Friday, June 22, 2012

Barihunk Michael Weyandt: "What a Pig!"

Michael Weyandt and Mrs. Pig
We recently featured barihunk Michael Weyandt in operamission's heralded production of Handel's Almira. He's jumping ahead three centuries to perform a pig (yes, a pig) in Dmitri Shostakovich's  The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse with On Site Opera at the Bronx Zoo on June 23 and 24. Of course, it's not completely unheard of for singers to play animals, with the best example being Leo Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen."

Based on Samuil Marshak’s famous Russian fairytale, Shostakovich composed The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse in 1939 as a film score for an animated cartoon.  The opera tells the story of the night that Baby Mouse refuses to go to sleep.  Mrs. Mouse, along with Auntie Duck, Mrs. Pig, and Mr. Toad, try in vain to sing Baby Mouse to sleep.  It is finally Mrs. Cat who is successful...but she has other plans for the sleeping mouse.

Michael Weyandt will perform the role of Mrs. Pig and bass Marc Webster will perform the roles of Mr. Frog and Polkan the Dog.

Marc Webster and Michael Weyandt

On Site Opera's production of the opera is  part of Animal Tales Extravaganza at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.  The fifteen-minute long opera features large-scale puppets, professional singers, and a chamber orchestra together with Shostakovich’s whimsical score.  The production is staged by On Site Opera Artistic Director, Eric Einhorn, conducted by Jennifer Peterson, with original puppets designed by The Puppet Kitchen

Watch the 1939 cartoon version of "The Tale of the Silly Mouse":

On Site Opera is a new company created around the idea that exciting performances can happen outside the walls of a traditional theater. Through site-specific, immersive productions, performers and audiences will experience great music and drama as never before in some of New York's most intriguing spaces.

Admission is free to the opera with zoo admission and will be performed at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Other cast members include soprano Rebekah Camm, mezzo Blythe Gaissert, soprano Christy Lombardozzi, and soprano Melissa Wimbish.


Voice Faculty at Ithaca College and is a Doctoral Candidate at Eastman School of Music.

1 comment:

  1. "Wear did u get that hat....where did you get that hat" love it guys cheers from Downunder in Oz (Australia)