Amanda Forsythe (photo Arielle Doneson)
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Grammy Award-winning Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) brings a double bill of Neapolitan comic opera by Pergolesi to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, June 24, at 8pm, and Sunday, June 25, at 3pm. BEMF will present encore performances of its 2014 production of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “La serva padrona” and “Livietta e Tracollo.”
Soprano Amanda Forsythe, acclaimed by the New York Times as “simply dazzling,” heads the cast of four dynamic singers, all favorites of past BEMF Opera productions. Forsythe sings the role of Serpina in La serva padrona opposite bass-baritone Douglas Williams in the role of Uberto, while Erica Schuller and Jesse Blumberg perform the respective title roles in Livietta e Tracollo. The soloists appear alongside the 13-member BEMF Chamber Ensemble and five members of the BEMF Dance Company.
Originally written as interludes to be performed between acts of a more somber production, Pergolesi’s light-hearted comedies quickly enchanted audiences with their farcical humor and engaging romance. Eventually, these comic operas would be performed on their own to adoring audiences throughout Europe, with Pergolesi acknowledged as an especially significant early composer in this opera buffa style. La serva padrona, which had its premiere in Naples in 1773, tells the tale of a haughty yet cunning maid who conspires to wed her testy employer. Livietta e Tracollo débuted a year later as part of festivities for a royal birthday, and features the con-artist, Tracollo, who meets his match in a peasant girl, Livietta, out to avenge her wronged brother. For this production—in a nod to the original presentations of these operas—Stage Director Gilbert Blin will alternate between scenes of the two works.
Tickets ($25–$85) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at Boston Early Music Festival or 617-661-1812, or from the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Box Office at the Mahaiwe or 413-528-0100.
Jesse Blumberg (photo Arielle Doneson)
ABOUT THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London).
BEMF IN THE BERKSHIRES CALENDAR
Pergolesi’s La serva padrona & Livietta e Tracollo
Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 8pm
Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 3pm
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA)
Tickets: $85 – $55 – $25
Amanda Forsythe, Serpina (United States)
Douglas Williams, Uberto (United States)
Erica Schuller, Livietta (United States)
Jesse Blumberg, Tracollo (United States)