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March 26, 2019

2/20/2019 2:14:00 PM
Evanston Chamber Opera: 'Laugh With Us'

The Evanston Chamber Opera Company (EChO) marks its second season with a comic double bill featuring Bizet’s “Doctor Miracle” and Wolf-Ferrari’s “Susanna’s Secret,” presented in English with English titles.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. March 15 and 16 and 3 p.m. March 17 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church at 2120 Lincoln St. Tickets at or 847-869-9447.

Evanston resident Francis Lynch, producer and EChO’s general manager, has prepared a new poetic translation from the French for “Doctor Miracle” and arranged both operas for the 11-member chamber orchestra. “Doctor Miracle” is the improbable but hilarious opéra comique that won Georges Bizet a competition at the age of 18. The story follows the ordeal of the Mayor of Padua as he is outwitted by Captain Silvio in his quest for the hand of the Mayor’s daughter, Laurette. Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s “Susanna’s Secret” is an early 20th-century chamber opera about a suspicious husband and his young wife’s surprising secret. It features colorful music that sparkles as the characters experience a stormy confrontation which gives way to an unexpectedly sweet resolution.

Performers are Bethany Brautigam (soprano), Rachael Long (soprano), Ashley Puenner (mezzo-soprano), Karlos Piñero-Mercado (tenor), Matthew Brennan (baritone), Nathan Kistler (baritone), and Lane Halverson (actor). James Janssen, music director; Sally Craige Christensen, stage director; Mark Crayton, production coordinator; and Larry Geni, set designer, are all Evanston residents.

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