The Hartford Opera Theatre Presents an Opera for All

By Katharine Baran

The Hartford Opera Theater will introduce Copeland’s “The Tender Land” this summer.

The main stage production includes music by Aaron Copeland and libretto by Horace Everett. Kristy Chambrelli will direct the performance, with the music conducted by Joseph Hodge. But the company has a big surprise for everyone.

As part of their “Opera Without Borders” initiative, the Hartford Opera Theater is partnering up with the American School for the Deaf, engaging a deaf actress to play the role of Beth Moss in the production.

The production will debut on Friday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m., and will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Meanwhile, during the Sunday matinee show, at 3:00 p.m., the company will have a touch tour and audio describe. “Communication” and “What it means to belong” are central themes throughout “The Tender Land.”

“The Tender Land” will include soprano Lisa Williamson as Laurie, who recently appeared in a “My Fair Lady in Concert” in the role of Eliza Doolittle. The rest of the cast will feature Janelle Robinson as Ma Moss, Robert Barefield as Pa Moss, Darius Gillard as Martin, Michael McAvoy as Top and Nikita Mallach as Beth.

Both performances will be at The Aetna Theatre at The Wadsworth Athenaeum.