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November 9 - November 11| $15 Get Tickets
Friday, November 9 at 8PM
Saturday, November 10 at 8PM
Sunday, November 11 at 2:30PM
by Gian Carlo Menotti
Directed by Michael Ehrman
Music direction by Karen Keating
Set in an intimate black box studio and directed each year by a different distinguished guest artist, Opera Up Close features small ensembles, but big ideas. Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium is a short, two-act opera that follows the story of the psychic Madame Flora who deceives her clients with fake séances with the help of her daughter Monica and Toby, a mute servant. One of these sessions goes awry when she herself is touched by a spirit, plunging her into mental chaos.
Sung in English with piano accompaniment
Duration: Approximately 65 minutes*
*Production duration is subject to change
The Medium is a short, two-act opera (approximately one hour) and is performed without an intermission. This production contains a gunshot effect.
MEET THE DIRECTOR
MICHAEL EHRMAN is known for his productions in the both the academic and professional worlds in a career spanning forty years. He recently retired from his position as artist-in-residence and director of opera at Northwestern University. His direction there of the fully-staged Chicago premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking was honored and cited in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Classical Review “best of 2015” lists. He also received acclaim for his staging of the Chicago premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, the double-bill of William Bolcom’s Lucrezia and John Musto’s Bastianello (also local premieres), Musto and Mark Campbell’s Later the Same Evening, and a new version of L’incoronazione di Poppea. In 2013, Ehrman was named director of the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artist Training Program at the Central City Opera, a company where he has staged twenty-five productions. He has directed over 150 operas and musicals for professional companies including Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Greater Miami Opera. He has made a specialty of staging American opera, including nine productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe (the 40th and 50th anniversary productions at Central City), nine stagings of Floyd’s Susannah, and numerous productions of Weill’s Street Scene and Ward’s The Crucible. At Central City, he staged Barber’s Vanessa in 2005 and the premiere of Henry Mollicone’s Gabriel’s Daughter in 2003. His production of the musical Carnival at Light Opera Works was on the “ten best in Chicago” lists in 2005. Other musicals include The Sound of Music and Camelot for Tulsa Opera and the Brevard Music Center and Show Boat at the University of Kentucky.
Ehrman has balanced his professional career with teaching and directing at numerous universities, conservatories and young artist programs, including the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute, the New National Theater in Tokyo, Wolf Trap Opera and Chautauqua Opera. His has directed eight productions at Indiana University and was also guest director at Yale University, the New England Conservatory of Music, and University of Colorado-Boulder. In 2012, he made his debut at the Ravinia Festival with The Magic Flute, conducted by James Conlon and featuring Nathan Gunn as Papageno. His work with the Chicago Symphony includes Noye’s Fludde in 2006 and several educational touring shows for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Ehrman is delighted to return to Shenandoah Conservatory, where he made his university directing debut in 1989 with Così fan tutte.