Press Release: The CUNY Graduate Center’s Great Music for a Great City Series Presents Affordable Opera

The Medium

An opera by Gian Carlo Menotti, fully staged with orchestra

The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti will be produced by Great Music for a Great City—part of Continuing Education and Public Programs at the CUNY Graduate Center—at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse (68th street between Park and Lexington Avenues) November 19 and 20 at 8:00 p.m. For Tickets Call: (212) 817-8215. Suggested donation: $20 orchestra, $10 balcony.

First performed in 1946, The Medium secured an international reputation for the composer who called the opera “the most personal of all my works…the most important in the development of my style.” Inspiration for the opera came from a visit to the Austrian country estate of a Dutch baron and his English wife who believed she could communicate with the spirit of her deceased daughter. Menotti witnessed a séance and was deeply affected by the power of the baroness’ faith. Later he wrote, “The creative power of their faith and conviction made me examine my own cynicism and led me to wonder at the multiple texture of reality.”

Menotti explained that, Baba, the central character in The Medium, “is a woman caught between two worlds, a world of reality which she cannot wholly comprehend, and a supernatural world in which she cannot believe.” It is the pressure of these two worlds that drives her to, if not over, the brink of insanity.

The opera is directed by Eric Einhorn and conducted by Richard Barrett with sets by Antje Ellerman, lighting designed by Shawn Kaufman and costumes by Shawn Kaufman. The cast features Karen Schowalter, Jane Redding, Andrew Worm, Laura Pfortmiller, Marco Nistico and Heather Johnson.

Submitted on: NOV 1, 2003

Category: Music Ph.D. - D.M.A, Press Room