Conductor's Thoughts on Operatic Gems

Doing an opera program was something James and I had on our to-do list for some time, and this felt like the right season for it. 
I shaped the program by selecting the choruses that would form its pillars: the great “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” from Verdi’s Nabucco; the “Wedding Chorus” from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, the delightful “Villagers’ Chorus” from Rossini’s William Tell. No “Pilgrim’s Chorus” by Wagner or “Triumphal March” from Verdi’s Aida this year – we’re too short of men to do multiple divisi, unfortunately.  I looked at the chorus-and-solo repertoire, and added the “Brindisi” from Verdi’s La Traviata and the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen – knowing that our MC, mezzo Rebecca Hass, would make a wonderful Carmen!
Turning to our soloists, I asked them for some curtain-call specials, and they produced – Chloé Hurst with the exquisite “Dove sono” from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and “O mio Babbino Caro” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Martin Sadd with “Che gelida manina” (La Boheme) and “Nessun dorma” (Turandot) – both by Puccini.
Then it was time to massage it all into shape, adding overtures in both halves (by Mozart and Bizet) and ending with the lovely “Lippen Schweigen” from Lehar’s Merry Widow, and offering everyone a chance to join in singing one of the loveliest operetta tunes in the repertoire.
You’re going to love this concert!