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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 9:50 AM

Gotham Chamber Opera, in collaboration with Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents selections from Daniel Catán’s 1988 opera, La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter), in A Musical Journey, From Venice to Tuscany and back again 1851-1991 on August 26, 2013 at 9pm at the Courtyard at Guggenheim-Venice. Tickets are by invitation only. For more information visit

The evening’s program:

Un Itinerario Lirico
Veneto –Toscana – Liguria – Veneto

Gotham Chamber Opera
Neal Goren, direttore artistico

Elaine Alvarez, soprano; Abby Powell, mezzo-soprano; Daniel Montenegro, tenore; Eric Dubin, baritone;
Neal Goren, Maestro Accompagnatore; Andrew Eggert, Regista

Offenbach: I racconti di Hoffmann, aria e duetto (Hoffmann/Giulietta) – Daniel Montenegro, Abby Powell
Verdi: Attila: aria Dagl’immortali vertici (Attila) – Eric Dubin

San Gimignano
(Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta a Cellole)
Puccini: Suor Angelica: Angelica/Principessa scena e arie – Elaine Alvarez, Abby Powell

Verdi Simon Boccanegra: duetto (Amelia/Boccanegra) – Elaine Alvarez, Daniel Montenegro

Verdi: Oberto: Aria "E che gli resta a proferire..." (Cuniza) – Abby Powell

Gounod: Romeo e Giulietta: aria “Ah! Lève-toi, soleil” (Romeo) – Daniel Montenegro

Catán: Tre brani dal La hija de Rappaccini
Aria (Giovanni), Duetto (Beatriz/Giovanni), Trio finale (Beatriz/Giovanni/Rappaccini) –
Elaine Alvarez, Daniel Montenegro, Eric Dubin

Ponchielli: La Gioconda: duetto (Gioconda/Laura) – Elaine Alvarez, Abby Powell

“When we were invited to present a program at the Guggenheim courtyard in Venice, I thought it would be wonderful to present some selections from La hija de Rappaccini, as it will be fresh in everyone's memory after our recent performances in New York and Los Angeles. As Rappaccini takes place in Padova (which is close to Venice), I thought it might be fun for the Venetians to attend a program of arias and opera scenes set in Venice and its environs. In order to construct the most interesting program and best show off our singers' considerable talents, I decided to extend the area covered to include most of Northern Italy: Veneto, Toscana, and Liguria, and organize it as round-trip excursion beginning and ending in Venice,” said Neal Goren, artistic director of Gotham Chamber Opera.

The creative team for La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter) consists of Neal Goren (conductor), Rebecca Taichman (director), Andrew Eggert (associate director), Riccardo Hernandez (scenic design), Justin Townsend (lighting design), Anita Yavich (costume design), and Mark Dendy (choreographer). The original cast was Elaine Alvarez, Daniel Montenegro, and Eric Dubin, with Brian Downen, Jessica Grigg, Ariana Wyatt, Cassandra Zoé Velasco, and Nora Graham-Smith.

La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter) tells of a doctor who seeks to protect and control his daughter by keeping her locked in a garden where he experiments with poisonous plants. She is immune to them, but a carrier of their danger; when a young student falls in love with her, he is faced with the knowledge that pursuing that love will surely lead to his death. The libretto by Juan Tovar is based on the play by the Mexican Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz, after the classic short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Mexican-born Catán (1949-2011) composed in a neo-Romantic style, with long melodic lines, Debussy-like harmonies, and rich orchestrations. Though clearly contemporary, La hija de Rappaccini is as appealing as Puccini and Mozart. Also appealing are the contemporary resonances of the 160-year-old story. “An ideal can be made to serve the most horrific and inhumane causes,” Catán wrote of his opera. “The 20th century has provided us with more examples than we would ever want.” La hija de Rappaccini takes place at that intersection of beauty and danger. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s expansive Cherry Esplanade features two stately allees of cherry trees and borders the renowned Cranford Rose Garden, which will be in full flower in June. La hija de Rappaccini is the Garden’s first staged opera presentation in its 103-year history.

Gotham Chamber Opera, now in its twelfth season, is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.

Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 (as Henry Street Chamber Opera) with the American premiere of Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, Gotham has produced many more local and world premieres, including such works as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphee, Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa, Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne, Handel’s Arianna in Creta, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. The company renamed itself Gotham Chamber opera and became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2003.

Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA for the 2005 production of Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; and the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for 2010’s production of Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna. That production featured lunar exploration video developed by the Museum and NASA and broadcast on the Hayden Planetarium’s 180-degree dome.

Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella), Christopher Alden (Scipione and Arianna in Creta), and Diane Paulus (Il mondo). In October 2010, Gotham partnered with director Moisés Kaufmann and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, to co-produce the first United States stage performances of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas, at the New Victory Theater.

For the 2011-2012 season, Gotham celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly, and a revival of its first production, Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. Moving into its second decade in 2013, Gotham presented a sold-out run of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at The Box and two performances of Daniel Catán’s La Hija di Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Esplanade. That production then toured to Los Angeles, where it was presented by the Broad Stage at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills.

For more information, visit

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice
Peggy Guggenheim was dedicated to the advancement of 20th century art. Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, where Peggy Guggenheim lived and which is now the location of her museum, is an unfinished 18th century Grand Canal palace.

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• Location: Courtyard at Guggenheim-Venice, Other

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