We were delighted toÂ 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 literaryÂ sources.
Highlights were the rarely heard baritone arias “True is All Iagoo Tells Us” from Samuel Coleridge-Taylorâ€™s cantata-trilogy The Song of Hiawatha, based on Longfellowâ€™s epic poem, and the “Strangerâ€™s Song” from Lukas Fossâ€™s one-act opera The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, after the short story by Mark Twain. Another standout was Beethovenâ€™s Seven Variations in E-Flat, for cello and piano, on a theme from Mozartâ€™s The Magic Flute. Other high points included “Tristesse de DulcinÃ©e” for cello and piano from Massenetâ€™s Don Quichotte, King Philipâ€™s aria “Ella giammai mâ€™amï¢” from Verdiâ€™s Don Carlo, and Billyâ€™s “Soliloquy” from Richard Rodgersâ€™ Carousel.