Mardi Gras/The Last Word: Two Short Operas by Mildred Kayden
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
MARDI GRAS/THE LAST WORD:
Two short operas by Mildred Kayden
Directed by BILL CASTELLINO
Music Direction by CHRISTOPHER MCGOVERN
With: JASON MILLS, REBECCA PITCHER, TOM SOUHRADA
These two short modern operas (sung in English) display the impressive musical range of composer Mildred Kayden— as well as her unique view of human relationships. Kayden is best known to NYC audiences as the composer of IONESCOPADE, successfully revived at the York Theatre last year.
MARDI GRAS (last performed in NYC in 1959) combines the formality of opera, the beat of Dixieland Jazz and the style of Commedia Dell’arte. It was suggested by Carl Carmer’s verse play PIERROT GROWS UP and is based upon a true story from the Mardi Gras of 1872. - A Russian Grand Duke hears a Burlesque Queen sing and falls head over heels; the smitten Duke loses her to Joe, an American millionaire. The hilarious love triangle (with disguises, hiding places, duels, amorous looks, and lots of high notes beautifully sung) has a surprise ending and a delightful, tuneful score.
THE LAST WORD, with libretto by the late poet James Broughton, in Philadelphia in 1961 at the Synod of the United Church of Christ. This riveting duet exposes the complex feelings of a husband and wife moments before Armageddon. Despite the haunting concept of this opera, the piece has humor, irony and compassion; the work suggests that, for modern man, the eschatological is best grasped through the comic.
These two operas were presented in tandem at the Off Beach Theatre Club in West Hampton, NY 1961. They present a combination of the witty and the existential which makes for a memorable theatrical journey.
February 2nd at 2:30pm & 8:00pm and February 3rd at 2:30pm at the York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's
York Theatre Company
The York produces nearly 200 musical theater performances each year, to an audience of over 30,000 theatregoers. York also provides outreach services and activities throughout the year for various underserved populations, such as senior centers and student groups.