Scenic City Opera sinks its teeth into ‘Der Vampyr!’

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC -

Fans of “Vam­pire Di­aries,” “Twi­light” or “True Blood,” won’t want to miss Scenic City Opera’s new­est per­for­mance open­ing this week­end in Bark­ing Legs The­ater, “Der Vampyr!”

This sec­ond pro­duc­tion mounted by the 2- yearold opera com­pany is an op­er­atic treat com­posed by Hein­rich Marschner, a con­tem­po­rary of Wag­ner and We­ber.

“I love pro­duc­ing lesser- known op­eras,” says Laura Sage, Scenic City Opera’s founder and pro­ducer of “Der Vampyr.” “Peo­ple don’t come into a per­for­mance of a lesser- known work with the same sorts of pre­con­ceived no­tions that they do when at­tend­ing a piece in the stan­dard reper­toire.”

Sage’s com­pany fo­cuses on op­eras that were pop­u­lar in their day but for­got­ten, or per­haps never saw the light of day due to politics or other rea­sons.

“Der Vampyr!” fol­lows a day in the life of a vam­pire, who must sac­ri­fice three vir­gin brides in or­der to pre­serve his own life. As in every good opera, a love tri­an­gle en­sues.

“We’re do­ing the mu­sic in Ger­man with su­per­ti­tles, and all di­a­logue is in English,” Sage says. “Au­di­ence mem­bers don’t have to know Ger­man or be wor­ried about not un­der­stand­ing what’s go­ing on. It will all be ex­plained in the su­per­ti­tles.”

Christo­pher Hol­loway plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter, vam­pire Lord Ruthven. Kristin Moye, as Mal­wina Dave­naut, is the lead so­prano; Joel Tyler Bur­cham, cast as Edgar Aubry, is lead tenor.

Round­ing out the cast is Kelly Stultz, Rachel Shan­non, Sara Crig­ger, Mar­i­anna Allen, James Harr, Randy Bright, Trevor Miles, Ben Brooks, Matthew Glid­den and Greg Glover as The Vam­pire Mas­ter.

Christina Marzano Haystead, who runs her own opera com­pany in Den­ver ( Cabaret Otaku), will di­rect the show. Sage says Haystead­has in­ter­preted the 19th- cen­tury opera with mod­ern cos­tumes and set to make the pro­duc­tion more ac­ces­si­ble to a wider au­di­ence and to be able to eas­ily in­cor­po­rate pop- cul­ture ref­er­ences from the likes of “True Blood,” “Buffy the Vam­pire Slayer” and “Vam­pire Di­aries” into the pro­duc­tion.

Tim Hinck is di­rect­ing the cham­ber or­ches­tra ac­com­pa­ny­ing the singers.

For more in­for­ma­tion: www.scenic­c­i­ty­opera.org.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Christo­pher Hol­loway as Lord Ruth­van, the vam­pire, re­hearses with Rachel Rhea Shan­non as Jan­the, one of his vic­tims.

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