Caramoor has always been a magical place to experience phenomenal opera and 2018’s Summer Season ushers in a new chapter in Caramoor’s rich operatic history. Vice President, Artistic Programming & Executive Producer Kathy Schuman previews four exciting vocal performances this summer.
If you have been to Caramoor you know what a special place this is to hear opera. Take a beautiful piece of music performed by stellar artists and place it in our unique setting — it is truly magical. This summer, that experience will be highlighted as we present some of today’s most exceptional voices in different venues across our 90-acre Westchester estate.
For our main offering in the Venetian Theater, we’re thrilled to be bringing Handel-expert Nicholas McGegan and his wonderful period instrument ensemble, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, for a performance of Handel’s Atalanta. This pastoral opera in three acts from 1736 is a tale of kings and queens, shepherds and shepherdesses, mistaken identities, scorned love, jealousy, near disaster and last-minute resolutions in time for a happy ending. The opera was composed as a celebration of the wedding of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and is perfect fare for a summer evening. Though not as well-known as other Handel operas, many will be familiar with the beautiful aria “Care selve” which is often heard on concert programs.The cast features soprano Sherezade Panthaki, an acknowledged star in the early-music field, in the title role. Panthaki‘s recent performance with Philharmonia Baroque was named one of the Top 10 Classical Music Events of the year and described as “a breathtaking combination of expressive ardor, tonal clarity, technical mastery and dramatic vividness” by San Francisco Chronicle. There’s more Baroque opera to come in Caramoor’s future, and there are no better advocates for this repertoire to start off with than these wonderful artists.
More mistaken identities abound in our al fresco performance of Mozart’s early opera La Finta Giardiniera, performed in a special English adaptation and chamber arrangement by the innovative company On Site Opera. The Secret Gardener, to be performed in Caramoor’s Sunken Garden, is sure to be a special treat and features several alumni from our former Bel Canto Young Artists program. First performed last year in a Manhattan community garden, “On Site Opera delivered another perfect combination of piece and location with an exhilarating staging.” — Opera News
We’re also featuring two American mezzo-sopranos who are among today’s most acclaimed stars from the operatic world. Isabel Leonard will perform Spanish songs with guitarist Sharon Isbin in the (where else?) Spanish Courtyard, and Susan Graham closes our summer season with arias from Handel’s Ariodante and Alcina and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and La Clemenza di Tito with Carmoor’s Orchestra-in-Residence Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by their Principal Conductor designate, Bernard Labadie. Listening to these extraordinary artists amidst Caramoor’s leafy grounds, you will be transported to another world.