Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to the Show

This blog is devoted to the upcoming Gordon College production of Charles Gounod's comic opera, The Doctor in Spite of Himself. The performances will be:

Saturday, September 27 at 8pm
Sunday, September 28 at 3pm

The production is part of the ceremonies for the opening of the new Ken Olsen Science Center. The performances are based on my 2006 edition of the score, which features a new English translation and a new orchestration for chamber orchestra. The show will be directed by Ron Luchsinger, director of productions for Opera North, with me waving my arms wildly at the orchestra. Admission is free.

Gounod's delightful, but little-known work is closely based on a play of the same name by Molière. (The original title for both is Le médecin malgré lui.) The story combines elements of pure farce with biting satire as Molière takes one of his many jabs at the medical profession. In this case, a lumbering brute of a woodcutter is able to pass himself off as a doctor with a bit of resourcefulness and a lot of absurd Latin. Along the way, he gets the beating he deserves for mistreating his wife and manages to help out a pair of young lovers who've been kept apart by a disapproving father.

Gounod is best-known for his grand operatic settings of Faust and Romeo and Juliet, but this lighthearted score is full of catchy tunes and cleverly constructed ensembles that match the energy of the madcap plot. A more detailed synopsis may be found here.

This blog will serve as a companion to the production website, which already features one little bit of singalong fun. Over the next few weeks, more information and karaoke(!) will be provided. You can stay up-to-date by subscribing to this blog - or just check back here or there. In fact, I dare you to go sing the first karaoke offering right now. You'll feel like a genius!

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