Rare Staging of Mascagni’s ‘Iris’ at Bard SummerScape

Talise Trevigne as Iris (photo Todd Norwood)

Talise Trevigne as Iris (photo Todd Norwood)

(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON) – A new, fully staged production of the rarely produced opera “Iris” (1898), a darkly expressionistic forerunner of “Madama Butterfly” by Puccini’s close contemporary Pietro Mascagni, will have five performances in the Fisher Center at Bard College as part of Bard SummerScape from Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 31.

Conceived expressly for SummerScape 2016, Bard’s original production is the creation of James Darrah – a recent Musical America New Artist of the Month – whose successes include a staging of “Peter Grimes” that the Wall Street Journal proclaimed “one of the strongest, most theatrically imaginative, musically and dramatically compelling productions of the work.”

Starring Grammy Award-nominated soprano Talise Trevigne, with music director Leon Botstein leading the American Symphony Orchestra, “Iris”’s five performances take place in the Fisher Center on July 22, 24, 27, 29, and 31.

Despite the popularity of his “Cavalleria rusticana,” Mascagni’s “Iris” – while initially successful – is little known, and has not been seen at the Metropolitan Opera for 85 years.

Yet its shimmering, dreamlike score has been called “bewitchingly lovely” (Independent, UK), and a long overdue 1997 London revival proved so popular that it was immediately remounted the following year.


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