|Jarrett Ott (Photo Steve Riskind) & Joseph Beutel (Photo Kelly Kruse)|
The Martinu pieces are short comic operas that will star barihunks Jarrett Ott as Alexandre/Sykos and Joseph Beutel as Portrait/Bedron.
Alexandre bis (Alexander Twice) is a surrealist comic opera in one act composed in 1937 to an original libretto written in French by André Wurmser. The opera was intended for performance at the Paris World Exhibition of 1937. However, various delays, including World War II, prevented its performance during the composer's lifetime. The opera is subtitled 'The Tragedy of a Man who Had His Beard Cut', and the surrealist libretto is set in Paris about 1900. Although Martinů had asked Wurmser for a libretto including a singing cat, he compromised on Wurmser's suggestion of a singing portrait, which acts as narrator to a tale of bourgeois infidelity.
Comedy on the Bridge tells the story of two rival principalities separated by a river. A woman returning from one side gets caught in the middle by a bureaucratic snafu; soon she's joined in this absurdist limbo by a letch, a fiancé, a vengeful wife, and a schoolmaster with a riddle. Everyone has a secret, but no one has a clue - except the composer, who gets them all happily sorted by the end.
Also in the cast are Jenna Siladie, Abigail Fischer, Cassandra Velasco and Jason Slayden. Performances run from October 14 - 18, 2014 and tickets are available online or by calling 212-279-4200.
The work is an operatic version of the classic children’s tale in which a charismatic and cunning cat promises a poor miller everlasting love and fortune. All he needs to pull off his ruse are a hat, a cape, a pair of boots, and his wits.
Performances are from December 6 - 14. For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.