Villa Diodati
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This DVD of Villa Diodati, a chamber opera, was filmed live at St. Peter's Church in New York City, and produced by Bank Street Films.

Villa Diodati, composed by Mira J. Spektor with libretto by Colette Inez, features the poetry of notorious Romantic poets Byron, Shelley and Wordsworth. The plot revolves around the fateful events of Summer, 1816, when Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley penned Frankenstein while staying at the Villa Diodati in Geneva with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. A contemporary American couple on a Swiss train find themselves thrown into the past and into the villa on the dreary summer day when Mrs. Shelley is creating her monster. Later that night, Mary will be haunted by her creation and also by the ghost of her Mother, the British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. The famous couples fantasize of ghosts and monsters while privately facing their inner demons. Today the haunted Villa Diodati still stands as a landmark, overlooking Lake Geneva. The piece was filmed live at the York Theatre at Saint Peter’s Church in New York City, produced by Bank Street Films, starring the beautiful young singers Rachel Arky, Angela Leson, Mike Longo, Jeremy Moore, Hillary Schranze and Rachel Zadkoff. The New York Times (Allan Kozinn) wrote that the vocal setting “recalled some of the more graceful music in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti” and characterized as particularly appealing a duet between Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley, “There is no heaven but my love.” Reviewing the opera during the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2008, Talkin’ Broadway wrote, “Mira J. Spektor (music) and Colette Inez (lyrics) have imbued their show with all the classic elements of success — luxurious love, vibrant-voiced performers, lush poetry, and a visionary director...The unabashedly operatic music wraps you in the warm embrace of the writings timeless romanticism. You'll probably hear no better musical all this year than Villa Diodati.”
Contents:
Mira J. Spektor, composer
Villa Diodati
Rachel Arky, mezzo-soprano; Jeremy J. Moore, tenor; Hillary Schranze, soprano; Angela Leson, soprano; Rachel Zatcoff, soprano; Mike Longo, tenor; Arkady Orlovsky, cello; Barbara Ames, piano

Review:
This lovely video is a combination of stage performance and film…The music is simple, delicate, with wisps of melody…It's a lovely production designed by Richard Kathlean with period costumes designed by Sharon Sobel, staging by Rob Urbinett. The performance is lovely as well, with diction clear as a bell, delicate acting, and healthy singing. Just in case, there are English subtitles. The vido captures the intimacy of the story by concentrating on close-ups. (American Record Guide)