Orchestra and opera to unite in performance at Simpson College
The Simpson College Community Orchestra is teaming up with a local opera star to perform excerpts from “Xerxes”.
The performance will feature Professor Simpson and mezzo-soprano Suzanne Lommler, who will sing “Ombra mai fu”. Lommler will perform the starring role in “Xerxes” with the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago this summer.
The Simpson Community Orchestra will play the overture written by composer George Handel, then transition to Lommler’s song. Lommler’s character Xerxes is the King of Persia and he sings a song to a tree in his garden at the start of the opera.
The role of Xerxes is known as the trouser role, meaning the role once played by castrated men, or written for the soprano castrato.
Lommler said she loved the musical and the particular song she sang with the community orchestra because “anyone can understand the feeling of protecting the things we love.”
She said that while the king sang for the tree, he asked the wind and the weather not to damage his tree.
The tune is not a typical capo tune. There is no repeated music.
“It’s such a beautiful and simple piece of music,” Lammler said. “I think it’s really crowd pleaser and a relaxing piece of music.”
The community orchestra will perform a one-hour concert and include other pieces of music, including the entire “Carmen Suites No. 1”, which includes famous songs such as “The Toreadors”.
Schubert’s “Rosamund Overature” and Dvorák’s “Slovanic Rhapsody” will close the concert.
The concert will be played on Sunday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Pote Theater’s Blank Performing Arts Center.
The concert will last an hour and is suitable for children. The following concert and reception are free and open to the public.