Toledo Opera to perform ‘The Rake’s Progress’Written by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toledo Opera will debut Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” on Nov. 12 and 14.
The 20th-century classic centers around Tom Rakewell, a young ne’er-do-well whose fianée’s father does not approve of him because he doesn’t work, said Renay Conlin, general and artistic director of the Toledo Opera. When a mysterious man, Nick Shadow, aka the devil, arrives and tells Rakewell he has inherited a fortune from an unknown uncle but must travel to London to claim it, Rakewell is enticed into a life of gluttony and sloth for which a day of reckoning must finally come.
Internationally acclaimed soprano Joanna Mongiardo, who portrays Rakewell’s fiancée, Anne Trulove, said people will be riveted by the combination of drama and music in the Russian composer’s only full-length opera.
“It’s an incredibly compelling story about a guy who has the potential to do everything right, but just makes all the wrong choices,” Mongiardo said. “It’s a story I think everyone can relate to. He breaks his true love’s heart, but she goes after him and tries to save him from the bad choices he’s made. It’s a great story. And not to mention the music is stunning, so beautiful and so accessible.”
Conlin agreed that audiences will find “The Rake’s Progress” compelling.
“It’s very dramatic,” Conlin said. “It’s really a morality tale. There is a price to be paid — when you do bad things, bad things usually end up happening to you.”
Tenor Ryan MacPherson will portray Tom Rakewell, bass Gustav Andreassen will play Nick Shadow, bass Jeffrey Tucker will play Anne’s father, mezzo-soprano Eugenie Grunewald will play Baba the Turk (the bearded lady), tenor Doug Jones will play the auctioneer, and baritone Robert Kerr will play the keeper of the madhouse. James Marvel will direct and Grammy award-winning Thomas Conlin will conduct.
The opera will be sung in English.
Stravinsky, who became a U.S. citizen in 1946, is known for his distinctive experimental compositions, but “The Rake’s Progress” is a more classical style, Conlin said.
Performances will be 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 at The Valentine Theatre, 400 N. Superior St., in Downtown. For more information or to order tickets, visit the website www.toledoopera.org or call (419) 255-7464.