Seagle Colony Chronicle
December 2019
 and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you
In 2020 there will be several reasons to be happy with the Seagle Music Colony’s 105 th season. Featured are an upcoming world premiere production, an all-time favorite operetta and musical, a favorite fairy tale opera, and all evening shows will begin at 7:30PM! Now more people than ever will be able to come from the Capital District and some of us will be more alert than ever to enjoy the beautiful music in Schroon Lake! 
2020 Season
Maria de Conzo, Stephen Walley & Christopher Humbert in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
The memorable and upbeat Old Friends and New introduces the new singers and returnees on June 27 in a performance as well as a reception. Die Fledermaus (The Revenge of the Bat) by Johann Strauss will be soaring around the theater on July 8-11 . It is called “an audience pleaser” with its humor, bubbling melodies, and charm. Darren Keith Woods (Artistic Director) and Tony Kostecki (General Director) will be celebrated for their 25 years at the Colony with an alumni guest star each night. The children’s opera The Three Bears is filled with laughter and takes place on July 11 at The Boathouse Theater . The composer, Jonathan Stinson , is a noted performer and a former voice professor at Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

The next main stage production is Cinderella (Cendrillion) performed on July 22-25 . It is a fairy tale composed by Jules Massenet , sung in French with supertitles in English.

Harmony by Russell Banks and Robert Carl , a world premiere, set in nearby Keene Valley in the Adirondacks, will be performed on August 5-8 . It is based on a meeting of the internationally renowned American composer Charles Ives and legendary author Mark Twain . Helen Boatwright , former director at the Seagle Colony, recorded the first full-length album of songs by Charles Ives .

The final show of the season is Hello, Dolly! on August 19-22 with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman . This musical was in its time the longest-running musical in Broadway history. The continually enthusiastically received Vespers Concerts will be held on Sundays, August 16 and 23.

Season and Group tickets go on sale January 1, 2020, and single tickets April 1, 2020. Every Friday performance will be a 2PM matinee. The 26 th annual Gala will be held on Saturday, July 18 , under a giant tent. It is a memorable event that you will want to be sure to attend. Honorees this year are Joel Friedman , a long-time board member, contributor, and an active committee member of the Gala. The alumna honoree is Alicia Olatuja ( Alicia Miles at the Colony in 2001-02). Her solo in Barack Obama’s second inauguration gained her international acclaim.
2019 Summer Highlights
The Oscar Seagle Memorial Theater was filled with excitement with the opening concert, Old Friends and New. The audience enjoyed the variety of songs and the very popular party afterwards to meet the singers in the Shames Rehearsal Studio. One member of the audience wrote, “Wow, Wow, Wow! We were blown away by the quality of the facility and the talent. We cannot wait to go back in July for the shows.”
The 64th annual 4 th of July Parade was followed by a beautiful evening with performances overlooking the town park and beach by the Colony and the Word of Life choir.

In the opening musical, Evita , Anthony Rohr as Che had outstanding diction, dynamic acting, and pleasant vocal quality. Jennifer Soloway as Eva was dramatic in her acting and even cried real tears at the end of the show. Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers was the children’s opera performed before enthusiastic audiences across the North Country.

The 25th Annual Seagle Music Colony Gala featured silver decorations for the silver anniversary of this key fund raiser for the Colony. The alumna honoree was Eryn LeCroy , currently performing her dream role Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Also honored were the four Gala Founders: Irma Worrell-Fisher, Tom Grogan, Sharon Harder & Dodie Seagle. Heidi Kelly served as chair of the gala committee. This popular event netted a record-breaking amount of money to support the program of the Seagle Music Colony. For many years Patrice Munsel , Metropolitan Opera and musical theater star, served as Honorary Chair. State Assemblyman Dan Stec read a Senate Resolution “commending the Seagle Music Colony upon the occasion of hosting its 25 th Annual Gala , and paying tribute to this year’s honorees on July 12, 2019.

A review from The Glens Falls Chronicle on 7/25/19 by Patrick Daley included the following, “There was much memorable about Seagle Music Colony’s production of Mozart’s laugh-out-loud comedy Le Nozze di Figaro: The singers; the music; the heat. During the heat wave, Daley commented that Francesca Mehrota as leading lady Susanna was “beautiful—clear, deft and nimble. A talented and warm actor and singer... Nicholas Dankner as Figaro was stunning...Each melodic entrance from Mr. Dankner made me look up, again and again. His baritone voice just edged ahead of the rest of the stellar cast... Christopher Humbert as Bartolo was alluring. Katarina Galagaza’s coloraturesque voice was absolutely on point.” Four main roles were double cast to give more singers the opportunity to sing major roles.

A recently composed opera entitled The Manchurian Candidate by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell gave the singers the opportunity to work with the contemporary composer at the Colony this summer. The opera was filled with dynamic acting and singing. A real stand-out was Ashlee Lamar with her convincing acting and powerful voice.

Five sold-out performances of Oklahoma ! by Rodgers and Hammerstein II rounded out the summer’s shows. The feel-good show was well received. Vespers: The two Vespers Concerts on two Sundays in August remain as beloved as ever for the audience who travels from many places to hear the beautiful solo and choral singing, directed by Tony Kostecki .
HAPPY ALUMNI: Singers from several decades gathered for a weekend in July to reminisce, attend a few classes at the Colony and to give a Friday evening concert at the Boathouse Theater to a packed house. The concert was dedicated to Richard Kagey in honor of his 50 th years of directing shows at the Colony. It was fun for the current group at the Colony to hear what it is like “in the real world” of performing. Liz Cass (’99) , the President of the SMC Alumni Association, is already planning an alumni weekend next summer.

Daily Classes at Seagle Colony: Have you ever wondered what singers do at the Colony besides voice and coaching lessons, practicing, rehearsing, and performances? Here are the class topics for this past summer: Making the Most of Your Summer, Audition Ten Commandments, Audition Class (done regularly), Costume Care, Back-Stage Behavior, Wigs and Make-up, Vocalises for Vocal Ease, Singing and Auditioning in Germany, Etiquette e.g. Table Manners, Internet and reading and responding to Business Email, What Every Director Wants, Acting Basics and Energy, Career Talk, Relationships: Parents, Family and Spouses, Strategic Planning, All about YAPS (Young Artist Programs), Embracing Vulnerability, Alumni Association Talk, Getting a Manager, A Conversation with a Composer, Giving Radio and Television Interviews, First Years After Academia. In addition, Darren Keith Woods conducts exit interviews before each singer leaves—hearing the singers’ plans and Darren’s recommendations for their future.

The Seagle Colony Guild, led by Guild President Sharon Hieber, continues to help publicize Seagle Music Colony events and attracts new volunteers to help. The popular Scholarship Benefit Luncheon at the Sagamore on Lake George will be held on August 5 . A giant thank you goes to the chair person, Noelle McCrum and her committee. $15,000 was contributed to the Guild Scholarship Fund for 2019.

SMC, Inc. Seth Bader , President continues to chair a dedicated board of directors and encourages the Advisory Board to make suggestions. 
Fall Season Happenings
Once again the Colony was invited to perform at the historic Lake George Club in Bolton Landing at the Lake George Music Festival. Five singers presented a semi-staged performance of The Tragedy of Carmen by Peter Brooks using the music by George Bizet . Hot! The Music of Cole Porter featured Colony singers Katarina Galagaza, Thomas Lynch, Alicia Russell and Anthony Rohr who wowed their audiences from Glens Falls to Long Lake.

The American Center for New Works Development at Seagle Music Colony had new workshop productions featuring several Colony singers.   First was Yeltsin in Texas by composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire.   Second was Patra by Sharon and David Ohrenstein which took place during the days of Cleopatra and effectively included a wide variety of musical styles. And third was Harmony with librettto by Russell Banks and music by Robert Carl, performed in Keene, New York. This intriguing opera featured several singers who portrayed such well known people as Charles Ives and Mark Twain. This opera will be performed next summer at the Colony in Schroon Lake as a world premiere.
We continue to offer our sympathy to the family of Eileen DeSalvio who was an active member or the guild. We offer our sympathy to the family of Rollie Blondeau , a student of the Colony who chaired the voice department at Abilene Christian University and was an active vocal performer in Texas. We offer our sympathy to Doug Fish whose brother Keith Fish passed away. Their mother was the late Virginia Fish . Sympathy is offered to Carol Clifford upon the death of her husband Gus Hubert . They have been devoted contributors to the Colony. We also offer our sympathy to the family of Robert McLean. The family has been faithful Colony supporters for years. 
Please send any alumni news to Chronicle editor, Dodie Seagle . Your emails are always appreciated. A sizable busload from Schroon Lake went to Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown NY to hear Michael Adams in the lead role in Showboat. A reviewer wrote, “Michael Adams not only cut a dashing figure but also deployed a creamy, gleaming baritone that gave significant pleasure.” ( Opera Today ) Susan Long is the owner and producer of The Broadway Series in the Denver Metropolitan area. Reginald Smith, Jr. was photographed in the December 2019 Opera News issue as one of the 8 alumni from University of Kentucky Opera Theater in the Metropolitan Opera’s Porgy and Bess. Michaela Wolz was featured in Sound Bites in Opera News in an article by Paul Driscoll , the Editor in Chief. This spring she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals, received her MM in opera performance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and performed at Opera Theater of St. Louis. Driscoll wrote, “Wolz’s performances are rooted in a keen sense of character; her lyric mezzo moves fluidly through recitative, charging her words with striking intensity and imagination.”

The listing of Colony singers performing as principal singers in opera companies in 2019-20 and for those performing in Apprentice programs is truly amazing! Rather than leave anyone out, the listing will be included in an upcoming announcement. To whet your appetite for news, there are over fifty singers performing in 31 major opera companies and in fourteen apprentice programs!
Jennifer Soloway & Jake Stamatis in EVITA
To A Great 2020
A staff member sums up the special feeling of being at the Colony, “What I love this morning is all of you made me have an emotional reaction. That’s why we’re here. That’s what I love.” ( Seven Days ) May magnificent singing at the Seagle Music Colony fill you with joy and zest for a healthy, happy year. Share your enthusiasm with others and help contribute to building a continuing bright future to the Colony. You are needed and appreciated! Many thanks.

With warm greetings,

Dodie Seagle
Editor of the Seagle Colony Chronicl e
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