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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
A Month in the Country
Lee Hoiby
Lee Hoiby was born in Wisconsin in 1926 of Scandinavian extraction. Important European musicians in flight from Hitler forgathered at the remarkable war-time music department of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. At Madison, Hoiby’s prodigious pianistic gift was nurtured by Gunnar Johansen, the Danish virtuoso who privately recorded the complete keyboard works of Bach, Liszt and Busoni. Johansen passed Hoiby on to his own pianistic mentor, the Busoni acolyte Egon Petri, with whom he studied at Cornell and Mills College. On the verge of a career as a concert pianist Hoiby was offered, on the basis of a few works written for fun and submitted without his knowledge, a full scholarship to study composition with Gian Carlo Menotti at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Hoiby was unable to refuse. Menotti led Hoiby to opera, presenting Hoiby's one-act The Scarf at the first Spoleto (Italy) Festival in 1957.

Hoiby's immense contribution to the song repertoire is recognized by American singers everywhere. His style is an elegant and unobvious bridging of the lyrical worlds of Verdi and Gershwin, which can be profoundly moving or smoothly good-humored, but skirts entirely the modernist obsession with “originality”. He turns frequently to texts of great literary and civic value. Hoiby has also made significant contributions to the piano repertory (in addition to his demanding song accompaniments), including two piano concertos and a volume of solo piano works published by G. Schirmer. His choral music is performed in churches throughout the USA and in Great Britain. Mr. Hoiby has been a recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Numerous concerts devoted exclusively to his music have taken place, most notably on the American Composer's Series at the Kennedy Center in 1990.
William Ball
January 01, 1964
Natalia Petrovna Islaevna, bored with Arkady her preoccupied husband, and with her overly ardent cavalier, the well-known poet Rakitin, with the afternoon cardgames and aimless bickering of her mother-in-law Anna and her silly retainers, bored and with the routine, isolation, uselessness and dependency of her existence, exhibits extremes of mood as she and Rakitin come to realize that she has fallen in love with her son's new tutor, an educated young peasant named Belaev.

Her unassimilable passion maddens Rakitin, confuses Belaev, awakens the sexual awareness and jealousy of Vera, her young niece, unleashes the wrath of her mother-in-law, and escapes her husband entirely. Only the subsidiary comic courtship of two servants, the scheming doctor and Lisaveta (Anna's companion, piano teacher to Kolya and Vera) ends satisfactorily.
Length is not available.
2
Rock Valley Music
Aquarius@pronetisp.net
http://www.leehoiby.com/index.php
Schedule of Performances Listings
A Month in the Country (Hoiby)
Saturday, July 31, 2010 - Delaware Valley Opera
A Month in the Country (Hoiby)
Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater

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