This week's post serves to introduce you to my new children's opera The Empress and the Nightingale, adapted from the story The Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen. It was commissioned by the Education Department of Virginia Opera and is currently on a regional tour with the company's Emerging Artist program.
The performers are soprano Sarah Gilbert as the Village Girl and the Nightingale; mezzo-soprano Alyssa Martin as the Empress; baritone Trevor Martin as the Lord Chamberlain, and pianist Cody A. Martin.
Believe it or not, none of these Martins are related! What were the odds of that?
The puppet depicting the Nightingale was created by Jennifer Noe of the Virginia Opera costume shop. I think it is adorable. (Note: for you millenials, that's "totes adorbes"...)
The opera has been very well-received. While the intended audience is elementary-school kids, adults have been enthusiastic as well.
Here's a complete performance given at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, VA on Saturday, October 4, 2014. It's just under forty minutes in length" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1kdEFr7Aiw. Give it a watch!
And for good measure, here's a GIF of my favorite "action moment" in that performance. I call it "When Mezzos Turn Violent: Empress Gettin' All Feisty".
Hope you enjoy the show, Faithful Readers!