‘Garden of Martyrs’ packs Academy of Music

Read the review of the opera in the Springfield Republican  

Amherst Television Interviews Composer Eric Sawyer about Opera


Fairfield University News: Michael White’s “Garden of Martyrs” Opera Plays to Sold Out House

Author Michael C. White comments on the opera Professor White, commenting on the experience of seeing his widely acclaimed novel staged as opera posted the following on his Facebook page after seeing the first performance.  “I was blown away by the music, the lyrics, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and the remarkable acting and singing of the professional cast. The experience… (more…)

Eric, Harley and Kevin on Mass Appeal to talk about the premiere.

In case you missed it – Eric, Harley and Kevin on Mass Appeal to talk about the premiere. http://www.wwlp.com/mass-appeal/the-garden-of-martyrs-opera

Saturday’s run-through

The final moments of Saturday’s run-through. This is going to be a taut and lucid production with world-class cast, the leading orchestra and maestro of our area, and dozens of years of collective opera experience in action.

Run-through #2

Run-through #2 felt comfortable and tight, coming in at just over the projected running time of 2 hours. Attention is going toward underlining transitional nuances, such flashbacks within flashbacks, e.g. the handcuffed convicts in the flashback trial speaking in the memory of witnesses.  Memory for all the words and notes is becoming quite secure for the cast, a virtuosic feat… (more…)

First run-through last night!

First run-through last night! It ran smoothly and helped us start to focus on pacing and transitions. The cast helps out with scene changes – each piece of furniture needs someone to move it, usually in a matter of seconds. Keith was back on his feet and (knock wood) is making a rapid recovery. The cast and chorus sound terrific… (more…)

Halligan suffering a fracture

Things have gone so well so far – stunning cast and assured and visionary leadership on the musical and staging ends – that it was starting to feel like an opera production without drama, at least internally. That came to an end today with our Halligan suffering a fracture in his left foot in a stumble on the streets of… (more…)

Transformation of the day

This morning the motorcycle cover of Suzette our department administrator was reported missing from outside the hall. It seemed inconceivable that any of our lovely cast or chorus would have walked off with it. Following a fruitless search, it surfaced onstage, rolled up in a tight bundle as Finola’s baby. It’s been duly returned, but now we have to come… (more…)

Four timps

Four timps in a box – the orchestra pit at the Academy is a tight squeeze, and we had a moment of anxiety the other day wondering about our plans to put timpani in the side box. The part is written for four drums, and as you can see, the covers fit. Furthermore, our timpanist Benny Koonyevsky has determined that… (more…)