Benjamin Britten's Comic Opera 'Albert Herring' at UCSC--June 2-5

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Photo by Steve DiBartolomeo (pictured: Natalie Erskine and Alexander Faulk)

The UC Santa Cruz Music Department and its award-winning Opera Theater will present four performances of Benjamin Britten's three-act comic opera Albert Herring, June 2-5, at the Music Center Recital Hall.

Nicole Paiement conducts a chamber ensemble of members of the UCSC Orchestra, plus student singers, in a fully staged production of Britten's 1947 opera.

Directed by Brian Staufenbiel,  Albert Herring will be performed in the original English with supertitles.

Britten’s second chamber opera was composed just a year after its predecessor, The Rape of Lucretia. Yet the contrast in style and subject matter could not be greater.

Instead of a tragedy based on a tale from Roman antiquity, Albert Herring is a comic opera set in the imaginary East Suffolk town of Loxford at the turn of the 20th century.

The score contains some of Britten’s wittiest musical invention, and his gifts for parody and caricature are given full reign. However, the work is far from being mere farce.

Albert is a sympathetic and credible figure who, tied to his mother’s apron-strings and frustrated by small-town pieties, embarks on a debauched ‘rake’s progress’, a theme fully in keeping with the composer’s favourite subject--the loss of innocence.

Albert Herring premiered at Glybndebourne in 1947, conducted by the composer, with Peter Pears singing the title role. The opera was given its American premiere at Tanglewood later that year.

For more information, or to order tickets, visit the Arts Dvision web site.