The New Opera was founded in 2003 by Giarusso and Keith Kibler, noted baritone and Williams College artist associate in voice, to provide performance opportunities for young singers starting their professional careers, who are always eager for the chance to sing with a real orchestra. A concert performance of a one-act opera or of selections from longer works is presented each spring. Past performances have ranged from Purcell and Handel to Mozart, Puccini, Debussy, and Richard Strauss; these were presented in Williams College's Chapin Hall on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, when much of the potential audience was out of town. It was suggested that offering a performance earlier in the week would make it more accessible to a wider audience. Since Chapin Hall would not be available, Jimmy Bergin, Coordinator of Special Events at St. John's, offered the church, with its beautiful acoustics, as a venue, and, indeed, St. John's was full of eager opera-lovers of all ages, including many college students and some even younger.
Monday, May 28, 2012
On Wednesday evening, May 23, the sanctuary of St. John's was host to an entire orchestra, conducted by Peabody School of Music faculty member Richard Giarusso (whom many may remember from his Williams College days as a student member of the choir) and an ensemble of young singers, including prize-winning local artists Erin Nafzinger, Gwen Tunnicliffe, and Elaina Pullano, for a concert performance of Act II of Mozart's masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro, presented by The New Opera of Williamstown.