“Lucrezia” in San Francisco

William Bolcom and Mark Campbell’s one-act farce about the complicated sexual plans of an “enamorato” named Lorenzo gone askew at the hands of the titular object of his attempted seduction, Lucrezia, was commissioned in 2008 by the New York Festival of Song, and paired at the same time with the one-act Bastianello, commissioned from composer John Musto and Campbell.

 

Both operas were scored for two pianos, but have been ripe for a light orchestral treatment. Bastianello was scored by its composer for a production at the Eastman School of Music a few years ago, so when the San Francisco Conservatory sought to produce both works this May, in Bolcom’s 80th birthday month, they went the extra mile and commissioned an orchestration, by Bolcom, of Lucrezia. Their performances on May 4 & 6 are the World Premiere of his orchestration, and the first, glorious presentation of both operas together as accompanied by chamber orchestra.

 

Curt Pajer conducts, Heather Mathews directs, and students in the opera program of SFCM perform these swift-paced, thoughtful, and entertaining operas.

February 6, 2018