TANCREDI - Sounds of Learning Student Guide

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OPERA PHILADELPHIA & T H E S C H O O L D I ST R I C T O F P H I L A D E L P H I A PRESENT

FINAL DRESS REHEARSAL F E B R U A R Y 8 , 2 017 | 2 : 0 0 P. M . ACADEMY OF MUSIC

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W E H O P E T H AT YO U Accept the Challenge... ...to open this book and begin to explore the universal themes that you will find in opera with your teachers, classmates, and parents. This challenge is like an exploration in which you examine different issues that people have faced throughout the ages. It is like taking an adventure through time and space. This book is a guide that will connect you to an art form, opera, that may take you outside of your realm of experiences. The stories and problems in operas have been part of the human condition and span throughout time. In an opera the story will be presented in a way that will be different from the way you are used to experiencing a story. Through the music and the libretto, we hope you will be able to connect with the plot, the storyline or themes that may have been written in the 18th, 19th, or 20th century but are still relevant today. During your time of study and preparation with these materials, there is the expectation that you will be able to connect something from your exploration of opera to your own personal stories. Accepting this challenge also provides an opportunity for you to apply what you know to present day situations and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the story presentation. As you work your way through this book, we hope you will be prepared to experience the opera with a new set of lenses that will afford you the opportunity to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what you have learned or experienced during the challenge. Hopefully, you will take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on your experiences on our Sounds of Learning™ blog. Through your reflections you will share with others your insights about your journey. Your reflections will also help us modify and adjust our program materials for future audiences and students. We hope you will accept this challenge, and join other students who are taking the journey to make connections between the past and the present in order to impact the future! I accept the challenge

G O A L S A N D O B J E C T I V E S of Sounds of Learning ™ Connect with the plot or themes

Connect something from your exploration of opera to your own personal stories

Draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the story presentation

Experience the opera with an open mind

Analyze, synthesize and evaluate what you have learned or experienced during the challenge

Use the Sounds of Learning™ blog to reflect on your experience and provide insights about your journey

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


TA B L E O F Contents GET TING READY FOR THE OPERA The Then and Now of Opera 2 Philadelphia’s Academy of Music 4 Opera Etiquette 5 The Language of Opera 6 Theater Anatomy 7 Operatic Voice Types 8 So You Want to Sing Like an Opera Singer? 9

R E L AT I N G O P E R A T O H I ST O R Y The Man Behind the Music: Gioachino Rossini 10 What in the World?: Event during Rossini's life 11 Casting Call: Exceptions or Rules? 12 Rossini's Opera Seria 14

L I B R E T T O

& P R O D U C T I O N I N F O R M AT I O N

Tancredi: Cast and Creative Team 15 The Story of Tancredi 16 Meet The Artists 28 Act It Out: Tancredi in 15 Minutes 30

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Plot the Action of Tancredi 38 Character Pyramid 39 What Do You Hear: A Music Lesson 40 En Travesti: Trouser Roles Past and Present 41 Stand True, Stand Tall: An Art Lesson 42 Writing a Review of the Opera 43 Tancredi: Crossword Puzzle 44 People of the Opera: Word Search 45 2016-2017 Season Subscriptions 46 Invest in Grand Opera! 47 Glossary 48

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THE THEN AND NOW of Opera Have you ever wondered where opera got its start? Back in the late 1500s, during a period of time known as the Renaissance (1400– 1600), a group of men called the Florentine Camerata got together and created a new theatrical experience. They wanted to recreate the legendary dramas of ancient Greece. In the end, what they created was called opera! Most early operas were based on Greek myths. The oldest opera for which the music survives was Claudio Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo, written in 1607. This opera included many important elements: songs, instrumental accompaniments, costumes, dance, and scenery. Amazingly, we still use all of these items today!

Barrie Kosky's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, coming to Opera Philadelphia in September 2017 Photo: Robert Millard/LA Opera

Monteverdi’s L'Orfeo was written during the Baroque period, a time from 1600 to 1750. During this period, operas in the Italian style were performed all over Europe and were so popular that even non-Italians composers wrote them. For example, Georg Frederic Handel (1685–1759) was a German-born composer who lived and worked in England. His operas, like Julius Caesar (1724), were written in the Italian language and used an Italian style of music.

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The eighteenth century was full of change for both Europe and opera. This time period was known as the Age of Enlightenment. People

Morris Robinson as the Grand Inquisitor and Eric Owens as King Phillip in Verdi’s Don Carlo. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography

were talking about new forms of government and organization in society, especially the ever-growing middle class. Music changed during this period and composers dropped the complicated Baroque musical style and wrote music that was simpler and more emotional. One of the first operas to use this new style was Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1762). In 1776 the American Revolution changed the world. A few years later the French had their own revolution (1789) and the first modern democracies were born. Reflecting this new way of thinking, audiences wanted to see characters like themselves on stage, not the gods and goddesses portrayed in earlier operas. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786) was one of the first operas to do this. It told a story about aristocratic class struggle that had both servants and nobility in lead roles. In the 1800s opera continued to grow. The Italian tradition developed in the bel canto movement, which means “beautiful singing.” The most famous bel canto composers were Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868), Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848), and Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835). Their operas, like Rossini’s popular comedies The Barber of Seville (1816) and Cinderella (1817), are still some of the


most popular operas performed today. By the middle of the 19th century, the Romantic Movement led many composers to champion their own national identities. They wrote music that reflected their home countries. German operas like Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (1821), Russian operas like Mikhail Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar (1836) and French operas like Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (1836) were performed across Europe. In Germany, Richard Wagner took Romanticism to the extreme by composing The Ring of the Nibelung (1876), a series of 4 operas that takes over 15 hours to perform!

Philadelphian Jennifer Higdon and based on the book of the same name by Charles Frazier. Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly’s 2015 work, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, about the tortured jazz saxophonist, was so well received that it traveled to New York City in April 2016 to become the first ever opera to be produced at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Although opera is one of the oldest musical art forms, it still remains and expands today. From the old favorites to the new experimental works, opera continues to be a moving art form of the people. READING COMPREHENSION • What is the name of the first famous opera? • Who are the most famous bel canto composers? • Name two operas composed by Rossini.

Kevin Burdette and Sarah Shafer in The Elixir of Love. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography

Opera in the 20th century became even more experimental. Composers like Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) continued to evolve their national styles. Others, horrified by the destruction of World War I (1914-1918) and other aspects of modern life, created music that was new and drastically dissonant. Meanwhile, American opera had a huge hit with George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935) which included jazz and blues musical styles. Today, opera is still growing and expanding. Opera Philadelphia helps to shape the future of opera by producing important new operas like Cold Mountain (2016), composed by

• Who brought Romanticism to the next level? • What is the name of the composer who had her American opera performed at Opera Philadelphia in 2016? Where is she from?

Lawrence Brownlee in Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD. Photo: Sof ia Negron

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P H I L A D E L P H I A’S AC A D E M Y O F M U S I C

Photo by George Widman

Opera Philadelphia's home, the Academy of Music, opened in 1857. Opera is only one type of performance shown in the Academy. There are also ballets, concerts, and galas. The building is a historical monument and the oldest grand opera house in America still used for its original purpose. The Academy of Music is sometimes called the "The Grand Old Lady of Locust Street." The opera house was initially built with a plain white exterior as the architects wanted the beauty to be on the interior, as it was at the famous opera house, La Scala, in Italy. Later, the exterior was revised to look as it does today. Unlike other performance houses, the Academy of Music's seating was a 'U' shape. This was for the audience to have the best view from every angle possible. The first opera presented in the brand new opera house was Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore on February 25, 1857. The basement of the Academy of Music has a history, too. It was used as a dining hall because of its beautiful interior decoration. During World War II the hall was transformed into the Stage Door 4

Canteen, serving refreshments and featuring appearances by entertainers performing at the Academy of Music, such as Abbott and Costello, Duke Ellington, and Frank Sinatra. Today, The Academy of Music continues to entertains people through concerts, operas, ballets, and more. The wondrous hall dedicated to the arts has blossomed into the perfect place for a performance of any kind. Academy of Music Facts:

• The auditorium seats 2,897; 14

columns support the Academy’s tiers • The red and gold pattern on the Academy’s stage curtain simulates a pineapple, a Victorian-era symbol for “welcome.” • The first-ever indoor football game was held on the Academy’s Parquet level on March 7, 1889 between the University of Pennsylvania and Riverton Club of Princeton. • 1,600 people attended the first-ever public motion picture screening on February 5, 1870. adapted f rom String Theory School ’s iBook


OPERA Etiquette By Dan Darigan AT T E N DI NG T H E OPE R A

There’s nothing as exciting as seeing a performance in Philadelphia’s beautiful Academy of Music. If this is your first time at the opera, there are a few things for which you should prepare:

For a fun video of what’s expected at the opera, please visit tinyurl.com/OperaEtiquette.

You are attending the opera’s final dress rehearsal, the last chance for performers to run through the show before opening night. The goal is to treat this rehearsal exactly like a performance and perform the opera straight through without a pause. You may notice several computer monitors Students from Harris Elementary School get ready for the opera. and a large table spread out over the seats in the center of the first f loor of the auditorium. Seated in this area is the production team: THE DO'S and DON'TS Director, Assistant Director, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Please Do… and others. They’ll take notes and • Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” communicate via headsets with the many for men and “Brava!” for the women. people backstage who help make all of the • Use the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins operatic magic happen: Stage Managers, or at intermission. Master Carpenter, Lighting Technicians, • Be careful in the auditorium! The theater is over Stagehands, and others. They’ll be able to give 150 years old and can be difficult to navigate. notes so that changes can be instantly made. • Turn off your cell phones and all electronic Should things go awry, they may stop and devices. repeat a section to make sure that it is perfect. • Obey all directions given by theater ushers and staff. OPER A E T IQU E T T E 101 • E njoy the show! Unlike actors on television or in the movies, performers on stage are very aware of the audience. Everything you do in the audience Please Don' t... affects what happens on stage and behind the • No food, gum, nor beverages are permitted scenes. Because this is a working rehearsal, inside the theater. we ask that you please refrain from talking • P hotographs or video footage may not be taken so that the production team can concentrate during the performance. on fine-tuning the production. You can show • No talking or whispering during the the artists how much you appreciate their performance. work and the opportunity to come to this free rehearsal by being as quiet as possible. 5


THE LANGUAGE OF Opera AC T ARIA BALLET BLOCKING CHORUS CONDUC TOR DUET LIBRET TO ORCH ES T R A OV ERT U R E PROGR A M R E C I TAT I V E REHEARSAL SCENE

main sections of a play or opera a solo song sung in an opera

dance set to music action on stage

usic composed for a group of singers; the name of a group of m singers in an opera

person who rehearses and leads the orchestra a song performed by two singers

the text or words in an opera, an opera’s script

a group of musicians who play together on various musical instruments

a piece of instrumental music played at the beginning of an opera

booklet that contains information about the opera, composer, performers, the opera company, and includes advertisements

words that are sung in the rhythm of natural speech

time when singers/actors practice with or without the orchestra; time when musicians practice together with the conductor segments of action within the acts of an opera

Soprano, Chrstine Goerke, sings the title role in Turandot at Opera Philadelphia. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography

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T H E AT E R Anatomy Opera singers must act on stage as well as sing! This means that they have to understand the stage set-up. When directors rehearse with singers, they must communicate where the singers should be on stage. Otherwise there could be a big traffic jam! To make everything clear, a special vocabulary is used. UPSTAGE is the name given to the very back of the stage (away from the audience) and DOWNSTAGE is at the front (near the audience). STAGE LEF T and STAGE RIGHT are used to identify the sides of the stage. It is important to know that left and right are always from the performers perspective. You might be wondering why it is called "up" stage and “down” stage. This is because opera sets are frequently built on an angled platform or “deck” that is lower in the front near the apron and higher in the back. Thus, the lower end is “downstage” and the higher end is “upstage”.

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IN

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APRON

ORCHESTR A PIT

VIEW OF THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC STAGE TAKE YOUR PLACES Pretend you are on the Academy of Music stage. The director needs you to take your place on stage. Follow the directions to indicate where you go.

Draw an X on DOWNSTAGE RIGHT

Draw an A on UPSTAGE RIGHT

Draw a Y on UPSTAGE LEFT

Draw a B on DOWNSTAGE LEFT

Draw a Z on DOWNSTAGE CENTER

Draw a C on UPSTAGE CENTER 7


O P E R AT I C Vo i c e Ty p e s In the early Baroque period (1600-1750), voice types were not of great importance as composers simply wanted the most talented singers to perform the most important roles. During the second half of the 18th century, specific voice classifications described how high or low a person could sing. The seven main categories of voice types (from highest to lowest) are as follows: soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, countertenor, tenor, baritone, and bass. Today, we still use these voice classifications. It is important to know that a person can only know their true voice type when they become an adult. Sometimes a person's voice type may even change. The following people have distinguished themselves in history and today as leaders of their voice type.

Brenda Rae soprano

Marian Anderson contralto

Jarrett Ott baritone

Maria Callas soprano

Stephanie Blythe mezzo-soprano

Grace Bumbry mezzo-soprano

Lawrence Brownlee tenor

Mario Lanza tenor

Samuel Ramey bass

Morris Robinson bass

David Daniels countertenor

Thomas Hampson baritone

Photo Credits: Brenda Rae - Kristen Hoebermann; David Daniel - Simon Pauly; Lawrence Brownlee - Ken Howard; Jarrett Ott - Dario Acosta; Thomas Hampson - Dario Acosta; Samuel Ramey - Christian Steiner;

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Morris Robsinson - Ron Cadiz.


S O Y O U WA N T T O S I N G Like an Opera Singer? Singing on the opera stage is very hard work! Singers are like athletes, constantly training to perfect their voices. They ask their voices and bodies to do what most of us without training can’t do: sing incredibly intricate and difficult music and project their voices to be heard over a 60-piece orchestra without microphones or amplification. Singing begins with the human voice, a very versatile instrument. It can produce sounds that present a wide range of frequencies that we call pitches. Our voices are able to change in volume as a result of the air we exhale from our lungs and control with our diaphragm, a muscle right behind our stomach that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. When we inhale deeply, the diaphragm lowers and the ribs and stomach expand as the lungs fill with air. Then the diaphragm forces the air out when it contracts, causing our vocal folds to vibrate. Vocal folds are fibrous bands that are stretched along the two sides of our larynx, or our sound instrument, just below the ‘Adam’s apple.’ When we hum, talk, or sing, air passes through the larynx causing the vocal folds to vibrate, creating a sound that is then shaped by the other parts of our bodies including the mouth, tongue, teeth, and lips. To sing different pitches and volumes, singers must control the flow of air, through the vocal folds in our larynx. They practice vocal exercises daily so that they can quickly adjust to the demands of the music without thinking about it. To see the vocal folds in action, visit tinyurl.com/cords-in-action To see how the diaphragm works, visit tinyurl.com/diaphragmatic-demo

Lisette Oropesa commands the stage in La traviata at Opera Philadelphia. Photo by Kelly & Massa Photography

TH E SINGING VOIC E AN EXPERIMENT Materials: Paper Cups, Rubber Band, Paper Clip We'll use the materials listed above to demonstrate how the vocal folds work to make the necessary pitches for speaking and singing. 1. Make a hole in the bottom of the cups.

2. Cut rubber bands so that they become long stretches of rubber.

3. P ull on the rubber band so that it vibrates. How does the pitch change? Record your findings.

4. T ie the rubber band to the paper clip, which should be larger than the hole in the cup. The rubber band should act as a plug to the hole. Be sure to tie the know securely to the paper clip so that it doesn't slip out and eject from the cup. 5. S lide the rubber band through the small hole in the cup and pull it through until the paper clip catches on the inside bottom of the cup.

6. P ull on the rubber band again so that it vibrates a second time. Record your findings.

7. In comparing the two sounds, what did you observe after the cup was added to the activity? 8. P lace different sized cups into your experiment and record your findings.

9. Cover the cup opening with your hand. Pull on the rubber band. Record your findings.

10. S ee if you can get your cup to make sounds like a baby.

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THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC: Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born in the small town of Pesaro located on the east coast of Italy along the Adriatic Sea. He came from a musical family; his mother sang and his father played the trumpet. As a result, Rossini spent much of his childhood in the theatres where his parents performed. The young Rossini had a wonderful memory and a remarkable ear. At the age of 14, he went to Bologna Academy to study music, an institution which still exists today. That year he wrote his first opera, Demetrio e Polibio, and learned to play the harpsichord, trumpet, and violin. Rossini also had a beautiful voice and sang well enough to earn a good living from performing and composing before he was out of his teens. During his lifetime, Rossini wrote three dozen operas, six cantatas, three pieces of sacred music, numerous songs and duets, a songcycle, and several instrumental works. All of this was done by the time her turned 37 years old. Rossini is best known for his many operas. If asked to describe Rossini’s music, one might say that it sparkles with energy and radiates a playful humor. He wrote both opera buffa (comic) and opera seria (serious). The Barber of Seville is generally regarded to be the best of the buffa genre. His music is fast paced and cheerful, yet elegant in its simplicity. He wrote for the bel canto style of singing which, 10

when translated from Italian, means beautiful singing. The style allowed singers to show off how fast, how high, and how spectacularly they could sing through ornaments which they would add to the aria. Rossini was one of the first composers of his time to start writing out the ornamentations in his arias since bel canto singers would often decorate an aria so much it made the piece sound like a completely different composition. Rossini’s life as a composer spanned over two major musical periods, that of the Classical era (1750-1810) and the Romantic era (1815 – 1910). This had an impact on Rossini's compositional style. As its name would suggest, music of the Romantic era was about love, as well as a celebration of nature and of the simpler life. The Barber of Seville aligns more with the characteristics of classical elegance and balance, while Rossini’s last opera, William Tell typifies the more deeply emotional Romantic style. When Rossini retired at the young age of 37, he began a life full of entertainment. While living in Paris, where he spent the rest of his life, Rossini hosted elegant dinner parties that were high social events talked about in all of the newspapers. It is possible that Rossini loved to eat more than he loved to compose. There are many stories that document his affinity for food. For example, it is said that Rossini composed an aria while waiting for his risotto to cook at a restaurant in Venice. Later in life he composed short little-known pieces for piano titled, Radishes, Pickles, Almonds Raisins and Hazelnuts. When living in Paris, he even befriended a chef who gave him. Today, Rossini's music continues to frequent the greatest performing halls of the world. His comedic timing and flare for the dramatic have gained him the approval of audiences both young and old.


W H AT I N T H E W O R L D ? E v e n t s d u r i n g R o s s i n i ’s L i f e Gioachino Rossini lived between 1792 and 1868. Listed below are some historic and cultural events that took place during his lifetime. Events in boldface type are things that happened to Rossini; an asterisk (*) indicates events of local interest. 17 9 2

Born on February 29 in Pesaro, Italy, the only child of Giuseppe, a horn and trumpet player, and Anna, a singer.

18 0 6 1810

Studied singing, cello, piano, and counterpoint at the Bologna Academy. He began working in local opera houses.

His first professional operatic commission was a one-act comic opera, La cambiale di matrimonio.

1813

Rossini wrote his first serious opera Tancredi at the age of 19.

1816

The Barber of Seville premiered in Rome, and La gazzetta and Otello premiere in Naples.

* The first savings bank in the United States opened in Philadelphia

1817

Wrote operas: Cinderella, La gazza ladra, and Armida.

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His last opera, William Tell, premiered in Paris and is attended by a magnificent audience. He returns to Bologna.

* The cornerstone for first United States mint was laid at Chestnut and

Juniper Streets in Philadelphia 18 3 0

"Mary Has a Little Lamb" was first published by Sarah Josepha Hale in the anthology "Poems for Our Children."

18 4 7

The first doughnut with a hole was created.

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Rossini took up permanent residence in Paris.

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First samedi soir - December 18. In Paris, Rossini began to host musical

parties on Saturday evenings where artists, politicians, and diplomats came to meet and hear a galaxy of musical talent.

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Last samedi soir - September 26. Died on Friday, November 13 in Paris at age

76. Over 4,000 people attend his funeral. 18 6 9

* Charles Elmer Hires sold his first root beer in Philadelphia.

18 7 0

* The first section of the famous boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J. opened to the

public. 18 7 0 18 8 7

* The first United States zoo opened in Philadelphia. Re-buried at Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, where he lies next to Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo.

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C AST I N G C A L L Exceptions or Rules? By Deborah Bambino First comes the story, or event that catches the eye, or ear, of the author, composer, or screenwriter. American actor, composer, rapper and writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, read a biography of Alexander Hamilton and made a connection between the world of the Founding Fathers and our current political reality. Inspired by the book, Miranda created the hip-hop Broadway phenomenon, Hamilton. Author, Suzanne Collins, wrote a futuristic trilogy of young adult novels called the Hunger Games. Her story of the “haves and have nots” captured the imaginations of young and old readers, and provided the inspiration for a series of blockbuster films that premiered in March. Rossini's opera Tancredi (1813) was based on Voltaire's 1760 play about the 11th Century conflict between the Muslims and Christians, a struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle East, known as The Crusades. The struggle in the Middle East is still being waged today. Emilio Sagi's production for Opera Philadelphia has updated the setting of Tancredi’s tale to the 1920s. In each of these examples, artists reimagine real or fictional events into artistic performances for audiences to experience. This new interpretation is shaped by decisions about setting, character, costumes, music and more. As audience members we then decide if the artistic decisions work for us. Does the performance make sense? Does it make us think about important questions? Do we feel connected to the characters and their problems? Are we entertained, or are we bored? Did the artist stay true to their source material? If the artists made dramatic 12

Lauren Curnow and Maureen McKay perform in Opera Philadelphia's production of Hansel and Gretel. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography

changes of time, place, or character, did the changes add to the meaning of the piece? In performance art the actors cast in the show enormously affect we experience the story. Who are these characters, can we walk in their shoes, and understand their highs and lows? If we are familiar with the real or fictional people in the story, do the actors match our idea of who the people were? If they don’t match our idea, does the artist’s idea, or interpretation work? In Hamilton, Miranda has cast men and women of color in all of the key parts of the colonists. The musical has broken box office records on Broadway, and it won all the major awards at the 2015 Tony Awards, but the casting call for “non-white men and women” to audition has come under fire. Actors' Equity, the union that represents stage actors, challenged the show’s producers, calling for language that asks for “performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.” The job posting has been changed in response, but the show’s commitment to diverse, non-traditional casting will remain in place. Ben Brantley, a New York Times theater critic, wrote that “Hamilton is among other things, about who owns history, who gets to be in charge of the narrative.” President Obama


commented on the show’s casting choices, noting that “the show reminds us that this nation was built by more than just a few great men…” Brantley, President Obama, and countless theater-goers agree that non-traditional casting coupled with the use of hip-hop beats and rhymes enrich the show, bringing the story out of the distant past and underscoring its relevance for audiences today. However, there is another school of thought: there are forces inside and outside the theater community who think Hamilton represents “reverse racism,” and these critics call for “colorblind casting.” In 2012 when the first Hunger Games film was released, the character Rue was played by an African American actress. Although the author described the character as a 12 year old girl with dark brown skin and eyes, some of the novel's readers cried foul, and waged a hateful cyber attack again the actress, despite the author's protests. The film and the actress's performance in it worked, and was true to the author's vision for the majority of viewers. However, the vocal minority vented their negative bias on social media. In Shakespeare's time, plays were performed exclusively by white men and boys. Women and people of color were not allowed on the stage. Boys played women’s parts, and white men donned make up, or “blackface”, to play the roles of color. Romeo and Juliet were both played by males; Othello was a white man disguised as a Moor. Whitewashing, or the casting of whites in the roles of characters of color is controversial today. Last year, Emma Stone played a mixed Asian-American woman in the film, Aloha; and British actor, Joseph Fiennes has recently been selected to play Michael Jackson in a comedy called, Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon about a fictional meeting between Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando. Qualified actors of color are being passed over regularly in favor of white actors, despite widespread protests in the artistic community.

“Cross-gender” casting in Shakespeare’s tragedies is on the rise. Women have begun to take on male roles in Shakespeare’s plays arguing that some of the greatest roles in the classics have been written for men, and that as women, actresses can bring new interpretations and dimension to the classic characters. Phyllida Lloyd recently staged an exclusively female version of Julius Caesar, staging the play in a women’s prison to explain why there were no men in the cast. In Tancredi, the lead male role of the hero Tancredi was specifically designed to be played by a woman. Traditionally, male roles performed by women are known as a “trouser roles.” The vocal qualities required by the composer and librettist to fulfill their vision of the music or drama dictates the casting of women in trouser roles. The women wear male costumes and change their posture and body language to create the illusion of masculinity, although audiences are still aware that the male character is portrayed by a woman. Some musical historians have even written about a vocal hierarchy, where higher voices were equated with goodness and purity, while low, natural men’s voices were interpreted as evil or corrupt. Historically, this belief was reflected in singers’ pay, with women being paid more than tenors and basses. As audience members, and citizens, it is ultimately up to us to decide on our preferences and beliefs. Should the artists of today be limited to the restrictions of the past and only cast the characters as they were originally written? Should playwrights, and composers push performance outside the boundaries of traditional staging and casting concerns? As future patrons of the arts, you can make your opinions known.

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ROSSINI' S OPERA SERIA At the movies, there are comedies, dramas, thrillers and more. Just like movies, opera comes in all different genres. While opera is not classified with these exact genre names, there are similarities nonetheless. Tancredi composer Gioachino Rossini's operas often fit into two main categories: comedy and drama. The name given to comedic opera during Rossini's time was opera buffa. This name first originated during the 18th century when comic opera was popular in Italy. Today, Rossini is celebrated as of the great composers of the genre. His The Barber of Seville and The Italian Girl in Algiers are just two comic operas that have become favorites of opera-goers today. While Rossini was musically a comedic genius, he also knew how to create a little drama. The counterpart to opera buffa is opera seria, or serious opera. Rossini's contribution to opera seria began with Tancredi. The Gran Teatro la Fenice (pictured below) hired Rossini to compose a new opera as part of Carnival, the most celebrated public festival in Venice, Italy. La Fenice specifically asked for it to be an opera seria. In order to achieve this goal, Rossini partnered with local librettist, Gaetano Rossi. For the subject of their opera, Rossini and Rossi were drawn to Voltaire's tragic French play Tancrède. As the librettist, Rossi had the job of interpreting Voltaire's play and creating new text for the opera. This was the text that Rossini would eventually set to music. Within a matter of months, Rossini was finished. Premiering at La Fenice on February 6, 1813, Tancredi was a great success and proved that Rossini could go beyond comedy and be master a different genre: opera seria. FINDING THE RIGHT ENDING When Rossini and Rossi created Tancredi for La Fenice in 1813, they chose to tell the story in a slightly different way. In particular, they changed Voltaire's original ending so that the protagonist Tancredi, who has been badly injured in battle, would not die at the very end. Instead, Tancredi would recover from his injuries and be united with his love Amenaide. However, when Rossini took his newly composed opera to a group of nobles in Ferrara, a small town northern Italy, it was requested that he stay true to Voltaire's dramatic ending. As a result, two versions of Tancredi exist today. In Opera Philadelphia's production of Tancredi, you will see the opera as it was performed in Ferrara.

Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Italy was home to the f irst performance of Tancredi in 1813.

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To get a better idea of the two endings, read both The Story of Tancredi (pp.16-27) and Act It Out (pp.30-37). Which ending do you like best?


TA N C R E D I C a s t a n d C r e a t i v e Te a m Final Dress Rehearsal–Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 2:00 p.m. at the Academy of Music. Music by Gioachino Rossini. Libretto by Gaetano Rossi. Performed in Italian with English supertitles.

TA NCR E DI

A MENAIDE

Stephanie Blythe mezzo-soprano

OR BA ZZ A NO

Brenda Rae* soprano

ISAU R A

Daniel Mobbs baritone

A RGIR IO

Michele Angelini* tenor

Allegra De Vita* mezzo-soprano

CONDUCTOR

Corrado Rovaris

ROGGIERO

Anastasiia Sidorova* mezzo-soprano

DIR EC TOR /CHOR EOGR A PH ER

Emilio Sagi*

A S S I S T A N T D I R E C T O R Javier Ulacia*

S E T D E S I G N Daniel Bianco*

C O S T U M E D E S I G N Pepa Ojanguren* L I G H T I N G D E S I G N Eduardo Bravo*

C H O R U S M A S T E R Elizabeth Braden

ASSISTANT CHORUS MASTER

Emily May Sung

*Opera Philadelphia debut Photo: Brenda Rae - Kristen Hoebermann; Michele Angelini - Rebecca Fay; Allegre De Vita - Arielle Doneson Photography.

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T H E STO RY O F TA N C R E D I Retold by Dan Darigan

ACT I The year was 1005 and, in the Kingdom of Sicily, the City of Syracuse was being invaded by yet another mighty force, this time the Saracens, also known as the Moors. Solamir, their leader, had offered a peaceful solution to their invasion by asking for young Amenaide’s hand in marriage which was flatly rejected by her father, Argirio, the leader of the Senate. Tancredi, son of the long-deposed King of Syracuse, had been banished from the country at a very young age and was sentenced to death should he ever try to come back to Sicily. Amenaide, however, was in love with Tancredi and had sent him a secret letter, asking that he return. It was that letter that was going to get her into a great deal of trouble. There was a ray of hope left in the city of Syracuse, however, for a civil war between two rivaling families had just ended. One side was led by Argirio, the leader of the Senate, and the other by Orbazzano, a Sicilian Duke. Knights from both sides were milling around in the courtyard of Argirio’s palace and the words, “Peace,” “Honor,” “Faith,” and “Love” were resounding to the balconies above and off into the city itself as our story begins. Two rival knights clasp hands, “The fury of this civil war has now ended!” heralds one. The other follows, “Yes, let all of Syracuse rejoice and let love fill every heart!” Arm in arm, Argirio arrives with Orbazzano and the crowd hushes in expectation of what they will say. Argirio begins, “Our two great houses are one again and if you truly honor and love your country, Syracuse will always be victorious and blessed!” The crowd and soldiers cheers while Orbazzano continues, “Let us swear allegiance to our land!” “Let me tell you,” shouts Argirio, “the arrogant Moor leader will tremble before us! We will conquer him along with all the Saracens! Valiant knights, the hero to lead you is here before you! I give you Orbazzano!” Orbazzano holds out his arms for quiet and proceeds, “Knights, we shall gladly shed our blood for our country in the fierce battles 16

that await us, but,” putting a note of caution in his voice, “who will defend us against horrible, secret treason?” Argirio rejoins, “Our ancient law dictates that those who are traitors, no matter what age or if they are a man or woman, shall be put to death! This is especially true regarding Solamir, the enemy Saracen.” “To death, to death!” the crowd shouts. Orbazzano continues, “Even more than Solamir, we must guard against another foe! I know that some of you honor him…he is the exiled Tancredi!” At the edge of the crowd, Isaura, the best friend of Argirio’s daughter gasps, “Oh, heavens! How can this be? What harm can our people fear from Tancredi?” “Years ago,” Orbazzano continues, “he was born here, to a ruling family. He was banished in early childhood so he must hate and seek vengeance on us!”


The men of Syracuse gather and celebrate their newfound unity. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

Argirio continues, “Especially against you personally, Orbazzano! When he hears what the Senate has given you as reward for your bravery and goodness, he will shudder with anger. You are to be the husband of my own dearest daughter, Amenaide.” Again, Isaura cries out, “Oh, my unhappy friend!” Orbazzano smugly follows by saying, “At last, I’ll be happy and get what I’ve always desired…Amenaide!”

daughter. And in the spirit of our combined houses as well as your own obedience to your father, you will give yourself, happily, for the common good of our compatriots.” Amenaide, taken off guard, blurts, “What do you mean?” “You will marry Orbazzano.” “Orbazzano?” she says frightfully.

Turning to her friend, a shocked look in her eyes, Isaura takes her hands and whispers, Just then, Amenaide, not aware of this pledge “Do not betray yourself !” of her hand in marriage, arrives at the top of the balcony stairs, her ladies in waiting “But what of the letter?” she inquires as they following her. She gazes upon the crowd walk a few steps away. below and announces, “How comforting to see your expressions of joy. My soul, like “It has already gone to Tancredi.” yours, rejoices at our newly found peace.” But, as she descends the stairs, she can only think Amenaide, her face gone pale, turns back to about her beloved, Tancredi. When will he Orbazzano who takes her hand and intones, return to his fatherland and into my arms? she “My love for you is immense! Today your wonders. If he should not return, I will never noble father has made me very happy.” know hope again. Argirio adds, “I needn’t add that his bravery, Amenaide runs to Argirio’s arms and the nobility, and fortune make him worthy of two embrace. The proud father smiles down you.” on her and says, “Such a joyous day, my 17


Orbazzano reacts harshly, “Should I be afraid?” “Do not fear,” Amenaide said, “I shall do my duty.” Everyone wanders off while Isaura slumps by a fountain at the edge of the courtyard. She wonders to herself, Poor Amenaide! What great despair has this fatal day brought her! How can she marry Orbazzano when she has sworn her love to Tancredi? I see black clouds of woe gathering around us on this sorrowful day.

The glowing Amenaide enters not yet knowing that she is to be wed to Orbazzano. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Opera de Lausanne

“You do not answer?” Orbazzano asks. Amenaide hesitates, not knowing what to say, “Sir…I…I did not think…and….” “Are you overwhelmed?” her father asks. “For good reason,” Amenaide recovers. “With so many turns of evil fate in my short life, such unexpected change surprises me.” Then she adds, “Oh, Father! You know my heart!” “I know that my daughter’s devotion to him will be strengthened by her duty!” he says sternly. “Well…?” presses Orbazzano. “She will give you her hand,” retorts Argirio.

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Amenaide asks, “May it please you to wait until tomorrow? Think of my feelings, Father!”

Meanwhile, in a beautiful garden next to Argirio’s palace, where the sea waves lap up against the palace walls, a small boat sails into view and docks. Roggiero, Tancredi’s squire, ties up the boat as his master and four men disembark carrying his sword, shield, lance, and insignia which carry the words, “Faith” and “Honor.” Tancredi breathes deeply of the rich Sicilian sea breezes and exclaims, “Ah, my country at last I return to you! Dear land of my ancestors, this is a happy day for me and my heart breathes again knowing that Amenaide will soon be mine. I only want to be worthy of her, or die.” Turning to Roggiero, he says, “Go, seek her out and tell her that a knight from abroad wishes to speak with her in secret.” Roggiero asks, “Shall I tell her it is you?” “No,” returns Tancredi. “No, I want the joy of her surprise to be all mine.” Alone, Tancredi steps off the path and out of sight just as Argirio and Amenaide appear. “It’s my love!” Tancredi says and quickly steps further back into hiding. “Oh, Father!” Amenaide pleads, “you promised to wait until tomorrow.”


Argirio responds sternly, “Be silent. Your words and your prayers are in vain. New dangers have demanded new strategies. Solamir has brought new forces to surround our city. It is also known that Tancredi has landed in Messina, 100 miles to the north.” Amenaide suggests, “Perhaps he only comes to….” “…to seek revenge,” her father spits back at her, finishing her sentence. “He’d better not dare set his rebel foot on our soil or he shall pay with his life!”

buries her face in her upturned hands. “Keep in mind,” warns her father, “that you have an obligation to him, to me, and to your country!” He turns and strides away. Amenaide wonders to herself at how poorly timed Tancredi’s return is. What should I do? Heaven, save him from the wrath of his enemies. I’ve prayed for his return but now our ungrateful people will kill him if he should appear. Oh, keep him far away! Tancredi emerges from his hiding place and Amenaide cries out, “What is it I see?” “It’s your own Tancredi!” he rejoices. “Quiet, quiet, you wretched man!” she pleads. “Why do you come to this unfortunate country?” “You ask me why?” he answers, confused. “Speak,” she urges coldly, “What do you want?” “I want you,” he cried, “I want you, dear Amenaide, or death!” “What a terrible time you’ve chosen to return! You must flee the dangers here!”

Tancredi returns to Syracuse longing for his love Amenaide Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

Amenaide falls to her knees and mourns, “Death?” Argirio continues, “The Senate has ruled that all our enemies shall be sentenced to death. Tomorrow, we go back into battle with Orbazzano in the lead. Daughter, he longs for your love and devotion.” Amenaide

Taken aback, he says sorrowfully, “Once my name was dear to you. How could things have changed? Do you no longer love me?” “It would break your heart to know!” she cries. “This has been a day of horror. The air you breathe is the savage wind of death!” Amenaide turns away from him and thinks how painful her terrible secret is. Must I forever live in sorrow and weep? To Tancredi, she speaks with great difficulty, “Leave me. Go!” 19


“Tell me that I am dear to you, that you are true to me, and that love will triumph!” he cries. “How can I leave you like this?” Amenaide turns from him. “Speak,” he pleads. “It would just break your heart,” she says, “Go!” Then she walks away without looking back. __________ Later that day, in the public square near the city’s wall, the happy citizens are gathering in front of the great Cathedral of Syracuse, its tall, central nave blocking the evening sunset. Nobles, Knights, and Ladies are ushered into its front doors. Countless stone statues, embedded in the cathedral’s facade, look down with cold, heartless glares to witness the ill-begotten marriage of Amenaide and Orbazzano.

“I swear Faith and Honor which is pictured on my shield and inscribed on my heart,” he bellows while staring at the disbelieving Amenaide who clasps her hand over her mouth. “He thinks I am unfaithful!” she rasps to Isaura. “Now comes our happy moment,” says Argirio, but Amenaide runs forward and falls on her knees in front of her surprised father. “Forgive me,” giving Tancredi a meaningful look, “You lead me to my death, Father.”

Striding out to the central apse of the cathedral, Argirio welcomes one and all. “In the spirit of the sacred marriage rights about to come, the reconciliation between the families of Syracuse, as well as our victory tomorrow in battle, I welcome one and all!” Behind him, Amenaide and Isaura emerge from the Ladies Chapel behind the alter and stand in a doorway almost hidden in the dark of the cathedral’s shadows. Bolting from a small chapel on the right, Tancredi strides forward and addresses Argirio, “Noble leader, permit an unknown warrior to fight at your side!”

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Tancredi and Amenaide embrace after being apart for so long. Amenaide fears that her marriage to Orbazzano will keep from her true love. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

"What?" Argirio spits back, "How dare you?" Hearing his voice, Amenaide lets out a shriek of terror, “Isaura,” she whispers, “look, it’s “I cannot love the husband you have chosen Tancredi!” Fearfully Amenaide says, “This for me. I would be swearing a false oath moment will decide my future!” and, though it costs me my life, I will never belong to Orbazzano!” Argirio, clasping Tancredi’s hand in friendship, replies, “I accept your generous Tancredi wonders Is there still hope? offer, good knight!”


Orbazzano, hearing her say this, approaches and growls, “And an infamous death it will be, oh, traitress!” Isaura moans, “What is happening?” Orbazzano continues, “Her crime is written in her own handwriting! A letter telling of her love and affection to the wicked Moor, Solamir, our avowed enemy. This,” he holds out the letter, “was being delivered by one of her slaves but my men caught him.” “My daughter? Can this be?” Argirio wails after reading it. Amenaide turns away from the two and realizes I am lost! Argirio then reads the letter aloud:

Hurry! Syracuse awaits you. Glory and love invite you. Triumph over your enemies. Come to reign over my heart, and over us all.

Argirio turns, with tears of disbelief and murmurs, “My heart, filled with horror, groans in my breast!” Amenaide reaches out and takes his arm lightly, and pleads, “Beloved father…”

Argirio confronts his daughter, agreeing that her actions are treasonous. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

“You!” he shouts, “are capable of betraying both Faith and Honor! You will die for your crime!” To Orbazzano, she snarls, “Wicked one! Go ahead, gloat!” He rebuts, “So, you are proud of your guilt? You will be brought down by the horror of death!” Amenaide turns to her friend Isaura, “You, my friend…?”

“I shall always be loyal, no matter what cruel He whips around, “You dare to turn your eyes hardships and bitter fate await you.” upon me? A traitress is no daughter of mine and I am no longer your father!” To Orbazzano, she grits her teeth, seething, “Then take me. Arrest me! Strike me! I have Turning to Tancredi, she begs, “But at least lived in innocence and am ready to die!" you…?”

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ACT II Later that day, Orbazzano and Isaura are found in an open balcony off of Argirio’s palace. In the middle of the room is a small writing table and a throne-like chair. Orbazzano is furious with the unexpected reversal of his marriage plans and he is nervously pacing the floor awaiting Argirio’s arrival. Meanwhile, Isaura sits slumped in a small chair by the open window, mourning Amenaide’s fate.

Resigned, Argirio says, “Yes, honor must triumph. My country, you shall have your payment,” and he scribbles his name on the paper. In tears, Argirio hastens to the door and leaves, forgetting his red cloak on the floor, lying like a pool of blood.

Orbazzano stops, turns and faces Isaura, “You saw it! You heard it! The wicked woman spurned me as a lover, as a husband, and as a champion! I will see her tremble, I will see her to her death!" Argirio enters, throws off his cloak, and slumps into his Chair of State. “I am no longer her father! I leave her to her deserved doom!” To Orbazzano, he asks, “She refuses your sword in exchange for her hand. But why? For whose sake?” “Sign the guilty woman’s death decree!” he orders and hands the document to Argirio who stares at it with vacant eyes. Argirio, however, puts down the paper and walks to the window laying his hands on the balcony railing. He looks out over his city as if the answer lay on the horizon. “Oh, cruel God! How this has broken my heart. As the leader of the Senate, I should be able to look beyond my affection for her and sign. Yet, some quiet voice inside me says, ‘Stop! It is your daughter you condemn.’ I’ve attempted to sign her fatal sentence but my hand is paralyzed, my heart freezes in terror! My fatherly love cries out far greater!” “Then,” insists Isaura, “ask for mercy for your daughter!”

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Orbazzano crosses the room and presses, “You look out over your country, you must serve your fatherland first! It’s the law!”

Argirio signs off on his daughter's death

Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

Isaura turns to Orbazzano and seething says, “You must be exultant, you barbarian! Rush to her now! It wasn’t enough to hate her yourself, you had to transfer your fury even to her father! Go, you horrify me!” He looks through her with hateful eyes and snarls, “Traitors and their equals arouse disgust! Whoever pities them is perhaps a traitor…herself ! Beware, Isaura! This day will be dismal for all betrayers!”


The imprisoned Amenaide awaits her troubled fate. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

At the same moment, Amenaide is crumpled on the floor of her prison cell. She moves to straighten her stiff back and the chains of her shackles clink and clatter against the cold, stone floor. As if speaking to God himself, she utters, “This prison is for guilty criminals but here am I, at the end of my unhappy life, my father believes I’m a traitor, and, my love, Tancredi thinks I’m not loyal!” She buries her tear-streaked face in her hands and weeps. After her sobbing subsides, she continues, “Death for me will not be unbearable since I die for love for my Tancredi. One day he will come to know that I have been faithful to him.”

Argirio moves to the cold, black bars of her cell, grabs them tightly, “I’ve come to embrace you and to follow you to the tomb. I’ve tried but failed to hold back my desire to protect you. But death demands forgiveness, even for guilty children. “But, Father,” she weeps, “I am innocent.” “You claim to be innocent?” shouts Orbazzano. “What of the letter you wrote to that vile Moor?” “My love is not guilty!” she says, regaining her composure. “My only purpose was to save our country.”

Moments later she sees Orbazzano standing “Do you hear her?” he says to his knights, at the door to her cell. “The hour is long “sending a love letter to our worst enemy?” past,” he spits. “The people bellow and clamor for you, their victim, with loud voices.” “Is there no hope?” asks the downtrodden Argirio. Amenaide rights herself and stands. “Then take me away! Let us go!” she snarls. Peering “Face it,” counters Orbazzano, his chest into the hallway behind this dreaded knight bursting with bluster. “There is no knight she asks, “But who is that behind you?” who will defend her or dare do battle against me! Guards,” he orders, “take her to her Orbazzano moves away, “Father?” she asks, doom!” surprised. “You are here? Why have you 23 come?”


“Stop!” cries a voice further down the hall. “I will defend the accused woman!” Tancredi appears in front of the cell and faces off with Orbazzano. “You are a tyrant in a free country! I dare you to take up my challenge!” Tancredi pulls off his glove and throws it to the ground, challenging his enemy to a duel. “Is it truly him?” asks the reinvigorated Amenaide. “Or is this just a dream?”

Tancredi continues, “Oh, if you only knew who I was….” “Please, tell me.” “Heaven has been my enemy since childhood. You will know one day who I am. I hope you will not hate me then.” “Hate you?”

“And who are you?” asks Orbazzano.

Tancredi says sadly, “I am so unhappy!”

“I am your rival and the champion of this lady,” spits Tancredi.

“And my daughter?”

“The traitress!” he says coldly. “Then what is your rank? Your name?” he scoffs. “Your shield has nothing on it. Have “But you still fight for her?” asks Argirio. you had no accomplishments at all in battle?” “Yes, I will challenge death,” he says. “I ought “You will know who I am after I have struck to hate her but cannot.” you down!” bellows Tancredi. “What is that I hear?” asks Argirio, “I will tame your insane pride,” retorts interrupting Tancredi. “The trumpets are Orbazzano. “Open the gate and release the sounding, begging us to the field!” guilty one from her chains.” Tancredi removes his sword, “I burn for “Go and win,” Amenaide tells Tancredi. “The glory…and revenge. If heaven will guide victory will be yours, my warrior. Defend my me, and smile on me, my bravery will be innocence.” invincible!” Arm in arm, the two hurry off. He turns to her and whispers, “Ah, but you are not innocent!” Orbazzano shouts, “Come and perish, you fool!” and he rushes off. “I come to punish you!" Tancredi tells her. "Farewell!” The guards usher Amenaide off leaving Tancredi and Argirio alone. “Give me your embrace,” beckons Tancredi. “Yes,” Argirio says willingly, “I shall never know peace and contentment again, but with your warm embrace, the pain is lessened.

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An hour later, Isaura is in the palace when Amenaide, newly freed from her prison cell, appears. “Have you seen him?” she asks her friend? “Have you seen my champion?” “You mean,” Isaura replies, “the one who believes you to be unfaithful?” “He ought to have known my heart and never doubted me,” she cries. “But, your warrior fights for you nonetheless.” Argirio enters the room and embraces his daughter. “What news have you?” she asks.


“Your champion led me to a narrow valley where Orbazzano lay in wait for him. Their strength and technique were equal but I had to leave, so shaken was I with each of Orbazzano’s vicious blows.” “I pray God protects him and returns him to me victorious so I can prove my innocence to him.”

“But where?” asks Roggiero. Tancredi sighs, “To die far from this cursed country. Come.” “Stop!” pleads Amenaide. Tancredi recognizes her voice and thinks what an unfortunate meeting this is but answers coldly, “What do you want?”

The crowd’s noise grows in the distance, then they hear the strains of joyful music coming “You have generously saved my life, but what from afar and drawing ever nearer. “What of your heart?” noise is this?” asks Amenaide. Solemnly, Tancredi answers, “You have been The crowd is chanting, “Long live the hero!” saved. Let that be enough. Live happily, if you can. With your regrets. Now go!” “Who survived?” wonders Amenaide. “How my heart leaps in my breast.” The crowd gathers below and shouts, “Lady, rejoice! He has won!” “Orbazzano?” she asks. “He’s dead!” they chant. “Come, join the one who has won for you the victory.” “Oh, Father,” she says, “no one can imagine how overjoyed I am!”

Tancredi comes to the defense of Amenaide and challenges Orbazzano.

Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne Below, in the Grand Piazza of Syracuse, an enormous crowd gathers. From citizen to noble, they are there to welcome back “You still think me unfaithful?” Tancredi, the victor. “Let our songs praise his bravery, the greatest hero of our time,” chants “Leave me!” he cries. “I will not listen to you. the crowd. You hope, in vain, to tempt me. Well, save those charming looks for your next lover!” As the throngs disperse, Tancredi tells Roggiero, “The word ‘glory’ always falls “Listen to me,” she glares at him, “then you sweetly on my ear and victory is always may kill me if it is your will! I am innocent!” welcome. But nothing can relieve my heart’s suffering. Gather up my banners, faithful He looks her in the eye and, heartbroken but Roggiero. I love this land, but her cruel sins resolved says, “Farewell.” lead me elsewhere, and banishes me again. Let us go.”

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High atop Mount Lauro, west of the city of Syracuse, Tancredi stares out in the distance to the top of Mount Etna to the north, ready to erupt with another volcano. He looks down into the deep ravines below with their torrential waterfalls, thinking both are symbols of his doom. Absentmindedly, he wonders, Where am I? My love has forced me here to this roar of waterfalls and gloomy, howling winds…they nourish my poor heart with dark remembrances of her. But though she betrayed me, God forgive me, I love her still. He collapses on a rock at the entrance of a cave while the Knights of Syracuse emerge from the dense Santa Maria Forest. As they approach, Tancredi stands and Roggiero, his loyal squire at the lead, marches forward and the two clasp hands.

tear-stained cheeks, she cries, "He rushes headlong into battle for our city...but against me." She collapses to the ground in a faint. In the distance, Tancredi's entreaty can be heard, "To the battlefield, onward to victory!" Some time later, Amenaide regains consciousness and remembers, “He's marched into the jaws of death...he is lost!" Argirio, with a change of heart, orders his own soldiers, "Heaven has restored strength to my old arms and the thirst for glory courses through my veins, once again. Follow me!" and rushes off.

"Isaura," she cries, "so many torments for a single day!" She stands once again holding "There is terror in the city, my lord." Kneeling her hand to her ear, "Listen, the battle is before him, he continues, "Though I know raging full tilt. I hear the clash of arms and you are dying of sadness over Amenaide, you the warriors shouting. Oh, be careful Father, must lead us first to victory and defeat these and Tancredi...oh, Isaura, I can bear no despicable Saracens! Glory and valor must more," prevail and we must put an end to them once and for all. Lead us, Tancredi. Set our hearts "But hear," Isaura says, "the fighting has on fire!" stopped." But at just that moment, Amenaide, Argirio, and Isaura burst out of the pine forest and into the clearing below. "There is Tancredi, Father," she cries, pointing. The three approach, but Tancredi stiffens, "My God," he spits, "You are here! Traitress! Are you on your way to Solamir's Saracen camp?" "Please, Tancredi, you don't understand."

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Amenaide wonders, "Perhaps...? Oh, if only...." Isaura cries, "The army is returning. Hear them?” Argirio first rushes into the clearing, "My daughter...." "You're safe," she sighs. "What of Tancredi?"

"It was a complete victory over our enemy, "Be silent!" he interjects. "Your tears are though tragic. Tancredi saved his country but useless! I will save my fatherland with my with his own blood." blood. My grim future is at hand, but it is you I loathe! I have suffered and wept for you "He is dead?" she asks ashen-faced. long enough. Go, you unfaithful woman! Out of my sight!" "He cannot survive his wounds. But, as he dies, he speaks only your name." Amenaide falls to the ground as Tancredi raises his sword, turns to his army, and leads "Oh, my Tancredi," she wails. them off toward the Saracen camp. With


"I would deserve a thousand deaths, if that weren’t true," she intones, holding her hand out and stroking his teary, blood-stained cheek. His head falls away and he mutters, "Your words make death difficult for me to bear. I must leave you, though. Death is close at hand." His breathing becomes halting and he coughs drops of blood that stain his tarnished tunic like a handful of cherries tossed on a used table linen. He turns to Argirio, "Listen to my last wishes,” he whispers. “Join your daughter's hand to my own bloody, right hand so that I can carry the name of 'husband' to my grave." Argirio joins their hands, whispers a silent prayer, then kisses them both. "I give you both my blessing," he says. The injured Tancredi falls into the arms of Amenaide. Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

Moments later, the soldiers bring him in on their shoulders and lay him on the ground between Argirio and Amenaide. "Oh, God! My Tancredi. Do you hear me? Can you open your eyes and look at me, the woman who wants to be your wife? Do you still condemn me?" Lifting himself up on one elbow, he utters, "You betrayed me." "No, please, you cannot believe that," she sobs.

Tancredi smiles, "Protect our country...my wife...I was worthy of you both. But I die now with every wish I've ever had fulfilled." He coughs again, "Amenaide...keep your love for me...this heart of mine is yours now. I leave you," he says coughing again. "I leave you," he repeats weakly, “Farewell,” and his hand falls to the blood-stained soil of his beloved Sicily.

Watch the Opera Philadelphia trailer for Tancredi

Argirio continues, "My unhappy daughter loves you. Her only crime was to love you!" He takes Tancredi's hand, "The Senate and the laws were unjust. The letter was written to you" he emphasizes, "to you!" "Can this be true?" he whispers, wanting to believe. "Do you love me, then?" 27


M E E T T H E A R T I STS : S T E P H A N I E B LY T H E T A N C R E D I

Did you grow up in a musical/artsy family? My father is a jazz musician who plays flute, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, and clarinet. My mother was an enthusiastic lover of symphonic music, opera, popular song of America and France, and was my biggest fan. What is the most diff icult aspect of your job?

Making friends with whom you work so closely, and then having to leave them and that work in which you invested so much. Saying goodbye is always the most difficult.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Getting to meet new people and traveling to new places with my husband and my Boston Terrier.

Has anything funny ever happened to you onstage where something went wrong?

Yes! Right on the stage at Opera Philadelphia! In Offenbach's comedy here, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, I wore a beautiful gown in one scene that had a lot of lace around the bottom of the skirt. As I made my entrance before a duet with my colleague Kevin Glavin, the lace got caught on a nail, and as I walked forward it started unraveling. I didn't realize until Kevin started laughing at what was happening. Then, we both started to laugh, and began trying to gather up all the material that was now pulled out of the gown. We laughed so much that we missed a whole verse of the duet, but then gathered ourselves as I turned to the audience, and said, "Don't worry, we've got it!" We started singing again and kept our composure until we got offstage!

For someone that is about to see an opera for the f irst time, what would you advise?

Do a little research. Read the plot synopsis and get to know the characters. See if you identify with any of their stories. Listen to some of the music to get a feeling for what you are going to hear, and then when you are actually at the opera, you will have the great feeling of recognizing music you have already heard. It will bring you that much closer to the opera and make the experience more personal.

Why did you want to become an opera singer?

I always wanted to be a singer, and opera is just one kind of singing that suits my voice and personality. I like to create a community with the audience, to feel as if for the amount of time that we are all in the theater together, that we are a family of human beings, all occupied by that one thing at the same moment, experiencing the music, the characters, and the beauty of the theater.

In your opinion, what is the overall message told throughout Tancredi?

You can make plans, but you never know what the actual outcomes might be. FA S T FAC TS

Hometown: Mongaup Valley, New York Siblings: One sister, and a half-brother and half-sister. Hobbies: Photography, writing, playing the ukulele, bird-watching. Favorite Singer: Sammy Davis Jr. Favorite Movie: Labyrinth, Working Girl, anything with Cary Grant or Katherine Hepburn Favorite Food: Toast with butter and jam Watch Stephanie Blythe in Opera Philadelphia's 2004 production of The Grand

Duchess of Gerolstein.

28


DANIE L MOBBS ORBA Z Z ANO

A LLE GR A DE VITA ISAU R A

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Did you grow up in a musical/artsy family?

The final orchestra dress Yes, that's actually how I rehearsal with invited got my name! My brother students is the BEST (4 years old at the time) thrill any performer could was playing a piano have. When people say piece called "Allegro", the future of our art form and that's what he told is bleak, I highly recommend attending a my parents my name should be (adding the final dress at Opera Philadelphia. That crowd "a" makes it feminine). My mother played the will make you believe in the longevity and the organ at our local church and my father sings appeal of opera. along to all the famous operatic arias. What is the most diff icult aspect of your job?

Traveling. It's a mixed blessing. Seeing the world is wonderful but being away from family and loved ones is hard.

If you couldn't be a singer, what career would you pursue?

No other option for me. I do teach voice and am quite passionate about it, but it's a related field.

Why did you want to become an OPERA singer?

I was a dancer in high school and fell into singing by accident. The choir director heard me laugh in the hallway and told me to get my loud voice into the choir! One thing led to another...

How would you describe your role in Tancredi?

Rossini is my most favorite composer to sing and I've sung most of his operas. I guess my role is the "foil". The one where he stands in the way of the true loves on stage. FA S T FAC TS

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky Hobbies: Biking Favorite Singer: Renata Scotto, Thom Yorke of Radiohead Favorite Movie: Auntie Mame

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

There is no greater rush/terror/magic than walking on stage and sharing something you love deeply and have worked hard for with a theater full of people.

For someone that is about to see an opera for the f irst time, what would you advise? Listen with both your eyes and ears. Look at the costumes, look at the sets, look at the singers and see if you can guess the mood of the piece just by listening, listen if you can isolate the different instruments in the orchestra. Form questions for yourself and try to find the answers. Opera is a whole different experience, but if you keep your mind open and active, I think you'll be able to see and hear what we all love so much about it.

How would you describe your role in Tancredi?

Isaura is a friend and close confident of Amenaide. She supports Amenaide's love of Tancredi, and will do anything to help her friend live happily ever after. FA S T FAC TS

Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut Siblings: One older brother Hobbies: Reading, martial arts, thrift shops, lattes with a lot of sugar Favorite Singer: Maria Callas and Linkin Park 29


ACT IT OUT Ta n c r e d i i n 1 5 m i n u t e s Written by Dr. Amy Spencer

TANCREDI: exiled son of the King of Syracuse, Amenaide’s secret love ORBAZZANO: Tancredi’s enemy, Argirio’s potential ally - should have a prop “letter” ARGIRIO: Amenaide’s father, current leader of Syracuse AMENAIDE: Tancredi’s secret girlfriend, Argirio’s daughter ROGGIERO: Tancredi’s friend ISAURA: Amenaide’s friend KNIGHTS: In the opera some are Argirio’s and some are Tancredi’s. Here they play both. MAIDENS: Sometimes Amenaide’s friends, other times serving as townspeople.

ACT I

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: That’s what friends are for...

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE

ARGIRIO: Phew! I’m so glad we’re all finally friends.

Syracuse, A.D. 1005 (A hall in Argirio’s palace, Isaura, Knights, and Maidens have gathered)

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Loyalty or death!

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Phew! The civil war is over - for now, at least. Life is calm in Syracuse again. Peace rocks.

ARGIRIO: Oooh - I like your commitment!

ISAURA: We should honor our leader Argirio for his great influence. Syracuse is peaceful because of him. (a little too happily) Hey! We should all be besties!

ALL: Hip! Hip! Hooray! Syracuse is the best at peace *and* war! Our enemy is completely lame in the face of our collective awesomeness.

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Awww! Yay, friendship! Group hug! (All hug or high-f ive)

ARGIRIO: Check it out, friends! (indicating Orbazzano) Here’s the dude who’s going to lead you to victory!

ACT ONE, SCENE TWO

ORBAZZANO: (with bravado) Yes! When it comes to bloodshed and war, *danger* is my middle name! (with mystery) But who’s going to keep us safe from secret traitors?

(Argirio and Orbazzano enter, holding hands and skipping together) ARGIRIO: As long as we’re BFF’s, and stay loyal to Syracuse, we’ll win every war!

ARGIRIO: (with great dramatic flare) The *Law* will keep us safe from traitors! The ancient law says that anyone communicating ORBAZZANO: We’ll never ever argue - in good times and bad times, I’ll be by your side with our enemy Solamir the Saracen, whether they’re young or old, man or woman, will be forever more. That’s what friends are for… sentenced to death. That should keep us safe!

30


Photo: Marc Vanappelghem / Operá de Lausanne

ORBAZZANO: (with equally dramatic flare) But we have bigger problems than our enemy Solamir the Saracen! There are traitors among us who are still loyal to the song of the former king, Tancredi, who is in exile! ISAURA: (aside) Oh no - he knows about Tancredi’s secret fling with Amenaide! (to All) Relax, Orbazzano. You’re freaking out over nothing. What could Tancredi possibly do to us? ORBAZZANO: (sarcastically) DUH - he’s been in EXILE. He’s probably pretty miffed about it.

(Maidens and Isaura remain, All others exit)

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE MAIDENS: I’m happy, you’re happy, the day is happy, we’re just so happy that Amenaide is getting married! (Amenaide enters) AMENAIDE: (half-heartedly) Awesome. Wow. (aside) If my secret love Tancredi doesn’t get back from exile soon, there won’t be any wedding.

ARGIRIO: Well, if he wasn’t already miffed, he sure will be when he finds out that the Senate gave all his stuff to you, Orbazzano. And he’ll be seriously peeved when he finds out you’re marrying my daughter Amenaide!

ARGIRIO: You’re such a good and obedient daughter, who always does what she’s told, I know you’ll do the right thing for all of us.

ISAURA: (aside) Oh, SNAP!

AMENAIDE: Huh?

ORBAZZANO: Awww, yeah! (to Argirio) Marrying your daughter means you and I will totally be BFF’s now!

ARGIRIO: Why, I’ve given you in marriage to Orbazzano. It’s a good political match that will bring us peace.

ARGIRIO: Bring my daughter here! I’m so stinking happy!

AMENAIDE: WHAT THE WHAT?!? Daddy, how could you? (privately, to Isaura) What about the letter I sent to Tancredi?

ORBAZZANO: Sweeeeeet. ISAURA: (aside) OH. SNAPPITY. SNAP.

(Argirio enters)

ISAURA: Shhhh! It’s been sent! 31


ARGIRIO: Orbazzano is rich, he’s cute, he’s smart, he’s worthy. What’s the issue, dear? ORBAZZANO: (entering - spoken/sung like “Gaston” song from Beauty and the Beast) Noooo oooone fights like Orbazzano, douses lights like Orbazzano, in a wrestling match nobody bites like Orbazzano! AMENAIDE: I….I…. ARGIRIO: I know you’ll do the right thing, my daughter. (to ALL) Let’s have a wedding! AMENAIDE: Wait! Can we at least wait until tomorrow for the wedding?

(Tancredi and Knights exit)

ACT ONE, SCENE SIX

(Argirio and Amenaide enter, Tancredi and Roggiero approaching slowly to remain hidden) ARGIRIO: Hey, Knights, come to the wedding! (Knights enter)

ORBAZZANO: Should I be worried, little lady?

AMENAIDE: But Daddy, you said we could wait until tomorrow for the wedding!

AMENAIDE: (dejectedly) No. I know what my duty calls me to do.

ARGIRIO: Yeah...but our enemy Solamir is getting too close for comfort, and we need to move things along. I also heard that Tancredi has returned from exile. Everything is going down the tubes here.

(ALL exit)

ACT ONE, SCENE FOUR

(a park with a view of the sea. Roggiero enters, cautiously checking for safety, followed by Tancredi and his knights) TANCREDI: Ah! My old ‘hood! I’m so stoked to be back home to see my Amenaide, even if I had to sneak in! Go, Roggerio, to see if she’s just as excited to see me! ROGGIERO: Sure, man. Should I tell her you’re here? TANCREDI: No way, dude. I want to surprise her!

AMENAIDE: Oh no! ARGIRIO: (with rage) If I see Solamir or Tancredi, I will *end* them.

ACT ONE, SCENE SEVEN

(Maidens and Isaura join others for the wedding, Tancredi and Roggiero still hiding unseen) KNIGHTS: Yay! Let them get married in peace! Orbazzano is such a stud. They’ll be so much happier than Brangelina.

ACT ONE, SCENE EIGHT

(Roggiero exits, Tancredi is alone with his knights)

ARGIRIO: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called "life."

ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE

ROGGIERO and TANCREDI: (to each other) Dude, we’re SO outta luck.

TANCREDI: Go, faithful Dude Squad, 32

and tell the townspeople that a dashing, handsome, good looking *Mystery Warrior* has arrived to protect Syracuse. (aside) I love surprises!


TANCREDI: (getting an idea) Step aside, Roggerio, I’ve got a plan. (walking up to Argirio) Sir, will you allow me, a ruggedly handsome and unknown *Mystery Warrior*, to defend Syracuse in battle? AMENAIDE: (to Isaura) Girl - - - it’s HIM! ISAURA and AMENAIDE: He’s completely nuts! ARGIRIO: Hmmmm, I like the sound of a Mystery Warrior. Sure, man. You can fight for us. TANCREDI: Thank you, sir. You can trust me. (pointedly giving Amenaide the stink eye because he thinks she’s cheating on him by marrying Orbazzano) I’m *ALL ABOUT* faith and honor…unlike *some* people we know. AMENAIDE: (aside) Oh no! He thinks I actually *wanted* to marry Orbazzano! ARGIRIO: (to Amenaide) You’re not off the hook, sweetheart. When Orbazzano returns from battle, the wedding is on.

ACT ONE, SCENE NINE

(Orbazzano enters with a swagger) ORBAZZANO: What’s this? If you’re not going to marry me, then you’re a traitor to your country, and you’ll die for your crime. TANCREDI: Who’s the Gaston wanna-be? AMENAIDE: Orbazzano! ARGIRIO and ISAURA: Oh boy. Pass the popcorn, this should be interesting. ORBAZZANO: I’ve got proof of her treason right here! Here’s a love letter she wrote to our enemy, Solamir! (holds up letter) ARGIRIO and TANCREDI: Solamir? ARGIRIO: Gimme that letter! (takes letter and reads) “Hey baby, come on back to Syracuse. You’ll totally win against all your enemies, and we’ll be 2G4E. XOXO, Amenaide” (glares at Amenaide and throws letter down)

TANCREDI: (whispering to Amenaide) Woman, you cheated on me?!

ARGIRIO, ORBAZZANO, TANCREDI, ISAURA, ROGGIERO: (pointing in accusation at Amenaide) Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

ARGIRIO: (to All) Come, my people, let’s head to the wedding!

AMENAIDE: Oy. Seriously, can this day get any worse? Daddy, please help me!

AMENAIDE: EVERYBODY STOP!

ARGIRIO: You’re dead to me, girl. (with disgust) You’re a traitor.

TANCREDI: (aside) Oh - can I hope? AMENAIDE: I do not love Orbazzano, and I don’t want to marry him. TANCREDI: (aside) Oh, thank goodness! ARGIRIO: You’ve lost your mind, child. Obey your father. AMENAIDE: Daddy, I’m not kidding. I will *not* marry him.

AMENAIDE: (aside, since everyone still thinks Tancredi is the Mystery Warrior) Come on, Tancredi, won’t you help me? TANCREDI: What about Faith and Honor? You should be ashamed. AMENAIDE: (to Orbazzano) You are Such. A. Jerk. 33


ORBAZZANO: Ooooh, big words, cheaterpants. Still feeling proud, huh? You’ll tremble in fear soon enough. AMENAIDE: You guys, this is brutal. I’m so totally innocent. Heaven, help me! KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: You’re going to die, cheater. AMENAIDE: (reaching out for help) Daddy? ARGIRIO: Nope. AMENAIDE: (reaching out for) Tancredi? TANCREDI: Nopety-nope. AMENAIDE: (to Orbazzano, with disgust) Did I mention you’re a jerk? ORBAZZANO: (seething with sarcasm) What’s this I’ve got for you? A big bucket full of NOPE.

ACT TWO, SCENE TWO

(Orbazzano, Argirio, and Knights enter) ORBAZZANO: Ugh. This execution is running late. AMENAIDE: (standing and approaching them) I’m here. Let’s get this show on the road. But Daddy, why are you here? ARGIRIO: I wanted to be able to give you a goodbye hug. You’re still my beloved daughter, after all. Even if you *are* a dirty traitor. AMENAIDE: How many times do I have to say that I’m innocent?

AMENAIDE: (reaching out) Isaura?

ORBAZZANO: Liar! You wrote that letter and betrayed your country by having a fling with our enemy!

ISAURA: (lovingly) You’re in such big trouble, girl, but you know I’ve always got your back. BFF’s forever!

AMENAIDE: For REAL. You could not be more of a jerk. Not that you would care, but I was trying to save my country with my love.

AMENAIDE and TANCREDI: I’m so super bummed.

ORBAZZANO: (to Knights) Do you believe these lies? (Knights shake heads “no”) Nope. I didn’t think so. Let’s kill her.

ARGIRIO and ORBAZZANO: I’m so super peeved. ALL: (with despair) Has there ever been such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?! (All exit) END OF ACT

ACT II ACT TWO, SCENE ONE

(Amenaide is in prison, seated on the ground) 34

AMENAIDE: Well, this stinks. I am totally going to die, and I only hope that someday Tancredi finds out that I’m innocent.

AMENAIDE: Is there nobody who will defend me?

ACT TWO, SCENE THREE

(Tancredi enters)

TANCREDI: Wait up! I’ll defend her! (to Orbazzano) I challenge you to a duel. AMENAIDE: ‘Bout time! ORBAZZANO: Who are you?


TANCREDI: I’m the one who’s going to defend this woman. ORBAZZANO: Well, duh. I figured that out. I mean, what’s your name, son? TANCREDI: (with bravado and a flourish) Alexander Hamil - oh, wrong show. My name will be written in your own blood soon enough! AMENAIDE: (quietly, to Tancredi) Good luck, pookie bear! TANCREDI: (quietly, to Amenaide) Thanks, I’m gonna need it. ORBAZZANO: (to Knights) BRB, dudes. Gotta go kill this guy first. (to Tancredi) Come on, man, time for you to die.

ACT TWO, SCENE FOUR TANCREDI: Alrighty, looks like this is happening. (approaching Argirio) Won’t you at least hug me goodbye if I’m gonna die for your daughter? ARGIRIO: Sure, I like warm hugs. (Argirio and Tancredi hug. Argirio whispers) Pssst! Tell me who you are.

(Amenaide remains, All others exit)

ACT TWO, SCENE FIVE

(Isaura enters)

AMENAIDE: Girl, did you see that? It’s my boyfriend Tancredi! ISAURA: Wait - the Mystery Warrior who’s fighting for you but still thinks you’re a cheater - is Tancredi? AMENAIDE: He must know I’m faithful, but… ISAURA: The letter! Who does he think you wrote the letter to? And he’s still defending you? AMENAIDE: I’m pretty confused about that, too. (Argirio approaches) What’s the deal, Daddy?

ACT TWO, SCENE SIX ARGIRIO: Well, we all gathered to watch them kill each other, and you shoulda seen Orbazzano beating on that Mystery Guy!

AMENAIDE: (aside) Oh heaven! Please guide my love Tancredi’s hand to victory! TANCREDI: When you find out who I am, Or...if you can’t do that...at least let him you won’t hate me anymore. know I’m faithful before we both die.

ARGIRIO: Hate you? But you’re defending my daughter…

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: (rushing in with excitement) The hero won!

TANCREDI: Oh her? Yeah. She’s still a total cheater.

AMENAIDE: But wait - which one is that?

ARGIRIO: And yet you still fight for her? TANCREDI: Yep. Seemed like the right thing to do. ARGIRIO and TANCREDI: Let’s get this over with.

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: The conqueror has conquered! AMENAIDE: Yeah. Right. You mentioned that. BUT WHICH ONE IS THE CONQUEROR?

35


KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Lady, cheer up!

ACT TWO, SCENE NINE

AMENAIDE: (tentatively) Then my love…?

TANCREDI: This has been a pretty overwhelming day. I think I’ll hang out, sing for a while, and pout about my cheating girlfriend.

KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: ...Has WON! AMENAIDE: And Orbazzano? KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Got whupped. AMENAIDE, ISAURA, KNIGHTS and MAIDENS: Yay! Wahooo!

ACT TWO, SCENE SEVEN

ACT TWO, SCENE TEN

(Amenaide enters)

(Tancredi and Roggiero enter, but start to try to sneak away)

AMENAIDE: Look, everyone! Can’t you see? This is the exiled Tancredi.

TANCREDI: Hey buddy, let’s sneak outta here! ROGGIERO: But, where will we go?

TANCREDI: Dang, cheater! You also had to reveal my secret identity? Shouldn’t you be on your way to see your new sugar daddy, Solamir the Saracen?

TANCREDI: I don’t care where we go, but this place is unlucky. Let’s jet.

AMENAIDE: Seriously, Tancredi, it’s not true!

ACT TWO, SCENE EIGHT

(Amenaide stops them)

AMENAIDE: Stop, Tancredi! Don’t leave! TANCREDI: Ugh. The cheater. What now? Isn’t it enough that I saved your lousy cheating life? AMENAIDE: How can you still think I cheated? TANCREDI: (putting his hand up) Save it for your new boyfriend. AMENAIDE: Find out for yourself, and if you still think I’m guilty, then you can kill me yourself. (Tancredi and Knights remain, All others exit)

36

KNIGHTS: What an idiot! He’s whining about his cheating girlfriend when we should be out battling the Saracen!

TANCREDI: (putting f ingers in his ears) I can’t hear you! La, la, la! C’mon, Knights, let’s go die defending our country. (to Amenaide) I am SO OVER YOU. KNIGHTS: Hurrah! Let’s go fight! TANCREDI: (dejectedly) Ok… (Amenaide remains, Tancredi and Knights exit, Argirio and Isaura enter)

ACT TWO, SCENE ELEVEN AMENAIDE: He ran off to battle! He’s going to die! ARGIRIO: What a lousy day! I’ll go to him. (to Isaura) Isaura, stay here and watch over my daughter.


AMENAIDE: I’m coming, too! ARGIRIO: I may be old, but I’m not dead yet. Stay put, I’ll handle this.

TANCREDI: Yeah...sorry ‘bout that. My bad. ARGIRIO: My children, all’s well that ends well! We’re free and victorious!

AMENAIDE: I can’t even. I just can’t even.

TANCREDI: (to Amenaide) Hey girl, will you be my girlfriend again?

ISAURA: (putting hand up to ear to listen this should be a bit ridiculous) Oooh! I hear the battle far away!

AMENAIDE: (swooning again) Ooooh, when you talk like that, I get tingly all over! I’m just so happy!

AMENAIDE: (swooning) They’re all gonna die!

ARGIRIO: Finally - we’re at peace. I’m just so happy!

ISAURA: (hand still to ear, over-dramatic) Oooh! It got really quiet!

TANCREDI: Phew - what a crazy day. I’m just so happy!

AMENAIDE: (still swooning) I hope…

ALL: We’re all JUST SO HAPPY! GROUP HUG!

ISAURA: (hand to eyes, to see far away) I see soldiers returning! AMENAIDE: (seemingly revived) Oh! Goodie gumdrops!

(All hug or high f ive)

END OF OPERA

ACT TWO, SCENE TWELVE

(Tancredi, Argirio, Knights and Maidens enter) TANCREDI: (rushing to Amenaide) My love! AMENAIDE: Huh? You’re finally over the cheating stuff ? TANCREDI: I won the battle, and I’m sorry I hurt you. AMENAIDE: That’s not exactly the apology I was hoping for, but ok. TANCREDI: When I killed Solamir, with his final dramatic breath, he TOTALLY cleared things up and explained that the two of you are not a thing after all - super thoughtful way to die! AMENAIDE: So you know that I never cheated on you! 37


P LOT I N T H E AC T I O N o f Ta n c r e d i Use the following Plot Map to track the story of Tancredi. You may find this to be more difficult than you thought. Can you remember all of the plot twists?

CLIMAX

LI

L FA NG T AC

RI

SI

N

G

AC

T

N

IO

N

IO

CONFLICT

RESOLUTION SETTING

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CHARACTERS


CHARACTER ANALYSIS Pyramid Using the character descriptions from the Tancredi teacher guide, fill out this graphic organizer for one of the opera’s characters, either individually or in groups. After filling out the form, take 10 minutes to discuss the characters and how they would interact.

NAME/TITLE

PH YSICA L A PPE A R A NCE

CH A R AC T ER’ S ROL E

C H A R AC T ER’ S PROBL E M S/C H A L L E NGE S

M AJOR ACCOM PLISH M E N T S

39


W H AT D O YO U H E A R ? P r e p a r i n g Yo u r E a r f o r Ta n c r e d i By Elizabeth McAnally Part of what makes opera extraordinary is the way the singers are able to convey so much through their voices. Singers have to establish character traits, move the plot forward, and express the character’s feelings about the action, all while singing in a language that may not be their own. Doing all this while simultaneously entertaining an audience is no small feat! So, what can we learn about a character or a story, just from listening to the singer’s voice? In this activity, you will be listening for musical clues that are suggested by the singers. Listen carefully to these three excerpts from Tancredi to see if you can determine the voice type you are hearing, as well as the name of the character and what is happening in the plot. The choices are listed below. After making your best guess, explain the musical clues that led you to your answers. You might consider dynamics (volume), tempo (speed), timbre (voice type, instrumentation), and the emotion with which the song is performed. PLOT DETAILS

CHARACTERS Amenaide – a young woman of marriageable age

Argirio – the father of

Amenaide

Tancredi – a banished

knight who is in love with

VOICE TYPE Tenor – high male voice Mezzo-soprano – medium female voice

Soprano – high female voice

1 tinyurl.com/tancredi1

2 tinyurl.com/tancredi2

3

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tinyurl.com/tancredi3

returning to his or her native land, and wants to be worthy of another’s love.

B) The soloist is happy that the civil war is over, and that his or her beloved will be returning soon.

C) The soloist is unhappy to be signing the

death warrant of a family member.

Amenaide

EXCERPT

A) The soloist is feeling emotional about

CHARACTER VOICE TYPE

PLOT

YOUR REASONING


E N T R AV E S T I Tr o u s e r R ol e s Pa s t a n d P r e s e n t By Elizabeth McAnally

By now you’ve probably realized that the hero of our story, the character for whom the opera is named, is typically sung by a mezzo-soprano. That’s right – the male protagonist is performed by a female singer. When the vocal timbre (tone quality) of the countertenor fell out of favor with audiences after the 17th century, the roles of boys or young men were often performed by women with a lower range and broader timbre. Today these voices are called mezzo-sopranos.

In Italian, cross-gender operatic portrayal is called en travesti. In English, these roles are referred to as trouser roles, pants roles, or breeches roles, to describe the costume of the female singer dressed as a male character. Rossini wrote trouser roles in several of his operas, and many other composers did so as well, such as Handel, Mozart, and Gluck. Two of the most famous trouser roles include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (to be staged later this season by Opera Philadelphia). Can you match the trouser role with the composer? TROUSER ROLE

COMPOSER

Orfeo, from Orfeo ed Euridice

Engelbert Humperdinck

Hansel, from Hansel and Gretel

Charles Gounod

Cherubino, from The Marriage of Figaro

George Frideric Handel

Julius Ceasar, from Giulio Cesare Stefano, from Romeo and Juliet

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Christoph Willibald Gluck

Although trousers roles may seem to be an obscure tradition from centuries-old operas, we do not need to look very far to find examples of cross-gender acting in modern theater and cinema. The purpose of writing these roles can vary widely; some are written for comedic purposes, others are intended to be dramatic, and still others are simply traditionally cast in this fashion. Can you match these popular characters with their actor or voice actor? BART SIMPSON The Simpsons

EDNA TURNBLAD Hairspray

ROZ Monsters Inc.

PETER PAN Peter Pan (musical)

Allison Williams - Bob Peterson - John Travolta - Nancy Cartwright 41


STA N D T R U E , STA N D TA L L Art Lesson By Joann Neufeld The word ‘opera’ means ‘the work’ because it is an art form that has it all: music, drama, dance, lighting, as well as set and costume design. Tancredi has it all and more, including the all-important theme of staying true to yourself and standing tall, even when others doubt you. This is true for the character Amenaide who is accused of treason as well as not being true to Tancredi. How could Tancredi lose faith in someone he loves and how then does he feel when he discovers the truth of her innocence? Has that ever happened to you? How did you respond? How did that make you feel? Were you able to stand tall, in spite of the false accusations and doubt? It's Your Turn:

Choose a character to draw from the opera Tancredi. Discover specific characteristics about them and think about how you might highlight these features in a drawing. Exaggerated features can often help to express an objective and inspire feelings about a person. Below are few examples of dramatically lit works. As in Charlemont's "The Moorish King," these images emphasize the lit part of the face, clothing, and details to achieve a specific goal. 1) "Self Portrait" by Kathe

1)

Kollwitz

2) "Self Portrait" by

Rembrandt van Rijn

3) "Magdalena Fabius" by Georges de LaTour

2)

3)

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"The Moorish Chief " Eduard Charlemont, 1878 When it comes to standing tall, few paintings represent this better than "The Moorish Chief " by Eduard Charlemont, (above) one of the most popular paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The painting is not based on a real person, but rather a model dressed in traditional Arab clothing and standing in the halls of Alhambra, a palace in Granada, Spain. When Charlemont's "The Moorish King" first came to Philadelphia, locals were struck so much by the costume, stance, and power of the painting that they felt the need to rename it, "The Moorish Chief." Can you see why they were so amazed? Think about how the portrayal of "The Moorish Chief " might relate to the character of Amenaide. Does the painting portray similar emotions or feelings?


WRITING A REVIEW of the Opera A review is an opinionated piece of writing. It is an opportunity for someone to communicate their “likes and dislikes� about a particular event. A good theater review takes into consideration all of the things that happened on stage. Before writing a review, it is often good to organize one's thoughts. Use the following template to create a review of Tancredi. JOIN OUR BLOG! - When you finish writing your review, consider submitting it online! Opera Philadelphia would love to hear your thoughts about the production. Just remember to include your first name only, school, and grade. Visit: operaphillysol.blogspot.com. PL O T & CH A R AC T ER S

Did the performance tell the story dramatically, and were you engaged in the plot? Summarize the main characters and conflict briefly in your opening paragraph.

M USIC & VOICES

Did the music carry the characters and action forward? Were there particular voices, arias or duets that added to your involvement in the conflict?

S TAGI NG

How did the sets, costumes, and staging enhance or undermine the plot?

SET TING

Make note of the time and location where the opera takes place. Is it the same setting the composer imagined, or has it been updated? If it has been updated, does the change add to the power of the piece, or is it a distraction?

Y O U R O P I N I O N (After the performance)

Would you recommend the performance to your friends or family? Explain why or why not.

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CROSSWORD PUZZLE Ta n c r e d i

Test your understanding of the opera by completing this fun crossword puzzle.

1

2

3 4 5 6

7

8 9

10

11 12

ACROSS 3.

6. 8.

9.

The friend everyone wishes to have.

One who, as a result of war, has been granted a new prize.

When it comes to opera types, the opposite of buffa. Exiled soldier of Syracuse.

12. The name of the Academy where Rossini studied at the age of 14.

DOW N

1.

Also known as the Saracens.

4.

Tancredi was ____________ from returning to his homeland.

2.

5. 7.

The birthplace of the great Gioachino.

This imprisoned character is sung by this voice type.

Conf licted father torn between the choice of life or death.

10. Lover to the banished soldier.

11. Fallen leader of the Moorish army. 44


WORD SEARCH People of the Opera Hundreds of people work together onstage and off to make the magic of opera come to life. Use the word bank below and find the many careers that exist in opera. Pick one career to learn more about and report back to your classmates on your discoveries. R

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WORD BANK AUDIENCE CHOREOGRAPHER CHORUS CHORUS MASTER COMPOSER CO N D U C TO R COSTUME DESIGNER D R A M AT U RG

LIBRETTIST ORCHESTR A PROPS M ANAGER SET DESIGNER S TAG E D I R E C TO R SO LO IST S TAG E M A N AG E R USHER

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2 016 – 2 017 Season Subscriptions Review the charts of Opera Philadelphia’s performance season and prices. Then answer the questions below.

2 016 – 2 017 S E A S O N S E R I E S C H A R T PRODUC T ION

Sun. One

Sun. Two

C U RTA I N T I M E S

2:30 p.m.

TUR ANDOT

SERIES NA ME

Wed. One

Fri. One

Fri. Two

2:30 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m.

9.25.16

10.2.16

9.28.16

9.23.16

9.30.16

TA NCR E DI

2.12.17

2.19.17

2.15.17

2.10.17

2.17.17

T H E M A R R I AGE OF F IGA RO

4.30.17

5.7.17

5.3.17

4.28.17

5.5.17

2 016 – 2 017 S E A S O N S U B S C R I P T IO N PR I C E C H A R T SE AT I NG L O C AT ION

S I N G L E -T I C K E T P R I C E S

Sundays

Weekdays

Sundays

Weekdays

$537

$179

$143

$161

Pa rquet

$429

$438

$134

Pa rquet Ba la nce/Center Pa rquet Ci rcle/Center Ba lcony Ci rcle/ Ba lcony L o g e / P r e m iu m Fa m i l y C i r c le

$384

$321

$116

$107

Side Pa rquet Circle/Side Ba lcony C i r c le / Fr ont Fa m i l y C i r c le

$267

$240

$89

$80

P r o s c e n iu m B o x / Fa m i l y C i r c le / Side Balcony Circle/Premium A mphitheatre

$186

$186

$62

$62

Center A mphitheatre

$132

$105

$44

$35

$51

$51

$17

$17

Pa rquet Box / Ba lcony Box Pa rquet Premium

S id e Fa m i l y C i r c le / Side A mphitheatre

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SU BSCR IP TION PR ICES

$645

$645

$402

$215

$215

1. Tancredi will be performed on what day, date, and time in the Wednesday Series? 2. I f a new subscriber buys 4 subscriptions for the Weekday Series in the Balcony Loge, what does he/ she pay? 3. Which performance occurs closest to Valentine’s Day? 4. Which series have the same curtain time? 5. O n Sundays, what is the cost of the subscription for a parquet or balcony box and of an individual ticket? 6. H ow 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?


I N V E ST I N Grand Opera 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 20% of our costs are met through ticket sales. Your contribution is critical to our success!

DONOR BENEFITS NAME

Member

Pa t r o n Program

Genera l D i r e c t o r ’s Council

GIF T LEV EL

1

2

3

$100 Contributor

x

x

x

$250 Supporter

x

x

$500 Sustainer

x

$1,000 Partner

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$2,500 Bronze

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

$5,000 Silver

x

x

x

x

x

x

$7,500 Gold

x

x

x

x

x

$10,000 Diamond

x

x

x

x

$15,000 Platinum

x

x

x

$25,000+ Chairman’s Council

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

1. Save up to 10% on single ticket and event purchases 2. Between the Notes—a lecture series that delves into each production of the season given by scholarly guest speakers 3. Discover Opera---an in depth lecture series that explores broad aspects of the art form 4. E merging Artist Recital & Member Appreciation Reception 5. Mailed copy of the Annual Report 6. Invitation for two to attend a dress rehearsal 7. General Director's Backstage Tour of the Academy of Music 8. Access to the VIP area at Opera on the Mall, the annual HD broadcast 9. V IP Patron Service—personalized concierge service with dedicated phone line for priority in ticketing, seating, and exchange requests 10. Champagne Intermission Receptions in the Academy Ballroom and at the Kimmel Center, along with two guest passes per season 11. Patron Travel Program—join the Opera on group destination opera trips

13

14

15

16

17

18

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

19

20

21

22

x

x

x

x

12. VIP Coat check and private restrooms at performances 13. M eet the Artists—an intimate reception with the cast of a current production 14. D irector’s Salon—an event featuring a presentation from the creative team of a current production 15. Invitation to one pre-performance dinner or brunch 16. O pening Night Cast Party—celebrate with the cast after each opening night of the season 17. General Director’s Council Dinner with principal artists 18. Post-performance meet-and-greets with the cast 19. O pportunity to underwrite an Emerging Artist, community initiative, or event 20. Invitation to the Annual Chairman’s Opening Night Dinner 21. E xclusive dinners and events throughout the season with celebrity artists, hosted in private homes 22. B runch or Dinner with the General Director and/or Opera leadership before underwritten performances

1. How many benefits would you receive if you donated $10,000? What is your gift level? 2. List the benefits of someone who is at the Gold Patron gift level. 3. Which giving level is the first to receive VIP Patron Service? 4. At which giving levels would you get a private backstage tour for you and your guests?

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GLOSSARY A P S E — [aps] N .

a part of a church that is shaped like a half circle and that is usually at the east end of the building to signal (someone) with your arm or hand in order to tell that person to come closer or follow

B E C K O N — [ B E H - k u n ] V. B E L L O W — [ B E H - l o w ] V. E M B E D — [ e m - B E D ] V.

to shout in a deep voice

to place or set something firmly in something else

C O M PAT R I O T— [ k u m - PA - t r e e - u t] N . D E C R E E —[ d e - K R E E ] N .

an official order given by a person with power or by a government

D I S E M B A R K — [ d i s - e h m - B A R K ] V. D I S M A L — [ D I Z- m a l ] A D J .

to remove (something or someone) from a ship or airplane

very bad or poor

I N FA MO US — [IN -f uh-muhs] ADJ. M U T T E R — [ M U H - t e r ] V.

a friend or colleague

causing people to think you are bad or evil

to speak quietly so that it is difficult for others to hear what you say

O B L I G AT I O N — [o b - l i h - G E Y- s h u h n] N . R AV I N E — [r u -V E E N] N . R E B U T — [ r e e - B U T ] V.

a small, deep, narrow valley

to prove (something) is false by using arguments or evidence

R E T O R T — [ r e e - T O R T ] V.

to return an argument or charge

S E E TH I N G — [SEE-thing] ADJ. S M U G LY — [ S M U G - l e e ] A D V. S P U R N — [ S P U R N ] V.

something that you must do because of a law or rule

to be filled with intense but unexpressed anger

in a way that shows annoyance or dissatisfaction

to refuse to accept

TO R R E N T I A L — [tor- RE H N -s hul] A DJ. T R A I T R E S S — [ T R AY - t r e s s ] N . T R E M B L E — [ T R E H M - b l ] V.

coming in a large, fast stream

a woman who is a traitor

to shake slightly because you are afraid, nervous, excited, etc.

U N B E A R A B L E — [un - B E A R- a - b l] A DJ. V E N G E A N C E —[ V E N - j e n s ] N .

too bad, harsh, or extreme to be accepted or endured

the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else

Def initions provided by Merriam-Webster.com 48


THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL REFORM COMMISSION Joyce S. Wilkerson, Chair

William J. Green, member

Feather Houstoun, member Farah Jimenez, member

Sylvia P. Simms, member

William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D Superintendent of Schools

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:

THE WILLIAM PENN FOUNDATION WALLY LOEB Wells Fargo Hamilton Family Foundation Universal Health Services Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund

OPERA PHILADELPHIA David B. Devan General Director & President

Corrado Rovaris Jack Mulroney Music Director

Michael Bolton Vice President of Community Programs

Eugene Garfield Foundation The Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation Morgan Stanley Foundation Victory Foundation The McLean Contributionship Louis N. Cassett Foundation

Opera Philadelphia is supported by major grants from The William Penn Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Additional support is provided by the Independence Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Opera 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. Support provided in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

Written and produced by: Opera Philadelphia Community Programs Department © 2017 1420 Locust Street, Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA, 19102 Tel: 215.893.5927 Fax: 215.893.7801 operaphila.org/learn Michael Bolton Vice President of Community Programs bolton@operaphila.org Steven Humes Education Manager humes@operaphila.org Katie Dune Graphic Designer dune@operaphila.org Special thanks to: Frank Machos Director of Music Education, School District of Philadelphia The Office of Strategic Partnerships School District of Philadelphia Deborah Bambino Dr. Dan Darigan Karl Janowitz Elizabeth McAnally Joann Neufeld Dr. Amy Spencer Curriculum Consultants Dr. Bettie Joyner Kleckley Dr. Nanci Ritter Program Evaluators Maureen Lynch Operations Manager, Academy of Music Frank Flood Assistant Operations Manager, Academy of Music Cornell Wood Head Usher, Academy of Music Academy of Music Ushers

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