Opera News: “The conductor is desperately needed during an opera performance.”
Conductor Jorge Parodi helps The Snow Maiden bloom at MSM.
By F. Paul Driscoll, Editor-in-Chief
NICOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV’S Snow Maiden—the composer’s favorite of his own operas—will return to New York on April 11, when Manhattan School of Music’s Senior Opera Theater presents a new staging, sung in English, in the school’s Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space. Cast with MSM undergraduates and accompanied by an MSM student orchestra, the Senior Opera Theater shows are generally repertory rarities and inevitably a highlight of the spring opera season in New York. In the past few years, the offerings have ranged from Paisiello’s Nina and Schubert’s Verschworenen to Delibes’s Roi l’a Dit and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen. Directed by Dona D. Vaughn, the school’s artistic director of opera programs, the operas are conducted by Argentine-born maestro Jorge Parodi, the program’s music director.
Parodi made his Senior Opera Theater debut in 2008, with Dido and Aeneas. “I was working as a coach at Juilliard, and I was asked to be coach of the pre-college division. I decided to do the whole Dido and Aeneas, and I asked Dona if she would like to direct it at Juilliard. A few years after, she called and asked if I would like to do this again at MSM.” That Dido began a series of presentations that offer first-class performance opportunities to those MSM students who are not ready to be cast in the school’s justly celebrated mainstage productions.