Medfield Premiere of Emily Dickinson Opera
First Parish Medfield would like to announce that composer Eva Kendrick’s chamber opera Emily will be performed in concert at the historic church on September 21 & 22 at 7:30 p.m., one week after Medfield Day. Tickets are $12 and can be obatined at the FPUU Booth on Medfield Day or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson, Emily, which blends opera and the lyrical simplicity of traditional American folk music, is a fitting choice for Medfield—Dickinson was a contemporary of Medfield composer Lowell Mason. The one-hour concert performance is sponsored the First Parish Medfield Church Worship & Music Committee. Kendrick, a composer, performer and music educator, has been the Music Director at First Parish Medfield since 2006.
As both composer and librettist, Kendrick has interwoven actual events and people from Dickinson’s life with fictional characters. The opera explores the enigmatic Amherst poet’s psyche and suggests how the people in her life might have understood her through their interpretations of her poems.
The cast of nine includes singers familiar to the Medfield area as well as award-winning soloists. Medfield participants include husband and wife John and Becca Kornet in the two leading roles as Emily Dickinson and her fictitious friend. Both Kornets received degrees in Vocal Performance from Dartmouth College and perform regularly with Boston Cecilia as choral members and soloists. Fritz Fleischmann and Rebecca Stephenson are also Medfield residents who will portray Emily’s parents. Medfield High School student Kelly McManus will portray Lavinia Dickinson, Emily’s younger sister. McManus sings with the Medfield High School Chorus and Jazz Choir and has been the recipient of Medfield Music Association Vocal Scholarship and the Above and Beyond Choral Award. Boston soprano Noell Dorsey, nominated by the Boston Globe for Best Female Vocalist, will portray Mabel Loomis Todd. Anney Barrett, who has been a soloist at Cambridge Summer Opera and Cambridge Concertus, will portray Emily’s best friend, Susan Dickinson. Baritone Mike Myers and tenor John K. McElroy II have both won awards in Musical Theatre from the Rhode Island and Boston National Association of Teachers of Singing song festivals and will portray Austin Dickinson and a suitor for Emily’s affections.
Emily premiered in 2001 at the Pasadena Balcony Theatre and has enjoyed subsequent performances at the EBEL of Los Angeles, Mary K. Hail Music Mansion in Providence and the Longfellow House Concert Series in Cambridge. Kendrick’s awards include ASCAPLU$ Awards and an American Composers Forum Subito Grant. Kendrick’s works have recently been performed at the International Alliance of Women in Music Congress 2011; Alive By Her Own Hand festival at Brandeis University; the New School of Music in Boston. She has received recent commissions from Dinosaur Annex, Rialto Arts and the female quartet Anthony. She is the Chair of the Composition/Theory Department at the Community Music Center of Boston and Adjunct Faculty at Dean College. For more on Kendrick, please visit her website at www.evakendrick.com.