Opera Saratoga will be staging a series of free performances of the timeless classic "Pinocchio," beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Saratoga Arts Center at 320 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
Saturday's show at the Arts Center, held in partnership with The Children's Museum at Saratoga on Caroline Street, will be the first of seven free performances held throughout Saratoga, Warren and Schenectady Counties during the month of March.
Opera Saratoga's production of "Pinocchio" is an adaptation of Carlo Collodi's classic 1881 tale of a wooden puppet created by Geppetto, an elderly impoverished woodcarver. Made into a film in 1940 by Walt Disney, the title character, whose nose grows every time he tells a lie, dreams of becoming a real boy.
Opera Saratoga began staging performances in Capital Region schools earlier this week. Following Saturday's show in Saratoga, the troupe will head to the World Awareness Chidlren's Museum in Glens Falls for a 3:30 p.m. performance.
Directing this production of "Pinocchio" is Meaghan Deiter, a member of the Holy Cross faculty and a graduate of Indiana University, where she got her MFA in Acting.
"Meaghan is a very talented emerging director who most recently serviced as the assistant director on our critically acclaimed productions of 'The Consul' and "The Merry Widow' during our 2018 summer festival," said Lawrence Edelson, Opera Saratoga Director. "Meaghan has created a whimsical, fairytale production that entertains while introducing children to the joy of opera."
"Pinocchio" features music from some of the world's greatest composers, including Mozart, Donizetti, Veredi, Offenbach and Pergolesi. The score is adapted by Jon Davies and performed in English.
"Our Opera-to-Go productions allow students to experience the thrill of opera, up close and personal, through a story that they are already familiar with," said Edelson. "Through this production of 'Pinocchio' students will be exposed to operatic music and classical singing, while exploring important themes of self acceptance, the importance of respecting and listening to parents, and of course, telling the truth."
Among the performers in Opera Saratoga's "Pinocchio" will be mezzo soprano Erin Moran, soprano Cat Richmond, tenor Brian Jeffers, and baritone Michael Parham. Brandon Eldridge serves as music director and pianist for the production.
Opera Saratoga, originally named Lake George Opera, was formed in 1962. Its first performance was of "Die Fledermaus," held at the Diamond Point Theatre in Lake George.
The company now calls Saratoga Springs home, and most of its performances are held at the Home Made Theater in Saratoga State Park. The troupe's 2019 Summer Festival will begin on Saturday, June 29, with a performance of La Fille Du Regiment," with music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-Francois Bayard. Also scheduled for the summer of 2019 are productions of "Hansel and Gretel," with music by Engelbert Humperdinck and libretto by Adelheid Wette; and "Ellen West," music by Ricky Ian Gordon and libretto Frank Bidart;
Here is the schedule of free performances being held this month:
March 2, Saturday, 11 a.m. - Saratoga Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs (in partnership with The Children's Museum).
March 2, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. - World Awareness Children's Museum, 89 Warren St., Glens Falls.
March 9, Saturday, 1 p.m. - Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, 475 Moe Rd., Clifton Park.
March 16, Saturday, 1 p.m. - Saratoga Public Library, 49 Henry St., Saratoga Springs.
March 23, Saturday, 11 a.m. - Crandall Public Library, 251 Glen St., Glens Falls
March 23, Saturday, 2 p.m. - Schuylerville Public Library, 52 Ferry St., Schuylerville
March 30, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. - Schenectady Civic Players, 12 South Church St., Schenectady