Aureliano Andrew Owens, tenorZenobia Georgia Jarman, sopranoArsace Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Will Crutchfield, conductor
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
As two warring armies brace for battle over this exquisite city in present-day central Syria, Aureliano in Palmira explores the contentious love triangle of an invading Roman emperor (tenor Andrew Owens), a bold Palmyran queen (soprano Georgia Jarman), and her ally, the dashing Prince of Persia (mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford). Queen Zenobia and Prince Arsace seek victory, but in defeat, find love; Aureliano seeks love, but in victory, learns statesmanship. Acclaimed as “Best Rediscovered Work” at last year’s International Opera Awards, this long-forgotten jewel takes the Bel Canto at Caramoor stage in its first-ever American performance.
After encountering many obstacles in its first production (La Scala, 1813-14), Aureliano was all but abandoned, with its stunning libretto and sweeping overture – later repurposed for The Barber of Seville – virtually scattered to the wind. Over the course of a year, Caramoor’s Director of Opera, Will Crutchfield, worked with the Rossini Foundation and its Editorial Coordinator Daniele Carnini to assemble its disparate parts and rediscover the extraordinary opera Rossini wrote – never heard in its original form between the Scala performances and the triumphant 2014 revival at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. And now, as the world turns its eyes to war-torn Syria, this sublime score has garnered new meaning: in a tribute to the respected archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, slain in Palmira in 2015, Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi honored the fallen hero with an excerpt from Crutchfield’s recording of Aureliano.
“I have not forgotten that great day of victory;” Queen Zenobia cries, “that day will come again.”
A host of daytime pre-opera events, delicious picnics, tours of the historic Rosen House, and more make for an unforgettable day at Caramoor.
Catch the Caramoor Coach to and from Manhattan (single-ride and round-trip available), take the train (Metro-North Katonah Station, Harlem Line), or take a scenic drive and enjoy free parking – it’s easy to get here.