Aug 11, 2018
Aug 26, 2018

Summer Rental: Mozart & Salieri 2018 Festival

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Opera’s greatest rivals, or Opera’s greatest co-workers?  Mozart and Salieri simultaneously served as important musicians in the Viennese Court Theater for years in the late 18th century, alongside their colleague, librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.  This year, we tell the story of two of opera’s most famous rivals (or most productive colleagues!).  Don Giovanni, Mozart’s iconic operatic #metoo tale is followed by Salieri’s playful La Cifra (The Code)… a hidden gem of an opera about a hidden gem of a young woman.  The repertory season encompassing 13 total performances also includes “Vignettes from Vienna,” a scenes program featuring not only works by the two Vienna court composers, but also Rimsky-Korsakov’s one-act opera Mozart & Salieri (based on a short Pushkin play), bringing the two composers to life (and one “to death”) on stage.  On the penultimate day of the festival, Sacred & Profane: Songs and Ephemera gathers religious and sacrilegious works of both composers in an afternoon recital including “Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia” – a cantata written jointly by Mozart, Salieri, and “Cornetti” with a libretto by Da Ponte, plus magnificent songs of Mozart, canons of Salieri, and other rarities both sublime and ridiculous.

Don Giovanni

August 11, 12m, 17, 19m, 23, 25
Owen Horsley, Stage Director
Chris Fecteau and Chris Whittaker, Conductor and Music Director

La cifra

August 18, 22, 24, 26m
Brittany Goodwin, Stage Director
Catherine O’Shaughnessy, Conductor and Music Director

Vignettes from Vienna (Mozart)

August 20, 21

Così fan tutte

Falstaff [Salieri]

Mozart & Salieri

Le nozze di Figaro

Sacred & Profane: Songs & Ephemera of Mozart & Salieri

August 25m


dell’arte Opera Ensemble was created to provide emerging opera artists with training and performance opportunities necessary to bridge the gap between the conservatory and a flourishing career. Our emphasis is on integrating the various skills needed to create compelling opera performances, backed by the philosophy that superior craft creates great art.

Christopher Fecteau, Artistic Director (Conductor, Don Giovanni) Maestro Fecteau is a vocal coach, conductor and arranger, specializing in role-preparation for singers at all professional levels.  He has prepared singers for engagements at such companies as the Met, Chicago Lyric and most of the major regional companies in the US. Music directing and conducting engagements have taken him to Opera Illinois, Opera Theatre of Philadelphia, Harrisburg Opera, South Florida Opera Company, Opera in the Heights, and a tour of the Czech Republic as well as many assignments in New York City, where he resides. He counts over 50 operas in his conducting repertoire, including several world and regional premieres.  In 2000 he founded dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, dedicated to providing quality experiences for young singers. dell’Arte has produced over 50 operas ranging from standard repertoire like Carmen and Die Zauberflöte to rarities including Humperdinck’s Königskinder and Salieri’s Falstaff. Most of dell’Arte’s productions have featured orchestral reductions by Maestro Fecteau, whose special interest is the re-examination of operatic works for their possibilities in chamber settings, making these works accessible to companies with modest resources. Maestro Fecteau earned an MFA in Piano Performance from Carnegie Mellon in University, a MM in Orchestral Conducting from Florida State University, where he was a graduate assistant for two years for Florida State Opera, and studied coaching and conducting under the mentorship of esteemed conductor Fiora Contino in New York City for seven years.

Catherine O’Shaughnessy (Conductor, La Cifra) is a rising orchestral and opera conductor in the United States and abroad. Avidly committed to Chicago’s dynamic opera scene, she is currently principal conductor of the Floating Opera Company and music director of Chicago Fringe Opera, an organization committed to providing a platform for new and underrepresented voices.  As an orchestral conductor, Catherine has appeared in performance with the Rousse Philharmonic (Ruse, Bulgaria), Orchestra Nazionale Artes (Florence, Italy), the Atlantic Coast Symphony (Esposende, Portugal), and the Rose City Chamber Orchestra (Portland, Oregon). In 2013 she conducted the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra at a sold-out performance in Tchaikovsky Hall, and in 2017 she served as a guest conductor with the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra (Manchester, UK).   A student of William Reber, she holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University; she also recently completed her DMA in orchestral and opera conducting at Arizona State University. In addition to her musical pursuits, Catherine is passionate about the role of the arts and philosophy in society.  She currently serves as co-organizer for two philosophy meet-up groups and presented a paper on the philosophy of passion at the 2013 Humanities Conference at Lincoln University, PA.

Brittany Goodwin (Stage Director, La Cifra) made her dell’Arte Opera Ensemble debut in 2016 as Stage Director of Act I of Puccini’s La Rondine on the “Scenes from the Demimonde” program, and as Assistant Director for La Traviata.  In 2017 she returned to lead La Calisto, and is back again this year for a third season.  Goodwin is a NYC based stage director and playwright/librettist. She has staged her original works as well as the greats at La Mama Experimental Theatre, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, BAM, Manhattan Rep, and National Opera Center. Songs of the Soul Beams, brought sonically to life by composer Felix Jarrar, premiered at BAM this past year and shortly after, was presented at (le) Poisson Rouge. Their Dada jazz opera Tabula Rasa kicked off OperaFest this May through the Cantanti Project.  Her adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis for composer Chris Poovey will have its premier at University of North Texas.  Goodwin will also be working side by side with composer Daniel Felsenfeld on their modern adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s The Well Beloved in Boston next year.  She has served as dramaturg on The Inner Circle, through Opera on Tap and has written and staged adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol for Gramercy Opera.

Owen Horsley  (Stage Director, Don Giovanni)  Owen trained at Drama Centre London.  His directing credits include Salome by Oscar Wilde (RSC), The Famous Victories of Henry V (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Garsington Opera) and Henry V (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre).  Owen was Associate Director on the RSC King and Country Tour and worked with Artistic Director Gregory Doran on Richard II and Henry IV Part 1 and 2 and Henry V from 2013-16.  Owen is also an Associate Director for Cheek by Jowl.  He was Assistant Director to Declan Donnellan on The Changeling (2006) Cymbeline (2007), Troilus and Cressida (2008), Macbeth (2009) and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (2011) becoming Associate Director in 2010.  Owen Co-Directed the 2013 Tour of Tis Pity.   Other directing credits include Picture of Dorian Gray (Watermill Theatre), The Duchess of Malfi (Southwark Playhouse and UK Tour) The Two Noble Kinsmen (RWCMD) Outside on the Street (Edinburgh Fringe and Arcola) Antony and Cleopatra, Lysistrata, As you Like it (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Hungry Heart (RADA).  Owen works extensively around the world. He has led workshops in Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, France, China and the UK. Owen is also the Artistic Director of Bard City, a training ground for actors, directors and writers in New York on the works of William Shakespeare. The company also presents innovative new versions of his work.

Claire Townsend (Costume Designer, Season) Claire is delighted to be working with dell Arte Opera Ensemble again!  Favourite design credits include Madama Butterfly, La forza del destino, Lucia di Lammermoor for West Bay Opera, Così fan tutte for Opera Ebony, Bullshot Crummond for PCPA Theatrefest, a six person Macbeth for the Humanist Project and Double Falsehood for Letter of Marque, as well as multiple credits at the Stella Adler School of Acting. She has assisted at LA Opera and SCR. She holds a graduate degree from Central St Martins, London.

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