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The Sunday Opera: Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's "Jewels of the Madonna" and "La Vita Nuova"


Venetian composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari is the featured composer on this week’s Sunday Opera (1/13 3:00 p.m.) as we look at two of his works.  The first is his only example of verismo opera in “The Jewels of the Madonna” which is about the willful Maliella who is loved by two men: her adoptive brother, the gentle blacksmith Gennaro and the blackguard leader of the local Camorristi, Rafael who only wants her because she’s a virgin.  Our cast includes Pauline Tinsley, Peter Glossop, Malcolm King, Andre Turp, and Valerie Cockx.  They’re joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Alberto Erede.  

Following the opera, join Michael Kownacky for Wolf-Ferrari’s oratorio “La Vita Nuova, Op. 9.” Based on the work of Dante Alighieri, the oratorio for soprano, baritone, and choruses, looks at courtly love and the attempt by Dante to raise it to an almost idealized sacred level.  The soloists are Celina Lindsley and George Fortune and they’re joined by the St. Hedwig’s Children’s Choir and the ST. Hedwig’s Berlin Cathedral Choir.  Roland Bader conducts.  Rounding out the afternoon will be orchestral selections from Wolf-Ferrari’s opera “Il Campiello” (“The Square”) featuring the prologue, ritornello, and intermezzo.