Antiphony 2006

 Antiphony 

grasshopper playing fiddle

Music by Graham Preskett 
Book and Lyrics by John Kane 
Direction by David Bass, David Cash & David Sandberg 
Choreography by Deborah Mason

an.tiph.o.ny 
I.P.A. for prononication of antiphony 
n : responsive alternation between two groups especially of singers

Our 2006 production, Antiphony was performed April 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th (3pm and 7pm on Saturdays, 2pm and 6pm on Sundays), at the King Open School, 850 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cast/performance dates

 

About the Show

Antiphony is an uplifting, inspirational, and funny show for the whole family featuring some industrious ants, a scheming fly, and a fiddling grasshopper who all have a lot to learn about what makes life worth living. The opera is full of catchy tunes written in a variety of accessible musical styles.

Commissioned and performed in 1994 by W11 (West Eleven) Opera for Young People in London, the show was a huge success. North Cambridge Family Opera Company performed the North American premiere of this show in 2002.

Below, read the synopsis, see photos from our performances, and listen to each of two casts singing (All photos copyright © 2006 by Jonathan Chomitz).  You can also hear recordings of our 2002 performances of Antiphony here.

 

Green Cast, starring Will Osborn, Reina Bass, Lonnie Bass, Miriam Beit-Aharon, Louise Ambler Osborn, Jamie Redgrave, and Ian Morse
(works with high speed internet connection)
Yellow Cast, starring Ilana Sandberg, Lilly Sandberg, Nate Burket, Devorah Dichter, Erica Schultz, Cindy Kaplan, and Tom Hamill
(works with any speed internet connection)



In the pre-dawn darkness, moths dance by moonlight.

See Julia Leonardos, Maddy Leonardos, Alanna Logan, Taylor Pacheco and Caroline Workman perform Dance of the Moths See Reina Bass, Julia Leonardos, Maddy Leonardos, Alanna Logan, Taylor Pacheco, Anna Workman and Caroline Workman perform Dance of the Moths

At Centipede Central Station, a depot for the commuter rail to Ant Colony Junction, Worker Ants somberly greet each other and complain of the monotony of their lives. Their despair deepens when the train is canceled, and they are forced to walk. 

Show 6 Morning
Watch Morning, sung by the Worker Ant chorus with solos by Elisabeth Brown, Anna Antoniadis, Anna Workman, Erica Jaquith, Ben Chomitz and Alexandra Burns
Watch Morning, sung by the Worker Ant chorus with solos by Channa-Sophie Vester, Livie Keane, Brittany Banks-Bradshaw, Lestra Atlas, Sophie Cash and Jill Netchinsky

Two minstrel grasshoppers, Gaspard and Cigale, serenade the ants with a tune so joyful and catchy that the ants are soon cheerfully singing along. The ants all dance merrily off to work, but no one donates even one coin to the grasshoppers. 

Show 6 Morning
Watch I Got a Song, with Will Osborn as Gaspard, Reina Bass as Cigale, solos by Menli McCreight, Anna Gupta, Norah Redgrave, and Lonnie Bass as The Fly Watch I Got a Song, with Ilana Sandberg as Gaspard, Lilly Sandberg as Cigale, solos by Jonah Toussaint, Meital Goldberg, Sophie Engleman, and Nate Burket as The Fly

At the Worker Ant Colony, the Foreman (a Dung Beetle) and the other middle managers are distressed by the absence of the workers. 

Show 6 Morning
Watch Disaster performed by the Management Committee, with Ian Morse as the Foreman Watch Disaster performed by the Management Committee, with Tom Hamill as the Foreman

When the Worker Queen arrives with her entourage to inspect the work force, they are dismayed by the indifference to the royal family implied by the absence of the Queen's subjects. 

Watch Morning Baroque, with Louise Ambler Osborn as the Worker Queen and solos by Lucy Farnsworth, Talis Thorndike Love and Mary Wixted Watch Morning Baroque, with Erica Schultz as the Worker Queen and solos by Charlotte Barton, Hannah Breslau and Liz Miller

Just then, the worker ants arrive, still singing happily, and begin to work. The Foreman orders them to be silent, but the Worker Queen overrules him and allows the workers to sing.

Watch I Got a Song 2 Watch I Got a Song 2

Productivity skyrockets, and the workers ask that Gaspard and Cigale be retained to provide continued inspiration. The Queen hires the grasshoppers at a modest wage. 

Watch They're Faster, solos by Lucy Farnsworth, Talis Thorndike Love, Mary Wixted and Susan Fendell Watch They're Faster, solos by Charlotte Barton, Hannah Breslau, Liz  Miller and Alyssa Berkson

These events have been observed silently by a Fly on the wall, who believes the grasshoppers' motivational talents could be marketed lucratively to the neighboring Warrior Ant Colony.

Watch Fly 1, solo by Lonnie Bass Watch Fly 1, solo by Nate Burket

The soldier ants there are well trained but cowardly.

   
Watch Our Heart Isn't in It, sung by the Soldier Ant chorus, with solos by Evan Simkowitz, Nathan Chun, Lise Stern and Molly Day Watch Our Heart Isn't in It, sung by the Soldier Ant chorus, with solos by Emma Rybeck, Ted Rybeck, Chloe Adler and Stella Plenk

The Soldier Ants' spinelessness frustrates their ill-tempered Warrior Queen and her War Cabinet, a collection of old fogies which includes a Stag Beetle (the Brigadier) and a Wasp.  The Fly suggests hiring Gaspard and Cigale away from the Worker Ant Colony to motivate the troops. The Queen agrees to pay top dollar for the grasshoppers' services.

   
Watch I'm a Queen, with Miriam Beit-Aharon as the Warrior Queen and solos by Sam Bozeman, Rajani Flanders and Eva DiIanni-Miller Watch I'm a Queen, with Devorah Dichter as the Warrior Queen and solos by Tommy Moriarty and Rajani Flanders

Meanwhile, the mood at the Worker Ant Colony is idyllic, as the singing workers serenely work their abdominal body segments off.

   
Watch Fun Filled Life  Watch Fun Filled Life

The two Grasshoppers are also blissfully contented.

   
Watch You and Me Make One  Watch You and Me Make One

The Foreman announces that more than enough food has been stockpiled for the winter ahead. The Worker Queen releases the workers from their tasks and declares National Grasshopper Day. All the worker ants and the managers celebrate.

Watch Wonderful News Watch Wonderful News 

The Fly tries to recruit Gaspard and Cigale to the Warrior Ant Colony, offering fame and riches instead of just gratitude.

Watch Fame Watch Fame

Gaspard is intrigued, but Cigale is repulsed by the Fly's proposal and runs off with Gaspard's violin in an effort to keep him from going.

Watch You're Not Going Watch You're Not Going

The Fly brings out a group of flirtatious ladybugs, led by the alluring Miss Tique, who seduce Gaspard into signing the Fly's contract.

Watch We Love You, with Jamie Redgrave as Miss Tique Watch We Love You, with Cindy Kaplan as Miss Tique

The Fly introduces Gaspard to the War Cabinet, and the grasshopper sings for them a gentle song of contentment and peace.  The Brigadier and Wasp, who were expecting Gaspard to incite violence instead, are furious at the Fly and Gaspard and expel them.

Watch The Interview, sung by Gaspard, The Fly and the War Cabinet, with solos by Sam Bozeman and Rajani Flanders Watch The Interview, sung by Gaspard, The Fly and the War Cabinet, with solos by Tommy Moriarty and Rajani Flanders

The War Cabinet is terrified of the Warrior Queen's reaction.

Watch Disaster 2 Watch Disaster 2

While the the War Cabinet are making their excuses to the Warrior Queen, Gaspard reappears in black leather with an electric guitar, backed up by the ladybugs dressed as punks. Gaspard sings of savagery and hatred, and the soldier ants are worked into a war frenzy, to the delight of the Warrior Queen.

Watch We Want War Watch We Want War

Cigale, still clutching Gaspard's violin, sings of missing him.

Watch Hardly at All Watch Hardly at All

The Worker Queen comforts Cigale. The royal entourage bursts in to announce that soldiers from the Warrior Ant Colony are attacking the Worker Ant Colony.

Watch Disaster 3, solos by Kiraleah Page Fendell and Nancy Chomitz Watch Disaster 3, solos by Eliza Klein and Julia Burket
 

Cigale resolves to find Gaspard and dissuade him from helping in the attack.

Watch Hardly at All 2 Watch Hardly at All 2

Gaspard, the Fly, and the ladybugs are now very wealthy and enjoying all of life's fineries.

Watch Living in Luxury's Lap Watch Living in Luxury's Lap

The War Cabinet, although pleased with Gaspard and the ladybugs, see the Fly as a parasite and expel him from the Warrior Ant Colony.

Watch Bye Fly Watch Bye Fly 

Cigale enters and tries to convince Gaspard not to incite violence with his music, but the Warrior Queen has Cigale arrested and threatens to do away with Cigale unless Gaspard continues to inspire mayhem.

Watch Hardly at All 3 Watch Hardly at All 3

Gaspard reluctantly incites hostility.

Watch We Want War 2 Watch We Want War 2 

As her soldiers lay siege to the Worker Ant Colony, the Warrior Queen demands all of the Worker Colony's stores. The Worker Queen offers to share, but not surrender, their abundance. This offer intrigues the soldiers, but the Warrior Queen rejects all compromise and orders an attack.

Watch The Superior Force Watch The Superior Force

The soldiers begin to lose their nerve, and the Warrior Queen commands Gaspard to motivate them.  Fearing for Cigale's safety, Gaspard complies, but suddenly Cigale appears beside the Worker Queen. The Fly has freed Cigale out of vengeance.

Watch Our Heart Isn't In It 2, solos by Ursula Murray-Bozeman, Emi Cepeda and Matthew Simkowitz, and Harry Porter on the drum Watch Our Heart Isn't In It 2, solos by Tessa Tracy, Kyia Jones and Noah Weisskopf 
 

Cigale throws Gaspard his violin, and he sings a positive, uplifting song which inspires peace and harmony among all the ants.

Watch Give Life a Chance Watch Give Life a Chance