Halifax Herald article

The Halifax Summer Opera Festival will stage Jules Massenet’s fairy tale opera Cendrillon (Cinderella) and Susannah by American composer Carlisle Floyd at the Sir James Dunn Theatre and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene at Neptune’s Studio Theatre.

Cendrillon, performed in French with English translations, is slated for Friday and Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday and Aug. 15 at 2 p.m.

Susannah will be performed on Saturday, Tuesday and Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 16 at 2 p.m.

Street Scene, referred to by Weill as American opera, is slated for Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13 and Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The four-act Cendrillon is “based on Perrault’s 1698 version of the Cinderella fairy tale” and premiered in Paris in 1899, said a news release.

Gregory Myra conducts, with Stephanie Kincade as stage director and singers from Nova Scotia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Mexico and the United States. Collaborative pianist Polina Gubnitskaia is featured.

Adapted from the Apocrypha tale of Susannah and the Elders, Susannah “focuses on 18-year-old Susannah Polk, an innocent girl who is targeted as a sinner in the small mountain town of New Hope Valley, in the southern American state of Tennessee,” says the release.

“The opera won the New York Music Critics Circle Award for best new opera in 1956, and is one of the most performed American operas.

“Inspired by McCarthyism, a period of intense fear of communism in America during the early 1950s, the opera contains many feminist themes, with the music including some Protestant hymns and Appalachian folk melodies. The opera is performed in English.”

The performance is conducted by Nicholas Gilmore, with David Mosey and Nina Scott-Stoddart as stage directors, and features collaborative pianist Asher Farber. Performers hail from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and the U.S.

Street Scene received a Tony Award for best original score after its Broadway premiere in 1947. It tells the “simple story of everyday life in a big city, portraying an ethnic melting pot of characters as described in a play by Elmer Rice,” said the release. Langston Hughes created the lyrics.

The performance is conducted by Eric Charbonneau, with Andrew Pelrine as stage director, and features collaborative pianist Chloe Weston and cast members from Nova Scotia, Ontario, England and the U.S.

Tickets are available for all three shows at halifaxsummeroperafestival.com, by phone at 902-422-6278 (ext. 500) and at the door.

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