UT Opera Ensemble & UT Symphony Orchestra present Aaron Copland’s “The Tender Land” Nov. 22-24
The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble, in a collaborative performance with the UT Symphony Orchestra, will present Aaron Copland’s opera, “The Tender Land,” Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24, 2013 in Doermann Theatre in University Hall (main campus). Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Aaron Copland composed the music for “The Tender Land,” with libretto by Horace Everett. Copland’s score was inspired by the photography of Walker Evans, who brilliantly captured the bittersweet experience of the Depression-era farm family, as well as by “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” by James Agee, which featured Evans photos.
The story of “The Tender Land” centers on Laurie, an ambitious young woman who comes of age during the Depression. Transformed from girl to woman by her first experience of love, Laurie soon discovers something she prizes more than love—freedom.
“Part of the reason we choose it is because of its Midwest setting and its accessibility for young singers. Since the work itself is fairly short in comparison to other operas, it is a good choice for a growing university opera and orchestra program,” says Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, director of the UT Opera Ensemble and producer of this production.
In reviewing the work for his web site, USOpera.com, a site dedicated to US-American operas and their composers, Christopher Hapka writes, "’The Tender Land’ was commissioned from Copland by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Copland's second opera is a much more mature work than the earlier ‘The Second Hurricane.’ Written for young singers, the work contains some of the best music of Copland’s mature years, and deserves a greater place in the repertory. A number of recent recordings will hopefully help to raise its status among twentieth century opera. The closing chorus of Act 1, "The promise of living," is often excerpted and sung by choruses.”
Copland revised the opera extensively, changing it from two acts to three. This version was released in 1955 and is the version the University of Toledo Opera Ensemble will perform.
Tickets: $10, and $8 for students and seniors.
Tickets are available Online: utoledo.edu/BoxOffice;
By Phone: 419.530.2375;
At the Center for Performing Arts Box Office;
Towerview W & W Rocket Drive, UT Main Campus
Visit the UT Department of Music at http://www.utoledo.edu/cvpa/music