Excerpts from The Florentine Opera Company’s World Premiere Recording of Carlisle Floyd’s “Wuthering Heights” an Opera In Three Acts:
Our First Ever Opera Release!
Florentine Opera Company
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Joseph Mechavich, conductor
The Florentine Opera Company® brings American opera composer Carlisle Floyd’s operatic masterpiece, based on the classic English novel by Emily Brontë, to life. Floyd’s score takes you to the heart of Catherine and Heathcliffe’s devastating love story.
Carlisle Floyd’s canon of operas is amongst the most performed by any living American opera composer, however four essential operas have never been commercially released. Wuthering Heights was first performed by Santa Fe Opera in 1958, but never recorded until now. With the composer acting as artistic advisor, this Florentine Opera premiere recording was made in January 2015 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. It features conductor Joseph Mechavich, soprano Georgia Jarman (Cathy), baritone Kelly Markgraf (Heathcliff), soprano Heather Buck (Isabella), tenor Vale Rideout (Edgar), tenor Chad Shelton (Hindley), mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer (Nelly), tenor Frank Kelley (Joseph), The Florentine Opera Chorus and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Reference Recordings is proud to release this exceptional recording.
General Director William Florescu states, “This is a unique and exciting Florentine Opera recording. Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights, an unjustly neglected American gem, made its Florentine debut in this world premiere recording. We had the honor of welcoming Carlisle Floyd to guide this exceptional creative team and shape the concert and recording. Noele Stollmack (director of design and production), conductor Joseph Mechavich (conductor for the Florentine productions of La Traviata 2013 and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah 2012), Blanton Alspaugh and John Newton, along with all of the production engineers and recording specialists from SoundMirror assembled their talents to bring this premiere recording and concert to life–for live audiences and the world to experience.”
Carlisle Floyd, 90 years of age in June 2016, is still creating new operas (his newest, Prince of Players, was presented to great acclaim by Houston Grand Opera in March 2016), and is intent on having commercial recordings of all his operas released during his lifetime. Describing the music of Wuthering Heights as highly dramatic and quite melodic, Floyd has said he is thrilled to have it recorded. The Florentine has released plans to follow Wuthering Heights with recordings of Floyd’s Willie Stark and Bilby’s Doll.
Wuthering Heights was recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 70 GRAMMY® nominations and awards.