Russian Romances

Music Director & Pianist: Ghenady Meirson

December 16–17, 2014


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame)
Liza – Sofija Petrovic
Polina – Hannah Ludwig
At Liza’s engagement party to Prince Yeletsky, Liza and her best friend Polina sing a song that describes peaceful nature at sunset.

Iolanta – Anush Avetisyan
Vaudemont – Jonas Hacker
Lost in the woods, Count Vaudemont enters a beautiful palace garden where he meets Iolanta. He falls in love with her and asks for a red rose as a memento of their encounter. When Iolanta gives him a white rose, he realizes that she is blind. He learns that Iolanta has no desire to see light, believing that one can praise God in darkness as well. He becomes the first person to describe to Iolanta the virtues of light and the beauty of God’s creation.

The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame)
Prilepa – Alexandra Nowakowski
Milovzor – Hannah Ludwig
At a masked ball, guests are seated to watch a short performance. Shepherdess Prilepa is in love with Milovzor, but is sad that he does not notice her. Milovzor is madly in love with Prilepa, but is too shy to express his feelings. From now on, Milovzor promises not to be so shy.

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo – Galeano Salas
Juliet – Vanessa Vasquez
Nurse – Hannah Ludwig
Romeo and Juliet lament the quick passing of their night together. Juliet’s Nurse enters and warns her to be careful and not anger her mother. Romeo and Juliet ask for a brief moment to say farewell.

The Maid of Orleans (Joan of Arc)
Act II Scene
Dunois – Hunter Enoch
King Charles VII – Diego Silva
Lauret – Daniel Noyola
King Charles VII is so in love with Agnès Sorel that he neglects his duties. Knight Dunois urges him to lead the French troops and protect Orleans. Wounded, Lauret enters and announces that French troops are badly beaten, but there is still a chance at victory. He urges the King to either save himself or go into battle and inspire troops. The King contemplates fleeing. Furious Dunois exclaims “we have no monarch” and storms out.

Act III Duet
Thibaut d’Arc – Anthony Schneider
Raymond – Alasdair Kent
Inspired by Joan of Arc, French troops begin to win battles against the British. Joan’s father Thibaut d’Arc and her suitor Raymond arrive at a public celebration. Thibaut believes that Joan has a pact with the devil. He wants to expose her as a sorceress and bring her back to God at any price. Raymond implores Thibaut not to destroy his daughter.

Act IV Duet
Joan of Arc – Huanhuan Ma
Lionel – Nathan Milholin
Shunned by the court and conflicted between love and higher purpose, Joan of Arc is in the woods searching for her beloved Lionel. They reunite and declare their love for one another.

Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894)
The Demon
Demon – Michael Adams
Tamara – Marina Costa-Jackson
Enamored with Tamara, Demon woos her. “Tamara, love me! … you will be the queen of the universe, my eternal companion,” he whispers into her soul. The words are full of powerful temptation, yet Tamara fears the mysterious spirit. She seeks safety in a convent, but Demon pursues Tamara into her cell. He reveals himself to be “the one” whom the whole world fears and despises, yet he is at her feet pleading for her love and hope of renewal.

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Francesca da Rimini
Francesca – Melinda Whittington
Paolo – Dominic Chenes
Francesca is in a loveless marriage with Lanceotto Malatesta. Lanceotto suspects that Francesca is in love with his brother Paolo. To confirm this, he devises a trap whereby Paolo is to watch over Francesca while Lanceotto goes to war. At a palace in Rimini, Paolo reads to Francesca the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, which resembles their own love. Realizing that it is better to be together in hell than apart in heaven, they succumb to temptation.