Review of Friday Premiere

  Act III – Keith Phares, William Hite, Alan Schneider; photo: Jon Crispin  Read the review in The Berkshire Bright Focus  

Masslive: Opera based on history of two irish-catholics hung for murder

  ‘Garden of Martyrs’ opera, based on two Irish Catholic immigrants who were hanged for murder, to premiere in Northampton

Harley Erdman on NEPR

Librettist Harley Erdman introduces the Opera

Friday and Saturday brought the chorus to the stage

Friday and Saturday brought the chorus to the stage, 30 voices strong and packing a punch. Here they conjure up nighttime  mob revelry on the streets of Northampton in ‘The Swinging of the Bones.’ Thanks to Mallorie Chernin both for the photo and for her inspiring work as chorus master.

Conductor and composer

Yesterday the composer got to stand in for our felicitous orchestra-pianist Jerry Noble, a good one-day solution at best. It must be conceded that the person who wrote the music has too many pre-conceived ideas and alternate realities to be a fully reliable executor of the conductor’s interpretation. Here the maestro sets things on the right course.

Daley and Halligan

A wonderful start – over the past two days we have worked through three scenes and gotten nearly everyone onto the stage. Amy Johnson arrives from Cincinnati tomorrow to complete the cast, then the chorus shows up on Thursday. The strange onstage friendship of Daley and Halligan is beginning to blossom, with a lot of bracing humor arising out of… (more…)

Rehearsals Start

Rehearsals start today! First we have a look at the latest sets and costumes and welcome our Production Stage Manager, Sam Gambaccini. Then it’s over to Buckley to put Scene 3, where Cheverus returns crestfallen form the Attorney General’s, then resolves to defy him by going to Northampton, onto the stage.

Angel’s wing

Angel’s wing under construction at Smith scene shop.

Production Diary part 2

July 16 At today’s we got a look at Emily Dunn’s approach to the costumes. She’s going for earth colors for the chorus, simple dresses and breeches with hats providing individuality, all handmade. The effect will be slightly ghostly and abstract, and should be wonderfully in sync with the scenery. These will all be handmade, while the principals’ costumes will… (more…)

Workshop Preview of Act I January 9th

Free preview of new opera on Pioneer Valley’s infamous Daley, Halligan case Veterans of Metropolitan Opera, Boston Symphony to perform Amherst, Mass. A free workshop performance of The Garden of Martyrs, a new opera on the 19th century case of Irish immigrants executed in Northampton for a murder they likely did not commit, will take place on Sunday, January 9… (more…)