It took a year of planning, a cast of dozens, and the support of an 88 year old knight of the realm, but the Poise Snatchers persevered, and last Sunday afternoon on the college on the hill they presented Sir Franz Laporte’ s opera Pera in its four hour entirety, with the composer in attendance.
” it was originally meant to be on a much smaller scale,” marveled the Snatchers’ lead snarler Moe, who played the lead of Maurice. It’s not coincidental that the singer and his character are so similarly named—Pera is a favorite opera of Moe’ s parents, who saw the work’s world premiere in Muhlenberg on their first date in 1972. A self styled academic brat, Moe brought the punk project to campus for the annual Off Road Summer Arts Festival of scaled-down chamber projects before even considering the Bullfinch, which will be hosting a revised version next week. “it was [Bullfinch booker] Q’ s idea to divide it into three separate sets,” Moe elaborates. If the project persists beyond campuses and punk stages, “We have a two-act version in case we can’t get the Act Three chorus together.”
All of which is cool with the eminent European composer Laporte, whose trip to town was sponsored by a college residency and support from various embassies and international cultural agencies. “He’s completely unfazed by what we did to his opera,” Moe emotes. “Seventy years ago, he was hanging with some of the fringiest art scenes in Europe. He’s seen it all. This is nothing to him. Flying to America when you’re pushing 90, that’s the big excitement.”
Once the opera smoke clears, it’ll be The Piccolas, Encompass and Rochester Factory at the Bullfinch, hitting the anvils… The Wolf Trap and Open Victoria at Hamilton’s, hitting the classics a little too hard… After a streak of elite indie encounters, D’ollaire’s returns to its mainstream focus by flouting the vocal waverings of Bay Ruth and Rich Bayer. From Bay to Bayer…