Manhattan School of Music resurrected this gorgeous opera by Lee Hoiby, thanks to producer Gordon Ostrowski.
The story is set in Russia in 1851, when cage crinolines had not yet been introduced, but skirts were full of layered petticoats. The heroine Natalya’s vivid blue taffeta stood out against the prosaic colors of the rest of the household. When she falls in love with her son’s tutor, Belaev, she makes a fool of herself by wearing a girlish pink dress. I pored over every Russian portrait of the period; borrowing details like Anna's provincial turban, worn with a deep green Russian shawl. The women’s clothes were exquisitely made by George Hudacko and David Quinn.
By Lee Hoiby (with libretto by William Ball)
Stage Director: Ned Canty
Conductor: Steven Osgood
Set Design: Michael Schweikardt • Lighting Design: Peter West
Cast: Jenny Rebecca Winans, Charles Temkey, Yoosun Park, Liam Bonner, Anna Williams, Vivian Krich-Brinton, Jon-Michael Ball and Alex Boyer.
Photos: Carol Rosegg and Ned Canty