Of all my operas,Wuthering Heights, my second full length opera, had probably the most singular beginning. With all the others, I received the request,for a new opera by the commissioner and the subject matter was determined more or less by me, in the case of Wuthering Heights, it was entirely specified by the commissioner, hand in hand with my publisher, and I reluctantly agreed to the subject matter.
The reason for this was what is interesting and unique: Phyllis Curtin, the remarkable soprano who had introduced my first opera, Susannah, to the music world via the New York City Opera, had decided to do a second Town Hall recital and asked me to do a concert aria for her program. I immediately agreed since her performing Susannah had successfully launched my career as an opera composer, and I was (and am) forever happily indebted to her for that.
Total time: 02:18:54
Mark Donahue (Soundmirror)
|Original Recording Format|
Blanton Alspaugh (SoundMirror)
John Newton (Soundmirror)
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Harris Theater, Brookfield, Wisconsin
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||September 16, 2016|
BBC Music Magazine
“In this studio recording following a concert performance by Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Kelly Markgraf and Georgia Jarman make a powerful impression as the ill-fated couple, and Chad Shelton’s incisive Hindley and Heather Buck’s sweet Isabella also stand out amidst a strong cast. … Under opera specialist Joseph Mechavich, the Milwaukee Symphony makes its contribution with relish…”
“Here is a composer who writes in an accessible but never simplistic or retrograde tonal vocabulary; has a sound grasp of what makes operas work dramatically in terms of subject matter, plotting, and pacing; and crafts compelling music that vividly illustrates his texts (Floyd writes his own librettos) while yet placing them in expressive, arcing melodic lines. In particular, to anyone who has encountered it, his early opera Susannah is a stunning work of genius. And now [I] am most pleased to welcome into my home the premiere recording of his next opera in order of composition, Wuthering Heights. It is uncommon enough nowadays for recordings of major standard repertoire works to receive consistently well-cast performances; all the more credit to the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee and Reference Recordings, then, for assembling such a uniformly strong vocal cast here. There is simply not a single weak link in the chain, even in the comprimario roles of Lockwood (tenor Aaron Short), Joseph (tenor Frank Kelly), or Mr. Earnshaw (bass Matthew Burns). The Milwaukee Symphony under Joseph Mechavich plays with conviction and polish. I am overjoyed to have this set. Those who think great opera died with Puccini’s Turandot, or perhaps with Britten’s Peter Grimes, should acquire this opera. Very strongly recommended.”
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