Oswego Opera to perform 'Noah's Flood' with assists from children


March 20, 2019

Oswego Opera Theater will present Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece "Noye’s Fludde" ("Noah’s Flood") April 13 and 14 in Oswego and Fulton, featuring the talents of many from SUNY Oswego, children from the area and many others.

The opening performance will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the United Methodist Church, 7111 State Route 104 in Oswego. The second is at 3 p.m. April 14 at the First United Church, 33 S. Third Street, Fulton.

The opera derives from an English medieval "miracle play" performed by the guilds. The story recounts the Biblical flood and how Noah saved his family and animals from death. Set to music by the English composer Britten, the opera features professional singers from the Central New York region, as well as student performers and production leaders from SUNY Oswego, and children from the community playing the animals.

"What better way to introduce young people to the beauty of opera than to include them in one?" said conductor Juan F. La Manna, a professor of music at SUNY Oswego. "In this opera, Britten casts accomplished teen-age children as principal singers, younger children dressed up as animals in the choir, and young musicians playing alongside professionals in the orchestra. He adds the distinctive sound of a bell choir, a community ensemble, and asks the congregation -- as the work is supposed to be performed in a church -- to sing along several hymns during the opera."

Among the performers are SUNY Oswego music students Alexander Griffin, Nicholas Radford, Aleeya Bourcy, Angel Tyler and Santa-Li Zambrano. Also assisting the production are theatre majors Gregory West, in charge of stage construction, and Kiersten Mickle, serving as dramaturg. Eighteen members of the College-Community Orchestra will play.

SUNY Oswego choral activities director Mihoko Tsutsumi serves as choral director, while Ligia Pinheiro of the theatre department is choreographer.

"Britten has been a favorite composer of mine for many years, because I find his music lyrical, passionate and meaningful," La Manna said.  "And what a wonderful work it is! A masterpiece in so many ways, it was included in Wes Anderson's delightful movie 'Moonrise Kingdom.'"

Tickets are $15 ($10 for seniors and $5 for children and students), and are available at Wayne Drugs and the River’s End Bookstore in Oswego, as well as at the door.

The piece is performed by arrangement with classical music specialists Boosey & Hawkes.