by Daniel Hathaway
One-act operas are a vastly neglected sub-genre — except for the few that are performed over and over again. Nightingale Opera put on two rarely-performed titles by American composers last Saturday afternoon, March 9, in the auditorium of the Akron Art Museum. Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice and Lee Hoiby’s The Scarf, each about an hour in length, made for a very interesting pairing — and a nice contrast to The Met’s Don Carlo, which ran more than twice as long that afternoon.
Also in contrast to grand opera, one-acts can thrive with a slim personnel roster. Saturday’s shows called for only four singers, a clarinetist, and a tag-team of pianists who more than filled the small theater with sound and created two very different but equally riveting dramatic situations. [Read more…]