Composer David DiChiera's Cyrano Brings Depth to Big Schnoz Tale
Marion Pop & Leah Partridge in Cyrano - photo credit: John Grigaitis
French poet and dramatist Edmond Rostrand introduced us to Cyrano de Bergerac in his 1897 play. Since then, we've seen a lot of incarnations of the big-nosed romantic nobleman in film and theater (Steve Martin's 1987 comedy Roxanne is probably the most famous).
And now, composer David DiChiera is the latest to tackle Cyrano's tale of lost love in his sprawling epic opera, which will be making its South Florida debut for the Florida Grand Opera at the Arsht Center this Saturday.
Cyrano is in love with the beautiful Roxane, but the self-doubt brought
on his big schnoz discourages him from expressing his true feelings to
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her. So he agrees to help his handsome but romantically challenged rival
win her heart.
But, as DiChiera tells us, a tale that features romance, lust, poetry, longing, and rapier sword duels like this one was absolutely meant to be told through opera.
"So I wanted a voice that was both powerful, but also was at home in the upper regions of the voice, since the music lives a lot in the upper part of the baritone range. Marian had that, as well as a tremendous amount of personality. I mean, Cyrano is, if nothing else, a tremendous personality. I needed someone that could inhabit that, both physically and musically."
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