Students, faculty and alumni of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music will perform in the upstate New York premiere of the opera “The Classical Style,” Steven Stucky's last large-scale composition before his untimely death in 2016. The performance with orchestra will take place on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Carrier Theater, John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 421 Montgomery St., Syracuse.
The production, presented by the Syracuse Society for New Music, features well-known Central New York singers from Ithaca, Cortland, Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Marcellus, Liverpool and East Syracuse, including Setnor alumna Julia Ebner ’04; Setnor faculty Janet Brown and Eric Johnson; and Setnor students Daniel Fields ’18, Sasha Turner ’17, Margaret Hoeschele ’18 and Sean Jordan ’17.
Heather Buchman conducts the production, working with musical director Sar-Shalom Strong, stage director Victoria King, set designer/artist David Harper and an orchestra comprised of upstate New York’s finest instrumentalists.
Inspired by musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen's 1971 book “The Classical Style,” the opera follows composers W.A. Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven as they descend from heaven into a 21st-century musical climate. The curtain rises on Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven playing Scrabble and bickering in heaven while on Earth below, a I chord, a IV chord and a V chord discuss their musical and emotional “relationships.” The great classical masters soon return to Earth in search of eminent musicologist Charles Rosen to discover how their music is doing and the state of classical music in the contemporary world.
MacArthur “Genius” Grant awardee Jeremy Denk's brilliant madcap libretto, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Stucky's delightfully witty and dramatic score make “The Classical Style” an opera that celebrates, entertains and stimulates. The story line and musical references ensure the opera appeals to all audiences, and extra-special for those well versed in the classical style.
Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle lauded “The Classical Style” as an "exuberantly witty and often touching opera." Richard Scheinin of the San Jose Mercury News declared it "gorgeous to hear, and filled with laughs."
Tickets are $15 regular; $12 seniors/students, $30 max family; ages 12 and under free. Tickets and more information are available at www.societyfornewmusic.org/concerts.cfm.