Costello’s The Juliet Letters was written in 1992 and is a set of 20 songs for voice and string quartet, including a few quartet-only interludes. Costello was inspired to write the piece when he heard that the lovelorn actually write letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet and leave them at her supposed ‘balcony’ in Verona, Italy. Costello came up with his own stylized "letters" and set them to music, using the idea as a platform for the exploration of young love.
Musically the material lies somewhere between that of his pop albums and his 2004 Shakespearean orchestral ballet Il Sogno, one of his more classical works.
Viscardi will be joined by his fellow Lyric Opera Resident Artists, including soprano April Martin, mezzo-soprano Samantha Gossard and tenor Casey Candebat. They will be accompanied by the Fry Street Quartet in a special scenic environment created for the performance.
Performances are on Saturday, January 28 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m. at the Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in Kansas City. Tickets are available online.
Viscardi will perform the role of the Motorcycle Cop in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City from March 4-12 with fellow barihunk David Adam Moore as Joseph de Rocher.