FULL Empty the House (Orth) Philadelphia PA 2016 Broom Rozzen Chmelensky
MORE VIDEO FILES: b>VIDEO
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Empty the House
- Composer: Orth Rene
- Libretto: Mark Campbell    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Recorded: January 2016
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Kendra Broom, Shir Rozzen, Dennis Chmelensky
- Conductor: CONNER GRAY COVINGTON
- Orchestra: CURTIS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Information about the Recording
- Published by: reneorth
- Date Published: 2016
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Quote from Broadstreetreview
Empty the House is an intimate story about family members in trauma, disclosing secrets and regrets.
A mother invites her grown daughter, Faith, to return to Houston after a long absence to help her pack the contents of a home filled with painful memories. Some of those memories are of the abuse she suffered as a child at her mother’s hands. Others are more present: the ghost of her brother, whom the mother rejected because he was gay. The plot is reminiscent of the Broadway musical Next to Normal, with a dysfunctional family and a dead brother who returns as an onstage presence.
The intriguing music was composed by a Curtis student, Rene Orth, and the words were by Pulitzer Prize-winning Mark Campbell, best known for the libretto of Silent Night. The music is soft and beguiling, and, as befitting the small-scale story, the instrumentation is for a chamber orchestra of only ten players, with a string quartet, some one-fingered piano playing, and subtle percussive effects. Arias for each of the three characters are tender, especially when the brother expresses forgiveness. The unresolved parting at the end has some of the flavor of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa (another opera by a composer educated at Curtis).