Image from www.theorbo.com
If you watch the musicians during Amadigi di Gaula (the orchestral music is so beautiful, you can't help but try to see who's producing it, in my opinion), you'll notice several things. First, Matthew can sometimes be seen flipping through a book of what appear to be blank pages. Matthew is blind and has memorized his music (but can review it with his Braille score). There are even a few times where his is the first instrument to play a piece; during these moments, he listens closely for conductor Matthew Halls' breath as the cue to begin. Second, Madeleine can be seen switching occasionally to another Baroque instrument, the Baroque Guitar. In fact, several of the musicians switch instruments during this opera, as two recorders are used in this production. Yes, those fine instruments that play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in elementary music programs are used to wonderful delight in this classical piece. From the balcony, you can see the musicians subtly play their own game of literal "musical chairs" between numbers, as Brian Cook and Sarah Bierhaus sit together when playing the recorder and then return to their original seats in the viola and oboe sections. Jeffrey Stephenson also spends a moment featured at the side of the orchestra for his beautiful oboe solo. Rounding out our guests artists for Amadigi di Gaula are harpsichordist Patrick T. Jones (who also prepared the music for this production) and Baroque cellist Kate Haynes.
|St. James Methodist Church,|
across the street from the Opera House
The following Sunday, July 24th, the series continues with world-renowned conductor Matthew Halls, the guest instrumentalists (mentioned above) and principal vocal artists from this summer's Amadigi di Gaula performing the music of Henry Purcell. The final performance on July 31st features the male classical vocal quartet New York Polyphony in concert; two of the members -- baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert and bass Craig Phillips -- were participants in Central City Opera's Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program.
|Christopher Dylan Hebert as Papageno in a scene from The Magic Flute|
(Central City Opera's Opera A La Carte, 2006)
Christopher was also featured in Martha Stewart Weddings for his recent marriage to partner Timothy Long. In addition to being incredibly photogenic, Christopher also happens to be the nephew of the crafty guru.
|Image from Martha Stewart Weddings|
Watch (and listen to) video clips of Central City Opera's Amadigi di Gaula