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Bainbridge Symphony cues up season finale
Emphasizing the conclusion of its 35th season, the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra will be joining forces with the Bainbridge Chorale and Children’s Chorus and a collection of soloists to showcase centuries of opera in one big, grand finale.
This program goes out to anyone who’s ever longed to hear nearly every opera hit you could think of, all in one evening. What’s more, it’s also a bit of a nostalgic look back in the histories of both the community and opera itself.
The origins of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra are traced back to 1973, when it shared the stage with the Bainbridge Chorale for its first-ever concert.
The origins of the opera, on the other hand, are rooted in “the experiments of the true Renaissance men of the late 16th century,” Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra conductor David Upham said in his program note.
Opera, at that time, was a musical invention. It combined the elements of ancient Greek drama matched with a musical score.
Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo” (1607) is generally considered the world’s first opera. With text by Alessandro Striggio, it’s based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus who attempts to save his dead lover from the underworld.
“Greek drama appeared to them to be an emotionally charged form of story-telling in which both a melody and a chorus figured prominently,” Upham said.
The musical invention of monody — or a single line of vocal melody — gave birth to modern opera, Upham notes, as it allowed for the characters of a song to directly reflect and express feelings without getting lost in the complexity of a polyphonic score.
That early innovation of monody developed into the modern aria, which the orchestra will be celebrating with this program.
The concert will feature popular favorite arias including Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” and Puccini’s famous “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi, in addition to choruses from Verdi’s La “Traviata” and “Nabucco,” to the “Anvil Chorus” from Il Trovatore and much more.
“A Night at the Opear” the conclusion of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra season will be presented with the Bainbridge Chorale and Children’s Chorus at 7:30 p.m. May 31 and again at 3 p.m. June 1 at Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N on Bainbridge. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, military and youth. Info: www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org or call (206) 842-8569.