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Doylestown composer’s opera featured at Carnegie Hall


A concert performance of scenes from “Elegy for a Prince,” an opera with a score by Doylestown composer Sergio Cervetti and libretto by Warrington poet Elizabeth Esris, will be featured as part of Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Singers International New York (DCINY) at Carnegie Hall at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Miran Vaupotić will conduct.

Four characters from the opera are represented in the concert.

“Elegy for a Prince” premiered in excerpts in 2007 when it was chosen by New York City Opera to be part of the VOX Opera Showcase of American Composers

The opera is adapted from “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde, a fairy tale. In the opera, the main characters – a swallow and a statue of a prince – are developed beyond the original tale to create a complex story that resonates with today’s reality. It asks the audience to take a leap of faith.

There is a glittering statue of the Prince on stage, but he is also a human figure who sees poverty and suffering from his position overlooking the town. Likewise, Swallow is seen at times as a bird, but he is sometimes seen as a young vagabond of exotic origins who is suspect in the eyes of the townspeople because he is different.

The genesis for “Elegy for a Prince” was a shared love of the Oscar Wilde tale, which the composer and librettist had read as children,Cervetti in his native Uruguay and Esris in her hometown of Philadelphia. “After completing “Elegy for a Prince,” they collaborated on “Yum!” an opera in one act about wine, food, and friendship.

Cervetti, who earlier in his career won the Caracas Festival Prize for composition and the Gaudeamus Prize, has composed over 150 works for orchestra, voice, chamber ensemble, dance and film.

Cervetti taught at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for 25 years before moving to Doylestown in 1997.

Visit for a catalogue of recordings.