January 31, 2023

Ivoryton Opera Series Opens With Success

James Kuslan and Joyce Fideor During Ivoryton Library Opera Series on Macbeth

The Ivoryton Library opera series, Great Works of Literature and Opera, had an enthusiastic launch of the first of its series at the Ivoryton Congregational Church on Thursday with a study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

A large audience at the Congregational Church listened with interest to an introduction from international opera singer Susan von Reichenbach followed by a fascinating lecture from guide and main speaker James Kuslan, who discussed the ways in which Shakespeare and his interpreters make choices that affect our understanding of the meaning of play. Kuslan, who is a respected expert in his field, reviews operas in New York City publications and writes introductions for Deutsche Grammophone, whose business is largely opera recordings.

Kuslan’s message was exemplified in an extraordinary performance by actress Joyce Fideor, who rendered a speech by Lady Macbeth in three different ways to illustrate the influence of actor interpretation.  Fideor concluded her performed with two emotionally charged soliloquies from Lady Macbeth which left the audience in awe.

Joyce Fideor performs an emotional soliloquy by Lady Macbeth

Fideor has played Lady Macbeth in Nicole Williamson’s production of the play at New York’s Circle-in-the-Square Theater.

The nine part series, entitled “Great Works of Literature and Music: Read, Hear, See” is funded by a grant from the Middlesex County Community Foundation, and will continue through May, 2011.

The next performance in the series will be on March 24, at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, when Kuslan will discuss how Verdi and his librettist, Piave, adapted the play Macbeth so that its elements might be amplified by music.