So Don Giovanni opened last night (Saturday) and indeed the revelries did go on until the early hours of today (Sunday)! Castleton is an exhausting business. And since the party was held in our communal house there was no escape – but it was a great evening and we spent much of the time on the balcony overlooking the lake that you see in the photo on yesterday’s post. This place has an infectious spirit and there are few places like it for a combination of serious work and serious pleasure!
This morning the Castleton Chamber Players, made up of orchestra members including such distinguished soloists as Eric Silberger and Daniel Lelchuk, gave us a stimulating two hours of varied music making. Eric and Daniel started with the Martinu Duo No. 2. This was followed by Jonathan Beyer (ex Roosevelt and COT as well as much else) singing three songs by Frank Bridge with a viola obbligato played by the orchestra’s principal Tia Allen. And we went on to a brand new work by the composer chosen from Castleton’s Young Composer’s Forum – Talia Amar. This was a five movement string quartet performed by two string quartets playing alternate movements, one on the stage, the other in the balcony…..a rather intriguing choice! And effective.
And then we had a lovely performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet, a joyful end to this stimulating morning. The pianist, who also played the Frank Bridge, was Bradley Moore – terrific playing from him. And it was a good warm up for him as well because two hours later he was conducting Madam Butterfly! And very well too.
Kimberly Hann (Suzuki) and Amber Daniel (Butterfly) - the cast for the performance on July 20
So this afternoon I got to see the very beautiful Butterfly production. It was directed by Tomer Zvulun, a name new to me – he is director of the Atlanta Opera. And the set was designed by Erhard Rom and lit by Tláloc López-Watermann who was presumably partly responsible for the magical projections…….all these are people unknown to me. And they did a stunning job. And the piece made its powerful emotional impact thanks to the Puccini and the conductor, and committed performances all round, including from Ekaterina Metlova as Butterfly, Jonathan Burton (Pinkerton), an unusually warm and sympathetic Sharpless from Corey Crider (a good colleague from Chicago days), and the moving Suzuki from up and coming Irish mezzo Kate Allen.
So altogether an excellent last day for me. I have a group of tenors on Monday morning and leave for Dulles Airport after lunch.
I have no idea when I can post this – presumably not until Monday morning. There is still no wifi in the house, and the performance elsewhere remains patchy!