Fremont Opera is back, this time on both sides of the Bay, with a brand new production of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood), several years after the company's critically acclaimed productions of La Bohème, Barber of Seville and La Traviata. Opening on March 21 at San Francisco's Calvary Presbyterian Church with a repeat performance on March 28 at Fremont's New Life Church, Britten’s inspired “community opera” will bring together 140 performers of all ages. Produced in collaboration with Ragazzi Boys Chorus and Young Women's Choral Projects, Noye’s Fludde will be conducted by Fremont Opera Artistic Director David Sloss and staged by noted director Jonathon Field.
The title Noye's Fludde is medieval English, from the 15th-century miracle play on which it is based. But it means Noah's Flood, and it is pronounced just like the modern spelling. It is a 45-minute work designed to be staged in a church, with a small core of professional singers and players and an army of children in the cast and the orchestra. There are three adults among the singers, and all the rest are children. 70 of them will play animals of all sizes.
Noye's Fludde tells the story of Noah and the Ark, and will be presented fully staged, with scenery and costumes. At the beginning, the young performers build the Ark on the stage. Then all the animals parade through the sanctuary and enter the Ark. A huge storm engulfs the church. Now the entire audience joins in as well, singing hymns at climactic moments in the action. At the end, the children leave the Ark to resounding alleluias, as a giant rainbow appears to signal that the world has been redeemed.
Featured in the cast will be Jason Budd as Noye, Kathleen Moss as Mrs. Noye, and Lee Strawn as the Voice of God. Along with singers from Ragazzi Boys Chorus and Young Women’s Choral Projects, there will be dancers from Yoko’s Dance & Performing Arts Academy, and young musicians from all over the Bay Area playing strings, recorders, trumpets, handbells, and percussion.