the Academy of Music into a movie theater in 1920.

Starting in 1884, electricity was used to light the large chandelier (originally lit by 240 gas burners), the auditorium, and stage lights. New regenerative gas lights were placed along the exterior walls on both Broad and Locust streets.

✒ Incandescent electric lighting was introduced to the foyer and balcony in 1892. ✒

Air conditioning was installed in the theatre 1959.

There was no elevator for the general public in the Academy until 1990!

For more information on the Academy of Music, go to the library and take out Within These Walls, by John Francis Marion or go online to www.academyofmusic.org.


Broad Street:

10

Avenue of the Arts Here is part of a map of Center City. This area, which includes Broad Street south of City Hall, is the home of many famous theaters, museums, hotels, restaurants and cultural centers. Here are some descriptions of the attractions around the Academy of Music. See if you can match them to the lettered flags on the map.

_____ The Kimmel Center Dance, orchestra, chamber and folk music

_____ Prince Music Theater Contemporary music, musicals and blues

_____ Merriam Theater Theater and broadway musicals

_____ University of the Arts Art and Design School

_____ Wilma Theater Modern theater and musicals

_____ Ritz Carlton Hotel World famous 5-star hotel and restaurant

1.

The Academy of Music is marked on this map with a picture. What is its address? _______________________________________

2.

How many blocks is it from City Hall to the Academy?

_______________________________________

3.

All but one of the East to West streets on this map have names that have something in common. What is it? _______________________________________

For more information about this exciting part of the city, visit www.avenueofthearts.org/visit.htm.

4. You and your friends are planning a night on the town. You will hear a lecture about famous artists, see the Broadway musical Wicked and scout celebrities at a fancy restaurant. Where do you go? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________


Philadelphia’s

Walk of Fame As you walk down the Avenue of the Arts between Walnut and Spruce Streets, you will find over 100 bronze plaques adorning the sidewalk. Each plaque is imprinted with the name of a person of importance to Philadelphia’s musical world, from major influences in the classical music world, such as contralto Marian Anderson, to hip-hop successes like Will Smith. The Walk of Fame was started by The Philadelphia Music Alliance, a non-profit organization founded in 1986. The Alliance was established by music executives and local citizens who wanted to commemorate Philadelphia’s contribution to the world of music. Other programs offered by The Alliance include an instrument donation program in collaboration with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation as well as the Philadelphia International Airport Music Project and an annual piano competition. The Philadelphia Music Alliance has also worked alongside the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys), the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Trane Stop, the University of the Arts, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the City Representative’s Office on various projects. New members are always being inducted onto the Walk of Fame and the event is featured on local television. To be honored with a plaque on the Walk of Fame doesn’t mean one has to be born or raised in Philadelphia. Many of the honorees may not have been from here, but made a significant impact on the musical scene in Philadelphia. Honoree Eugene Ormandy, for example, was a Hungarian conductor and violinist who was the Philadelphia Orchestra’s music director and conductor for 44 years. There is also the example of Dick Clark, the New York born disc jockey who gained huge success with the nationally televised Philadelphia based teen dance show, American Bandstand, and as host of New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV. There are several walking tours in the city which feature this popular public attraction. The Walk of Fame is a celebration of Philadelphia’s musical contributions that everyone can enjoy. You may even learn about some of the city's great musical personalities with whom you may not be familiar.

11

Philadelphia Walk of Fame Honorees Here are a few musicians honored on the Walk of Fame. Do you recognize any of these names? Marian Anderson – Contralto • Born in Philadelphia, attended South Philadelphia High School for Girls • First African-American to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera, singing the role of Ulrica in Verdi’s A Masked Ball • Performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Roosevelt as well as King George VI • United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and winner of the U.N. Peace Prize Mario Lanza – Tenor and Movie Actor • Born in Philadelphia, performed in local operatic productions here early in his career • First artist for RCA Victor Red Seal to receive a gold disc and sell two and a half million records • Portrayed Enrico Caruso in the film The Great Caruso • His recordings were the first to ever be transferred to CD Frankie Avalon – Popular Singer and Actor • Born in Philadelphia • His songs “Venus” and “Why?” both reached number one on Billboard magazine’s Top 100 • Played Teen Angel in the film Grease Dizzy Gillespie – Jazz trumpeter, Band Leader • Moved to Philadelphia to pursue a music career • Major influence in the development of bebop and modern jazz • Led the United Nations Orchestra Anna Moffo – Soprano • Born in Wayne, Pennsylvania, graduate of Radnor High School • Won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music • Performed many roles at La Scala as well as at the Metropolitan Opera including the role of Gilda in Rigoletto • In Italy, she hosted “The Anna Moffo Show” and was voted one of the 10 most beautiful women in the country Will Smith – Movie Actor and Hip-Hop Artist • Born in Philadelphia; graduate of Overbrook High School • Won two Grammys with longtime musical partner DJ Jazzy Jeff, also honored on The Walk of Fame • Star of the TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air • Nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in The Pursuit of Happiness Leopold Stokowski – Conductor • Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra • Conducted the score of the movie Fantasia. Most of the music was recorded at The Academy of Music • First conductor in America to record all four Brahms symphonies

Can you find these plaques along the Walk of Fame?


Connect the

Opera Terms

12

1.

Opera Seria

A.

Dance spectacle set to music.

2.

Baritone

B.

Highest pitched woman’s voice.

3.

Opera

C.

Dramatic text adapted for opera.

4.

Ballet

D.

Low female voice.

5.

Orchestra

E.

Comic opera.

6.

Libretto

F.

7.

A drama or comedy in which music is the essential factor; very little is spoken.

Duet

8.

G.

Opera with dramatic and intense plots.

Aria

9.

H.

Music composed for a singing group.

Soprano

I.

A composition written for two performers.

J.

A group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments.

12. Contralto

K.

Highest pitched man’s voice.

13. Tenor

L.

A musical style used in opera and oratorio, in which the text is declaimed in the rhythm of natural speech with slight melodic variation.

10. Chorus 11. Act

14. Opera Buffa 15. Recitative

M. Male voice between bass and tenor.

16. Bass

N.

A piece of music originally designed to be played before an opera or musical play.

O.

The term describing the realistic or naturalistic school of opera that flourished briefly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; libretti were chosen to depict a ‘slice of life’.

P.

Deepest male voice.

Q.

Elaborate solo in an opera or oratorio.

R.

Main division of a play or opera.

17.

Overture

18. Verismo


Why I Like Opera To the Opera Company, I am proud to say that for the past four years now I have been to every Opera trip that Mrs. Neufeld at New Hope- Solebury High School has offered me. I took an Opera class in maybe sixth or seventh grade, and it was during that time that I saw my first opera, The Pearl Fishers (2004). Since then, I have kept asking “When is the next one?” Usually Mrs. Neufeld tries to get groups of students to go to either the Opera Company of Philadelphia or the Kimmel Center once every month or so. As Mrs. Neufeld would put it, I “probably have a whole shelf of programs” from all of the operas I’ve seen. It has been a tradition of mine to wear a red silk dress I got from China in 2002, although I unfortunately have grown out of it. For about two or three years, however, I was known as the “Chinese Dress Girl” or “China Doll”, and Mrs. Neufeld even took upon herself one year to introduce me to a friend of hers who worked at the Opera Company in Philadelphia as “The Chinese Dress Girl.” Speaking of opportunities, I was also able to shadow the lead soprano in La traviata at the Kimmel Center, and I can still remember listening in awe to the amazing coloratura voice she had. Luckily, I found an amazing voice teacher who is teaching me Opera, for I too am a coloratura soprano. I have learned an Italian song, “Tu lo sai” by Alessandro Scarlatti, and am learning a French piece called “Romance.” My teacher hopes for me to learn a German piece, which coincidentally will then give me experience in the three languages that opera librettos are most frequently written. Because of all of the opportunities that Mrs. Neufeld has given me, I have seen about eight operas, including Pearl Fishers, Madame Butterfly, Aïda, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Porgy and Bess, La traviata, and La bohème. The two operas I wish to see most are Faust and Carmen, so hopefully one of those will be on our next trip! Sincerely,

Kyla Brick New Hope-Solebury School District

13


As Plain as

14

The Nose on Your Face Cyrano de Bergerac was famous for his large nose. Did you know that your nose is actually a very complex organ on your body? Not only does it help you taste food, it holds your nostrils, which you breathe out of, and it also holds your nose hairs. Nose hairs, tiny strands of hair inside your nose, warm, moisten, and filter the air before it gets to your lungs. They also catch little specks of dirt and other things in the air and keep them from getting to your lungs, with a little help from your mucous membranes. You sneeze because particles get trapped in your mucous membranes, and sneezing sends the particles out at over 100 miles per hour! Inside and behind your nose hides your olfactory mucosa, which lets you smell things. The olfactory epithelium, or the skin that houses the olfactory nerve receptors, and the mucosa, which are glands that produce mucous, work together as one, called the olfactory mucosa. The mucus from the mucosa protects the olfactory epithelium, allowing odors to dissolve. When those odors dissolve, the olfactory receptor neurons detect the odor, recognize it, and send a signal to your brain, identifying the scent in your brain.

Photos courtesy of John Grigaitis, Michigan Opera Theatre.

What’s in a Nose? A mold was made from a cast of baritone Marian Pop’s face by Michigan Opera Theater’s Wig and Makeup Designer Joanne Weaver and Assistant Designer Sarah Diehl to build Cyrano’s nose. Cyrano’s nose was redesigned several times before the perfect shape was achieved. The nose is about 2½ inches long and is made of a lightweight foam-like material. It weighs next to nothing so that it doesn’t hinder the singer. Before every performance the nose is glued onto Marian’s face and it takes about 30 minutes for the make up department to put on his nose and wig. Sarah Diehl carefully glues Cyrano’s nose onto Marian Pop.

Dogs have a much more acute sense of smell than humans because they have almost 220 million olfactory nerves across the area equivalent to the area of a handkerchief, while humans only have 5 million over the area of a postage stamp. Your sense of smell is most finely tuned between the ages of 20 and 40. Studies have shown that your olfactory functions decrease and your sense of smell becomes less acute, but this is natural. The area behind your nose is called the nasal cavity, and the air that you breathe in goes through it to your pharynx, which leads the air to your lungs. Everybody’s nose looks different, and that is because of two bones: the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum. The ethmoid bone is a bone in your skull that separates your nasal cavity from your brain. It resides at the roof of the nose, between the two orbits, which are the two sockets where your eyes rest. This is the bone that normally breaks in a car crash. The nasal septum separates the left and right airways in the nose and is made of cartilage, which is what gives you two nostrils. There are different classes of noses, about six, and almost everyone’s nose can fall into one of the classes. The first class is the Roman nose, and it is hooked at the end. The second class of nose is the Greek nose, which is perfectly straight. The third class is the Nubian nose. It is wide at the end, and it begins to widen after the bridge of the nose. The fourth class of nose is the Hawk nose, which is thin and angular. The Snub nose is the fifth class of nose, and the nostrils turn up a little bit. The sixth class of nose is known as the Celestial nose, which is very concave, and actually turns up at the end. Rhinoplasty, or surgery to the nose, is a choice for some who don’t like their nose, or when their nose needs to be repaired. Sometimes, if a person’s nose is broken, it may need to be fixed because air flow is obstructed or something else has gone wrong. Anosmia is a fancy word for the loss of your sense of smell. About 2 million people in the United States have anosmia, and it affects the way that they taste food. Try it! Take your favorite snack food, and eat some of it with your nose plugged. Does it taste strong? Now try eating some of it with your nose unplugged. Can you taste the difference?


From the Pages of History:

The Real Cyrano de Bergerac Edmond Rostand’s famous play, Cyrano de Bergerac, was inspired by a real person. While some of the famous events in the play are pure fiction, many of them are true. Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was born on March 6, 1619 to Abel de Cyrano, a middle class man whose family had come from Italy. When he was six he was sent to the village of Bergerac to start his education with a curé, or parish priest, who regularly beat him. Cyrano began to distrust teachers and the clergy. Also studying with the curé was Henri le Bret, who became Cyrano’s lifelong friend. His father sent him to the Collège de Beauvais at the University of Paris when he was 12. Cyrano was bright, eager, and glad to be at a new school. Unfortunately, the master at the college, Jean Grangier, treated Cyrano worse than the curé. He begged his father to transfer him to another school, but his father refused. Hurt and angered, Cyrano turned all his attention to sword fighting, practicing relentlessly, and becoming a brilliant swordsman. Leaving college at 18, Cyrano lived off an allowance from his parents and support from his cousin, Madeleine Robineau, the opera’s Roxane, who wanted to make sure that he was taken care of. Although he didn’t have a lot of money, he dressed in the latest fashions as would be expected of any reputable young man in Paris. Cyrano soon joined the regiment of Carbon de Castel-Jaloux with his friend le Bret, serving in the military until he was twenty two. He was severely injured twice in battle: at a fight with a Gascon Guard and it is said that Cyrano never fully recovered from the wound he received at the Siege of Arras.

An historic engraving of Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano honed his fencing skills in the military and on the Parisian streets. He would duel to defend himself and his friends, too. One famous incident is when he met 12 assassins, not 100 as mentioned in the opera, hired to kill his friend Lignière. Cyrano killed two assassins and wounded seven others while the rest ran away. One of the things which caused many of these duels was his unusually large nose, of which Cyrano was extremely self conscious. If someone made a comment or even looked at his nose, Cyrano would pull out his rapier. In his writing Other Worlds: The Comical History of the States and The Empires of the Moon and the Sun, Cyrano fantasized about a Utopia where the men with the biggest noses were the most esteemed men in society. He wrote, “A large nose is a certain sign of a noble nature.” After leaving the military, he studied philosophy. Opposed to war and the death penalty, Cyrano began to spend time with the Libertins, or free thinkers. These men were among the greatest thinkers in France, and included the famous playwright Molière. As Cyrano began to study more on his own, he withdrew from the group. His other passions included writing and the theatre. He began to write plays and stories in the hopes of making a living. Regarded as an excellent writer, he still couldn’t make enough money and was ultimately sponsored by the Duke of Arpajon in 1652. Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac died in Paris on July 28, 1655 at the age of 36. A plank was dropped on his head by a lackey. It took Cyrano 14 months to die from the injury. Cyrano was an intellectual, an artist, a brilliant soldier, an atheist, and a unique thinker. His outrageous behavior, including kicking the actor Montfluery off the stage and his bravado won him many enemies. His skill with a sword and his large nose made him famous, but he can thank Edmond Rostand’s play for making him a legend.

Active Learning 1. Visit the library and write a book report on the historic Cyrano.

2. Read Edmond Rostand’s legendary play at our website www.operaphilly.org/community/student-education.shtml.

3. With your parent’s permission, watch one of these movies that are based on Cyrano: Gérard Depardieu’s Cyrano de Bergerac (1991) or Steve Martin’s Roxanne (1987). Compare these movies to the opera.

15


Events During

Cyrano’s Lifetime

16

Below is a list of important historical and cultural events that happened during Savien Cyrano de Bergerac’s lifetime. Discuss what it might have been like to be alive during the time period. How would your life be different or the same? How did the inventions of the time affect daily life?

1619

Cyrano de Bergerac (d.1655), French poet, playwright, swordsman, was born. House of Burgesses became the first legislative assembly in America at Jamestown, Va. The first African slaves arrived to North America aboard a Dutch privateer, with twenty human captives among its cargo. The first election in America was held to elect the members of the Virginia assembly.

1620

The first merry-go-round was seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey. Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts. 102 Pilgrims stepped ashore. One passenger died enroute and 2 were born during the passage. French Huguenots declared war on King Louis XIII. In England Dutch-born Cornelius Drebbel tested a submarine which cruised 15 feet under the Thames. Cornelius Drebbel also attempted to air-condition Westminster Abbey.

1621

The first American Thanksgiving was held in Massachusetts’ Plymouth colony in 1621 to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.

1623

Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, died. The young male caretaker of cattle was first called a “cowboy.”

1624

Class-based legislation was passed in the colony of Virginia, exempting the upper class from punishment by whipping.

1625

The first apple orchard in the United States was planted on Boston’s Beacon Hill.

1628 1630 1634

Indians introduced pilgrims to popcorn at Thanksgiving.

1635

King Louis XIII at the urging of Cardinal Richelieu granted letters patent to formally establish the Academie Francaise in Paris. The Académie française was responsible for the regulation of French grammar, orthography, and literature.

1636

Harvard College was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

1637 1639

Cardinal Richelieu of France created the table knife.

The fork was introduced to American dining by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor Winthrop. The Catholic colony of Maryland was founded by English colonists sent by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore.

The first American log cabin at Fort Christina (Wilmington, Delaware) was built. The first printing press in America began operating. The first post office in the colonies opened in Massachusetts.

1641

Massachusetts became the first colony to give statutory recognition to slavery. It was followed by Connecticut in 1650 and Virginia in 1661.


17

A 1914 painting by Jennie Brownscombe showing the first Thanksgiving. The painting is owned by the Pilgrim Society in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1642

London’s Globe theater closed as the Puritan-controlled British Parliament suppressed theaters and other forms of popular entertainment.

1643 1644

The first recorded tornado in the United States was at Essex County, Massachusetts. The first reported UFO sighting in America was made by perplexed pilgrims in Boston. William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, or Penn’s Woods, was born. The Globe Theater in London was demolished.

1647

In Salem, Massachusetts, Achsah Young became the first recorded American woman to be executed for being a “witch.”

1652

John Johnson, a free African American, was granted 550 acres in Northampton, Va. A law was passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies but it caused little stir and was not enforced. More than 1,000 slave voyages were mounted from Rhode Island, mostly in the 18th century, carrying more than 100,000 Africans into slavery.

1653 1655

New Amsterdam – now New York City – was incorporated. French dramatist and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac, the inspiration for a play by Edmond Rostand, died in Paris. The first slave auction was held in New Amsterdam (later NYC).

Active Learning 1. Explore the library or the internet and discover more events that occurred during this era. Create your own timeline by cutting apart three supermarket paper bags. Cut them open down one of the side seams and cut off the bottom so that when laid flat, you have a rectangular piece of paper. Tape the bags together at the shorter ends, creating a long rectangular piece of paper. From the longer side of the bag near the top, measure in 10" and place a dot. Do the same near the bottom. Draw a straight line from the top to the bottom of the bag through both dots. Select the most important incidents for your timeline from the events listed above and with those found through research. Information taken from Timelines of History website at http://timelines.ws.


18

Louis XIII, Louis XIV

and the Absolute Monarchy in France The seventeenth century in France was a time of great political excitement and intrigue. During the reigns of Louis XIII (1610-1643) and Louis XIV (1643-1715), kings, nobles, clergymen and government officials competed for power and influence. It was a time of betrayal, family feuds, espionage and murder. In the end, the two kings and their allies triumphed over their opponents and created the absolute monarchy—they became the most powerful rulers in Europe, and under their leadership France became the most powerful nation. Before the reign of Louis XIII, French kings had had difficulty establishing absolute power because they depended on the nobility for a number of things. Nobles had the ability to raise their own armies whereas the king alone could not. This not only meant that he had to depend on them to defend the nation, but also that the nobles could mobilize their armies to rebel against the king. The king also depended on lesser nobles to administer certain functions of the government, such as collecting taxes from the peasants. In addition Louis XIII’s father, Henry IV, had granted rights to the Huguenots, a protestant minority group in Catholic France, allowing them to arm and defend themselves. Louis XIII became king in 1610 when his Protestant father was assassinated by a Catholic with a knife by a Catholic fanatic. Louis was only eight years old at the time, so his mother, Marie de Medicis, served as regent, ruling on his behalf until he officially came of age at thirteen. However, Marie managed to maintain power for a time longer with the help of her chief minister Concino Concini. Finally, when he was fifteen, Louis joined with plotters who were unhappy with Marie’s policies and wanted her out of power. He ordered Concini arrested and insisted that if Concini resisted he should be killed. As a result, Concini was assassinated and Marie was exiled. Louis then took control of the

monarchy, filling the court with friends who were loyal to him and alienating those who had been loyal to his mother. Among those Louis kept close was Cardinal Richelieu, who helped him to expand the powers of the monarchy starting in 1624. Cardinal Richelieu, who was the actual uncle of Cyrano’s Count De Guiche, is sometimes viewed as the world’s first prime minister because of the degree to which he helped the king govern. He was known as the Red Eminence because he wore the red robes of a cardinal, having started his career in the church before entering politics. He was such an important advisor to Louis that without him the absolute monarchy may never have been accomplished. Richelieu had not always been on Louis’s side, and in fact, Louis did not much like him personally, even when depending on his assistance. Richelieu had risen to power working under Concini and Marie, and he had been a close advisor of Louis’s mother during the time that she ruled as regent. When Louis first came to power, Richelieu was naturally banished. However he later helped bring about a reconciliation between Louis and Marie (who had been leading a rebellion against her son), and he eventually earned enough of Louis’s trust to become his chief advisor. The truce among mother, son and cardinal did not last. Marie felt that Richelieu had stolen her political influence and told Louis to dismiss him. Louis agreed at first, but Richelieu convinced him to change his mind and Marie was once again exiled. This day in 1630 became known as the Day of the Dupes and was the only time Louis ever took steps against Richelieu. After that, Richelieu had Louis’s complete political support.


Richelieu was determined “to make the royal power supreme in France and France supreme in Europe.” He helped Louis become the first absolute monarch of France by consolidating royal power and suppressing factions within the realm. Richelieu was able to keep the nobility in check by ordering all castles demolished except for those necessary to defend the country against foreign invaders. This act deprived the nobility of their military fortifications and their ability to rebel against the king. Richelieu and Louis also took away the political and military privileges of the Huguenots and built up a powerful royal navy. Louis and Richelieu strengthened the nation by expanding French territories in Canada, patronizing the arts within France and redecorating the Louvre museum.

19

Richelieu was able to accomplish all this and maintain authority by using cunning and ruthless tactics against his political enemies. He had a network of spies throughout France and Europe, he censored the press, he forbade political discussion in public forums, and he had his critics prosecuted and executed. These actions make Richelieu a controversial figure in history. Many saw him as power driven and unethical, while others have admired him as a man of great accomplishment and political skill. When he died, the Pope is said to have declared, “If God exists, Cardinal Richelieu will have to answer for many things. If not, he will have done well in life.” When Louis XIII died in 1643, his young son Louis XIV became king. During his lifetime over the rest of the century, Louis XIV built on his father’s and Cardinal Richelieu’s successes to become the most powerful monarch in Europe. In addition to continuing the policies of Louis XIII, Louis XIV came up with a brilliant method of keeping the nobles from rebelling. He built a splendid palace at Versailles and required the nobles to spend a portion of the year there with him. They considered this a great honor, and they left their government posts to devote themselves to serving the king in this lavish environment. They were replaced in their posts by literate members of the merchant class, and meanwhile Louis could keep an eye on them to make sure they were not plotting against the crown. So grand was Louis XIV’s court at Versailles that he became know as the Sun King, and every monarch in Europe wanted to be like him, even to point of imitating his style of dress. By the end of Louis XIV’s reign, the king of France was a powerful ruler of the strongest nation in Europe.

France’s powerful Cardinal Richelieu.

Active Learning 1. Make a chart connecting Cyrano de Bergerac and Count De Guiche back to Richelieu. How do they interact with one another?

2. How would you place other characters in the opera on the chart?

3. Visit our website at www.operaphilly.org/community/ sol-prod3.shtml to find out more information on King Louis XIII, King Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette.


France and the 20

Versailles: an estate worthy of the monarchy.

Three Estates In the seventeenth century, most of Europe was organized according to rather strict ideas about rank, class, and a person’s proper place in society. In France, this class system, now known as the ancien regime or old order, had deep roots in the feudal system of the Middle Ages. A person was expected to show certain kinds of behavior within his or her own class and when interacting with members of another class. Violation of these expectations could result in shame and punishment. The aristocracy, or higher classes, of the time put a great deal of value on certain types of behavior they considered noble and virtuous. Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (1897) looks back on the seventeenth century with nostalgia for those noble values, which many people of his time felt had been lost. Under the ancien regime, French society, like much of Europe, was divided into three estates of the realm. The first estate was the church, which consisted mostly of members of the upper class who chose a life of religion either for spiritual reasons or because of the prestige and privileges that came with being a priest, bishop, cardinal or other officer of the church. The second estate was the nobility or aristocracy itself. Members of the nobility were usually born into their lives of privilege. They owned huge amounts of land and exercised power over nobles of lesser rank and the peasants. A powerful noble maintained his own army, and like a knight of the Middle Ages, was preoccupied with defending and expanding his territories by forming alliances and going to war. The third estate consisted of everyone else. Traditionally, this meant the peasantry, poor farmers who owed much of what they owned to the nobility in the form of taxes. By the seventeenth century, the third estate also included the bourgeoisie, merchants and other professionals in the cities who had managed to gain a certain amount of wealth and independence from the nobility. A member of the bourgeoisie could sometimes join the noble class by buying his way into noble office. Otherwise, a person’s station in life was hereditary—they were born into a certain class, and it was difficult to advance. Above all three estates stood the monarchy. The king ruled over the entire nation and was in a constant struggle with the nobility to keep them under his allegiance. In the time of Cyrano, King

Louis XIII and King Louis XIV were working to strengthen the power of the monarchy. (See the article on the Absolute Monarchy on page 18) A person was expected to live within the customs of his or her class. Nobles lived in mansions, wore fine clothes, and ate on expensive tableware, all of which were meant to reflect their social status. If a member of the third estate dressed too elaborately or wore a sword in public (a privilege and symbol of status permitted only to the nobility), he would be sharply criticized and might even be punished under the law. For the nobility, being at the top of the class structure meant not only that they should display their status through their material wealth, but also that they would hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct. They considered it their moral duty to be generous and valiant and to do good deeds without expecting anything in return. By the nineteenth century, many people felt that such high ideals of moral conduct had been forgotten in France, and writers such as Rostand and Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers) looked back on the seventeenth century as a golden age.

Active Learning In reading Cyrano you may come across names and titles that reflect characters’ social status. Look up the following terms in a dictionary and decide in which of the three estates a person of that title would belong. Put them in the appropriate category in the chart provided. First Estate Second Estate Third Estate (Clergy)

(Nobility)

(Peasantry, Bourgeoisie and everyone else)

Marquis Cadet Bishop Musketeer Priest Merchant Baron Cardinal Of what class and estate is Cyrano? How do his actions reflect on his social status?


Women and

The Enlightenment The seeds of a new era were being planted just when the action in Cyrano was taking place. During the Age of Reason, or Enlightenment (1640-1800), European intellectuals were discussing the idea that all men are born equal and free in the eyes of God and, therefore, deserve equal liberties under the law. In France, many Enlightenment intellectuals, called philosophes, felt so strongly about democracy and equality that in 1789 at the beginning of the French Revolution, they wrote a document called a “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.” This declaration called for the equality of all men and was influenced by our Declaration of Independence, which was written in 1776. The 18th century European ideals of liberty and equality for all did not include women. When the writers of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen” said all “men are born free and remain equal in rights” they meant the term men to refer to only members of the male sex (and even then only men of European descent). The term “man” was not being used in its generic sense to mean humankind as it sometimes is today. The men who wrote the declaration did not consider women equal to men. They believed that only men are born with the ability to reason. Women, they felt, are too emotional and irrational to hold a position out side of the home. Women were expected to be good wives and mothers and their lives were confined to the domestic sphere. They were supposed to be obedient to their husbands and accept the role given to them by nature. Throughout Europe there were, however, women who were unwilling to accept the male definition of a woman’s role. In France, Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793), a playwright and revolutionary, was an outspoken critic of the way women were treated by the revolutionary republicans. She wrote the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen” to counter the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen”. In de Gouges’ declaration, presented to Queen Marie Antoinette in 1791, she demanded that French women be given the same political and legal rights as French men.

In England, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) rejected the idea that women and men have different natures and claimed that women only appear irrational and more emotional than men because when growing up they were not given the same chances as boys to develop their rational intellects. Wollstonecraft wrote “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters” (1786) and “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792) in which she called on a national government to create a new system of equal education for girls and boys. Another woman who spoke out against the treatment of women was a Spanish woman named Josefa Amar y Borbón. She demanded in her “Discourse in Defense of Women’s Talent and Their Capacity for Government and Other Positions Held by Men” (1786) that women be given a larger role in society. These three women were outspoken in their belief that women were capable of being more than just wives and mothers. They rebelled against the idea that only men have the ability to think rationally and women are by nature destined only for a submissive role in society. Their claims were very controversial at the time. In fact, many women who rebelled against the way men treated them were physically punished. For example, Olympe de Gouges was guillotined during the Reign of Terror because she was considered a threat against the men’s French Revolutionary Republic. Although the claims and demands ultimately, made by these early feminists met with little advances, it is important to know that there were women who did fight against the way men defined them. These women understood the true meaning of Enlightenment: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” for each sex.

Active Learning 1. Do a research paper and/or a portrait on American Heroine, Susan B. Anthony.

21

Influential British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.


From Start to Finish: 22

Creating A New Opera The production of Cyrano that you will see at the Academy of Music has been many years in the making; eight years to be exact. Co-commissioned by Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Florida Grand Opera in Miami, Cyrano had its world premiere just a few weeks ago on October 13, 2007. Composer David DiChiera had long dreamed of writing a full-scale opera, but felt that since he wrote in a romantic style and didn’t write in the modern style of most other 20th Century composers, that it would be too difficult for his works to get noticed. So he put his dreams aside until 1999 when Canadian stage director, actor, and librettist Bernard Uzan met with the composer. Uzan read Edmond Rostand’s classic play Cyrano de Bergerac to him. DiChiera was so touched by it that he was moved to tears. DiChiera and Uzan had known each other for years. DiChiera founded Michigan Opera Theatre in 1971 and Uzan had directed many operas with the company. Uzan had been very impressed with DiChiera’s music that he had heard. He asked him to set Cyrano de Bergerac as an opera with Uzan writing the opera’s libretto, or text. DiChiera decided to set the final scene of the opera as a test to see if he could really work on the piece. DiChiera responded to the beauty of the French language and story; he realized that his style of composing would fit the romantic story perfectly. At last he could fulfill his dream and write an opera!

Bernard Uzan began work on trimming the five act, three hour play into a three act opera. Since it takes a singer twice as long to sing the text as it does an actor to speak his lines, characters and scenes needed to be cut to make the opera’s length manageable. If DiChiera had set the entire play to music, the opera may well have been nine hours long! Still, Uzan wanted to remain as true as possible to the original play – over 70% of the opera’s libretto is directly quoted from the Rostand play. In addition, Uzan needed to organize the libretto so that typical operatic forms like arias, duets, trios, and ensembles, could be used, too. Composer David DiChiera is also the General Director of Michigan Opera Theatre, one of the busiest opera companies in the mid-west. The General Director of an opera company has one of the most grueling jobs in the industry, filled with meetings, working with the Board of Directors and staff, fund raising, attending rehearsals, interviews with the press, and attending events. In the middle of all that, DiChiera needed to find time to compose a full opera! He did this in the mornings before he went to work and in the evenings when he would come home from his busy day. One of the most important parts of the creative process is for the composer (and librettist) to be able to hear what the piece actually sounds like after it has been put down on paper, and then to be able to make changes and adjustments based on what they hear. For composer David DiChiera’s first opera several in-depth workshops were organized, a rare occurrence in opera. As the opera was taking shape, the first “workshop” process occurred in 2002 when several arias and were performed informally in New York City for many people within the opera world. This was the first chance David DiChiera and librettist Bernard Uzan had to hear what the opera was beginning to sound like.

Left: (l-r) Accompanist J. Gawf and OCP Artistic Coordinator Laurie Rogers in rehearsal as composer David DiChiera talks with orchestrator Mark Flint. Photo courtesy of John Grigaitis, Michigan Opera Theatre.

The opera couldn’t be performed with just a piano accompaniment; it needed to be orchestrated. Operas are generally written with the vocal lines and a piano. Then the piano part needs to be turned into parts for the whole orchestra – violins, flutes, oboes, trumpets, and all the other instruments. Because DiChiera was so busy with his demands as General Director of Michigan Opera Theatre, he knew he wouldn’t have enough time to orchestrate the opera.


baritone Marian Pop was cast as the long-nosed character. In Philadelphia the roles of Roxane and Christian will be sung by two exciting young singers, Evelyn Pollack and Steven Costello, both of whom studied at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts and who participated in the Cyrano workshop process.

David DiChiera takes a bow at the World Premiere Photo courtesy of John Grigaitis, Michigan Opera Theatre.

He turned to his friend and colleague Mark D. Flint to work with him to score the opera. Flint is well known in the opera world as an orchestrator, a conductor, and as the General and Artistic Director of Augusta Opera. Flint fulfilled DiChiera’s wishes and vision of the score based on the vocal score. Together they worked out the different colors and timbres, coming up with a specific color for the three principle characters: horns for Cyrano, strings for Roxane and woodwinds for Christian. In the summer of 2004 the first act of the opera was ready to workshop. DiChiera and Uzan were joined by singers, musicians, and representatives from the co-commissioning companies in Orange County, California. The music was rehearsed with piano and singers very carefully so the composer and librettist could make changes if they seemed necessary. Then a second full workshop was held in Detroit in 2006, concentrating on Act I and rehearsed with orchestra. During this workshop, DiChiera realized that certain portions of the role of Cyrano were too high, so he changed the key of some of the music so that it was lower and easier for the baritone to sing. Uzan also used the workshop to stage some of the scenes from the opera to see what would work in the premiere production. A final workshop was held in the summer of 2007 again in Detroit. Initially concentrating on Act II with orchestra accompaniment, it culminated with a full read-through of the opera with singers, chorus, and piano at the Detroit Opera House for an invited audience, including representatives from Detroit, Philadelphia and Florida. Casting the lead roles also proved to be a challenge. The baritone who sings Cyrano must be able to sing over the horns in the orchestra over a long evening, frequently in the upper part of his voice, which can be tiring. The singer should also have lots of presence and be a very good actor to be a convincing Cyrano. A world-wide search was held to find the right singer for the role, and Romanian

Sets and costumes had to be designed as well. DiChiera and Uzan wanted sets and costumes that were as gorgeous as the music and the poetry, so they turned to respected designer John Pascoe, who had designed four other productions for Michigan Opera Theatre. Pascoe’s detailed costumes and sumptuous sets were the perfect framework for the classic Cyrano story. Set designs were finalized a year and a half ago. The large and detailed sets, including the inside of a Renaissance theater, took over four months to build. The fabric used for the opera’s 200 stunning costumes was donated by a Michigan fabric supplier. It took Michigan Opera Theatre’s costume department ten months to build all the costumes for the opera. Certain costumes will need to be rebuilt in Philadelphia for new cast members, but many of the original costumes will be used. The rehearsal process can be an arduous one. Rehearsals in Detroit lasted about five weeks, about the same length as they will last in Philadelphia. Extra time was needed to stage fight sequences and the large ensemble scenes. Rehearsals generally last six hours, but in addition there are costume fittings, music coachings, press interviews, and more. The opening night on October 13, 2007 was a smashing success. The performance was sold out as so many people wanted to see the brand new opera. The Detroit News said that “Cyrano is a winner by far more than a nose.” After eight years of hard work and a lifetime of anticipation, David DiChiera was finally able to fulfill his dream of writing a full scale opera. Bernard Uzan successfully translated Edmond Rostand’s masterpiece into a beautiful piece of music theatre.

Active Learning 1. For more information about Cyrano, visit the official Cyrano website at www.cyranotheopera.com, including some great behind-the-scenes photos of the set building process!

2. If you were to create your own opera, how would you do it? Review the lesson on page 70 and make your own opera!

3. Visit our website at www.operaphilly.org/community/ sol-prod3.shtml to access the world premiere review. How does it compare to your reaction of the piece?

23


Meet the

24 Cyrano Soldier, poet, scientist – a man of immense courage and nobility; also has an enormous nose. Marian Pop OCP Debut

Christian A newly arrived soldier from the north. Cyrano’s comrade in arms and suitor of Roxane. Stephen Costello OCP Debut

Le Bret Cyrano’s best friend and confidant. Daniel Teadt

Artists Roxane

Cyrano’s beautiful cousin, with whom both Cyrano and Christian are in love. Evelyn Pollack Falstaff, 2007

Comte De Guiche Commander Richelieu’s nephew who wants Roxane as his mistress. Peter Volpe OCP Debut

The Duenna Roxane’s lady-in-waiting and confidant. Gloria Parker

OCP Debut

OCP Debut

Ragueneau

Conductor

A baker. Mark T. Panuccio

Stefan Lano Margaret Garner, 2006 Porgy and Bess, 2007

Falstaff, 2007

Composer David DiChiera

You may have seen these artists in one of our recent productions. To learn more about them, visit our website at www.operaphila.org.

Librettist and Director Bernard Uzan


Composer

Librettist

David DiChiera

Bernard Uzan

Dr. David DiChiera was born on April 8, 1935 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He loved music as a child and loved to listen to the music and soap operas that were on the radio. When he was 10, DiChiera moved to California with his father, mother, and three siblings. Another family gave them an old piano, but it was in such bad shape that it was kept in the garage. DiChiera’s mother cleaned houses to pay for his piano lessons. When his mother retired, his sisters, who were old enough to work, paid for his lessons. Soon they bought a new piano which was kept inside the house.

Bernard Uzan’s operatic background includes success as general director, artistic director, stage director, designer, actor, and as a leading artist manager. He served as General and Artistic Director of L’Opera de Montreal from 1988 to 2002. While there, the company was financially and artistically successful. He also briefly served as General and Artistic Director of the Tulsa Opera, as director of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artists program and guest director/ teacher for San Francisco Opera’s Merola program.

Throughout high school DiChiera studied piano and composition, even winning awards for his music. He went to college at UCLA where he studied piano, composition and musicology. He graduated in 1956 with the highest honors, and continued at UCLA, earning his Master’s degree in composition. DiChiera won a Fulbright Scholarship in 1958 to study 18th Century Italian opera in Italy. He returned in 1960, and received his Ph. D. in Musicology. DiChiera continued to write music in a melodic, romantic style while most other composers wrote in more atonal styles. DiChiera decided to turn to academia and administration, and joined the music faculty of Michigan’s Oakland University in 1962, later becoming Music Department Chairman. While at Oakland, DiChiera created “Overture to Opera”, a program that brought staged opera to schools and community centers all over the state. The successful program helped DiChiera form Michigan Opera Theater (MOT) in 1971, where he is still General Director. He has run other organizations, including OPERA America (1979-1983), Dayton Opera Association (1981-1993), and Opera Pacific in California (1986-1996) while continuing his duties at MOT. DiChiera continued to compose and yearned to write an opera. Librettist and Director Bernard Uzan approached DiChiera about writing the music for Cyrano – a subject that matched DiChiera’s melodic compositional style. He began working with Uzan on the opera in 1999. DiChiera’s dream became a reality when Cyrano received its world premiere in October of this year.

As a stage director and a producer Mr. Uzan’s productions have appeared at over 50 opera companies with more than 300 productions that continue to be seen internationally at companies including Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Portland Opera, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Zurich Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo, Opera de Lyon, Marseilles Opera, Toulouse Opera, and throughout South America. A native of France, Mr. Uzan graduated from the University of Paris, with Ph.D.’s in Literature, Theatrical Studies and in Philosophy. He began his career as an actor and director. He appeared in leading theaters throughout Europe, earning recognition and receiving awards as the Best Young Actor (1967), Best Young Director (1969), and Best Director (1972). He emigrated to the U.S.A where he founded French Theater in America, which toured for ten years giving 200 performances per year. He joined Wellesley College and Middlebury College as Professor of Literature, Acting, and Directing while continuing his work as an actor and director. He was also the producer and the main French voice for many French academic books. In 1982, he directed his first operas with the Lake George Opera (Faust) and with the Opera Company of Philadelphia (La Rondine). In 1984, he directed Carmen for the Tulsa Opera, returning the following year for Faust, where upon he was appointed General Director. In 1986, he directed a new production of Romeo et Juliette for L’Opera de Montreal and returned the following year for La Cenerentola before being named General Director.

25

Bernard Uzan (l.) and David DiChiera (r.) share a lighthearted moment during the Cyrano workshop.


Voice on the Rise:

26

Stephen Costello So how does one go from being an elementary school trumpet player to becoming one of the hottest up-andcoming American opera singers? Ask Northeast Philadelphia native Stephen Costello, who sings Cyrano’s Christian, the handsome, if inarticulate, young cadet who is in love with Roxane. Stephen fell into singing almost accidentally. His first instrument was the trumpet. When he went to George Washington High School his teacher Mr. Daniel Panchelli suggested he join the chorus to help improve his pitch. Pitches on a trumpet are made through the position of your mouth (or embouchure), the force of the air through the mouthpiece, and by pressing the trumpet’s three valves in different combinations. In singing, you have to rely on your ears alone to make sure you sing the right note. Stephen followed his teacher’s advice, joined the chorus, and was placed in the tenor section. Stephen has always had a competitive spirit; at every chorus rehearsal he would try to sing louder than the guy next to him. He realized he enjoyed singing a lot. His strong voice was getting him noticed, so he decided to audition for the school’s production of the musical South Pacific. To his surprise, he was cast as the young romantic lead. Stephen’s first experience onstage acting and singing with the orchestra thrilled him. He decided to study music and attended the University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philadelphia. Stephen didn’t really get into opera until he attended the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA), Philadelphia’s world-renowned opera training school with students from around the world. The competition to get into the tuition-free school is brutal – only the best singers with the greatest potential are accepted.

As he began his studies at AVA, he learned everything he could about opera and the skills opera singers need to have: proficiency in foreign languages (Italian, French and German), opera history, stage combat, dance classes, voice lessons, and vocal coachings. He was surrounded by music 24/7, and was taught by some of opera’s leading experts, including AVA’s Music Director Christopher Matcasoris and Stephen’s voice teacher Bill Schuman. Stephen’s great potential was apparent from the beginning, and during his four years at AVA his understanding of singing and his voice grew. He sang the lead tenor roles in seven operas, and began to perform with other opera companies all over the world. Stephen said recently that “you can’t get an education like you get at AVA. You meet with teachers every day who coach you through an entire opera role. You can prepare your whole repertoire before you leave school.” Coaches make sure that singers are singing with the right musical style, with correct pronunciation, and consummate musicianship. Stephen also said that “there’s nowhere else in the world where you can perform in four fully staged operas a year.” For Stephen, singing is about working with the text and the music, and being an honest interpreter. He wants to fulfill the musical demands of a role and the acting ones, too. He says that “when you’re onstage and ‘in the moment’, it’s easier to sing well by concentrating on the meaning of the words. I’m really concentrating on the drama and the character. I only think about technique unless I’m not feeling well or if I’m in an acoustically unfriendly space. That said, you always have to make sure you’re singing correctly.” You might wonder what makes Stephen’s voice so different. AVA Director of Marketing and Public Relations Denise Stuart says that, “for the average listener, it is the physical reaction you experience when you hear him. You might get goosebumps, or it might make you feel emotional – perhaps bring a tear to your eye. To the educated listener, Stephen’s voice ‘shimmers’ and has thrilling high notes. Stephen is able to sing long, expressive phrases, which require superior breath control, and can move the voice rapidly in phrases that have a lot of notes (called coloratura). Stephen’s voice also has


what singers call ‘ping.’ This means that Stephen can be clearly heard in a large opera house. Opera singers do not use microphones – their voices are purely acoustical.” Stephen made his debut as Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on the opening night of its season this past September. Also in the cast was Stephen’s friend, mentor, and international opera star Marcello Giordani. Marcello also studies with Stephen’s teacher, AVA’s Bill Schuman, so they both have the same vocal technique. Marcello, also a tenor, has always been a supportive colleague and Stephen was happy to have a friendly face at rehearsals for his stressful Met debut. There was an added benefit of watching Marcello perform every night. Stephen says, “It was like having a singing lesson on stage each night. It was great to see how Marcello used the technique, especially on the nights he wasn’t feeling well, to achieve the musical and dramatic results he wanted.” The Metropolitan Opera was so impressed with Stephen that they asked him to sing the lead tenor role Edgardo, Marcello’s role, in one of the later performances. Stephen was honored to sing this difficult role at the Met. It was great for him to be able to talk to the Company’s Artistic Director, Maestro James Levine, and constructively go through what did and didn’t work for twenty minutes after the performance in Stephen’s dressing room. Ultimately, Stephen says, “Maestro Levine came into my dressing room and told me how much he loved it.” Stephen generally doesn’t read reviews because, he says, “for every person who loves you, there are two more people who hate you.” Now that Stephen is enjoying making a living as a singer, he knows what he needs to do to make sure that he has a good performance. Diet is of utmost importance. Not only do you have to be careful of what you eat before a performance as it could cause acid reflux, but you have to eat wisely on the day of a performance. If you eat the wrong foods, you could feel lethargic during a performance. If you eat too early in the day, you could run out of energy by the end of the performance. Stephen also paces himself on performance days – he likes to relax in his apartment. It’s important to develop a routine especially from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on days when he has performances at night.

The tenor is very excited to be making his Opera Company of Philadelphia debut in Cyrano. He likes playing the role of Christian, but he would love to play Cyrano! Unfortunately, it’s not written for his voice type. Stephen also participated in the 2006 Detroit workshop. He loved being able to work with composer David DiChiera who was very open to suggestions about what worked vocally and what did not. He had great fun at the workshop and loved being part of a new, growing piece. Stephen is engaged to be married to soprano Ailyn Perez, who is also an exciting talent to watch from AVA. They get to see each other a lot and love performing together, as they will this summer at the famous Salzburg Festival in Austria. Currently they live just two blocks from the Academy of Music. The problem is, with so many singer friends, they still don’t know who gets to sing in their wedding! The boy who used to live near Franklin Mills Mall, hang out at Tiffany’s Diner on the Roosevelt Boulevard, and go to movies at Neshaminy Mall has put down his trumpet permanently. Now on the cusp of a wedding and making his international debut in Austria, the young tenor from the Northeast has a very bright future ahead of him.

Fast Facts Hometown: Philadelphia Parents: Edie and Steve Siblings: Liz and Kevin Education: George Washington High School, University of the Arts, Academy of Vocal Arts (all in Philadelphia) Hobbies: Movies, movies, movies

Favorite Things Book: Biography of Jussi Bjoerling Movies: Too many favorites to list just one – loves comedies and dramas

TV Shows: Family Guy, Frasier, CSI Singer: Jussi Bjoerling Foods: Pizza Dessert or Guilty Pleasure Food: Pizza with French Fries –well done

Sports Teams: Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers Sports to Play: Racquetball

27


Acting the

Libretto

28

Playing the roles of the characters adds fun to the reading of the libretto. This allows you to take ownership of the opera in your own classroom. But do you know how to act? One of the greatest teachers of acting was a man named Constantin Stanislavski. He lived in Russia and he taught his students to become one with the characters in the play. Prior to his day, actors often looked stiff or wooden. The actors would often hold poses as they declaimed their lines. If you have ever seen a silent movie where the actors over-acted to help the audience understand the text of the movie, this was also true of how many actors performed in theaters. Stanislavski developed the idea that actors should not just tell a story. He felt that they should help the audience believe that the actors were in reality the characters they were playing. He called this idea realistic acting. Stanislavski said that “the actor must first of all believe in everything that takes place onstage, and most of all, he must believe what he himself is doing. And one can only believe in the truth.” In learning to act, Stanislavski’s performers had to master the following techniques. The goal is not to memorize his techniques but to know them so well that once on stage, the actor becomes the character under study.

Here are the goals of his system of techniques:

1. To make the performer’s outward activities natural and convincing.

2. To have the actor or actress convey the inner truth of their part.

3. To make the life of the character onstage dynamic and continuous.

4. To develop a strong sense of the ensemble. His techniques for realistic acting are as follows: (Remember, in Acting, the whole is greater than the sum of these parts.)

1. The actor must be relaxed in his or her role. All action should appear as natural.

2. The actor must have strong concentration. Know your lines and stay in character.

3. The actor must know the importance of specifics. Every little thing counts. All gestures, tones of voice, facial expressions reflect the inner truth of the character.

4. The actor must capture the inner truth of the character being performed. How does this character feel at this very moment in this play?

5. The actor must have the emotional recall that reflects the inner truth of the character.

6. The actor must know the: Why? What? How? of the action onstage as it reflects to the whole of the piece.

7. The actor must become one with the others in the Constantin Stanislavski 1863-1938

performance so that they show the audience ensemble playing. Ensemble Playing is when the actors are one with their roles and share a common understanding of the director’s vision. A direct correlation has been found between acting out a play in class and improved reading.


Cyrano

Synopsis Paris, 1640. An excited audience arrives at the theater for a performance by the famous actor Montfleury. The young cadet Christian tells his fellow guardsman, Lignière, how much he likes the beautiful Roxane, who has also caught the eye of the powerful Count De Guiche. Lignière leaves. Hearing that 100 assassins await Lignière, Christian runs off to warn him. When Montfleury, who is also in love with Roxane, begins to perform, Cyrano mocks him and chases him off the stage. Outraged, the Marquis de Brisaille challenges Cyrano to a duel and makes fun of Cyrano’s large nose. Amused by the Marquis’ lack of creativity, Cyrano describes his own nose in various ways, each more outlandish than the last. Cyrano further humiliates the Marquis in the duel in front of the crowd. Cyrano has feelings for his cousin Roxane, but he feels that no woman will ever love him because of his nose. Roxane’s nurse arrives to request a private meeting between the cousins. Learning of the plot against his friend Lignière, and overjoyed by the prospect of meeting with Roxane, Cyrano rushes off to face the 100 men alone. In the baker Ragueneau’s pastry shop, Roxane tells Cyrano that she loves his fellow cadet, Christian. Cyrano is saddened by the news, but vows to befriend and protect Christian, and persuade the youth to write her. The Cadets burst in, celebrating Cyrano’s courageousness. Trying to prove his bravery, Christian insults Cyrano’s nose. Alone, Cyrano tells Christiane that Roxane loves him. Christian confesses that he has no talent for expressing himself. Cyrano offers to write the letters for him. It is evening at Roxane’s home. Cyrano’s letters have made Roxane love Christian even more. After learning that Cyrano and Christian’s regiment will attack Arras, she convinces De Guiche to keep the regiment in Paris. Christian arrives, learning that Roxane wants him to improvise on the meaning of love. Cyrano offers help but Christian declines. Christian’s attempts are disastrous. Cyrano appears and whispers sweet nothings to Christian to use to woo Roxane. She reappears on the balcony as Cyrano, in the dark, takes over for Christian as words of love pour from him. Overcome by “Christian’s” words, she allows Christian to climb to the balcony for a kiss. A Capucian monk arrives with a letter for Roxane from De Guiche saying that De Guiche awaits her. Realizing that De Guiche wants to seduce her, Roxane tells the monk that the letter commands her to wed Christian in secret, and the

29

The Opening Scene of Cyrano. Photo courtesy of John Grigaitis, Michigan Opera Theater.

ceremony takes place. Learning about the wedding when he arrives, De Guiche orders Cyrano’s regiment to Arras for the siege. Cyrano promises to look after Christian, and that Christian will write often. The French Camp at Arras. Twice a day Cyrano slips behind enemy lines to deliver “Christian’s” letters to Roxane. Foreseeing certain death at the hands of the advancing Spanish forces, Christian goes to write a farewell to Roxane, but Cyrano produces an already written tear-stained farewell. Roxane arrives, having crossed enemy fire in order to be with Christian. Roxane tells him that she loves the soul expressed in his letters, and that she would love him even if he were ugly. Christian realizes that Roxane really loves Cyrano. He urges Cyrano tell Roxane about his true feelings for her. Christian rushes off into battle. Cyrano is about to tell Roxane everything when soldiers carry in the mortally wounded Christian. Cyrano lies to his friend that he has told Roxane all, and that she truly loves Christian. Christian dies. Roxane finds the farewell letter as Cyrano rushes into battle. Fourteen years later, Roxane has entered the convent. Cyrano comes for his regular Saturday visit. Roxane produces Christian’s last letter. When Cyrano begins reciting the letter from memory, Roxane realizes that the letters were Cyrano’s all along. She notices blood coming from his head. He tells her that an assassin has fatally wounded him. Cyrano dies as Roxane cries that she has loved only one man, but lost him twice.


The Highs and Lows of the

58

Operatic Voice Did you ever wonder what the difference is between a soprano and a mezzo-soprano or what voice type can sing the highest note and the lowest? Most opera singers fall into a voice type that reflects the singer’s vocal range as well as the dramatic requirements of singing a particular role. Above all the voice is an instrument - a human one. Opera singers spend much time learning correct singing techniques that allow them to sing without amplification. There is no grabbing a microphone and belting out arias in opera. All the sound that an opera singer produces is done through the sheer power of the human voice. So how does one become a soprano, mezzosoprano, tenor, baritone, or bass, the five most common types of voices? Some of it has to do with the size of the vocal chords and the speed at which they vibrate. It also has to do with vocal range, which can be defined as the span from the lowest note to the highest note that a particular singer can produce. Vocal range is very important in opera singing. Two other things which are taken into consideration when determining a singer’s voice type are the consistency of timbre (sound quality or color of the voice) and the ability to project the voice over a full orchestra. Remember, there are no microphones in opera, and there are small, medium, large and extra large voices. Soprano Barbara Hendricks compares the differences in vocal types to the differences between a Mack truck and a Maserati. She says “...one can haul a load, but the other can take the curves.”

Some terms that are used to describe operatic voices are:

Coloratura: typically a voice with a very high range with the ability to sing complicated passages with great agility. Dramatic: a heavy, powerful voice with a steely timbre. Lyric: an average size voice, but capable of singing long beautiful phrases. Lyric spinto: a somewhat more powerful voice than that of a true lyric. Helden: a German term referring to a powerful voice capable of singing very demanding roles. Falsetto: the upper part of a voice, more often used in reference to male voices. Let’s define a few of the voice types that audiences generally hear in opera: For females, the highest voice type is the soprano. In operatic drama, the soprano is almost always the heroine because she projects innocence and youth. Within this category, there are other sub-divisions such as, coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, and dramatic soprano. Each of these voices has particular lighter or darker voice qualities as well as differences in range. Some of the roles sung by these voice types include: the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (coloratura), Mimi in La bohème (lyric) and Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos (dramatic). The mezzo-soprano has a lower range than the soprano. Many mezzo-sopranos sing the so-called “trouser” roles, portraying young boys or men, or they may be the villainesses or perhaps motherly types. This category is also sub-divided into coloratura mezzo, who can sing complicated fast music through a large range. The comedic heroines of Gioachino Rossini’s operas, such as Cinderella, The Barber of Seville, and The Italian Girl in Algiers, are well-suited for this voice type. The dramatic mezzo is most often found singing the operas of Giuseppe Verdi in roles such as Amneris in Aida, or Princess Eboli in Don Carlo. One of the most well known roles for a dramatic mezzo is the fiery gypsy Carmen in the opera of the same name.


59

The contralto or alto is the lowest female voice and the darkest in timbre. This voice type is usually reserved for specialty roles like the earth goddess Erda in Richard Wagner’s Nordic fantasy-epic The Ring of the Nibelungen. Since this is such a rare voice type, dramatic mezzos often sing roles in this range. Marian Anderson, a Philadelphia native, was one of the world’s most famous contraltos ever. (See the story on Miss Anderson on page 8) For males, the tenor is generally considered to be the highest male voice in an opera, and is most often the hero or the love interest of the story. His particular voice type determines which roles are best for him to sing. There are many different types of tenor voices. Two of the more common ones are lyric tenors, whose voices have high, bright tones, and dramatic tenors whose voices have a darker sound with a ringing quality in the upper range. Two of the more famous roles for tenors include Rodolfo in La bohème (lyric) and Radames in Aida (dramatic). A countertenor is able to sing even higher than a tenor. This voice actually falls within a female’s voice range. Through the use of a man’s falsetto voice, the voice produces a sound that is sometimes described as otherworldly. A baritone is the most common type of male voice whose range lies midway between the high tenor voice and the low bass voice. He can play several types of roles. In comedic operas, he is often the leader of the funny business, but he can also be the hero who sacrifices himself for the tenor or soprano, or sometimes, he is the villain. This voice has a dramatic quality capable of producing rich, dark tones. The hunchback court jester in the title role in Rigoletto (dramatic) and the popular Toréador Escamillo in Carmen are favorite roles for baritones.

In general, a bass is the lowest and darkest of the male voices. The word bass comes from the Italian word basso, which means low. Some singers in this category are referred to as bass-baritones because they have voices that range between the bass and the baritone voice. A bass is ideal for several types of roles. A basso serio or basso profondo portrays characters who convey wisdom or nobility such as Sarastro in The Magic Flute. In contrast, a basso buffo sings comedic roles such as Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville. So, no matter what the size, quality or range, a singer’s voice has the ability to thrill an audience with its sheer beauty and musicality.

Active Learning Let’s imagine that The Lord of the Rings had been made into an opera. What voice types would you cast in the major roles and why? Frodo

Gollum

Galandriel

Sam

Sauron

Merry

Gandalf

Legolas

Pippin

Saruman

Gimli

Eowyn

Aragorn

Arwen

Bilbo


The Subtle Art of

60

Costume Design Costume designer John Pascoe began work on Cyrano’s detailed and lavish costumes almost two years ago. While the British born designer is also a well known and respected stage director, he’s thrilled to be able to design the sets and costumes for Cyrano’s world premiere production; his collaboration with librettist/director – Bernard Uzan has been a great joy to him. His designs will be used by all of the companies that commissioned the opera: Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Florida Grand Opera. In order to make sure the costumes are historically accurate, costume designers may spend hours researching illustrations and art to make sure their ideas are faithful to the dress of the period. Each costume must be designed to help bring the character to life, letting the audience know information about the character and the opera: era, location, season, social class, and more. Cyrano’s Roxane has five very detailed costumes, each of which shows her in a different situation: at the theater, meeting Cyrano at the baker’s shop, at home, on the battlefield, and in a convent Each of her costumes reflects what affluent 17th century women might have worn in those situations. A Costume Designer meets with the director. They talk through the opera scene by scene and character by character, allowing the costume designer to learn exactly what the director needs and wants.

He then takes all this information, his research, thumbnail sketches, and swatches of fabrics, and makes the final costume sketches. Each sketch takes anywhere from one to ten hours depending on the intricacy of the costume. The completed sketches are shown to the director. Once everything is approved, the fabric needed to create the costumes is purchased. When the costume department sews a costume they call it “building” as costumes are much heavier and sturdier than regular clothes. Many of the ladies costumes have full skirts and petticoats and boned corsets. Corsets act like a very large belt that can be tightened in the back in the same way that you tie your shoe. There are also thin strips of whale bone in the corsets to help support and give shape to a woman’s figure. Cyrano is a very large show with over 200 costumes, hats, and wigs needed for the cast and chorus. It can cost over $100,000 to build to build all the opera’s costumes. Frequently costumes will be rented from industry costume shops so that opera and theater companies don’t have to spend so much money and time building costumes for each production. In the case of Cyrano, everything has been built from scratch – a very costly undertaking. Luckily, all of the fabric used for the opera’s stunning costumes was donated by a Michigan fabric supplier. It took Michigan Opera Theatre’s costume department ten months of cutting fabric, sewing seams, and costume fittings to bring John Pascoe’s costume designs to life for the opera’s premiere. Opera Company of Philadelphia’s costume director Richard St. Clair, OCP’s talented costume designer. His job in this production is to oversee each and every costume used by the Company. Each opera has its own special needs. While many of the original Cyrano costumes will be used in Philadelphia, Richard may need to build costumes for new cast members while remaining faithful to the original costume designs. Richard’s job is to fulfill the goals of the director and costume designer. Both Richard St. Clair and John Pascoe are masters of their craft. Working together, they bring Cyrano’s characters an extra dimension through their beautiful costumes.

(l): Opera Company Costume Director Richard St. Clair adjusts soprano Evelyn Pollack’s costume for the OCP production of Falstaff. (r): One of John Pascoe’s Cyrano designs for Roxane.


Careers in the Arts: A Sampling Accompanist Actor/Actress Advertising Director Announcer Architect Architectural Model Builder Artist Artistic Director Art Festival Coordinator Art Teacher Arts Administrator Arts Consultant Arts Ed. Curriculum Writer Audio Engineer (recording) Band Director Book Designer Book Illuminator Box Office Director Business Manager Casting Director Choir Director Choreographer Cinematographer Clothing Designer Comedian Commercial Artist Composer Computer Graphics Design Concert Singer Conductor Contract Specialist

Copyright Specialist Costume Buyer Costume and Mask Designer Creative Consultant Critic Cutter (costumes) Dancer Dialect Coach Dramaturg Draper (costumes) Dresser (theater) Extra (background actor) Fashion Designer First Hand (seamstress) Fundraiser (Development) Furniture Designer House Manager (theater) Illustrator (fashion, book, etc.) Instrumentalist Librettist Lighting Designer Makeup Artist Manager (arts organizations) Master Electrician (stage) Model Builder Mold Maker Music Contractor Music Copyist and Transcriber Music Editor Music Librarian Music Teacher

61

Musician Musicologist Orchestrator Painter Producer (theater, TV, movies) Proofreader (music) Props Buyer Props Designer Public Relations Specialist Publicist Publisher Scene Painter Scenic Designer Sculptor Set Decorator Set Dresser Shop Foreman (stage) Singer Special Effects Coordinator Stage Carpenter Stage Director Stage Hand Stage Manager Stitcher (costumes) Stunt Coordinator Theater Director Ticketing Agent TV Camera Operator Vocalist Wardrobe Mistress Wigmaker

Active Learning What career would you consider interesting? Where do you think you could go to learn more about it? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________


Cyrano Discussion Questions

62

Review the discussion items below. Choose three questions to discuss with your classmates or at home with your parents. Use the space provided to make some notes, or if you need more space, write out your answers on a separate piece of paper. Make sure to support your point of view.

1. How does Cyrano cope with his nose? Does he like having a big nose? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. How would Cyrano be different if his nose weren’t so large? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What are the important qualities that Roxane seeks in a suitor? Do you think that either Christian or Cyrano fulfill all of those qualities? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Why does Cyrano help Christian and how does that affect Cyrano? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. Do you think that Cyrano likes Christian and why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

6. What are some of the qualities that Cyrano and Christian share? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. Why does Roxane tell the monk that De Guiche’s letter orders her to marry Christian secretly? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

8. Why do you think that Roxane was not able to identify Cyrano’s voice when he spoke poetry to her as she stood on her balcony? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

9. How do you think Cyrano feels in the final scene when Roxane realizes that she was really in love with him for all those years? How do you think Roxane feels? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________


Poetic Styles and Cyrano

63

The historical Cyrano de Bergerac was well known for his poetry. Write your own poems based on the opera Cyrano. Your poems could be about a subject like love, battle, or about a character that interests you in the opera.

HAIKU: Haiku is a form of Japanese verse which has three unrhymed lines containing 17 syllables: Line 1 = 5 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 2 = 7 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 3 = 5 syllables

______________________________________________

CINQUAIN: A cinquain is a five-line poem with the following form: Line 1 = Noun

______________________________________________

Line 2 = Two adjectives

______________________________________________

Line 3 = Three verbs

______________________________________________

Line 4 = A four word descriptive phrase

______________________________________________

Line 5 = Synonym for the noun in Line 1

______________________________________________

DIAMANTE: A diamante is a diamond-shaped poem concerning opposites in the following form: Line 1 = Noun

______________________________________________

Line 2 = Two adjectives

______________________________________________

Line 3 = Three verbs ending in -ing

______________________________________________

Line 4 = Four nouns

______________________________________________

Line 5 = Three verbs ending in -ing

______________________________________________

Line 6 = Two adjectives

______________________________________________

Line 7 = Synonym for the noun in Line 1

______________________________________________

TANKA: A tanka is an oriental verse with a total of five lines with the following patterns: Line 1 = 5 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 2 = 7 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 3 = 5 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 4 = 7 syllables

______________________________________________

Line 5 = 7 syllables

______________________________________________


Sounds of Learning in the Classroom TM

64

Now that you’ve completed reading the Cyrano libretto, let’s see if you can answer some of these questions that may come up in your classroom or in everyday conversation.

1. Roxane has many admirers; ________ them are Cyrano,

10. The cadet’s canons created a cacophony at the

Christian, De Guiche, and Montfleury. a. between b. among c. betwixt

Siege of Arras, piercing the air with their loud boom. “Boom” is an example of a. hemiola b. onomatopoeia c. alliteration

2. Christian said to Cyrano, “Between you and _____, your nose is huge!” a. us b. I c. me

cacophony” is an example of: a. hemiola b. onomatopoeia

3. Christian tries to ardently woo Roxane, ______ he loves. a. whom

b. who

11. In the sentence above, “cadet’s canons created a

c. maybe

c. alliteration

12. Cyrano writes _________ of love letters from Christian to Roxane; he writes her twice a day while they are at Arras. a. a lot b. alot c. allot

4. In the question above, the phrase “to ardently woo” is an example of: a. an adverb clause

b. a split infinitive

c. a proverb

13. Roxane anxiously waited as Christian went into battle, saying, “______________ he will return unharmed.” a. Hopefully, b. I hope c. Not,

5. Cyrano ______ Montfluery off the stage of the theater. a. threw

b. thorough

c. through

14. Cyrano fought 100 men at the Gate of Nesle single

6. In the question above, “threw” is an example of a: a. an adverb clause

b. intransitive verb

c. transitive verb

7.

If Christian could write love poems he _____________ written the letters himself. a. would have b. would of c. could of

handedly. He slew two, injured seven, and the others ran away. What percentage of the men ran away? a. 98% b. 91% c. 89%

15. If the fight at the battle of Nesle was over in 29 minutes and 15 seconds and it took Cyrano the same amount of time to fight each man, how much time did Cyrano spend on each of his opponents? a. 3 min. and 15 sec. b. 4 min. and 11 sec. c. 5 min.

8. Roxane ran _________ the Spanish lines to bring the cadets food and see Christian again. a. cross b. across c. acrossed 9. Cyrano makes fun of his own nose, suggesting that it needs _____ own parasol. a. your b. it’s c. its

Answers: 1) b; 2) c; 3) a; 4) b; 5) a; 6) c; 7) a; 8) b; 9) c; 10) b; 11) c; 12) a; 13) b; 14) b; 15) a


Rostand’s Cyrano: Contemporary Literature When Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac debuted in 1897 in France, the country was in the midst of a shift from Romanticism to Realism in the world of literature. Romanticism, which was in a way a return to classical forms, appears in literature of the early 19th century as novels about pastoral country life, family, and love. By the second half of the 19th century, Realism, a movement which embraced true-to-life depictions of society’s less fortunate and corrupt side, came to dominate popular works. While the story behind the play of Cyrano de Bergerac stretches back to the 17th century, these contemporary movements and some important political developments echo in both Rostand’s theatrical work and the modern opera. A number of political factors, including the Dreyfuss Affair of 1892, may have influenced the changing tone of popular fiction. The Dreyfuss Affair refers to an incident in which a Jewish man from France was accused of selling military secrets to the Germans during a time of tension between the two world powers. The resulting media coverage led to waves of anti-Semitism which rocked Europe. As a result, works of fiction and drama emerged in which fear of outsiders, or persecution based on difference, play central roles. While Cyrano does not suffer direct persecution because of his nose, there are numerous jokes at his expense throughout the work. An excellent example of the French Romantic movement in literature is the work of Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897). A collection of short stories entitled “Lettres de Mon Moulin” (Letters from My Windmill, 1866) has remained his most famous work, while a very early collection of poems allows for many parallels to the modern opera Cyrano. “Lettres de Mon Moulin” (Letters from my Windmill) is a perfect example of French Romanticism, as a group of light-hearted stories centered in the beautiful region of Southern France. His early collection of poetry, however, “Les Amoureuses” (1858) were written as love letters at the age of 18 to a French model. This second group of poems have a good deal in common with Cyrano’s letters to Roxanne, while the “Lettres de Mon Moulin” capture the feeling of French Romanticism at it’s height. The French Realist movement in literature is often highlighted in one of the most important works of French fiction, Gustav Flaubert’s (1821-1880) Madame Bovary (1856). The work is one of the first

to feature a truly omniscient narrator, or a narrator who does not provide any judgment or opinions about the characters of the story. The narrative focuses on a woman whose dreary married life exists in stark contrast to her wildly passionate extra-marital affair. Emma Bovary, the main character, becomes obsessed with this romantic second life and the idea of Romance itself. Cyrano’s intensely romantic letters to Roxanne, which conceal his true identity, similarly force him into a double life. Madame Bovary was controversial in its time, as it discussed the burgeoning issues of feminism and women’s rights. While a great deal of literary comparison can be made with Cyrano on the basis of the love letters and speeches to Roxanne, Cyrano’s chivalrous actions at the beginning of the opera are worth considering further. One of the most famous action novels of all time, The Three Musketeers (1844) by Alexandre Dumas père (1802-1870), is the epic tale of a young man, D’Artagnan, who hopes to become a Musketeer and fight for the French king. Along the way, he meets three Musketeers (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) and the four men take on the task of defending the queen. Their adventures are thrilling and full of swordplay, but the book also carries a strong theme of honor, duty, and chivalry. These themes can bare easy parallels to the opera Cyrano. This is also to case for many works of both French Romanticism and French Realism. The political and social issues of the 19th century made their way into works of popular fiction and poetry, while at the same time authors created their own memorable and epic characters. Cyrano is one of these complex characters, and many insightful connections can be made between his opera and works of this period.

65

Famous Three Musketeers writer, Alexandre Dumas père (1802-1870).


66

Conflicts and Loves in Cyrano Draw a picture of Cyrano in the middle circle. In the outer circles, draw a picture of those individuals with whom Cyrano has a direct relationship. Then in the boxes pointing toward the middle circle, write how that individual feels about the central character. In the boxes pointing to the outer circles, write how Cyrano feels about that individual.


Parlez-Vous Français?

67

The opera Cyrano is sung in French, which is one of the Romance Languages derived from Latin. Below you will find a list of French phrases and words which you can learn to pronounce by listening to the audio file on our website. French is an international language spoken by millions of people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. The following exercise will familiarize you with this important global language.

Phrases Bonjour. Comment allez-vous? Très bien, merci. Au revoir. Qu’est-ce que c’est? C’est une montre. Ce n’est pas une montre. Où est le crayon? Le crayon est dans le livre. Bill est américain. Monique est française. Quel age as-tu? J'ai quatorze ans.

Words Hello. How are you? Very well, thank you. Good bye. What is it? It is a watch. It is not a watch. Where is the pencil? The pencil is inside the book. Bill is American. Monique is French. How old are you? I am 14 years old

a book a pen a notebook a chair a table a student a school a teacher my brother my sister my father my mother

un livre un stylo un cahier une chaise une table un étudiant/une étudiante une école un instituteur/une institutrice mon frère ma sœur mon père ma mère

Using the phrases above, practice speaking French with a friend. Try to put new sentences together using the extra vocabulary words. Write two new sentences that you have created. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Count to 20 in French! 1 2 3 4 5

un deux trois quatre cinq

6 7 8 9 10

six sept huit neuf dix

11 12 13 14 15

onze douze treize quatorze quinze

16 17 18 19 20

seize dix-sept dix-huit dix-neuf vingt

There are many French words that are used commonly in English (cuisine, buffet, boulevard, chandelier, hors d’oeuvres). List below several English words that you think come from the French language. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Active Learning 1. Research the French Revolution and find the meaning of “liberté, egalité, fraternité”. 2. Visit your local library and borrow a French film. An excellent one is “Red Balloon”. 3. Research the history of Art in Paris and explain the main trends at the beginning of the 20th-century. Try to create a drawing imitating your favorite style from this era.

4. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art and see the Barnes Collection. Make a report to your class about your experience.


A L’Opera

68

Imagine that a French student write his/her impressions after seeing Cyrano at the Academy of Music on February 6, 2008...

Le mercredi 6 février 2008, notre classe est allée à Philadelphie, à l’Académie de Musique pour une représentation de l’opéra en 3 actes de David DiChiera “Cyrano”, inspiré de l’oeuvre d’ Edmond Rostand Personnellement, c'était la première fois que j’assistais à un tel spectacle. La musique nous faisait vivre l'oeuvre. Le décor était grandiose. Les costumes étaient si fantastiques que je me trouvais projeté en France immédiatement. C’est une histoire d’amour, l’histoire de Cyrano de Bergerac, un noble français, soldat et poète qui possède un nez extraordinairement large. Il est tombé amoureux de Roxane, sa cousine mais garde ses sentiments pour lui car il pense que son nez grotesque ne premettra pas à Roxane de l’aimer en retour. Pour gagner l’affection de Roxane, il utilisera le magnifique Christian, amoureux lui aussi et écrira de sa part de belles lettres d’amour poétiques à la belle Roxane. Quand Chritian meurt et Cyrano sur le point de mourir, Roxane découvre la vérité, qu’elle n’a aimé qu’un homme et l’a perdu deux fois. C’est Marian Pop qui chanta le rôle de Cyrano et Evelyn Pollock celui de Roxane, la cousine de Cyrano. Stephen Costello était un merveilleux Christian. Cette sortie était vraiment une expérience fabuleuse.

Even if you do not know French, you will be able to fill in the line by finding the French word in the text above. All the words are in bold. Bonne chance! (Good luck!) 1. Wednesday ______________________________________________ 2. Plays Christian in Cyrano __________________________________ 3. February ________________________________________________ 4. Singer who plays Roxane __________________________________ 5. Opera

__________________________________________________

6. Singer who plays Cyrano ___________________________________ 7. Acts _____________________________________________________ 8. Cyrano’s young and beautiful rival __________________________ 9. Composer of Cyrano ______________________________________ 10. Cyrano's cousin and love __________________________________ 11. Writer of the original play __________________________________ 12. Nose ____________________________________________________ 13 French __________________________________________________ 14. Love _____________________________________________________ 15. Our Hero ________________________________________________ 16. Extraordinarily ____________________________________________ 17. Grotesque _______________________________________________ 18. Soldier __________________________________________________ 19. Letters __________________________________________________ 20. Sings ____________________________________________________


A L’Opera Seek and Find

69

Using the word bank at the bottom of the page, see if you can find some of the words mentioned in the review by the French student on the previous page.

S

I

A

Ç

N

A

R

F

Z

A

B

E

L

E

D

U

T

S

E

Z

E

R

F

O

I

E

X

D

D

I

E

B

E

A

R

P

O

È

T

E

R

P

I

M

V

L

O

U

P

B

I

I

V

P

T

G

É

C

O

A

U

N

Q

M

H

R

R

R

I

O

E

R

H

N

D

B

J

S

E

C

E

I

U

U

I

R

I

I

D

M

A

O

E

R

T

I

N

A

O

O

A

E

E

R

A

F

U

T

C

A

R

T

C

R

M

C

N

R

O

R

A

R

O

R

D

V

N

T

O

U

A

C

A

S

I

Q

T

R

E

L

È

O

E

X

S

È

E

Ç

T

A

S

O

G

D

O

F

N

S

A

I

T

T

E

A

N

C

H

R

I

S

T

I

A

N

Q

V

E

T

N

P

Z

E

M

U

S

I

Q

U

E

L

Ç

È

L

D

O

E

V

E

L

Y

N

P

O

L

L

A

C

K

L

P

N

O

B

L

E

T

T

R

E

C

Y

R

A

N

O

ACTES

EDMOND ROSTAND

MARIANPOP

POÈTE

AMOUR

EVELYN POLLACK

MERCREDI

ROXANE

BERGERAC

EXPÉRIENCE

MOURIRE

SOLDAT

CHRISTIAN

FÉVRIER

MUSIQUE

STEPHEN COSTELLO

CYRANO

FRANÇAIS

NEZ

DAVID

GROTESQUE

NOBLE

DICHIERA

LETTRE

OPÉRA


70

c

Have you ever wondered what it takes to produce an opera? In this exercise, you’re the boss. You’ll want to break up into teams to complete the tasks at hand: creating your own opera! Remember to have fun with this. It can be as long and as short as you want it to be.

Produce Your Own Opera! Office Administration Fees $220,000 These fees include salaries and benefits for a staff of 30, and office rental and utility fees. Orchestra Fees $225,000 Conductor’s salary, orchestra of 60 players, scores for 60 players, salary for Music Librarian.

Scenario: The Opera Company of Philadelphia is producing a fictitious Dracula-themed opera called Renfield’s Revenge by the fictitious composer Ephraim von Streimenhoffer. The Company must decide whether it is going to build its own production or rent a production, decide on several casting and orchestra issues, and decide whether it will rent or build its own costumes.

Chorus Fees $125,000 Chorus of 45 singers, Chorus Master salary, Rehearsal accompanist. Children’s Chorus

$15,000

Supernumerary Fees $1,500 “Supers” receive $10 for every performance and every rehearsal they attend.

The Characters include: Melisma, a soprano prima donna, enamored of Canon $10,000-$6,500 per performance Kantata, her mezzo-soprano confidante/maid $7,500-$4,000 per performance

Production Salary Costs $45,000 This includes salaries for Director, Stage Manager, 2 Assistant Stage Managers, and one month’s housing for the Stage Director.

Adjustable Costs: Canon, an heroic vampire-slayer tenor extraordinaire $12,000-$8,500 per performance Renfield, a crazy madman tenor that eats bugs $10,000-$6,500 per performance Nosferatu, a villainous vampire-baritone $10,000-$6,500 per performance

Singers: Depending upon the chosen cast, you will have three options as to what your final costs will be. The most expensive cast has the most popular singers. The least expensive cast is not as popular, but the singers are very good younger singers. The middle cast option contains some popular singers and some up and coming singers. Remember, there are 6 performances!

Cantus Firmus, pious penitent bass with a penchant for packing garlic $7,500-$4,000 per performance

Cast A = Cast B = Cast C =

A chorus of 45 singers, a children’s chorus of 20, 10 supernumeraries or extras.

Set: The Company needs to decide if it should build

Fixed Costs: Academy of Music Rental Fee $250,000 The Opera Company of Philadelphia has to rent space in which to perform. As a renter, the Opera Company is considered a tenant of the Academy of Music, just as if you rent an apartment, you are considered a tenant of the apartment building. This fee included space rental fees, usher fees and stage hand fees.

$57,000 per performance $52,000 per performance $36,000 per performance

its own set or rent it. There are a couple of options for both criteria: OCP-Built Set #1: Opulent, very detailed and will need extra union laborers to complete on time. $200,000 #2: Scaled down version of first option, with less expensive materials to create. $100,000 #3: Technology-based design concept that uses cutting-edge production technology. $150,000


Rented Set #1: A bit large for the stage of the Academy and it will be a tight fit – it has stunning sets, however. $45,000

After you’ve figured out a budget, here some other things that you will need to do:

#2: Set is a bit small for the Academy stage, but it is a fairy-tale style production hat audience members $45,000 will enjoy.

a story.

Costumes: #1: Throwing caution to the wind, these OCP-built costumes are elegant and imaginative. $150,000 #2: A bit scaled back in concept from option 1, these costumes look wonderful onstage and will still be crowd-pleasing. $100,000 #3: These costumes are rented and will enhance the look of the opera. $70,000 #4: This option contains some rented costumes and some built by OCP. $85,000

Optional: Additional Orchestra Rehearsal

$7,000

Additional Dress Rehearsal

$75,000

Understudy Cast

$30,000

1. Write your own plot – you can’t have an opera without a. You may need to do some research on vampire themes and about Transylvania: What is Transylvania like? What are vampire bats and what are their characteristics? Would you be seriously hurt if you were bitten by a bat? b. In what era will you set the opera? Modern times? Medieval times? The future? c. What is the arc of the story, its beginning middle and end? d. What is Renfield’s Revenge? Why is he vengeful? e. How many acts will it have? f. Write an aria or monologue for Melisma, Canon, and Nosferatu. his should consist of 10-20 lines of dialogue in which these characters express their emotions about someone or something and a plan of action.

2. Design sets and costumes for the opera. a. Use this as an art project with your class or at home.

Active Learning While a lot of negotiations take place among the General Director, Music Director, Production Department, Stage Directors, and the like, it ultimately comes down to managing money. Each season a specific amount of money is set aside for each of the operas we produce. But there are a lot of elements that come into play when deciding how to spend that money. For this exercise you’ll be given $1,000,000 to stage an opera, which is the average cost it takes to put together one production. You’ll be given some fixed costs that are not negotiable and have to be paid. Then there are some other costs that you’ll be able to decide upon when it comes time to pay the bill. You cannot go over $1,000,000. If you go over $1,000,000, you lose. If you stay under $1,000,000, you receive 10 points for every $1,000 you save. Remember, you need to create the best possible production. The better the production is overall, the happier the audience will be. The happier the audience is, the more inclined they will be to renew their subscription and donate to the Company.

b. You can do this on sketching paper, on a computer, or maybe as a collage with images taken from magazines.

Questions: How did you come up with your final budget? What was the most important aspect of the production for your group – singers? Sets and costumes? What was the most difficult choice for you to make? Did you include any of the optional additions to the project? If so, did you include the option rather than using more expensive singers or stage design? What percentage of the $1,250,000 is designated for Academy of Music rental fees? If the Supernumerary budget is $1,500 and there are 10 Supernumeraries and 6 performances, how many rehearsals did the 10 supers attend?

71


2007-2008 Season Subscriptions

72

Review the charts of the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s performance season and prices. Then answer the questions below.

2007-2008 SEASON PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE SERIES Sun. One

Sun. Two

Wed. One

Wed. Two

Fri. One

Fri. Two

Rigoletto

Oct. 7, 2007

Oct. 14, 2007

Oct. 10, 2007

Oct. 17, 2007

Oct. 5, 2007

Oct. 2, 2007

Hansel and Gretel

Nov. 18, 2007

Nov. 25, 2007

Nov. 14, 2007

Nov. 14, 2007*

Nov. 16, 2007

Nov. 23, 2007

Cyrano

Feb. 10, 2008

Feb. 17, 2008

Feb. 13, 2008

Feb. 13, 2008*

Feb. 8, 2008

Feb. 15, 2008

Norma

Apr. 6, 2008

Apr. 13, 2008

Apr. 9, 2008

Apr. 16, 2008

Apr. 4, 2008

Apr.1 8, 2008

PRODUCTION

Curtain Times: Sunday Performances begin at 2:30 PM; Wednesday Performances begin at 7:30 PM; Friday Performances begin at 8:00 PM.

2007-2008 SEASON PRICE CHART SUBSCRIPTION PRICE

SINGLE TICKET PRICES

SEATING LOCATION

Sundays

Wednesdays

Fridays

Sundays

Wednesdays

Fridays

Parquet Box/Balcony Box

$728.00

$648.00

$612.00

$204.00

$181.00

$181.00

Parquet Floor

$456.00

$408.00

$392.00

$126.00

$111.00

$111.00

Parquet Floor front/sides

$396.00

$348.00

$340.00

$126.00

$111.00

$111.00

Balcony Loge

$412.00

$348.00

$340.00

$126.00

$111.00

$111.00

Parquet Circle/Balcony Circle

$380.00

$328.00

$320.00

$111.00

$91.00

$91.00

Proscenium Box

$268.00

$224.00

$216.00

$74.00

$66.00

$66.00

Family Circle

$268.00

$224.00

$216.00

$74.00

$66.00

$66.00

Family Circle Side

$156.00

$136.00

$136.00

$44.00

$41.00

$41.00

Amphitheatre

$112.00

$100.00

$96.00

$31.00

$26.00

$26.00

1. Cyrano will be performed on what day, date, and time in the Wednesday 2 Series? 2. If a new subscriber buys 4 subscriptions for the Friday Series in the Balcony Loge, what does he/she pay? 3. Which performance occurs closest to Thanksgiving? ____________________________________________________ 4. What sets of series have the same curtain time? 5. On Sundays, what is the cost of the subscription for a parquet or balcony box and of an individual ticket? 6. How much more does a person pay when buying single tickets to all the operas in the Parquet Floor section on Fridays than the person who buys a subscription in the parquet? What is the percentage of savings of a parquet subscription over four individual tickets?


Invest in Grand Opera!

73

Many adults have trouble understanding charts and graphs, which are used in daily life. Study the information and then see if you can answer the questions below. We want you to join our family of donors. In fact, we need you, as only 40% of our costs are met through ticket sales. Your contribution is critical to our success!

Champagne and wine are served with pastries donated from Termini Brothers.

Bravi Associates

Private reception at every opera in the Academy of Music Ballroom.

Patron Council

The Bravi Associates Lounge

Friends

What do you get for joining? Some benefits are listed below. Plus you will benefit by being a part of our success – knowing when the curtain goes up that you have made it possible. Your gift, at whatever level, is greatly appreciated.

GIFT LEVEL

1

2

$75 - $149 Contributor

x

x

$150 - $249 Supporter

x

x

x

$250 - $499 Sustainer

x

x

x

x

$500 - $749 Affiliate

x

x

x

x

x

$750 - $999 Fellow

x

x

x

x

x

x

$1,000 - $1,499 Partner

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$1,500 - $2,499 Bronze

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$2,500 - $4,999 Silver

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$5,000 - $7,499 Gold

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$7,500 - $9,999 Platinum

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$10,000 - $24,999 Ruby

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$25,000 - $49,999 Emerald

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$50,000 - $74,999 Sapphire

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$75,000 - $99,999 Diamond

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$100,000+ Guarantor

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Benefits of Giving 1. Special consideration when requesting subscription seating upgrades.

2. Opportunity to purchase and exchange tickets throughout

3

4

5

DONOR BENEFITS 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

x

13. Artists’ meet and greet receptions on the first day of rehearsal.

14. Performance dedication in your name with premier listing on the title page of the program.

the season.

15. Invitation to travel with Company Directors to other

3. Priority seating at pre-performance opera lectures 4. Private vocal recital. 5. Recognition of your gift in Playbill for one full year 6. “Tales from the Dressing Room” event with Costume

opera companies to hear singers.

Director Richard St. Clair.

7. Passes to a dress rehearsal (for a total of 4). 8. Bravi Associates Lounge privileges for one full year

How many benefits would you receive if you donated $10,000? What is your gift level? _____________________________________________ List the benefits of someone who is at the Gold gift level. _____________________________________________

during all opera intermissions

9. Opportunity to meet the artists of an opera at a special reception in their honor.

10. Director’s salon. 11. Private backstage tour for you and your guests. 12. Annual Patron Council dinner and recital.

Which giving level is the first to receive their name in the opera program book, Playbill? ______________________________________________ At which giving levels would you get a private backstage tour for you and your guests? ______________________________________________


74

The Night They Invented

Cuisine In the recent Disney Pixar Studios release Ratatouille, a food obsessed rat, Rémy, is a stand-in chef for a young kitchen apprentice named Linguini. Together they create masterpieces of French cuisine, or cooking, so unique that all of Paris swoons at the sight of the glorious dishes they prepare together. So how does Rémy, or anyone for that matter, go about learning to cook like a true French chef? One would have to reach back in history to discover the beginnings of what is today known to millions around the world as classic French cooking.

The national style of French cooking recognized around the world has evolved over time and has endured through centuries of social and political changes. In the Middle Ages, lavish banquets were prepared by such chefs as Guillume Tirel, known as Taillevent, and served mainly to the upper classes. While the dishes were often elaborate showpieces sometimes gilded with gold and silver leaf, multiple courses were served all at once (en confusion...in confusion) with no particular thought. Foods were heavily seasoned and the sauces were thick. Pies, a familiar and popular item, had crude crusts that were nothing more than a container for the contents of the pie, usually meat. Catherine de’ Medici, an Italian noblewoman, arrived in France in 1533 to become the bride of the French King Henri II. Accompanying her were her skilled Italian chefs who began to change cooking methods in France. They introduced new ingredients such as butter and artichokes. Profiteroles, consisting of pastry filled with custard and served with a warm chocolate sauce, are said to have been invented for her delight. This delicious dessert is still served today in restaurants featuring French cuisine.

Beginning in the 17th century, the time during which the opera Cyrano takes place, there were even more profound changes in how and what types of food were prepared in French kitchens. François Pierre was a professional chef. In those days, this meant he worked in the kitchens of a noble household. He borrowed the name La Varenne from the famous chef of King Henri IV. He used it to sign his groundbreaking book, Le cuisinier françois (The French Cook). Et voilà! French cooking comes into the modern era. This was the first comprehensive French cookbook that defined the standards for all that was to follow. It set French cuisine apart from that of other countries at that time. Previous books merely listed random recipes not organized in any particular fashion. In La Varenne’s book, recipes were alphabetized. Rules regarding the preparation of food were written down and were applied to make dishes more refined, lighter, and elegant. New fruits and vegetables were introduced. Natural flavors were emphasized. This nouvelle cuisine (new cooking) used spices to enhance the taste of the food rather than to disguise it as had been done in previous times. The freshness of ingredients was of utmost importance. In the preparation of dishes, chefs insisted that the final product be visually attractive as well as tasty. Exquisite meals became more widely available to a greater number of people, not just to the noble classes. Haute cuisine (literally high cooking) became the fashion and La Varenne the first celebrity chef. His cookbook and others defined food in ways that were new, and those definitions have remained in place even to today. An idea to keep in mind is that the French don’t just eat. They dine. The French language even has a verb dîner (to have dinner). Food is part of the French l’art de vivre, i.e., the art of living. Food is to be savored and enjoyed, not something to be gulped down hastily and without thought. Most dinner table talk in France invariably includes talk about food, great meals, and wines. Gastronomie, the practice or art of choosing, cooking and eating good food, is a word that is often applied to how the French regard food. The new type of cuisine put forth in La Varenne’s book created a new type of food lover...a gourmet, someone who recognizes and appreciates haute cuisine and can distinguish it from the merely ordinary table fare.


La Varenne’s cookbook set off a flurry of others all adding to the rich traditions of French cooking. He followed up his first volume with a second sensational book Le pâtissier françois (The French Pastry Chef) that was the first comprehensive work on French pastry making, a novelty at the time. In this book, he standardized how basic pastry dough was to be made. Books on French cooking had become a major part of the publishing industry by the end of the 17th century. La Varenne’s book was translated into every major European language and was re-printed forty-six times before 1700. La Varenne was truly the first celebrity chef and led the way for other influential chefs such as Antonin Carême and Auguste Escoffier, who were to follow. During the second half of the 17th Century, thousands of cookbooks were in circulation, available to professional as well as non-professional cooks. Recipes in those books called for a cuisine that was even more delicate and refined. Paris literally became the international capital of food, and la cuisine française held first place all over Europe. During the reign of Louis XIV, style and grace emerged as hallmarks of the French dining experience just two short decades after the publication of La Varenne’s book. Now jump ahead almost three centuries to the day after La Varenne’s book. Another influential work, Mastering the Art of French Cooking written by the celebrated American chef Julia Child, simplified basic French recipes for an American audience. Her TV show, The French Chef, brought French cooking to a mass audience, more than La Varenne could have ever imagined. In the forward, she and her co-authors state “Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere, with the right instruction.” And, so we return to our little gourmet rat Rémy and his cooking-challenged pal Linguini. No doubt following the principles laid out in countless French cookbooks, Rémy sets about re-creating the classic French dish ratatouille, a vegetable stew dating from the 18th century, that includes eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and zucchini With Rémy’s guidance, Linguini becomes an overnight sensation in the restaurant world. And so it goes. Even in the movies, the French culinary tradition lives on.

O

J

Make Your Own Profiteroles Roxane’s Duenna indulges in profiteroles at Ragueneau’s pastry shop. Make your own profiteroles at home with this great recipe from The Food Network’s Tyler Florence. Tyler made profiteroles on the French Bistro Bonjour! episode of his Food 911 show. This recipe and hundreds more are available at www.foodnetwork.com. Chocolate Sauce Ingredients: 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, cut in chunks 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Combine the cream and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until bubbles appear around the sides of the pot, but do not allow the cream to boil. Mix in the chocolate and vanilla; remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate melts and the sauce is smooth. May be served warm or chilled. Profiterole Ingredients: 1 cup water 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1 teaspoon sugar Pinch salt 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 large eggs 1 quart vanilla ice cream Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the pate a choux: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring to melt the butter completely. Add all the flour and baking powder at once and continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated and the dough becomes a mass that pulls away from the sides of the pot. Remove from the heat and scrape the dough into a mixing bowl. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the dough on medium speed to cool it off a bit. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically. When all eggs have been incorporated, the dough should be a thick, smooth, and glossy paste. Form 24 golf ball-size mounds on the lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart allowing room for them to spread; keep the mounds as high and round as possible. You can use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a large spoon, your choice. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350˚ F. and continue to cook for 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door or remove the pans from the oven until the puffs are firm to the touch. The profiteroles should be golden brown and well-risen. Allow the shells to cool before filling. Using a serrated knife, slice the pastry puffs almost in half. Place 3 profiteroles on each dessert plate and fill with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top; garnish with powdered sugar and fresh mint if desired.

75


Glossary

76

Underlined words are used in the libretto and are underlined in the libretto as well.

act (akt) n. one of the main divisions of a play or opera. allegro (uh-leg-roh) adv. musical term for fast and lively. alto (al-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice; also called contralto. andante (ahn-dahn-tey) adv. a musical term meaning in moderately slow time. aria (ahr-ee-uh) n. an operatic song for one voice. audacious (aw-dey-shuhs) adj. extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless. bar (bahr) n. a division of music, marked by two barlines, containing a set number of beats. baritone (bar-i-tohn) n. the range of the male voice between tenor and bass. bass (beys) n. the lowest male singing voice. bawl (bawl) v. 1. to cry or wail lustily. 2. to utter or proclaim by outcry; shout out. beat (beet) n. the basic pulse of a piece of music. bourgeois (boor-zhwa-zee) n. the social class between the lower and upper classes. Capuchin (kap-yoo-chin) n. a friar belonging to the branch of the Franciscan order that observes vows of poverty and austerity. chord (kawrd) n. a group of notes played at the same time in harmony. chorus (kawr-uhs) n. 1. a group of singers. 2. a piece of music for these. chronological (kron-l-oj-i-kuhl) adj. a method of arrangement that puts events in order of occurrence. contralto (kuhn-tral-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice. credulity (kruh-doo-li-tee) n. willingness to believe or trust too readily, esp. without proper or adequate evidence; gullibility. cuckold (kuhk-uhld) n. the husband of an unfaithful wife. denigrate (den-i-greyt) v. to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; defame. duenna (doo-en-uh) n. an older woman serving as escort or chaperon of a young lady; a governess or lady-in-waiting exploit (ek-sploit) n. a striking or notable deed; feat; spirited or heroic act. flat (b) (flat) adj. a half-step lower than the corresponding note or key of natural pitch. forte (f) (fawr-tey) adv. a musical term meaning loudly. fortissimo (ff) (for-tee-see-moh) adv. a musical term for very loud.


frenetic (fruh-net-ik) adj. frantic; frenzied. gallantry (gal-uhn-tree) n. dashing courage; heroic bravery; noble-minded behavior. key (ke) n. the basic note of the main scale used in a piece of music. Music in the key of G, for example has the sound of being based on the note G and often returns to G as a home note. imbecil (im-buh-sil) adj. a dunce; blockhead; dolt. invincible (in-vin-suh-buhl) adj. incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued. lackey (lak-ee) n. a footman or liveried manservant. largo (lahr-goh) adv. & adj. a musical term meaning in slow time and dignified style. libretto (li-bret-oh) n. the words of an opera or other long musical. major (mey-jer) adj. music in a major key uses a major scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then another tone (for example, A, B, C). It often has a cheerful, strong sound. minor (mahy-ner) adj. Music in a minor key uses a minor scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then a semitone ( for example A, B, C). Often has a sad, melancholic sound. minuscule (min-uh-skyool) adj. very small. mortadella (mawr-tuh-del-uh) n. a large Italian sausage of pork, beef, and pork fat chopped fine, seasoned with garlic and pepper, cooked, and smoked. motley (mot-lee) adj. exhibiting great diversity of elements. naïve (nah-eev) adj. having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality. natural (nach-er-uhl) adj. a note that is neither flattened nor sharpened. octave (ok-tiv) n. a note that sounds twice as high in pitch as another is an octave above the other note, and has the same letter naming it. opera (op-er-uh) n. a play in which the words are sung to musical accompaniment. opus (oh-puhs) n. a musical compostion numbered as one of a composer’s works (usually in order of publication). orchestra (awr-kuh-struh) n. a large body of people playing various musical instruments, including stringed and wind instruments. overture (oh-ver-cher) n. an orchestral composition forming a prelude to an opera or ballet. palpable (pal-puh-buhl) adj. readily or plainly seen, heard; obvious. panache (puh-nash) n. a grand or flamboyant manner; verve; style; flair. parasol (par-uh-sawl) n. a lightweight umbrella used, esp. by women, as a sunshade. pianissimo (pp) (pee-uh-nees-ee-moh) adv. a musical term meaning very softly. piano (p) (pee-an-oh) adv. a musical term meaning softly. plot (plot) n. the sequence of events in an opera, story, novel, etc.

77


profane (pruh-feyn) adj. characterized by irreverence or contempt for sacred things; irreligious.

78

presto (pres-toh) adv. a musical term meaning very fast. proscenium (proh-see-nee-uhm) n. the arch or frame that separates a stage from the auditorium. protagonist (proh-tag-uh-nist) n. the leading character in an opera, play, story, etc. Pulcinella (Pool-chee-nehl-lah) n. the name of a comic figure in a puppet-show. rendezvous (rahn-duh-voo) n. an agreement between two or more persons to meet at a certain time and place. ridicule (rid-i-kyool) n. speech or action intended to cause contemptuous laughter at a person or thing; derision. scale (skeyl) n. a series of notes arranged in descending or ascending order of pitch. semitone (sem-ee-tohn) n. a half step or half tone, an interval midway between two whole tones. sharp (#) (shahrp) n. any note a semitone higher than another note. also, slightly too high in pitch. soprano (suh-pran-oh) n. the highest female or boy’s singing voice. stage (staj) n. a platform on which an opera, play, etc. are performed for an audience. staging (stey-jing) n. the presentation or production on the stage. symphony (sim-fuh-nee) n. a long elaborate musical composition (usually in several parts) for a full orchestra. synopsis (si-nop-sis) n. a summary, a brief general survey. tenor (ten-er) n. the highest male singing voice. tone (tohn) n. 1. an interval equal to two semitones. 2. the sound quality of an instrument or voice. vanquish (vang-kwish) v. to conquer or subdue by superior force, as in battle. verismo (vuh-riz-moh) n. realism in opera.

From Dictionary.com. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Š Random House, Inc. 2006.


Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to: Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening 1.1. Learning to Read Independently GRADE 5 D. Identify the basic ideas and facts in text using strategies (e.g., prior knowledge, illustrations and headings) and information from other sources to make predictions about text. 1.1.8. GRADE 8 E. Expand a reading vocabulary by identifying and correctly using idioms and words with literal and figurative meanings. Use a dictionary or related reference. 1.1.11. GRADE 11 H. Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading. Read a variety of genres and types of text. Demonstrate comprehension. 1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas. 1.3. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature GRADE 5 E. Analyze drama as information source, entertainment, persuasion or transmitter of culture. 1.3.8. GRADE 8 E. Analyze drama to determine the reasons for a character’s actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character. 1.3.11. GRADE 11 E. Analyze how a scriptwriter’s use of words creates tone and mood, and how choice of words advances the theme or purpose of the work. 1.4. Types of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11. GRADE 5 A. Write poems, plays and multi-paragraph stories (GRADES 8 & 11 - and short stories). 1.4.5, 8, 11. C. Write persuasive pieces (Review of Opera Experience, p. 78). 1.5. Quality of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11 A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus. 1.6. Speaking and Listening GRADES 5, 8, 11. B. Listen to selections of literature (fiction and/or nonfiction). C. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations. F. Use media for learning purposes. 1.8. Research GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Select and refine a topic for research. B. Locate information using appropriate sources and strategies. C. Organize, summarize and present the main ideas from research. Academic Standards for Mathematics 2.1. Numbers, Number Systems and Number Relationships 2.1.8. GRADE 8 A. Represent and use numbers in equivalent forms (e.g., integers, fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, scientific notation, square roots). 2.2. Computation and Estimation 2.2.5. GRADE 5 A. Create and solve word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers. 2.5 Mathematical Problem Solving and Communication 2.5.11. GRADE 11 A. Select and use appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques from different areas of mathematics and apply them to solving non-routine and multi-step problems. Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.1. Unifying Themes 3.1.10. GRADE 10 E. Describe patterns of change in nature, physical and man made systems. •Describe how fundamental science and technology concepts are used to solve practical problems (e. g., momentum, Newton’s laws of universal gravitation, tectonics, conservation of mass and energy, cell theory, theory of evolution, atomic theory, theory of relativity, Pasteur’s germ theory, relativity, heliocentric theory, gas laws, feedback systems). 3.2. Inquiry and Design GRADE 7 Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations. GRADE 10 Apply process knowledge and organize scientific and technological phenomena in varied ways. GRADE 12 Evaluate experimental information for appropriateness and adherence to relevant science processes. 3.3. Biological Sciences 3.3.10. GRADE 10 D. Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution. 3.7. Technological Devices 3.7.7. GRADE 7 E. Explain basic computer communications systems. Describe the organization and functions of the basic parts that make up the World Wide Web. (Check operaphila.org to see photos of the rehearsals and sets.) See Teacher’s Guide for additional science lessons. Academic Standards for Civics and Government 5.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship 5.2.12. GRADE 12 C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts. Academic Standards for Geography 7.1. Basic Geographic Literacy 7.1.6. GRADE 6 A. Describe geographic tools and their uses. •Basis on which maps, graphs and diagrams are created. 7.3. The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions 7.3.6. GRADE 6 B. Explain the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics. Academic Standards for History 8.2. Pennsylvania History 8.2.9. GRADE 9 8.2.12. GRADE 12 Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student... skills needed to analyze the interaction of cultural, economic, geographic, political and social relations to. A. Analyze the... cultural contributions of individuals... to Pennsylvania history from 1787 to 1914. • Cultural and Commercial Leaders (e.g., Academy of Music architects Napoleon Le Brun & Gustav Rungé, opera star Marian Anderson). 8.3. U.S. History 8.3.9 GRADE 9 B. Identify and analyze primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history from 1787 to 1914. • Historic Places (e. g., Academy of Music). 8.4. World History 8.4.6 GRADE 6 A. Identify and explain how individuals and groups made significant political and cultural contributions to world history. 8.4.12. GRADE 12 C. Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions since 1450 C.E. Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities 9.1. Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music,Theatre and Visual Arts A. Know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities. I. Know where arts events, performances and exhibitions occur and how to gain admission. 9.2. Historical and Cultural Contexts C. Relate works in the arts to varying styles and genre and to the periods in which they were created (e.g., Renaissance, Classical, Modern, Post-Modern, Contemporary...). D. Analyze a work of art from its historical and cultural perspective. E. Analyze how historical events and culture impact forms, techniques and purposes of works in the arts. F. Know and apply appropriate vocabulary used between social studies and the arts and humanities.

79


State Standards Met

80

State Standards met in Cyrano Sounds of Learning™ Lessons:

Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera A Brief History of Western Opera A Brief History of American Opera Opera Etiquette 101 Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Broad Street: Avenue of the Arts Philadelphia’s Walk of Fame Game: Connect the Opera Terms Why I Like Opera

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 7.1, 7.1, 9.2 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 7.3, 7.3,

7.3, 7.3, 9.1, 7.3, 8.2, 8.2,

8.4, 8.4, 9.2 8.2, 9.1, 9.1,

9.2 9.2

1.3, 8.2, 9.1

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 1.8, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3,

1.5, 1.8, 7.1, 1.5, 1.5, 1.5,

5.2, 7.1, 8.2, 5.2, 5.2, 5.2,

8.4, 7.3, 8.3, 7.1, 7.1, 7.1,

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2,

1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3,

7.1, 9.1, 7.1, 7.1, 1.6, 9.2 1.6, 1.8, 7.1, 1.4,

7.3, 9.2, 7.3, 7.3, 8.4,

9.1, 9.2, 13.1 13.1 9.1, 9.2, 13.1 8.2, 8.3, 9.2, 13.1 9.2

7.1, 3.1, 7.3, 1.5,

8.4, 3.2, 9.1, 1.6,

2006-2007 Season Subscriptions Invest in Grand Opera! The Night They Invented Cuisine

1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 3.7, 1.1, 1.1, 1.4,

1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 5.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.6,

1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3, 7.1, 2.1, 2.1, 9.1,

5.2, 1.4, 1.8, 1.8, 1.6, 1.6, 1.6, 1.6, 1.6, 7.3, 2.2, 2.2, 9.2

Glossary

1.1, 9.2

8.3, 9.1, 9.2 9.2 9.2

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection As Plain as the Nose on Your Face From the Pages of History: The Real Cyrano de Bergerac Events During Cyrano’s Lifetime Louis XIII, Louis XIV and the Absolute Monarchy in France France and the Three Estates Women and the Enlightenment

9.2 8.3, 8.4, 8.3, 8.4, 8.4,

8.4, 9.2 9.2 8.4, 9.2 9.2 9.2

Cyrano: Libretto and Production Information From Start to Finish: Creating a New Opera Meet the Artists Composer David DiChiera and Librettist Bernard Uzan Voice on the Rise: Stephen Costello Acting the Libretto Cyrano Synopsis Cyrano LIBRETTO The Highs and Lows of the Operatic Voice The Subtle Art of Costume Design Careers in the Arts

9.2 9.1, 9.2 9.2 1.8, 6.1, 6.4, 9.2

Lessons Cyrano Discussion Questions Poetic Styles and Cyrano Sounds of Learning™ in the Classroom Rostand’s Cyrano and Contemporary Literature Conflicts and Loves in Cyrano Parlez-Vous Français? A L’Opéra Game: A L’Opéra Seek and Find Produce Your Own Opera!

8.4 1.5, 2.1 8.4, 1.8, 1.8, 1.8, 1.8, 1.8, 8.2, 2.5, 2.5,

1.8, 9.1, 9.2 9.2 9.2 9.2 9.2 9.2 2.1, 8.4, 6.1, 6.1,

2.2, 2.5, 3.1, 9.1, 9.2 9.1 9.1


Written and produced by:

Special thanks to:

Opera Company of Philadelphia Community Programs Department Š2007

Dr. Dennis W. Creedon

1420 Locust Street, Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. 19102

Ann Antanavage Adele Betz Laura Jacoby Tullo Migliorini Laurie Rogers Arlene Shults The Teachers of Our Children Academy of Music Ushers

Tel: (215) 893-3600, ext. 246 Fax: (215) 893-7801 www.operaphila.org/community Michael Bolton Director of Community Programs bolton@operaphila.org

Christine Jaison

Creator, Sounds of Learning TM Curriculum Consultant

David DiChiera Composer

Intern

Bernard Uzan

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Librettist

Barbara Mills

Mark Flint

Volunteer

Orchestrator

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Michael Hauser

Vincent Renou

Michigan Opera Theatre

Assistant Director

Rebekah Johnson

French International School of Philadelphia

Ryan Bunch Consultant Rose Muravchick Consultant

Michigan Opera Theatre

Denise Stuart Academy of Vocal Arts

Maureen Lynch Operations Manager Academy of Music

Shannon Walsh Assistant Operations Manager Academy of Music

Greg Buch Production Manager Academy of Music

Cornell Wood Head Usher Academy of Music

Debra Malinics Advertising Design

Kalnin Graphics Printing

Center City Film and Video R. A. Friedman The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Department