2020 Festival: Love for Truth

    August 15–30


    Juana

    Aug. 16m, 18, 21, 27, 29

    Rod Gomez, Stage Director
    Chris Fecteau, Conductor and Music Director

    dell’Arte Opera Ensemble proudly presents the East Coast premiere of the new opera Juana based on the novel “Juana’s Second Dream” by Alicia Gaspar de Alba.  Composer Carla Lucero has set the Spanish-language libretto by Gaspar de Alba and Lucero with evocative colors and a moving narrative voice. The opera tells the story fo Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th century feminist genius whose life was marked by repeated conflict with men of the Inquisition, despite the friendship and protection of two successive Spanish vicereines and the fame brought by her own published writings.  She was an accomplished theologian, poet author, composer, artist and architect, and favorite of the Spanish colonial court, yet her fame and brilliance eventually led to her suppression.

    Juana

    Anna Bolena

    Aug. 22, 23m, 25, 26, 28, 30m

    David Štech, Conductor and Music Director

    Anna Bolena (premiered in Milan in 1830) as the second of Donizetti’s four “Tudor” operas, preceded by Il castello di Kenilworth (1829), and later including Maria Stuarda (1834/35) and Roberto Devereux (1837).  It is a fictionalized account of the last days of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, and mother of Elizabeth I.  The masterful libretto by Felice Romani and an original cast that included two of the finest singers of the day, Giuditta Pasta and Giovanni Battista Rubini, combined with Donizetti’s formal innovations, made the piece a breakout composition in his output.  dell’Arte Opera Ensemble last presented Anna Bolena in 2010 at Theatre 80 St. Marks. The cast of that production have distinguished themselves well, with Met debuts by Matthew Anchel and Blythe Gaissert; Cherry Duke serving as a vibrant teacher at University of Texas, El Paso; Kirk Dougherty navigating a strong regional solo career with appearances at Sarasota Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, etc.; and Jill Dewsnup, who in addition to her solo appearances has served in the choruses of the Metropolitan Opera and the Chicago Lyric Opera.

    Anna Bolena


    The 2020 dell’Arte Opera Ensemble Summer Festival will feature two full-length operas: Juana by Carla Lucero with a libretto by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Ms. Lucero (East Coast Premiere) and Anna Bolena by Gaetano Donizetti, with a libretto by Felice Romani.  The season will also include a gala opening concert and a song recital exploring the themes of the season.

    Carla Lucero was a 2019 Opera America Women Composers Discovery Grant for Juana, based in part on “Juana’s Second Dream” a historical-fiction novel by her co-librettist Alicia Gaspar de Alba.  We are proud to present the East Coast Premiere, following the November, 2019 World Premiere at UCLA, and in advance of performances in Mexico and Spain.   The opera tells the story of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th century feminist genius who stood up to the forces of the Inquisition to advocate for women’s rights.  She was a self-taught scholar, an accomplished theologian, poet, author, composer, artist, and architect.

    Donizetti’s masterpiece Anna Bolena is a fictionalized account of the final days of the life of the second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Queen Elizabeth.   King Enrico (Henry VIII) has set his heart upon Giovana (Jane Seymour), a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anna (Anne Boleyn) whom he previously had forced to separate from her lover, Lord Percy, to marry him. In order to be able to satisfy his new desires, the king now seeks to accuse Anna of treason. He summons Lord Percy, still in love with Anna, back from exile, and finds a pretext to set up a meeting between the two former lovers, taking the opportunity to accuse Anna, who will be imprisoned, judged and sentenced to death unjustly.  dell’Arte last produced Anna Bolena ten seasons ago at Theatre 80 St, Marks.

    Juana and Anne, two women living continents apart within a few decades of one another. faced epic struggles that challenged truth and love against impossible odds.  Both protagonists were punished for living their truth in a world of moral (but ‘righteous’) corruption. Juana, though an intellectual, seemed possessed of a genuine faith in God which she struggled to defend till the bitter end, while reconciling it to a love of knowledge. Though she nominally renounced her intellectual pursuits, she knew that her voice was already heard in her published works, both in Mexico and across the ocean in Spain. Anna had faith that her love for Percy (as long as it was unconsummated) and for her own child, was worth defending by refusing to confess an infidelity even if it would save her own life. Neither renounced her truth, even though both were ultimately silenced (at least for a time). Each has since been judged to be on the right side of history, though in their time this was not the case.

    Juana and Anne, two women living continents apart within a few decades of one another, faced epic struggles that challenged truth and love against impossible odds.  Both protagonists were punished for living their truth in a world of moral (but ‘righteous’) corruption. Juana, though an intellectual, seemed possessed of a genuine faith in God which she struggled to defend till the bitter end, while reconciling it to a love of knowledge. Though she nominally renounced her intellectual pursuits, she knew that her voice was already heard in her published works, both in Mexico and across the ocean in Spain. Anna had faith that her love for Percy (as long as it was unconsummated) and for her own child, was worth defending by refusing to confess an infidelity even if it would save her own life. Neither renounced her truth, even though both were ultimately silenced (at least for a time). Each has since been judged to be on the right side of history, though in their time this was not the case.


    Creative Team & Production Staff

    TBA