“Made in USA” L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève with Harlem Opera Theater

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AIC Cultural Events invites AIC members,family and friends to a concert and cocktail:

“Made in USA”

L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève


Harlem Opera Theater

 Bâtiment des Forces Montrices (BFM)

6 June 2017

19H15 - 20H00 - 22H00

 Conductor: Arie van Beek

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937)

Lullaby for Strings

Aaron Copeland (1900-1990)

Appalachian Spring

Cole Porter (1891 – 1964)


George Gershwin

Blue Monday


AIC Cultural Events has exclusive access to the spacious loge (balcony)

19H15: Entre-nous. Join the Amis de l'OCG for a presentation of the program by conductor Arie van Beek (in French).

20H00: Concert. One 20 minute intermission. Can purchase drinks and snacks at the bar.

22H00 (approx.): AIC joins the audience for an End of Season drink (verre de l'amitié ) to mingle with friends, members of the orchestra, and the Harlem Opera Theater singers: Diana Thompson (soprano), Darian Worrell (baritone), Barry Robinson (baritone), Michael McGee (baritone), and Tyrone Chambers (tenor).

Event price (ticket value CHF 37): Member/partner: CHF 30 each. Non-member: CHF40 each.

Booking: AIC Members can sign-up for themselves and partner at member prices, and invite two (2) non-member guests at non-member prices. Go to the Club website to sign up (either together or separately) and pay on-line or bank transfer. Deadline for PAID sign-ups is noon (12H00) on Monday 5 June. The list of PAID tickets holders will be sent to the OCG on the afternoon of June 5.


Pick up your tickets from the BFM box office/guichet on the night. They will have a list with your names.

Below/attached, please find a brief description of each work.


Lullaby for strings

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937) appeared to have little early musical training, but had a Schubertian gift for fluent, characteristic, and immediately compelling melody. Indeed, he carried what he called a tune book in which he jotted down the abundant ideas which came to him spontaneously. In 1919, Gershwin took one of these “tunes” to his tutor, which he later scored for sting quartet.

After a "tuning up" gesture, the slowly swinging blues melody is strutted in a skillfully varied exposition leading to a plaintively muted, hesitant moment which gives way to a rush of the warmest, most caressing lyricism before the initial blues returns to fade exquisitely.

 Appalachian Spring

Aaron Copland (1900-1990) suite premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity. Martha Graham also commissioned it as a ballet for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, and she danced the lead role. Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.

 Songs (lyrics available on the night)

Cole Porter (1891 – 1964): these songs came from two of his musical comedies. From Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) comes “Where would you get your coat?” and “Tale of the oyster.” From DuBarry was a lady (1939 with Bert Lahr, Ethel Merman and Betty Grable) comes “Katie went to Haiti” and “Give him the Oo-la-la.”

 Blue Monday (Opera à la Afro-American):  concert version

This short (20 minutes) one-act "jazz opera" by George Gershwin. Also heard as 135th Street in later productions. The libretto was written by Buddy DeSylva. Blue Monday (1922) is a blueprint to many of Gershwin's later works, and is the "first piece of symphonic jazz" - to fuse forms of classical music such as opera with American popular music, with the opera largely influenced by Jazz and the African-American culture of Harlem.

As in Gershwin's later opera Porgy and Bess, all the singing roles are African-American characters. Unlike Porgy and Bess, however, Blue Monday was performed by white singers in blackface.

Setting: A basement café near the intersection of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem.

Time: An evening during the Jazz Age, beginning at around 9:30 P.M.

Roles: Joe, a gambler, tenor; Vi, his sweetheart, soprano; Tom, café entertainer, baritone; Mike, café proprietor, bass; Sam, café custodian, baritone; Sweetpea, café pianist; Chorus and Guests.

After a brief overture, the gambler Joe appears as a Prologue (like the character Tonio's opening aria in Pagliacci by Leoncavallo). Joe tells his audience that just like "the white man's opera", this "colored tragedy enacted in operatic style" focuses on primal human

emotions such as love, hate, passion and jealousy, and that the moral of the story is that tragic results come from when a woman's intuition goes wrong.

Story: Vi is in love with Joe. She comes to the café looking for him. Tom has an eye for her, and tries to turn her from Joe, but is rejected. Later, Tom overhears Joe say he is awaiting a telegram from his mother, who he plans to visit. When Tom next meets Vi, he tells her that Joe is getting a telegram “from another women.” In a scene reminiscent of another “white man's opera” (Otello by Verdi after Shakespeare), the jealous Vi confronts Joe with tragic results.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

(GMT+0200) Europe/Zurich



Place des Volontaires, 2
Geneva 1204