‘Garden of Martyrs’ packs Academy of Music

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Read the review of the opera in the Springfield Republican

 

Review of Friday Premiere

 

The Garden of MartyrsAcademy of Music

Act III – Keith Phares, William Hite, Alan Schneider; photo: Jon Crispin

 Read the review in The Berkshire Bright Focus

 

Amherst Television Interviews Composer Eric Sawyer about Opera

 

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

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

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 was nearly overwhelming, and despite having written the book, I felt in the hands of skilled artists who were wringing from me every possible emotion.” Read the article

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.

Harley Erdman on NEPR

Librettist Harley Erdman introduces the Opera

Librettist Harley Erdman and composer Eric Sawyer at   rehearsal of the opera. (photo credit Amherst Gazette)

Librettist Harley Erdman and composer Eric Sawyer at rehearsal of the opera. (photo credit Amherst Gazette)

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 as the stagecraft is being added. Tonight we refine choral staging before another run Friday night.

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 without exception. We’re now into the refinement stage. Our orchestra, Jerry Noble, gave order and meaning to thousands of notes over five hours of rehearsal yesterday, and at the end was still smiling.