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The Enchanted Island


World Premier Performance of The Enchanted Island:

When: December 31, 2011
Where: Metropolitan Opera

What is The Enchanted Island?:

The Enchanted Island is a pasticcio (or pastiche) opera written by Jeremy Sams over the course of several years. Pasticcio operas, common during the 18th century and baroque period, are essentially a "cut and paste" of various works by different composers set to new librettos to create a brand new opera. The Enchanted Island features baroque music from Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Leclair, and more. In keeping with the music, the libretto is a sort of mashup of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest retold by Sams. Though the music is 18th century, Sams keeps the libretto in English and refrains from using pronouns like "thee" and "thou" in an effort to appeal to today's audience.

Cast List (Premier Performance):

  • Conductor: William Christie
  • Ariel: Danielle de Niese
  • Miranda: Lisette Oropesa
  • Sycorax: Joyce DiDonato
  • Prospero: David Daniels
  • Ferdinand: Anthony Roth Costanzo
  • Neptune: Plácido Domingo
  • Caliban: Luca Pisaroni

About Jeremy Sams:

Jeremy Sams, born in 1957, studied music at Magdalene College in Cambridge and piano at the Guildhall School of Music, and has an extensive career in music and theater. If he listed his numerous job fields on a business card, it would read Jeremy Sams: librettist, lyricist, translator, theater director, musical director, composer, and orchestrator.

About William Christie:

Conductor, William Christie, born in 1944, is considered to be an expert of baroque music. He studied art history at Harvard and music at Yale. Christie has worked closely with Sams throughout the opera's creation. The two have scoured through hundreds of baroque classical pieces to choose the best and most fitting pieces for both the libretto as well as the singers' voices.
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