The lake has (finally) thawed, spring is in the air, and this summer’s army of admins, designers, crew, technical staff, and singers will be arriving before we know it. We’re very excited to get the summer 2018 season started but WAIT! There are 2 more shows we want you to get excited about before June rolls around: Leonard Bernstein’s tongue-in-cheek operetta Candide and Jerry Herman’s classic American musical Mame.
As you might know, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. Bernstein is arguably one of America’s most celebrated and beloved composers, and nearly every major opera, orchestra, and young artist program is performing one or more of his works in tribute. Here at Seagle, Bernstein’s daring European pastiche Candide will open our 2018 season. With a rousing story that travels all over the world (both geographically and musically), audiences are sure to recognize Bernstein’s melodies and chuckle at the hilarity and surprising relatability of the story. French satirist Voltaire wrote the original novella, but much of his humor would feel right at home in a Monty-Python-esque comedy. Bernstein’s son Jamie noted that the work is often referred to as Bernstein’s valentine to Europe because of the way he affectionately raided every European song and dance form he could think of in the process of composing the music. The music is chock full of crowd pleasers – the soprano showstopper “Glitter and Be Gay” requires a deft combination of comic acting and technical finesse with high notes for days, while the closing ensemble “Make Our Garden Grow” is just loud enough and just sincere enough it *just* might restore a little bit of your faith in humanity. You may have heard this number at the Patrice Munsel Gala back in 2016 – don’t be surprised if it makes a comeback this season both on the Oscar Seagle Memorial Stage and off.
Mame, which will close our season in August, follows the eccentric bohemian lady-about-town Mame Dennis.
Mame’s free-wheeling lifestyle in roaring ’20s New York City gets interrupted by the arrival of her late brother’s 10-year-old son, Patrick. The unflappable Mame rises to the occasion: rather than change her ways, she invites young Patrick into her world where together they weather the Great Depression and share many madcap adventures. The plot spans several decades and we see the characters grow up to have marriages, families, and adventures all their own while maintaining their humor and zany personalities. You can also anticipate some well-known tunes here, most notably “Open a New Window” and “We Need a Little Christmas.” The title broad has been played by some of Broadway’s most beloved dames, including Angela Lansbury, Lucille Ball, and Elaine Stritch; Christine Baranski received rave reviews in the 2006 Kennedy Center revival. The NY Times describes Mame Dennis as “a symbol of high sophistication … Though she consumed great quantities of bootleg liquor and had romances with decidedly suspicious men, it was always clear that a maternal heart and moral soul resided beneath the dazzle.” We hope you’ll come along for the ride in August!
You might be wondering why a program that trains young opera singers also offers musical theater. As it happens, many schools and opera companies in recent years have begun to bolster their seasons with classic American musicals, which not only please audiences but boost box office sales. From our perspective at Seagle, it is just as important for our emerging artists to experience and familiarize themselves with classic musical theater repertoire as it is with opera. They have a chance to work with music in a different genre, incorporate spoken lines, and in some cases learn new styles of dance. This gives our young singers a leg-up in terms of musical and theatrical versatility while sharing well-known and well-loved stories with our faithful audiences – this way, everybody wins!
Speaking of faithful audiences – are you interested in getting more involved with the life of the colony? Now is your chance! Each late spring, volunteers from around the Schroon Lake community and Adirondack region gather for Work Days to beautify and spruce up the buildings and grounds of the colony. The day is topped off with a free (yes, we really mean free!) lunch and a chance to socialize with other Seagle supporters. This year’s work days are May 19th and June 2. To get involved, please contact Jim Koehnle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this summer’s offerings in the blog over the last few months. Don’t forget – subscriptions and single tickets are currently on sale. Tickets are going fast, so secure yours today to make sure you don’t miss a moment!
If you aren’t sure you’ll be able to visit us in Schroon Lake but you’re excited about what the Colony is doing, please consider making a charitable donation. Your support means the world to us and enables us to continue providing top-notch training to immensely talented young artists from all over the country and the world.