OSWEGO — Oswego Opera Theater will present “Noye’s Fludde” (“Noah’s Flood”) by the renowned English composer Benjamin Britten, on April 13 in Oswego and April 14 in Fulton.
Britten is known for his beautiful lyrical melodies and intricate harmonies in the wide range of instrumental and vocal music he wrote. Opera, however, became his specialty, and this one is particularly popular.
The plot is based on the Biblical story of Noah and his family as found in a medieval English miracle play from the 1500s. This version was composed by Britten in 1958 and was designed to be performed in a church instead of an opera house. In order to promote English opera and to build an audience, the composer featured a variety of performers, both professional and young amateur musicians, as well as many children, in this work.
The casting of Oswego Opera Theater’s production follows the composer’s goals. Principal roles are performed by seasoned artists. Noah is sung by Adam Fine, who has delighted Oswego audiences for his performances in several previous operas, including last fall’s “Die Fledermaus.” He can be heard every week on WCNY, central New York’s classical music radio station.
Noah’s wife is portrayed by Sarah Hasagawa, who has also performed in several local operas and is a member of the Syracuse Opera Chorus.
The role of God is done by Diane Jones, the mid-day host on WCNY and producer of several other radio programs. She is also a composer and flutist, and co-hosts the pre-show talks with Syracuse Opera.
Other major roles are sung by talented high school and college students, who have already had numerous diverse performance experiences in the musical world. Sem is played by Matthew Oldenburg, a junior at Oswego High School, who is well known for local performances at his school, the Oswego Players, Harborfest Musicals, and Oswego Opera Theater’s “Brundibar” last year. Ham is played by Alexander Griffin, a college student majoring in Cinema and Screen Studies, who is involved in several arts and media groups and who sang in the chorus in “Die Fledermaus.” Jaffett is by Nicholas Radford, a junior SUNY Oswego music major, who sang in the chorus of “Die Fledermaus.”
Mrs. Sen is by Aleeya Bourcy, a SUNY Oswego freshman, majoring in graphic design, but with a passion for music. Mrs. Ham is performed by Angel Tyler, a college sophomore, specializing in vocal performance and musical theater, who was heard in “The Mikado” and “Die Fledermaus.” Mrs. Jaffett is sung by Santa-Li Zambrano, a senior college music major with a concentration in audio-design and recording.
The Three Gossips are Samantha Grogan, a SUNY Oswego music alumna; Sheila Wallis, a senior at Mexico High School; and Ashley Taplin, a seventh grade student.
The Raven is portrayed by Amara Misztal and the Dove by Alexia Presser. The many animals that seek shelter in the Ark are played by a large group of talented local children in costumes. Accompaniment will be provided by 18 members of the College Community Orchestra, with some unique orchestrations.
Dr. Juan Francisco LaManna, artistic director of Oswego Opera Theater, serves as conductor and stage director, assisted by Dr. Mihoko Tsutsumi as vocal director, Lori Bushnell as choir director, and Dr. Ligia Pinheiro as choreographer, along with a dedicated crew for scenery, costumes, and technical support.
“Noye’s Fludde” will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 7111 state Route 104, Oswego, and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First United Church, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.
Tickets are available in advance at Wayne Drugs and the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, or at the door prior to each performance. Tickets discounted for senior citizens, children and students.