Year of the 'Fludde'

RUTLAND/WESTON - The ark is built, the animals have been gathered and Noah and his family are about to set sail through the raging stormy waters. Opera Theatre of Weston (OTW) co-artistic directors Nan Nall and Lise Messier will present a new production of Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood) by Benjamin Britten at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland on Jan. 6 and at the Weston Playhouse on Jan, 12 and 13. OTW is part of the yearlong worldwide celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Britten's birth and Noye's Fludde will mark the thirteenth annual Opera in Winter produced by OTW. The one-act opera is a unique take on the well-known biblical tale of Noah and his Ark.

It is a foundational story that helps humankind understand its place in the world, its responsibility to care for it and the balance - between nature and man, between man and God - that must be achieved to sustain it.

Continuing OTW's mission of "bringing children to opera and opera to children," this production will reach new heights as the majority of the cast will consist of local youngsters taking the parts of Noye's sons and their wives and twenty four animals, ranging from the tiniest lightning bug to an elephant.

Students will also participate in the orchestra and more than 2,600 school children will attend special school matinees. Noah's sons will be performed by Evan Saito, Matthew Eckler and Brandon Bailey.

Anjelica Carroll, Katherine McNally and Claire Mercier will play their wives.

The children will perform alongside Houston Grand Opera baritone Christopher Besch in the part of Noah, Chicago Lyric Opera and Stratton, VT resident Peggie Telscher as his wife Mrs. Noah, and Weston Playhouse Theatre Company Producing Director, Steve Stettler, will perform The Voice of God.

Stage Director Diana Stugger will be joined by Music Director Angela Hines-Gooch and Choreographer Ashley Hensel-Browning, the same team that brought us The Magic Flute in 2011 - "OTW achieved its most impressive production to date . . . (the) performance brought real joy to the enthusiastic audience" (Jim Lowe, Times Argus/Rutland Herald) - and the Vermont premiere of The Little Prince by Rachel Portman in 2010.

To purchase tickets for the public performance in Rutland on Sunday Jan. 6 (2 p.m.), go to or call (802/775-0903) and for Weston performances on Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13 (both 2 p.m.), phone 802/824-3821, or e-mail Ticket prices range from $15 to $28.

Early reservations are strongly recommended.


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