The summer of 1977 was a busy one, and hardly homogeneous. It ranged from the American premiere of Busoni’s Doktor Faust to an exciting production of a 17th-century rarity (Cavalli’s L’egisto), and it also included concert performance of The Merry Widow and a four-performance run of Hansel and Gretel that played to full houses of enthusiastic families.
The Wolf Trap Opera Company was under the artistic direction of Christopher Hunt, and it continued to increasingly feature its young artists in leading roles, moving gently and steadily away from the original apprentice structure of the early 70’s. At that time, there was no two-season maximum for young artist participation (yes, I hear some of you… bring back those days! :)). Because of that, there seemed to be a small group of singers who spent a large chunk of their early careers at Wolf Trap – 3 of 4 seasons each throughout the 70’s for Carmen Balthrop, Donnie Ray Albert, Janice Hall, James Maddelena, Neil Rosenshein, Robert Orth, Judith Christin, and Allan Glassman. They were part of a generation of singers that grew up along with us, and it’s exciting to revisit their Wolf Trap beginnings.
Members of the 1977 Wolf Trap Opera Company
Donnie Ray Albert