Boston’s Odyssey Opera recently announced the release of its latest recording, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: The Importance of Being Earnest. Scored for a cast of eight singers, two pianos and percussion, this witty three act chamber opera brings Oscar Wilde’s most famous play to life with music that pokes as much fun at the opera world as Wilde does with Victorian society.
Conductor Gil Rose leads the Odyssey Opera Orchestra and some of today’s top vocalists including tenors Neal Ferreira and Stefan Barner, and sopranos Jeni Houser, Rachele Schmiege and Claudia Waite. Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director/Conductor Rose, Odyssey Opera presents adventurous and eclectic works that affirm opera as a powerful expression of the human experience.
“Set to music in a continually clever fashion by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Wilde’s greatest comedy takes on a new life,” said Rose. “Opera buffs will be intrigued with the many opera quotations and references”.
Castelnuovo-Tedesco completed the opera, including libretti in both English and Italian, in 1962. The composer’s final opera setting, The Importance of Being Earnest was performed only a handful of times until Odyssey presented the Boston premiere of the work as part of its 2016-2017 season. The production, according to the Boston Globe, was “fervently sung, and stylishly acted”.
Odyssey’s recording is available as a 3 CD set via Amazon
as well as on digital platforms:
Apple Music // https://music.apple.com/album/
Google Play // https://play.google.com/…/
The Italian language version of the work, L’importanza di esser franco, has also been revived recently: in Sicily, as part of Luglio Musicale Trapanese in 2018 and in the composer’s native Florence by the Conservatorio Cherubini in 2018 and 2019.
Both Italian and English versions of the full score, as well as a piano reduction, will be published very soon by Edizioni Curci, Milan.
Watch the video trailer of Odyssey Opera’s production here.
Photo: Kathy Wittman / Ball Square Films