CITV Presents The First Capital Region Performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio
On November 19th Concerts in the Village (CITV) presents Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera, in concert at Kinderhook Reformed Church. CITV’s Broad Street Orchestra and Chorale will be joined by seven outstanding soloists. Surprisingly this will be the Capital Region’s first performance of Beethoven’s remarkable opera.
Artistic Director David Smith will conduct, and Wheelock Whitney, Speaker, will guide the opera’s riveting narrative of a wife’s determined love for her husband and courageous actions to save his life, and more universally, Beethoven’s own passionate commitment to personal and political freedom. Composed at the very beginning of the 19th century, the message of Fidelio has clear relevance at the beginning of the 21st.
The dramatic role of Leonore (Fidelio), the opera’s heroine, will be sung by soprano Caroline Dunigan, recently returned from Germany and well-known to CITV audiences for her performances of works by Saint-Säens, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams, Haydn and Schubert. Ms. Dunigan’s opera roles have included works of Britten, Donizetti, Mozart, Weill, and others. She has performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Bard Vocal Arts Program.
Tenor Eric Finbarr Carey, assuming the role of Leonore’s imprisoned husband Florestan, also returns to CITV, with which he has previously performed the Mozart Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ moving cycle On Wenlock Edge. Recently his career has taken him to Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, the Princeton Pro Music, the Britten-Pears Festival, and Odyssey Opera. He is a former Tanglewood Fellow, and an alumnus of the Bard Vocal Arts Program, Boston University, Peabody Conservatory, and Johns Hopkins University.
The role of Marzelline will be taken by Canadian/American soprano Jardena Gertler-Jaffe. Her former CITV appearances have included Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Mozart’s concert aria Bella mia fiamma. Ms. Gertler-Jaffe holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Bard. Assuming the role of Jaquino, tenor Maximillian Jansen is a frequent CITV soloist, having performed in the Mass in B Minor, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Acis and Galatea and l’Allegro, and Mozart’s Misero! O sogno. At Opera Saratoga in summer 2023, Mr. Jansen’s role in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder was widely praised by both audiences and critics.
The role of Rocco, governor of the jail, is taken by Kevin Douglas Jasaitis, who will be making his CITV debut. A 2023 Tanglewood Vocal Fellow, his recent credits include City Lyric Opera’s La Traviata, Mannes Opera’s The Fairy Queen, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and the Brahms Requiem. Kevin is a graduate of the Purchase Conservatory of Music and Mannes School of Music, as well as Classic Lyric Arts programs. Jonathan Lawlor, whose previous CITV credits include The Creation and works of Barber and Butterworth, assumes the role of Don Pizarro, the jailor in Fidelio. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and Bard, and has studied at the Music Academy of the West. Among his credits are works of Bach, Beethoven (the 9th Symphony), Brahms (the Requiem), Donizetti, Puccini, Janacek, and Menotti.
Bass-baritone Charles Martin, who will sing Don Fernando in Fidelio, has performed Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass with CITV, and is highly regarded for his performances of Wagner (Die Walküre, Das Rheingold and Tristan und Isolde), as well as Rigoletto, Magic Flute, Carmen, Pirates of Penzance, and Mikado.
Speaker Wheelock Whitney’s many personal interests in the arts include active performance as a baritone, both in New York City and the Hudson Valley. His commitment to the art of singing, including the careers of emerging artists, is well established. His occasional role as a concert speaker was most recently publicly offered during the 2023 Tannery Pond Concerts in New Lebanon, New York.
Image: Soprano Caroline Dunigan, Leonore (Fidelio)
Suggested contribution $ 25. Students and children free. Handicapped accessible.
Kinderhook Reformed Church: 21 Broad Street (US Route 9), Kinderhook, NY 12106.
For further information visit www.concertsinthevillage.org