Partners: Opera Memphis and University of Memphis, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
Rossini: La scala di seta
Donizetti: Il campanello di notte
In the popular imagination, Memphis will always mean Sun Studio and Stax Records, the geniuses of soul and the blues, but music lovers know it is also home to a peerless, groundbreaking opera company. Like IRIS, Opera Memphis is passionately driven to innovate, perennially defying conventional expectations. Just as IRIS is known for its world-class guest artists, Opera Memphis attracts the world’s leading operatic talents through its Resident Artist program at the University of Memphis. The natural synergy between IRIS and Opera Memphis exemplifies the lively artistic landscape of the contemporary mid-South.
For the first time in its history, IRIS will collaborate with Opera Memphis in a staged production. This concert also marks the first collaboration with the chorus of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis, which will appear in both halves of the program. This concert opens with Gioachinno Rossini’s sparkling overture, “The Silken Ladder” and continues with Brahms’s profound “Song of Fate.” Dubbed the “Little Requiem” in reference to its clear relation to his greatest choral work, this unabashedly Romantic work is bathed in the deepest humanity, a perfect marriage of music and text. The final work on the program is Donizetti’s operetta, “The Bell of the Night.” This delightful comic farce by a master of the melodramma giocoso is the perfect vehicle to showcase the joined creative talents of IRIS; the chorus from the University of Memphis; and the singers of Opera Memphis, with stage direction by its director Ned Canty.