MOT Brings Populist Opera to the People with Copland’s The Tender Land “No 20th Century composer understood heartland America better than Aaron Copland. No composer championed the common man the way Copland did. The music for his opera The Tender Land, the current Michigan Opera Theatre production, echoes the thrum of the plow, the rustle of dry grain, the creak of aching bones and the trill of a meadowlark. Its tempo is paced to the setting sun and the pulse of hearts that y
“Calenos, a young Greek-born soprano, had the best outing. Secure in pitch, rich in expressive detail, knifelike at the climaxes, she seemed ready for a much bigger stage.” -The New Yorker Read full review. “The company performed in street clothes, in an unfussy production directed by Raymond Zilberberg with a game cast that put the emphasis on the art of singing–with a couple of pretty impressive performances that left the audience rapt. Most notable was soprano Eleni Caleno
“Chen-Ye Yuan’s moving final aria leaves us with Chou En Lai’s unforgettable image of the chill of grace heavy on the morning grass. Ultimately, despite spectacular chorus work and a virtuoso APO coaxed by maestro Joseph Mechavich to run from shimmer to shout within a few bars, the opera’s final resolution is reflective.” -New Zealand Herald Read full review. “From time to time there’s a snatch of melody, such as Gershwin amongst a collage of American jazz, and some Strauss,
“Jason Slayden made a notable Lyric debut as Tybalt, showing an ample, flexible tenor and likewise inhabiting the violent, hot-headed character.” -Chicago Classical Review. Read full review. “Jason Slayden made a fiery Tybalt” -Chicago Tribune Read full review. “there are no weaknesses in a strong supporting cast consisting of Jason Slayden as Tybalt, Christian Van Horn as Friar Laurence, and Deborah Nansteel as an intimidating Gertrude.” -BachTrack.com Read full review.
“Scott became the perfect Otello. His presence on stage, the powerful hero, the ardent lover and the jealously-infected victim, requires vocal intensity and dramatic acting. Scott dissects every one of his characters. In his Otello, we saw love, witnessed attack by Iago’s evil plot and his destruction by the green-eyed monster. Shakespeare would have been proud. The audiences certainly were. . . It is the dramatic presence of Scott Piper that crystallizes the tragic murder an