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MUSIC AND DANCE NEWS : Morris and Hogwood Collaborate on Gluck’s ‘Orfeo’

<i> Daniel Cariaga is The Times' music writer</i>

In their first-ever collaboration, conductor Christopher Hogwood, since 1986 artistic director of the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, and choreographer Mark Morris, founder of the 15-year-old Mark Morris Dance Group, are putting together a production of Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice,” and will tour the United States with the new production in April and May of 1996, including stops in Southern California.

With a combined company of 46--soloists, orchestra, chorus, dancers and supporting personnel--the opera will be given in the original, 1762 version of its Vienna premiere. The title roles will be sung by Michael Chance and Dana Hanchard, with Christine Brandes as Amor.

Adrienne Lobel will design the sets, Martin Pakledinaz the costumes and Michael Chybowski the lighting for this new production of the masterpiece of Gluck’s Vienna period.

The world premiere will take place in Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, April 8 and 9, 1996; the tour continues with three performances in Boston, April 12-14, then moves on to Chicago and Ann Arbor, Mich.

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It reaches the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, April 24 and 25, moves on to L.A.'s Wiltern Theatre (sponsored by the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts), April 26-28, and closes in Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley, May 3-5.

All dates are subject to rescheduling, according to a spokesperson for the Handel & Haydn Society, which, with Columbia Artists Management Inc., is planning the tour.

According to the press release, Morris says, “ ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ is one of civilization’s great achievements, and it’s a piece I’ve loved and wanted to work with for a very long time.” Hogwood adds that this tour “is an ideal opportunity for (the Handel & Haydn Society) to be seen nationwide in an adventurous and ground-breaking project.”

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DANCERS: Videotaped late last month at Markova House, home of the English National Ballet in London, was a program featuring Dame Alicia Markova discussing her solo from George Balanchine’s 1925 ballet “Le Chant du Rossignol” along with a danced performance of the solo by South African ballerina Iohna Loots. The project, part of an ongoing compilation of noted Balanchine interpreters coaching their distinguished roles, is a primary focus of the Balanchine Foundation Archive; another is the retrieval of lost ballets. . . . More than 300 dance students and faculty members from 30 Western universities will gather at the new, high-tech Dance Center at Cal State Long Beach for a four-day meeting, the Southwest Regional American College Dance Festival, March 29-April 1.

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PEOPLE: Veteran pianist, impresario and music professor Robert Haag will leave yet another mark on El Camino College, where he has taught since 1955, and from which he retires in June. The college’s well-used 160-seat recital hall will hereafter be named the Robert Haag Recital Hall. . . . American soprano Ella Lee and her husband, tenor Arturo Romani, have returned from engagements at the Royal Cultural Center in Amman, Jordan, and at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, where they sang bel-canto duets, music by Verdi and Mascagni and a duet composed for them by Abdul Hamid.


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