Give Now

A Mama’s Boy Has A Wild Night

Benjamin Britten's comic "Albert Herring" brings the bucolic to the Buskirk-Chumley.

young albert surrounded by women

Photo: Neil Andrew Robinson

Lady Billows, Krista Wilhelmsesn, and Mrs. Herring, Emily Poulsen, confront the confused Albert, Jacob Williams

Event Information

Albert Herring

comic opera by Benjamin Britten


Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Thurs. - Sat., 8 pm; Sun., 2 pm February 9-12, 2012

As Benjamin Britten’s comedy Albert Herring begins, it’s spring in a bucolic English village, and it’s time to choose a May Queen from among the local virgins. It appears that virgins, at least among the village girls, are in short supply. Indeed, the only candidate seems to be Albert Herring.

Asitha Tennekoon and Jacob Williams play the part of Britten’s virginal mama’s boy. “Actually, we back our way into the opera,” said Williams. “Yes,” added Tennekoon, “we’re carrying a hundred weight of turnips. It’s kind of a symbol of the way Albert feels. It’s as if he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.”

Tennekoon continues with the story: “Albert’s basically been brought up under his mother’s thumb. He does have a couple of friends, Sid and Nancy. There a bit more jovial, more laid back, and they spike his drink. He’s never had a drink in his life, and it sets the stage for absolute chaos.”

Williams likes the fact that many may identify with Albert. “I think a lot of people can relate to a character who feels suppressed, that they want to break away from the routine. I’ve had those moments too. Even before Albert has the drink, he’s talking about taking a vacation, getting a change of scenery. Sid and Nancy’s intervention is just the little push that he needs. It’s fun to play the character at that moment in time.”

When it comes to the actual singing, Tennekoon particularly appreciates the way the accompaniment and the vocal lines work. “Britten is an interesting composer to approach because a lot of the time you have something totally different in the orchestra and the vocal line. In a weird way, it’s great to see how the two come together.”

Williams adds, “The composer has an amazing gift for setting text rhythmically exactly the way you would speak it. No one is going to need supertitles, just because of how well he sets it.”

Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, in the intimate Buskirk-Chumley Theater, will be conducted by Arthur Fagen. Stage direction is by James Marvel.

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search Arts and Music

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media Arts & Music:

Recent Classical Music Stories

Classical Music Events RSS icon

More Events »Submit Your Event »

Arts & Music is on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

This Week on Harmonia Early Music

Down On The Farm

chicken

We’re throwing open the barn doors with music inspired by sheep, cats, chickens—even the frogs down by the creek.

Read more »

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

More from Harmonia »

This Week on Poets Weave

Photograph: Father And Grandfather Fishing The Pier…

fishing for perch

O'Neill reads "Anniversary Poem for Ann," "Tectonic of Love," "Photograph: Father and Grandfather Fishing the Pier at Michigan City, and "One Month After."

Read more »

The Poets Weave is a weekly five-minute program of poetry reading hosted by local poet Christopher Citro.

More from The Poets Weave »

This Week on Earth Eats

Christine Tailer’s DIY Country Life

erecting wind power tower

At Straight Creek Valley Farm, living "off-the-grid" doesn't mean doing without creature comforts like cell phones and Keurig coffee.

Read more »

Earth Eats is a podcast, radio program and blog of the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

More from Earth Eats »

This Week on Focus on Flowers

My Dear Magnolia Virginiana

magnolia virginiana

Sweetbay Magnolia flowers have a citrusy fragrance that makes me want to sniff them whenever I am nearby.

Read more »

Focus on Flowers is a weekly program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

More from Focus on Flowers »