The Bronx Opera presents the New York premiere of Kirke Mechem’s opera The Rivals
The Bronx Opera will open its 2014 season with the New York premiere of Kirke Mechem’s hilarious new opera based the comedy of manners by Richard Brinkley Sheridan. BxO – for nearly 50 years – has brought quality musical entertainment to Manhattan, Long Island, and of course, The Bronx.
The current season-opener is a reversal of fortune of sorts. Wealthy British Naval Captain Jack Absolute finds he must masquerade as a poor musician in order to properly woo American heiress Lydia Larkspur who dreams of living in “charming poverty.” But Jack must return to his rich self to impress Lydia’s aunt and guardian, the famously verbose Mrs. Malaprop – whose infamous use of the English language and twists of the tongue have become legendary in the theatrical world. With each new entrance, The Rivals introduces us to another over-the-top character: Jack’s bombastic father, Sir Anthony; Nicholas, a member of the Astor family; Jasper, a member of the Vanderbilts; a hot tempered Prussian fortune hunter; and Julia, the long-suffering love-lorn cousin to Lydia.
Kirke Mechem also wrote an operatic version of Moliere’s Tartuffe, which also had it’s New York premiere with the Bronx Opera.
The Rivals begins in the Bronx, Saturday and Sunday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. and January 12 at 2:00 p.m. – Lovinger Theatre, Lehman College; and continues to Manhattan at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse, Saturday and Sunday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 19 at 2 p.m.
Lydia Larkspur: Julie-Anne Hamula (1/11 & 19) / Lindsay Ohse (1/12 & 18)
Mrs. Malaprop: Julie De Vaere (1/12 & 18) / Caroline Tye (1/11 & 19)
Jack Absolute: Mario Diaz-Moresco (1/11 & 19) / Patrick McNally (1/12 & 18)
Nicholas Astor: Blake Friedman (1/12 & 18) / Rogelio Peñaverde (1/11 & 19)
Julia: Juli Borst (1/11 & 19) / Cabiria Jacobsen (1/12 & 18)
Sir Anthony Absolute: Brad Baron (1/12 & 18) / Jeremy J. Moore (1/11 & 19)
Lucy: Halley Gilbert (1/11 & 19) / Allyson Herman (1/12 & 18)
Jasper Vanderblit: Erik Bagger (1/11 & 19) / Chad Cygan (1/12 & 18)
Baron von Hakenbock: C. David Morrow (1/12 & 18) / Jack Anderson White (1/11 & 19)
Conductor: Michael Spierman (1/12, 18, 19); Eric Kramer (1/11)
Director: Benjamin Spierman
Set Designer: Scott Aronow
Costume Designers: Joan Greenhut and Maureen Klein
Lighting Designer: G. Benjamin Swope
Production Stage Manager: John P. Hunter
Production Manager: Scott H. Schneider
Assistant Stage Director: Desiree Alejandro
Assistant Stage Manager: Hannah Spierman