Il sogno di Scipione

Opera News

Marion Lignana Rosenberg

How many opera companies have dared to offer as their debut production the American premiere of a work by a sixteen-year-old genius, its vocal writing of jaw-dropping difficulty, its allegorical 'action' virtually nonexistent, and yet managed to elicit whoops, stomps and whistles of approval from a captivated audience? Not many, to be sure, but one is the Henry Street Chamber Opera...Director Christopher Alden and scenic designer Andrew Cavanaugh Holland concocted a piquant opening tableau for Metastasio's stale book: a groovy bachelor pad, with Scipio dozing à trois alongside the luscious goddesses competing for his favor...Alden deserves praise for a valiant and winning attempt to bring life to a forbiddingly inert azione teatrale...

Henry Street's splendid young singers proved an unfailing delight...There are probably few singers before the public capable of performing this high-flying music with similar verve and gumption...All were well served by the tart, assertive playing of the Henry Street Chamber Opera orchestra under Goren.