September 2016
Dominick Argento/Hector Berlioz's

Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night/The Death of Cleopatra

The Harmonie Club


Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night
Libretto by John Olon-Scrymgeour, based on the character from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Hector Berlioz’s La Mort de Cléopâtre (The Death of Cleopatra)

Text by Pierre-Ange Vieillard

On Site Opera presents Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and Hector Berlioz’s La Mort de Cléopâtre (The Death of Cleopatra) in the grand ballroom at The Harmonie Club. The evening stars soprano Leah Partridge as Miss Havisham and mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert as Cleopatra and features the string quintet SYBARITE5 at the center of a chamber orchestra. Conducted by OSO’s Music Director, Geoffrey McDonald, and directed by the company’s General & Artistic Director, Eric Einhorn, the site-specific production features lighting design by Shawn Kaufman and costume design by Fay Leshner. OSO invites audiences to join as Miss Havisham’s wedding guests for the evening – there’s champagne and cake for all!

About The Harmonie Club

As one of the city’s earliest and most prestigious clubs, Harmonie is truly a New York institution. Founded in 1852, Harmonie’s ranks include the most prominent leaders and achievers in the most significant fields and walks of life. Beyond their primary occupations, however, members are recognized for their active participation in cultural, civic, social and charitable causes. The Harmonie Club’s elegant Stanford White designed clubhouse provides an oasis in the center of Manhattan for members and their guests.

4 E 60th St New York, NY 10022
  • I would not have wanted to hear either opera anywhere else….without that separation from the audience, Partridge and Gaissert leveraged the closeness, relying on the transparency of their characters’ damaged psyches, indulging in murmured pianissimos and quick turns that might get lost in a bigger house. The result was both lavish and intimate.

    NY Magazine
  • There was the gobsmacking experience of having the performers right there at one’s elbow, inches away – Cleopatra’s gown wafting against your shoulder as she passed, Miss Havisham’s old lace perfuming the air as her doleful countenance met yours in a transfixing intimacy. And, above all, there was the sound!

    La Scena Musicale
  • The breaking down of the audience-singer barrier is a critical element in eliminating some of the boundaries necessary for a new generation of fans to come into the opera fold…It’s right here in front of me, intimate, visceral. Which is what opera is supposed to be.

    Schleppy Nabuccos
  • Both singers were of the utmost refinement, not to mention impeccably made up and dressed, and the space was truly next level. Eric Einhorn’s direction was solid and made a good use of the space. In a stroke of genius, towards the end of Miss Havisham’s delirious performance, he had Cleopatra come back in and have tea with the the crazy bride, almost as if the Egyptian queen was one of the many hallucinations of a disturbed mind.

    Allegri con Fuoco
  • Music Director Geoffrey McDonald handles his chamber orchestra with incomparable skill. He was fortunate to have the string quintet known as “Sybarites” augmented by seven winds, percussion, harp and piano, performing the score to Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night the 1979 monodrama by Dominick Argento.  The orchestration was quite interesting with growling bass and profuse employment of percussion.

    Voce di Meche
  • On Site Opera likes to match the subject of an opera with its production location. Its most recent production of two monodramas by Dominick Argento and Hector Berlioz took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Harmonie Club. Queen Victoria would have liked it, and Prince Charles and Camilla would fit right in.

    Berkshire Fine Arts
  • Eric Einhorn possesses finely honed directorial skills and exquisite taste. There is never a lapse of dramatic honesty and urgency.

    Voce di Meche

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