American tenor Michael Hendrick sings the role of "Florestan" in a concert version of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, presented by The Ohio State University School of Music on Wednesday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., on campus.
Joining Hendrick is soprano Kathleen Sasnett as "Leonore." Sasnett is a former member of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program, where she performed over 15 roles, including "Angelica" in Puccini's Suor Angelica. She recently sang "Lady Billows" in Britten's Albert Herring with the American Opera Studio for performances in Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, and Vienna. Her career also includes leading roles in musical theatre and as soloist with more than 30 orchestras here and abroad. Sasnett has Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Ohio State and is a faculty member and directs the Opera Workshop at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.
Current students and alumni from the school's Opera Program will sing the remaining roles. Also prominently featured are the OSU Symphony Orchestra and the Men's and Women's Glee Clubs. Sebastian Knowles, a professor in the OSU Department of English and an associate dean in Arts and Humanities, will narrate. This concert performance, sung in German with English surtitles, will be conducted by Marshall Haddock.
Hendrick has performed with leading opera companies and orchestras both in Europe and in North America. He has earned critical praise for his appearances as Don Jose in Carmen, with LIV Festival Opera de a Corua (Galicia, Spain), Palacio de Festivales in Santander (Cantabria, Spain), New York City Opera and Opera Pacific (U.S.); as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Pittsburgh Opera, L'Opera de Montreal and Seattle Opera; as the title role in Parsifal, with Lyric Opera of Chicago; as Lennie Small in Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men with Washington National Opera; and as Don Jose and Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with New York City Opera; Mr. Hendrick has appeared at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw as Midas in Strauss' Die Liebe der Danae with Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, and at Washington's Kennedy Center as the title role in La clemenza di Tito with the National Symphony Orchestra; His Czech repertoire includes appearances as Laca in Janacek's Jenufa with Asociacion Bilbaina de Amigos de la Opera (Bizkaia, Spain) and as Zivny in Janacek's Osud, with Bard Summerscape Festival (U.S.) In Russian opera, he has appeared as Count Vodemon in Tchaikovsky'ss Iolanta in New York, as Levko in Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night with Sarasota Opera, and Shuisky in Boris Godunov with Milwaukee Symphony. His Hungarian repertoire includes Dvorak's Psalmus Hungaricus with Detroit Symphony.
Recent engagements include Verdi's Messa di Requiem with National Philharmonic; Mahler's Das Klagende Lied with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Philharmonic (Vladimir Jurowski, conductor), Sergei in excerpts from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor), The Stranger (der Fremde) in Korngoldâ€™s Das Wunder der Heliane with the London Philharmonic, Menelaus in Strauss' Die Aegyptische Helena (Fabio Luisi, conductor) for his debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera, in Malaga, Spain as Laca in Jenufa, in Bilbao, Spain in the title role of Verdi's Aroldo, Palm Beach as Florestan in Fidelio, the Festival Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil as Bacchus, tenor soloist in Mahler
s Das Lied von der Erde and the Verdi Requiem.
Last season, he made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra as tenor soloist in Mahler's Das Klagende Lied, returned to Bilbao to sing the title role in Aroldo, Malaga, Spain as Laca in Jenufa, and the title role in Samson et Dalila in Manaus, and appearance at the Brevard Music Festival as tenor soloist in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.
The current season includes debuts at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Bacchus and at the Opera National de Lorraine as Paul in Die Tote Stadt, appearance with Kentucky Opera as Lennie in Of Mice and Men, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Bacchus.
Fidelio is set in Spain in the 16th century. Florestan, a Spanish nobleman is arrested by his arch political enemy, Don Pizarro, and chained in the prison's deepest dungeon. Florestan's wife, Leonore, is determined to find and rescue her husband. Disguising herself as a young man, she is hired at the prison as the old jailor's assistant. Complications arise, but her resolve and steadfastness triumph.
All seats reserved. Advance ticket sales available by phone or in person at the Wexner Center Ticket Office (614) 292-3535 or OSU Theatre Box Office (614) 292-2295. Tickets are $20 general public; $12 senior citizens and students (with ID).
Cast List for Fidelio:
Michael Hendrick, tenor, Florestan
Kathleen Sasnett, soprano, Leonore/Fidelio, Florestan's wife
Calvin Griffin, bass/baritone, Rocco, the jailor
Helen Allen, soprano, Marzelline, Rocco's daughter
C. Andrew Blosser, tenor, Jaquino, Rocco's assistant.
David Wilson, bass/baritone, Don Pizarro, governor of the prison
Jacob Pence, bass/baritone, the King's Minister
For more information, (614) 247-7036.