735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY 10577
From March 10 through March 13, during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Arthur Miller’s birth, Purchase Opera will present The Crucible, based on Miller’s Tony award-winning play about the Salem witch trials.
The Crucible will feature students from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music’s Department of Opera Performance and Vocal Studies—a highly selective program that has won 13 top awards from the National Opera Association for its acclaimed productions.
“While popular for a few years, now The Crucible is a rarely-heard gem,” according to Jacque Trussel, director of Purchase Opera and Purchase College Conservatory of Music’s Voice and Opera Studies.“Its score, which ranges from period-style hymns and folk songs to dramatic arias, provides an excellent learning opportunity for young singers. The Crucible is also a real ensemble piece, which makes it ideal for a conservatory program as it gives many performers the chance to fully investigate and inhabit a role.”
Originally commissioned by the New York City Opera, composer Robert Ward and librettist Bernard Stambler’s opera premiered on October 26, 1961, just eight years after Miller’s play was first performed. The opera won a Pulitzer Prize among other accolades.
While focusing on the Salem witch hunts of the 1690s, Miller’s story of mass hysteria was written as an allegory of the anti-communist trials led by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. While grounded in the two time periods, the production takes place in a less specific and identifiable setting, highlighting the universal themes of the dangers of religious fanaticism and dogmatic beliefs.
The fully staged opera also features the Purchase Symphony Orchestra. Performances will take place in the Recital Hall of the Purchase College Performing Arts Center. The opera is performed in English with English subtitles and runs for 2 hours and 15minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.
Friday evening’s performance will be preceded by a historical presentation given by Purchase history professors Laura Chmielewski and Diana Reinhard at 6 p.m. in the upper lobby of the Performing Arts Center.
Performances will be held Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m., Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
Adult tickets are $20. Discounts are available for Purchase College students and seniors. To order tickets, please visit www.artscenter.org or call 914.251.6200.
This production is made possible with support from the The Emily & Eugene Grant Opera Performance and Production Fund; The L. Werlinich Opera Production Endowment; and the Purchase College Foundation.
About Purchase College–SUNY
Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspiration for Purchase was to create a dynamic campus that combined conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, in order to inspire an appreciation for both intellectual and artistic talents in all students. Today, Purchase College–SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit www.purchase.edu