Meyerbeer goes to America

We hear word of the first performances for almost a century of Meyerbeer’s opera Dinorah in New York.

They will be given by the small company Amore Opera (formerly Amato Opera) on March 19 to 23.

Venue: Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027

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  • Amore Opera is not exactly the former Amato Opera; more changed than just the name. Amato Opera was stably housed in one building next door to the historic punk-rock club CBGB; when Tony Amato died the company dissolved and lost that connection so now Amore performs in various venues around New York City. But they did inherit from Amato sets, costumes, props, and a fair number of enthusiastic choristers, administrators, and fans.

    The director of Amore Opera, a very nice guy named Nathan Hull (who is also a Computer-Science prof at NYU, and who, besides producing and directing several shows at any given time, often performs in comic-baritone roles like Papageno and Dr. Falke– one of those ultra-high-energy people one meets from time to time) just LOVES to do obscure operas. In the past, the company has done:

    * Donizetti’s POLIUTO; about the conflict between Pagan Roman colonists and native Christians in the colony of Armenia, (the lions to whom the Christians get thrown are offstage, heard but not seen, unfortunately) a terrific opera unjustly disfavored now; the most recent time it was done fully staged in USA until Amore did it a few years ago was 1859

    * Donizetti’s LA ZINGARA, an equally-seldom-performed opera about gypsies

    * DAS LABYRINTH, ODER DER KAMPF MIT DEN ELEMENTEN, a sequel to THE MAGIC FLUTE, libretto by Schikaneder, music by someone named Winter; features a scene in which the Three Ladies get dropped into an active volcano

    * An opera whose title I don’t remember, based on the third play in Beaumarchais’ “Figaro Trilogy”, in which the Countess has a bastard child fathered by Cherubino; I think the play was called THE GUILTY MOTHER but I don’t know the title of the opera.

    • It is Peter von Winter who lived from 1754 to 1825. Opera Rara has yet to get around to recording one of his operas complete, though there are excerpts of two of them on the first two “100 years of Italian Opera” sets. Maometto from 1817 was recorded from the Wildbad festival in 2002 (Naxos).

      I guess I wouldn’t term Poliuto disfavored. It was done recently at Glyndebourne. I think Les Martyr gets the nod over Poliuto, but I have seen and heard both.

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