Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Saturday, Friday April 28, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Leighton, presents a concert version of Giuseppe Verdi’s classic opera Il Trovatore (The Troubadour). Ticket prices are $15 for adults; $5 for students; and free for Bard students, faculty, and staff. (The program is repeated on Saturday, April 29, at 8:00 p.m., at the Pointe of Praise Family Life Center, 243 Hurley Avenue, Kingston; and Sunday, April 30, at 3:00 p.m., at the Reformed Church of Saugerties, Main Street, Saugerties.) Four promising opera singers appear in this classic tale of love and revenge from a time when “knights rode in shining armor,” says Leighton. “Il Trovatore’s premiere was such a success that it changed the way composers wrote opera.” The story occurs against a setting of war and begins with the murder of a newborn baby and a gypsy woman burnt at the stake for the crime. Manrico (Jeffrey Ambrosini) is a soldier who is also a poet, and he struggles to live up to his ideals. Il Trovatore gave the world soaring romantic music for Manrico and his beloved Leonora (Cheryl Warfield), as well as musically dramatic confrontations involving Manrico and his mother, Azucena (Lunda Cornelius), and Count di Luna (Frederick Redd), Manrico’s political enemy. All the major scenes of the opera are included and the running time is about two hours, with intermission. WCO’s appointment of David Leighton as its new artistic director is the culmination of a yearlong search from a field of more than 120 candidates. Leighton, a graduate of The Juilliard School, was invited, at age 22, by Rafael Kubelik to be assistant chorus master and assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. He has been a recital accompanist for Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Marilyn Horne, Montserrat Caballé, and Paul Plishka. He has conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Dallas Opera; Nashville Opera; Anhaltisches Theater Dessau, Germany; Châtelet Théâtre Musicale de Paris; and IRCAM (Pierre Boulez, director). Leighton assisted the late Sir Georg Solti in the world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett’s Byzantium with the Chicago Symphony. As artistic director of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, he gave piano recitals and conducted performances featuring 20th-century masterpieces. The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area and now comprises professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley. The WCO supports and commissions music by local and regional composers. For further information and for directions to the concerts, visit or call 845-246-7045. # # # (4/01/06)

back to top

This event was last updated on 04-24-2006