The San Francisco's Merola Opera Program and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre co-commissioned Thomas Pasatieri's two-act chamber opera The Hotel Casablanca. The composer wrote the libretto based on the Georges Feydeau's farce A Flea in Her Ear, but changing the setting to Texas in the 1940s necessitated extensively reimagining the plot details and dialogue. This is Pasatieri's 19th opera; it is written in his typical lyrical style and is well suited to student singers for whom it's targeted. The recording is based on performances at the University of Kentucky. The student performers do an excellent job at creating vivid characterizations, and the singing is of a high standard. In fact, it would be difficult to tell, based on the quality of the performances, that these are not professionals. John Nardolillo leads the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in a polished and committed reading of the score. The opera's scope and demands should make it attractive to university opera departments looking for works tailored for young singers.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Hotel Casablanca, comic opera in 2 acts|