The York Prep senior class got in tune with art and culture when they visited The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. Students were treated to a working dress rehearsal of the opera Cyrano de Bergerac by Franco Alfano, watching sopranos and tenors belt out arias while construction workers built sets, lighting designers made adjustments, stage managers shouted directions, and conductor Marco Armiliato guided orchestrations. “It was fluid and organized pandemonium,” said senior Matthew Chatzinoff.
Students joined the performance for Act I, sitting in the nearly empty theater as part of an exclusive audience of viewers. They watched celebrated French tenor Roberto Alagna sing the part of Cyrano, the big-nosed cadet who has a way with words as he tries to win the heart of his beloved Roxanne. Unfortunately, he quickly gets involved in multiple brawls, swordfights, and other complications along the way in this celebrated comedy turned tragedy. Students could follow along with the French lyrics by watching English subtitles on personalized screens at each seat. “It’s wonderful to be able to follow along with subtitles,” said school psychologist Dr. Ian Pervil, who was one of the chaperones, “but the language of music is universal even without them.”
After the show, seniors were treated to a lunch in the Patron’s lounge. For some, the entire experience was new and different, strange, surprising, and even eye-opening. They left with music ringing in their ears and a new appreciation of opera. “You could feel the music reverberate through the air,” said Chatzinoff.