Opera-Inspired Program features Baritone, Cello, and Piano

George and Elizabeth Cordes
George and Elizabeth Cordes

We were delighted to present George and Elizabeth Cordes on Sunday April 13 at the Saranac “Church in the Hollow” in a collaborative concert with High-Peaks Opera, their organization in the Tri-Lakes region. They were joined on-stage by cellist Jonathan Tortolano and pianist William Tortolano in a fascinating program, in which even the instrumental numbers were derived from opera or literary sources.

Highlights were the rarely heard baritone arias “True is All Iagoo Tells Us” from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s cantata-trilogy The Song of Hiawatha, based on Longfellow’s epic poem, and the “Stranger’s Song” from Lukas Foss’s one-act opera The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, after the short story by Mark Twain. Another standout was Beethoven’s Seven Variations in E-Flat, for cello and piano, on a theme from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Other high points included “Tristesse de Dulcinée” for cello and piano from Massenet’s Don Quichotte, King Philip’s aria “Ella giammai m’am” from Verdi’s Don Carlo, and Billy’s “Soliloquy” from Richard Rodgers’ Carousel.

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