Image by Olena Sergienko

Opera Under the Stars
 

July 4, 2022

Water Works Pavilion

With Guest Artists
Benjamin Dutcher and Rodolfo Nieto 

Program Order

O Sole Mio

Selections from The Magic Flute 

  • Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön

  • Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen 

  • Papageno and Papagena duet

Selections from Les Misérables 

  • I Dreamed a Dream

  • The Confrontation

  • On my Own

  • Bring Him Home

Aria Off!

Showcasing each of our singers!

  • Stars 

  • Addio Sogni di gloria 

  • Ah! Je veux vivre 

Intermission- 15 minutes

American Songs in honor of July 4th

  • At The River

  • The First Time Ever I Saw your Face

  • Sundown

  • Shenandoah

Guest singers feature

  • Agony - Into the Woods

Selections from Candide

  • Glitter and Be Gay

  • Make our Garden Grow

Selections from La Traviata

  • Un dì, felice, eterea

  • Ah, forsè lui … Sempre libera

  • Brindisi

Program Notes

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The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Set in a magical mythical land, the opera opens with the three ladies of the Queen of the Night saving Prince Tamino from a serpent. Prince Tamino is knocked unconscious during the rescue and doesn't see the ladies save him. As he wakes, Papageno the bird catcher walks past singing, describing his life as a birdcatcher and how sad he is being single. Seeing the dead serpent near Prince Tamino, Papageno claims that it is he who killed the serpent. At this moment, the three ladies reappear and punish Papageno for his lie. They give Tamino a portrait of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, who he instantly falls in love with (because...opera.). He sings the aria "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön"; (This image is enchantingly beautiful), declaring his undying love he feels toward Pamina from this picture alone. The Queen of the Night appears in a crack of thunder and commands him to rescue Pamina from the evil Sarastro. In order to accomplish this mission, the three ladies give Tamino a magic flute. Papageno, the bird catcher is assigned to accompany him on the journey, and is given a set of magic silver bells. Lastly, the ladies appoint three spirits to guide our heros on their journey.
During his journey, Tamino learns that it is the Queen who is the evil one, not Sarastro. Meanwhile, the Queen visits her daughter Pamina, and gives her a dagger commanding her to kill Sarastro with it. This is probably the most well-known scene in this opera, featuring the aria "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen", also known as the Queen of the Night’s aria. Torn about what to do, Pamina is confronted by Sarastro who convinces her that vengeance is not wise.

Throughout the opera, Papageno continues to pine for a wife. Suddenly an elderly woman appears before him. She makes him swear to always be faithful to this future wife. The moment the promise is made, the elderly woman transforms into a beautiful young lady, Papagena. Happily, they both sing the famous "Pa... pa... pa..."; duet as they plan their future life together and the number of children they will have.

Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg
An adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, this is one of the most famous Broadway musicals. Fantine, a single mother, works at a factory to support herself and her daughter, Cosette. As she sings “I Dreamed a Dream”, she reminisces on her dreams and about Cosette’s father who abandoned them both. In a state of desperation for money, she sells all her remaining possessions including her hair and must resort to prostitution. Javert, a police inspector is about to arrest Fantine when Valjean walks past and demands that Javert release her.

Fantine is very ill at this point, and while Valjean tries to care for her, she succumbs to her illness. Valjean promises her that he will find Cosette and protect her. As he sets off on his journey, he is approached by Javert. Javert wants to bring Valjean in for custody
because of his status as an ex-convict (he stole a single loaf of bread). In this scene, they sing the duet “The Confrontation” as Valjean
asks for some time so he can look for Cosette, but is denied by Javert. Javert insists that a criminal like Valjean will never change his spots. They fight but Valjean manages to escape.
The innkeepers who have been "caring" for Cosette during Fantine's struggles have been using Cosette as a servant while spoiling their own daughter Éponine. Valjean finds Cosette and pays the innkeepers a large sum of money to allow him to adopt her. Years later, Cosette bumps into Marius and they both fall in love. Javert on the other hand comes close to capturing Valjean but fails again. He sings “Stars” as he makes a vow that he will find Valjean and will capture him one day, upholding his rigid morality based in lawfulness. We will be featuring Stars later as part of our Aria Off section!

Éponine has also met and fallen in love with Marius but she knows that those feelings are unrequited. After following Marius and eavesdropping on his love duet with Cosette, she roams the streets of Paris by herself, she sings “On My Own”, grieving this unrequited love.
This whole musical is set against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. At the barricade preparing for the first surprise attack, Valjean sings “Bring Him Home” as he prays to God, asking Him to protect Marius, who has joined the fight, because he knows how much Marius and Cosette are in love.

Candide by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein is a titan in American classical music. Known as one of the greatest conductors of his time, helping to bolster classical music in America. Much like the US, Bernstein was a melting pot, working with many different styles of music. His passionate, emotional approach to conducting, along with his embrace of new media (television broadcasts in the form of his "Young People's Concert Series") made classical music more accessible to a broader audience, which is something that we at Overdressed strive to embody. This excerpt from his operetta, Candide, was programed to honor this truly great American musician, composer, and conductor.


Candide, an illegitimate nephew to the Baron is deeply in love with the Baron’s daughter, Cunegonda. Together they are happily in young love, living in the castle. However, the Baron is not happy about this and Candide is banished from the castle.
Soon after, war tears through their country. Both Cunegonda and Candide flee to Paris separately, they had not seen each other in years, nor did they know that they were now both living in Paris. Cunegonda with her youthful beauty, is now living a double life as a lover to the Archbishop of Paris and to a rich merchant. She sings the famous aria “Glitter and be Gay”, as she reflects on how much she hates
her life's situation, but she doesn't really mind the luxury. Later, Candide finds Cunegonda. Excited to have found each other, they decided to flee. Cunegonda's solution is to kill both her lovers (because...opera).

The operetta ends with the famous ensemble scene “Make our Garden Grow” as Candide and Cunegonda come to realization that life is what we make of it.

La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Set in Paris, this opera opens with a lavish party scene in the beautiful home of the Baron to welcome back the famous courtesan, Violetta after her long illness. The guests ask the Baron to give a toast but he refuses, coerrcing the shy Alfredo into doing it instead. Alfredo agrees to a Brindisi, which has become one of the most famous scenes to excerpt from the operatic cannon.
We will feature this scene at the end to close our program tonight.
Not fully recovered from her illness, Violetta tries to be the life of the party but her continuing symptoms reappear as a coughing fit. She asks her guests to proceed on to the next room to dance while she herself stays back to rest. However, Alfredo stays behind, expressing his concerns about her health. As Alfredo declares his love for her, they sing the famous duet "Un dì, felice, eterea"; (One day, happy and ethereal). After the party, Violetta reflects on her life and wonders if she could be happy with Alfredo. However, she still
decides that freedom is her way of life as she sings the famous scene and aria “Ah, forsè lui … Sempre libera” (Ah, Perhaps he is the one ... Always free).
This opera ends with Violetta dying of her sickness in the arms of Alfredo. A very typical tragic love scene of a 19th Century romantic opera.

 

Thank You!!!

With this, we want to thank all of you for joining us this evening. We hope you had an enjoyable evening with us. Cheers!

If you enjoyed this concert, we have other Opera Under the Stars coming up this season. Check out our website for more information! The concept will be the same, but we will be featuring different guest artists at different Minneapolis parks.

 

While this concert is free, we do take donations and tips. It is with your support that we can continue on our mission - to make opera accessible to everyone. We thank you for your support.

Overdressed is a 501c3 non-profit organization.