On December 21, Barn Opera will present the first of a two-part Christmas Special.
Part One features the American premiere of Canadian composer Andrew Ager’s 30-minute operatic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The program will stream for free on the company’s webpage at 7:30 p.m. EST. While there is no paywall for viewing, the company suggests a $10 donation. The premiere will be available on-demand following the initial screening.
Ager’s adaptation is a monodrama for baritone with an ensemble cast. The work deviates from Dickensian tropes, placing the story in a time not unlike our own and juxtaposing aspects of contemporary life with the classic tale. The production stars Barn Opera music director Cailin Marcel Manson as Scrooge and was self-filmed by cast members at the beginning of December. Barn Opera’s Artistic Director, Joshua Collier, spearheaded the production, concept, and editing.
The Barn cast includes tenor Ryan Mangan (Bob Cratchit); tenor Joshua Collier (Jacob Marley); soprano Nadia Marshall (Ghost of Christmas Past); and baritone Nicholas Tocci (Ghost of Christmas Present) with a chorus of Maria Whitcomb, Hilary Collier, Erin Grainger, and Royce Strider. Originally written for chamber orchestra, the American premiere features Felix Jarrar on piano and Joshua Thompson on the horn in a composer-sanctioned reduction.
Part Two is a Christmas Eve sing-along featuring the cast of Barn’s 2019 production, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” The sing-along will be broadcast on Vermont’s PEG TV as a “telethon-like” program showcasing seasonally appropriate holiday solos. Maestro Cailin Marcel Manson will lead the 45-minute holiday sing-along featuring the cast from the Ager production and soprano Helen Lyons.