Listening to History in Shirley Graham’s 1932 Opera Tom-Tom
by Lucy Caplan
Ten thousand spectators came on the first night; fifteen thousand more on the second. They filled the stadium on the lakefront, marveling at the multi-tiered stage, the elephant that lumbered across it, and the thirty-foot waterfall towering above. As the sun set, a light rain began to fall. Its rhythmic patter merged imperceptibly with the sounds emanating from a battalion of percussion instruments. Four soloists and a chorus of hundreds appeared. Their voices guided the audience out of the drizzly present – Cleveland, summer, 1932 – and into the sweeping epic of Tom-Tom, the world-premiere opera unfolding onstage.
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.
By Vivien Schweitzer
Since the founding two decades ago of a summer program dedicated to early 19th century Italian opera, the beautiful Caramoor estate has become a sort of Bel Canto Bayreuth. Many local opera fans have made an annual summer pilgrimage to hear rising stars and established artists perform repertory staples and rarities by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi.
On Saturday, June 16, Caramoor’s 2017 Summer Season opened with our Opening Night Gala and Concert Celebrating 20 years of Bel Canto at Caramoor with A Night of Italian Opera.
This year’s Gala festivities included a pre-performance cocktail reception and an elegant Italian dinner al fresco, premium concert seating in the Venetian Theater for the concert: Celebrating 20 Years of Bel Canto at Caramoor with A Night of Italian Opera, and the After Dark post-performance party with desserts and dancing.