2009 Workshop — Little Women and Opera Excerpts

The operas for HSOW 2009 (July 20 through August 16, 2009) were  Mark Adamo’s Little Women and a program of Opera Excerpts.

premiered March 1998

Little Women by American composer Mark Adamo, is vivacious music-theatre of charm, wit and humor. Adamo based his two-act, eight-scene opera on the classic novel of the same title by Louisa May Alcott set during the U.S. Civil War. Adamo brings considerable verve and freshness to Alcott’s story, with the result that this opera is never less than endearing. The opera focuses on three central events from the Civil War-era coming-of-age tale of the four March sisters — Meg’s wedding, Laurie’s infatuation with Jo, and Beth’s death – and unifies them dramatically with music. Adamo’s work (his first opera) was an artistic and commercial success from the moment of its premiere in Houston in 1998, and has received many performances around the world, including a PBS broadcast. Although this is the most “modern’ opera HSOW has ever performed, it’s also, ironically, our first period piece, with period costumes and set. This is also Little Women’s Nova Scotia premiere. Performances at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax.

Friday, August 7 (7:30 pm)
Monday, August 10 (7:30 pm)
Thursday, August 13 (7:30 pm)
Saturday, August 15 (7:30 pm)

Music director: Gordon Gerrard
Stage director:
Edward Franko
Stage manager: Jodey Reeves
Assistant stage manager: Kayleigh Sheehan
Vocal coach:   Marcia Swanston
Costumes: Bonnie Archibald-Awalt
Props:  Judy Reade
Lighting design:  Colin Richardson
to be sung in English

Role August 7 and 13 August 10 and 15
Jo Julia Barber (ON) Valerie Beck (GA)
Meg Cara Adams (NB) Charlotte Embree (NS)
Beth Kristi Assaly (ON) Melanie Baux (NB)
Amy Mary-Claire Sanderson (NB) Mara Fraccaro (ON)
Laurie Mitch Aldridge (ON) Stefan Fehr (ON)
Alma March Alyssa Labreque (ON) Alyssa Labreque (ON)
Gideon/Dashwood Stephen Barradell (BC) Stephen Barradell (BC)
Aunt March Megan Quick (NS) Megan Quick (NS)
Dr. Bhaer Justin Welsh (BC) Justin Welsh (BC)
John Brooke Jeff Goble (MA) Jeff Goble (MA)


A program of opera excerpts that will take the audience on a tour of opera, from Handel to Bernstein, presented in a pared-down, theatrical way. Twelve passionate young singers perform a range of entertaining scenes and arias from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Handel’s Alcina, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bernstein’s Candide, among others. This should be an enjoyable and accessible program for both established opera lovers and those wishing to explore or discover this most powerful of theatrical and musical art forms. There will be projected English translations for all excerpts in foreign languages. Performances at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax.

Saturday, August 8 (7:30 pm)
Tuesday, August 11 (7:30 pm)
Friday, August 14 (7:30 pm)
Sunday, August 16 (2:30 pm)

Music director: Lynette Wahlstrom
Stage director:
Nina Scott-Stoddart
Vocal coach: Lenard Whiting
Stage manager: Maria Murphy
Lighting designer: Colin Richardson
Costume designer: Bonnie Archibald-Awalt
Props:  Judy Reade
to be sung in the original language with projected English translations where needed

voice type August 8 and 14 August 11 and 16
coloratura Deanna Smith Sharon Tikiryan (ON)
lyric Rachel Arky (NY) Beth Hagerman (NB)
soubrette Stephanie Higgins (NS) Angelina Davey (ON)
mezzo Sarah Townsend (NS) Sarah Townsend (NS)
tenor Jonathan MacArthur (PEI) Daniel Wheeler (NS)
baritone Timothy Cheung (ON) Timothy Cheung (ON)
baritone Justin Welsh (BC) Justin Welsh (BC)
bass baritone Stephen Barradell (BC) Stephen Barradell (BC)