Rossini’s comic opera The Silken Ladder.
Sydney Independent Opera’s 2012 season continues with two performances of one of Rossini’s early gems: The Silken Ladder. This work is one of five comedies that Rossini wrote to establish his credentials: one-act operas with a small cast, no chorus and a light plot anchored by romantic misunderstanding. The Silken Ladder is a ‘French farce’, complete with an over-protective guardian and lovers hiding behind room dividers and racing up and down the ladder of silk that grants access to the leading lady’s bedroom.
The plot revolves around Julia and Dorville who have secretly married against her aunt’s wishes, and who only get together at midnight when he climbs the ladder. It is a situation thrown into turmoil with the arrival of the suave suitor Blansac chosen by Julia’s aunt Montdor and Julia attempts to get out of her predicament by encouraging Blansac to fall in love with her cousin Lucille. Miscommunications and misunderstandings abound as characters fall into and out of closets until Montdor discovers the silken ladder and demands an explanation. The Silken Ladder is full of Rossini’s youthful musical exhuberance with wonderfully embellished melodies and brilliant orchestral writing.
Sydney Independent Opera’s production of Rossini’s The Silken Ladder is directed by Sharna Galvin and conducted by Steven Stanke and stars Regina Daniel as Julia, Michaela Liesk as Lucille, Whitney Poulsen as Montdor, Raphael Hudson as the suave Blansac, David Visentin as Dorville and Randall Stewart as Sebastian.
Sydney Independent Opera is a chamber group specializing in operas sung in English with chamber orchestra. Rossini’s The Silken Ladder will be staged at the Independent Theatre, Miller St, North Sydney on Friday 21 September (8pm) and Saturday 22 September (8pm). Bookings through the theatre, theindependent.org.au/whats-on/ or ph 1300 302 604.
Dr Steven Stanke – Artistic Director