Rochester Philharmonic Plays Hanson's Merry Mount

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Howard Hanson's 1933 opera Merry Mount, which debuted with a splash and then quickly (and perhaps, inexplicably) fell off the public's radar, is given a concert revival in this, the third of seven broadcasts from the Spring for Music festival.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra led by Michael Christie brings the opera to Carnegie Hall with soloists, the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and the Bach Children's Chorus of Nazareth College. The broadcast begins at 7:30 pm.

Loosely based on "The Maypole of Merry Mount," a Nathanial Hawthorne short story, Merry Mount was given an out-of-town tryout in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1933 and produced at the Metropolitan Opera on Feb. 10, 1934.

The plot takes place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 17th century. There, citizens dance around a maypole and are described as resembling forest creatures. Their festivities are interrupted by the arrival of John Endicott and his Puritan followers, who crack down on activities and impose a Puritan lifestyle.

Program:

HANSON Merry Mount (complete concert performance)

  • Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
    Michael Christie, Conductor
  • Richard Zeller, Baritone (Wresting Bradford)
  • Sara Jakubiak, Soprano (Lady Marigold Sandys)
  • Charles Robert Austin, Bass-Baritone (Praise-God Tewke)
  • Christopher Pfund, Tenor (Sir Gower Lackland)
  • Eastman-Rochester Chorus
    William Weinert, Director
  • Bach Children's Chorus of Nazareth College
    Karla Krogstad, Director