Donald St. Pierre returns to Russian Opera Workshop 2014. In previous summer programs Don helped prepare Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Iolanta and Pique Dame, and Rachmaninoff's Aleko and Francesca da Rimini.
Donald St. Pierre was associated with the Skylight Opera Theatre as music director from 1978 to 1990. He conducted more than fifty productions there, from Monteverdi's Il Coronazione di Poppea to Stephen Oliver's Mario and the Magician (American premiere). He was keyboard player of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra until 1978. In 1986 he served as chorus master at the Vienna State Opera for Leonard Bernstein's Quiet Place (recorded by DGG and conducted by the composer).
As a recital accompanist, Mr. St. Pierre has appeared at such venues as New York's Lincoln Center, London's Wigmore Hall and Almeida
Theatre, and Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet, as well as at the Tanglewood, Santa Fe Chamber Music, Bowdoin, Bard, and Grand Teton music festivals. He is one of the contributing composers to the AIDS Quilt Songbook, published by Boosey & Hawkes and recorded on the Harmonia Mundi label.
Mr. St. Pierre serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.
Writing to his brother Modest, Pyotr was pleased with him as a librettist and how the Queen of Spades death scene was arranged. While he demanded fewer scenes, he worried that Act III may end up dull without women actors. The fate of Lisa's character was written into Act III.
In June of 1878, Pyotr wrote to his brother Modest that he played through entire Eugene Onegin, and confided that the total audience of one was moved to tears and paid a thousand compliments to the composer. He hoped future audiences would feel the same way as the composer.
Apparently, Modest Tchaikovsky, composer's brother, criticized Onegin for potentially lack of scenic effect and action. This annoyed Pyotr, but he didn't care. He was immersed in the opera, in love with Tatyana's image, and enchanted by Pushkin's verse.
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