Complete Series: 3405
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1963 Eighty-fifth Season 1964
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
Special Presentation Complete Series 3405
NEW YORK CITY OPERA JULIUS RUDEL, General Director
Opera in Four Acts Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, after the novel by Henry Murger
Saturday Evening, November 16, 1963, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Rodoljo, a poet..........John Craig
Marcello, an artist.........Chester Ludgin
Schaunard, a musician.......William Metcalf
Colline, a philosopher........Thomas Paul
Benoit, the landlord.........Spiro Malas
Parpignol, a toy vendor........Kellis Miller
Guards........Glenn Domlen, Don Yule
Conducted by Julius Rudel
Staged by Bliss Hebert
Designed by H. A. Condell
Chorus Master, William Johnson
ACT I--An Attic Studio in Montmartre
ACT II--The Cafe Momus
ACT III--At the Gates of Paris
ACT IV--Same as in Act I
There will be 10-minute intermissions after each Act
Paris of the 1830's provides the background, ;ind the opera begins in the frigid studio where four friends, Rodolfo, the poet, Marcello, the painter, Schaunard, the musician, and Colline, the philosopher, strive to keep body and soul together through the stress of poverty and the wet Parisian winter. As the act opens, Rodolfo and Marcello are resigned to sacrificing one of the poet's dramatic manuscripts for lack of better fuel. Two acts are already burned to jesting comment when Schaunard enters with real funds. Money in hand, they circumvent the dunning landlord by a trick and, as Colline arrives, prepare to adjourn to a student haunt, the Cafe Momus, for a real supper. Rodolfo lingers to complete an article he hopes to sell, and the other friends go away singing gaily. Inspiration falters, but then Rodolfo hears a timid knock at the door. It is a frail little flower-maker who lives on the floor above whom he has not seen before. Breathless from the many stairs, she collapses at the door, and Rodolfo, helping her inside, gallantly tries to revive her. He is struck by her fragile beauty and, as her strength returns, is curious to continue the acquaintance. But the girl modestly begs to go on her way when the lighted candle he has given her blows out in a draft. Quick-wittedly he blows out his own candle and the two find themselves alone in the darkness. She drops her key and as their searching fingers meet on the floor, he takes her hand and launches into a headlong confidence of his dreams and aspirations. Then the wistful visitor replies that her name is Mimi and that she, too, ekes out a drab existence with the glamorous stuff of dreams and fancies. The act closes in an exalted duet of burgeoning young love as the two leave to join the other Bohemians at supper.
The second picture shows the Cafe Momus, where Mimi is presented to the rest, who find her charming. An extravagant repast is ordered and in progress when a commotion nearby indicates the arrival of the dashing Musetta, on the arm of an aged but wealthy admirer. Musetta was once the beloved of Marcello, the painter, but fickle and materialistic, she preferred the silks and carriages of aged wealth to the tenuous sustenance of devoted youth. The sight of her old lover, however, rekindles
Musetta's interest but Marcello pretends to ignore her. Vainly using her last weapon in the form of a provocative and insolent waltz song, she sends her escort off on a trumped-up errand and Marcello's tottering defense crumbles. The reunited lovers fly into one another's arms, the expensive supper is consumed and the bill left for the jilted old dandy to pay when he returns. The Bohemians gambol off after a carnival procession that is passing.
Many months elapse. Marcello and Musetta are operating a wineshop but their life together is disturbed by the painter's uneven temper and Musetta's m'rtatiousness. Rodolfo and Mimi have parted, their romance wrecked on the rock of Rodolfo's towering jealousy. It is winter again, and now Mimi, ill and shaken by coughing, comes to a gate of Paris for one last sight of her lover before disappearing from his life forever. The act closes in a quartet in which Rodolfo and Mimi part forever with sentimental anguish, against a contrasting tempestuous fishwife argument between Marcello and Musetta.
The final act finds the two men back in the studio, each in the depths of loneliness and regret. They are diverted from their painful memories by the arrival of Colline and Schaunard, who have money and proceed to stage a boisterous supper and entertainment. As the foolery is at its height, Musetta bursts in to say that Mimi, ill and perhaps dying, is outside. She is brought in and put to bed, and Musetta, now resplendent in the trappings of luxury, sends Schaunard away to pawn her earrings for medicine. As the rest depart, Mimi declares once again her abiding love, and Rodolfo, contrite, promises eternal devotion. At the end of a moving scene of wistful desperation, the others return with medicine and Mimi reunites Marcello with Musetta. A few minutes later, Mimi drifts into slumber and dies. The tragedy is over.
THE NEW YORK CITY OPERA
General Director..........Julius Rudel
Associate Director..........John S. White
Music Administrator .......... Felix Popper
Executive Assistant...........June Arey
Press Representatives........Nat and Irv Dorfman
Conductors and Musical Staff . . Felix Popper, Julius Rudel, Dean Ryan
Kurt Saffir, Charles Wilson Directors and Staging Staff . . Bill Field, J. Edgar Joseph, Ian Strasfocel
Company Manager.........Catherine Parsons
Executive Stage Manager........Hans Sondhelmer
Stage Managers.........John Seig, Bill Field
Chorus Master..........William Jonson
Make-up Director.........Michael Arshansky
Orchestra Personnel..........Ddjo Proto
Wardrobe.........Kate Gaudio, Arthur Craig
NEW YORK CITY OPERA ENSEMBLE: Barbara Beaman, Anthea DeForest, Beverly Evans, Pearle Goldsmith, Helen Guile, Lila Herbert, Lynda Jordan, Anitra Lynch, Joyce Miko, Candida Pilla, Charlotte Povia, Marie Young, Don Carlo, Paul Cordcr, Jerry Crawford, Glenn Dowlen, Harris Davis, James Fels, Don Henderson, David Hicks, Edson Hoel, Kellis Miller, John Smith, Don Yule.
NEW YORK CITY OPERA BALLET: Oldyna Dynowska, Alexandra Vernon, Paul Berne, Philip Rice.
The New York City Opera will present Puccini's Madama Butterfly Sunday afternoon at 2:30.
Progress Report--Hill Auditorium--1913-1963
The proscenium used in these operas, and in the several staged productions pre?sented by the University Musical Society in recent months, has been developed with the Society by the University Plant Department and the Tobin Lake Studios. These removable installations, together with the new interchangeable orchestra pit, enlarged projection booth, and special lighting now make possible opera and ballet presentations. Further improvements are planned for the backstage areas to better accommodate the performers and stage properties.
The front curtains, drapes, and borders are installed on a dismantlable grid structure suspended on seven 1500-pound test cables, each operated from motor?ized winches secured above the stage ceiling.
Chamber Music Festival
New York Pro Musica, Noah Greenberg, Conductor
Friday, February 14, 8:30.....An Elizabethan Concert
Honoring the 400th birthday of William Shakespeare.
Program of works by Morley, Wilbyc, Byrd, White, Jones, Bartlett, Hume, Dowland, Ravenscroft, and Gibbons
Saturday, February IS, 8:30 . Music of Burgundy, Flanders and Spain Program of works by Dufay, Ockeghem, Rivaflecha, Ortiz, de Cabezon, Gombert
Sunday, February 16, 2:30 Early Baroque Music of Italy and Germany Program of works by Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Spadi, Schutz, Praetorius, Schein
Series Tickets: $6.00--$5.00--$4.00 Single Performances: $3.50--$2.50--$2.00
OTHER PERFORMANCES THIS SEASON
Julian Bream Consort......Tuesday, November 26
Messiah . . . Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8 (2:30)
Sestetto Italiano Luca Marenzio .... Tuesday, December 10 Philharmonia Hungarica,
Tossy Spivakovsky, Violin Soloist .... Monday, January 20
Zurich Chamber Orchestra......Saturday, January 25
Mazowsze Dance Company......Thursday, January 30
Sahm-Chun-Li Dancers and Musicians
from Seoul, Korea.......Sunday, February 9
Vienna Symphony Orchestra.....Thursday, February 20
Teresa Berganza, Coloratura-mezzo . . . Wednesday, February 26
Chicago Opera Ballet........Friday, March 13
Orchestra San Pietro of Naples.....Thursday, March 19
Anna Moffo, Soprano.........Friday, April 3
1964 MAY FESTIVAL. Orders for series tickets accepted and filed beginning
For tickets and information, address UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, Burton Tower