Louis Karchin Opera "Jane Eyre" to be Released on Naxos, August 9

Naxos announces the release on August 9 of Louis Karchin's highly acclaimed Jane Eyre, a full-length opera in three acts with a libretto by Diane Osen, based on Charlotte Brontë's novel. The world premiere staging of Jane Eyre took place in the Fall of 2016 at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City, under the auspices of the Center for Contemporary Opera.

The Naxos release (cat# 8669042-43) features all the singers from the original production, who bring an intense emotional depth to the recording, having been able to develop the dramatic impact of their roles on stage. Singers include soprano Jennifer Zetlan as Jane and tenor Ryan MacPherson as Rochester, who have performed on some of the most acclaimed stages in the world. Notably, Ms. Zetlan was featured in the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys at The Metropolitan Opera, and Mr. MacPherson has appeared extensively in leading roles with New York City Opera.

Also featured in the cast are soprano Katrina Thurman (Blanche Ingram) and baritone Thomas Meglioranza (Roderick Ingram/St. John Rivers), two singers long associated with Mr. Karchin’s music who participated in the cast of his previous opera, Romulus. Ms. Thurman and Mr. Meglioranza perform roles in Jane Eyre written expressly for them. All the singers from the original production are featured in the recording and bring to their roles the same intense emotional depth that distinguished their performances on stage.

The Orchestra of the League of Composers (OLC) provides the instrumental accompaniment on the recording. The Orchestra is devoted to contemporary music and known for performing the newest music of our time under the auspices of its parent organization, the League-ISCM. The New York Times has praised its “polished performances” and “boundary-erasing spirit,” making it a natural fit for this project.

The double CD is one of the very few composer-led recordings of a full-length opera by an American composer. It was recorded in dedicated sessions at Theatre C of SUNY Purchase over three days in September 2017. The recording was produced and digitally edited by Marlan Barry and runs 130 minutes. The full cast includes nine singers (performing 13 roles), a female chorus, and an orchestra of 36 musicians.