Evening of opera explores ‘Saints and Sinners’

The raw edges of human nature will be explored in an evening of Opera Arias and Ensembles presented on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. at Round Hill Community Church in Greenwich.

The Church’s soloists, accompanied by Minister of Music, Christopher Kabala, will perform.

According to the church, the concert, which examines both “Saints and Sinners,” almost inadvertently reveals changing attitudes about both.

A good place to start is with the traditional source of evil — the devil himself. Charles Gounod based his popular opera Faust on the 18th Century play of Johann Goethe. Gounod’s aria Le veau d’or, occurs as Mephistopheles (the devil) enters the town tavern to regale the villagers with a blasphemous ballad extolling the virtues of the idol of a golden calf.

Verdi wrote three operas based on the plays of Shakespeare: Falstaff, Otello, and Macbeth. Verdi takes every opportunity to chisel the character of Lady Macbeth into a sinister catalyst who propels the opera’s blood-soaked portrayal of ruthless ambition. In the dramatic soprano aria Vieni te affretta, Lady Macbeth bids her husband to come quickly after receiving notice that he has been made Thane of Cawdor. Determined to make him king, she urges him to return quickly so that she can inspire cold courage for the dreaded deeds to come.

Carlisle Floyd’s opera Susannah is one of the few American 20th Century operas that enjoys a permanent place in the operatic repertoire. In the opera, Susannah, a beautiful and naive woman, is unjustly accused of indecent behavior and becomes a victim of a vicious, jealous and vengeful society. The aria Ain’t It a Pretty Night presents Susannah as she looks up at the night sky and admires the stars.

Other works on the program include arias and ensembles by Mozart, Gounod, Rossini, Wagner, Britten and Massenet. There will be a chance to meet the performers at a lavish wine and cheese reception following the concert in the Church Parlor.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for students.

For reservations or more information, visit Roundhillcommunitychurch.org or call 203-869-1091.

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