Music and libretto by Kirke Mechem
Based upon the play by Molière
University Opera Theatre • University Philharmonia Orchestra
March 24-27, 2005 • Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
Based on Molière’s comedy of the same name, Tartuffe tells the story of a supposed holy man named Tartuffe. Under the religious cloak of piety, Tartuffe befriends Orgon, a rich man who is so swept away by Tartuffe’s charisma and his message of the uncomplicated holy life that he gives him everything, including his daughter’s hand in marriage and the deed to his house. Seeing their inheritance snatched away, Orgon’s family tries various schemes to expose Tartuffe’s hypocrisy.
With over 260 performances in 70 productions since its 1980 San Francisco Opera premiere, “Tartuffe” has become one of the most popular operas ever written by an American. The opera has been performed around the world in English, German, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and is being translated into Czech for the National Theater in Prague. The opera was featured in the Vienna Kammeroper’s “20th-century Classics” series in 2002 playing to rave reviews and ovations. A production by the Mussorgsky National Theater of St. Petersburg, Russia ran in repertory for three years.
Director: Kay Walker Castaldo
Conductor: Andrew George
Assistant Conductor: Benjamin Rous
Scenic and Lighting Designer: Rob Murphy
Costume Designer: Christianne Myers
Rehearsal Accompanists: Damien Francoeur-Krzyzek, Eun-Jung Lee
Stage Manager: Brett Finley
Mme. Pernelle, Orgon’s mother: Lorraine Yaros Sullivan/Julie Cross
Flipote, Mme. Pernelle’s maid: Marlene Fullerton
Elmire, Orgon’s second wife: Reverie Mott Berger/Rebecca Jo Loeb
Dorine, Mariane’s maid: Jo Ellen Miller/Hannah Williams
Mariane, Orgon’s daughter: Andrea Moore/Suzanne Kyung Mi Ma
Orgon, a wealthy Parisian: Kenneth Kellogg/Devin Provenzano
Damis, Orgon’s son: Emery Stephens/Travis Pratt
Valère, Mariane’s fiancé: Michael Fabiano/David Steely
Tartuffe, a hypocrite: David Wilson/Nathan Brian
Actors: Darren Biggert, Talia Corren, Monique Holmes, Garen McRoberts, AJ Shively
The School of Music, Theatre & Dance acknowledges the generosity of McKinley Associates, Inc. whose support has helped make this production possible.
Based on Molière’s comedy of the same name, the opera tells the story of Tartuffe, a man who claims strict observance of moral practices. However, he is really a cunning lecher, cheat, thief, liar and fraud – the supreme hypocrite. Under a religious cloak of piety, Tartuffe befriends Orgon, a rich man who is swept away by Tartuffe’s charisma and by his message of the uncomplicated holy life. Tartuffe portrays himself as a poor man in order to weasel food and shelter out of Orgon, and to gain access to the household so he can seduce Orgon’s wife, with whom Tartuffe is strangely in love. Seeing their inheritance snatched away, Orgon’s family tries various schemes to expose Tartuffe’s hypocrisy. Despite their best efforts they cannot convince Orgon to change his mind. In reaction to his skeptical family, Orgon disinherits them and makes Tartuffe his sole heir. The family goes to all lengths to re-acquire what Orgon has given blindly to Tartuffe – will they succeed?