In our first Grantee Spotlight, we are pleased to feature Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company. Formed in 2011, the company occupies a special place in the city’s opera community, presenting historically informed performances of works from opera’s Enlightenment period of the baroque and classical eras, which encompass the 17th and 18th centuries.
HOC was founded by Craig Trompeter, a baroque specialist, who also serves as the company’s general and artistic director, conductor, and principal cellist and violist da gamba. He has been active in Chicago’s classical music scene for over fifteen years, performing with such notable ensembles as Second City Musick, Music of the Baroque, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Chicago Symphony.
Trompeter founded the organization with the commitment to authenticity beyond mere programming. The approach is comprehensive. Orchestra members perform on period instruments. All musicians, including the vocal soloists, are specialists in baroque and classical performance styles. Costumes, wigs, sets, and even acting and dancing receive the same attention to original practices. Even the intimate performance space, Mayne Stage, in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago’s north side, is faithful to the period, with a seating capacity of 230.
The company’s name has two points of reference. One is the locale of George Frideric Handel’s opera company in London of the early 18th century. The other is to Chicago’s Haymarket Square Riot of 1886. Thus does the name acknowledge and merge the company’s stylistic home with its physical, geographic home.
In just three seasons, Haymarket has attracted critical acclaim, with glowing reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review, WFMT Radio, the Chicago Reader, and Chicago Sun-Times.
The Foundation awarded Haymarket a grant of $7,000.00 in the Spring 2014 cycle in support of the company’s production this month of Alessandro Scarlatti’s opera, Gli equivoci nel sembiante (Equivocal Appearances).
Trompeter provides background on the work, “Gli equivoci nel sembiante was the opera that catapulted Alessandro Scarlatti to immediate fame throughout Europe as the most important composer of Italian opera in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. This charming work shows Scarlatti’s sense of humor, his lyricism, and his prowess in depicting atmosphere and character. HOC is grateful to the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation for allowing us to stage a production worthy of this masterpiece and to engage superb artists in the four starring roles.”
Gli equivoci nel sembiante is scheduled for two performances:
Friday, October 24th at 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 25th at 5:00 PM
For more information about Haymarket Opera Company, visit haymarketopera.org