Gerald Carpenter: Academy of Music graduate to conduct festival finale | Culture & Leisure

Speranza Scappucci

The Music Academy’s final musical event at the 2022 Summer Festival, as it has been at most previous festivals, will be a concert by the Festival Orchestra, this one conducted by a former student of the Speranza Scappucci Academy, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 6. , at the Theater of Granada.

Maestra Speranza will also be the focus of a Meet the Conductor event, 6-7 p.m. at Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, 11 E. Anapamu St., with a Q&A session led by fellow baritone Alex Mathews.

The concert program and performers include the famous opening “Hiyo, Silver! Away!” from the opera “William Tell (1829)” by Gioachino Antonio Rossini[ (1792-1868); “Cheti, cheti immantinente” from the quintessential opera buffa “Don Pasquale (1843) by Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (1797-1848), by Alex Mathews, baritone, and Yue Wu Don, bass-baritone.

“Un di, se ben rammentomi…” from “Rigoletto (1851)” by Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) , with Krista Renée Pape, soprano, Ariana Maubach, mezzo-soprano, Giorgi Guliashvili, tenor, and Eunsung Lee, baritone; “A moi les plaisirs…” from “Faust (1859)” by Charles-François Gounod (1818-93), with  Luke Norvell, tenor, and Eric Delagrange, bass-baritone.

“Nous avons en tête une affaire…” from “Carmen (1875)” by Georges Bizet (1838-75), with Danielle Casós, mezzo-soprano, Johanna Will, soprano, Tivoli Treloar, mezzo-soprano, Maximillian Jansen, tenor, and Samuel Kidd, baritone; “Canción de la gitana” from the zarsuela “La alegría del batallón (1909)” by José Serrano Simeón (1873-1941), with Joanne Evans, mezzo-soprano.

“Vuelven las horas lejanas” from Serrano’s zarazuela, “Los de Aragón (1927), with Sarah Margaret Dyer, mezzo-soprano; “Carceleras” from the comic zarazuela “Las Hijas del Zebedeo (1889)” by Ruperto Chapí y Lorente (1851-1909), by Quinn Middleman, mezzo-soprano; “Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso” from “La rondine (1917)” by Giacomo Puccini  (1858-1924), with Juliette Chauvet, soprano, Kylie Kreucher, soprano, Christopher Willoughby, tenor, and Sibo Msibi, tenor; and the gorgeous orchestral poem, “The Pines of Rome (1924) by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936).

This is such a fitting finale, in several ways. For one thing, in ages past, the final concerts have been almost exclusively instrumental. But singers play such a huge part in the day-to-day conduct of the Academy that the participation of so many Lehrer Vocal Institute fellows in this concert will seem to many like a too-long delayed redressing of a chronic imbalance.

Then, too, the program, with its Italian orchestral bookends, plus vocal selections by Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, reminds us that what we call “classical music” was essentially an Italian invention. The rest of Europe learned music from the Italians. For, the Italians were musical missionaries, and their mission was delight. We all owe them: no Italy, no Music Academy.

And, finally, there is something like true justice in having a former Academy fellow return to the Granada as a grown-up professional, to conduct this gorgeous slate of music.

Admission to Meet the Conductor is $20, with kids 7-17 admitted free. Regular price tickets for the concert are $55-$100. Community Access tickets, as available, are $10; and kids 7-17, as always, are admitted free. Tickets are available from the Summer Festival (Casey) Ticket Office, in person 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, through Friday, Aug. 6; by phone, 805-969-8787; or online at

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are his own.


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