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Page 75 text:
r 91 D ' Anna Fortunato (Maddalena) and Dong-pil Kim (the Duke) in the fourth act of Rigolefto Opera Theatre Thomas H. Philips, Jr., Director 1967-68 was a gala year for Mr. Philips and Conservatory students in the Opera Theatre. In this Centennial year, the group brought to Boston operagoers the opportunity to hear several pre- mieres, in a sampling of opera from widely varied styles and periods. The season was off to a colorful start with the Opera Gala on the evening of November 8. Use of the original scoring and a counter- tenor - both Boston firsts - were a novelty in Act III of Cluck ' s ORFEO ED EURIDICE. Also presented on that date were the famed Act IV of RIGOLETTO, Act III of Massenet ' s WERTHER, and two scenes from Carlisle Floyd ' s SUSANNAH. February 1 heralded the first of two performances of Marc Blitz- stein ' s REGINA, again a Boston premiere. Blitzstein ' s opera, based on Lillian Hellman ' s The Little Foxes, was an extremely timely production. A revival of the Hellman play in New York, soofi due to come to Boston, had drawn widespread interest in the northeast, and certainly enhanced audience appeal for the opera as well. Monteverdi ' s L ' INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA was the next Opera Theatre offering six weeks later on March 16. Again, although POPPEA was not new to Boston, the Opera Theatre ' s production was the first in the Hub to use staging and scoring in line with per- formance practices in Monteverdi ' s time. The result: a well-received production which threw new light on story and music alike. Another Opera Gala scene this time Act III of Massenet ' s Werther with Liana Lansing (Charlotte) and Jean Panther (Sophie)
Page 74 text:
The Opera Gala: Daniel Collins and Susan Larson are Orfeo ed Euridice 70
Page 76 text:
Barbara Hocher as Carlisle Floyd ' s Susannah in another scene from the Opera Gala. From serious drama to comedy is a natural step in the spring, and the first week in May brought AN EVENING OF DONIZETTI. Scenes from two of the composer ' s comic masterpieces, DON PASQUALE and L ' ELISIR D ' AMORE, led off the evening, which highlighted the world premiere of a new revision of an early Donizetti comedy. LE CONVENIENZE ED INCONVENIENZE TEATRALE (or. Opera: Italian Style), dealt, appropriately enough, with the trials and tribulations attendant upon opera production! What more fitting way could there be to wind up a busy and exciting year for the Opera Theatre? Although the Opera Theatre ' s year was officially over, there remained one more production to be presented under the direction of Mr. Philips, whose final year at the Conservatory this was. On July 24, 26, and 27, members of the regular Conservatory Opera Theatre and students at the Castle Hill Summer School in Ipswich presented Mozart ' s COSI FAN TUTTE. As his last presentation with his students here, the completely restaged opera was a fitting swan song for Mr. Philips, and was warmly received by capacity audiences and the press. By moving the locale of the opera to British-occupied Victorian India, and using an English translation, the production was able to communicate more clearly the workings of Da Ponte ' s involved plot. The audience ' s response indicated its approval, and made COSI FAN TUTTE a grand finale to a blue- ribbon year for Mr. Philips and the Opera Theatre he has so capably class, instructing Diana Cole directed. 72
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