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Opera Carolina announces 2014/15 season, sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank

April 01, 2014

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    April 01, 2014
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina announces 2014/15 season, sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank

Charlotte, N.C., (April 1, 2014)Opera Carolina announces its 2014/15 season, made possible by a generous sponsorship from Wells Fargo Private Bank.

 “We are again grateful for Wells Fargo’s loyalty to the arts in our community, and humbled by their generous support of our mission. Because of their partnership, we are able to bring to Charlotte spectacular productions starring world-class Opera artists,” said James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina.

The season begins with the company’s second installment of Art • Poetry • Music, on September 13, 2014 at the Knight Theater. The evening is in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University and the Asian Herald, bringing together the Asian and Western cultures in an eclectic evening of visual art works fused with the spoken word, Opera arias and traditional Korean and Chinese music. 

Opera Carolina opens its mainstage season at the Belk Theater with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco on October 18, 23, and 26 starring Metropolitan Opera baritone Gordon Hawkins in the title role. Joining Gordon is the magnificent Metropolitan Opera soprano Brenda Harris, who makes her long-awaited Opera Carolina debut.  Nabucco is in collaboration with Lyric Opera House in Baltimore.

Opera Carolina’s five-year Puccini cycle continues with Turandot on January 24 and 29, and February 1. The Metropolitan Opera’s leading tenor Marcello Giordani makes his Opera Carolina debut as Calaf. The cast also includes two artists who thrilled Charlotte audiences in past productions: Opéra de Montréal soprano Othalie Graham (Aida, 2013) and Dina Kuznetsova (Eugene Onegin, 2012).

The season comes to a dramatic conclusion with Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on April 11, 16 and 19, and features three of the Opera world’s most exciting rising stars. Hyung Yun, Metropolitan Opera baritone and native of Seoul, South Korea, returns to the Opera Carolina stage, and is joined by acclaimed soprano Kathryn Lewek as Lucia and American tenor Zach Borichevsky as Edgardo.

Opera Carolina production and program sponsors include Bank of America, Levine Cancer Institute, The Hearst Corporation and The Hearst Foundations.

All mainstage performances are at the Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Season subscriptions are now on sale at 704.332.7177, ext. 1. Single tickets go on sale August 1, 2014 through the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 704.372.1000, or visit www.operacarolina.org. Season tickets begin at $87 and single tickets start as low as $19. Single tickets for Art • Poetry • Music, also available on August 1 by calling 704.372.1000, are $40 and include a post-concert reception. Season subscribers receive a 50 percent discount.

Opera Carolina provides significant discounts for subscribers, as well as the new Youth Discount to encourage adults to bring young people to the Opera, plus Student Rush tickets, and Group Discounts.

About the Operas

Note to editors: For photography and complete cast biographies, please visit www.operacarolina.org/press.

 

Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi (co-production with Baltimore Opera)

October 18, 23 & 26, 2014

Like every other loving father before him, the formidable Nabucco is rendered powerless in the presence of his own daughter. Heaven’s favor comes at an exalted price for the King of Babylon and namesake of Verdi’s masterwork. Nabucco is based on the Book of Daniel. The opera premiered on March 9, 1842 at La Scala. The libretto is by Temistocle Solera, after the play Nabucodonosor (1836) by Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue.

The Assyrians led by Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), are attacking the holy city.  The terrified Hebrews pray for help before the Temple of Solomon.  Zaccaria, their high priest, tells them to have hope because they have captured Fenena, Nabucco's daughter.  Ismaele, the nephew of the king of Jerusalem, announces that Nabucco is upon them.  Zaccaria places Fenena under Ishmael's guard, and the others leave to face the charging invaders.

Cast and Artistic Team

Gordon Hawkins – Nabucco – (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

Brenda Harris – Abigaille – (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

Andrew Gangestad – Zaccaria – (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

Brian Arreola – Ishamele – (top credit, The Minnesota Opera)

Ola Rafalo – Fenena – (top credit, Palm Beach Opera)

 

Conductor: James Meena

Director: Bernard Uzan

 

Turandot by Giacomo Puccini

January 24 & 29, 2015; February 1, 2015

Foolishly believing she has escaped the grasp of love, Turandot stains Beijing’s Imperial Palace with a bloody reign. The arrival of the mysterious stranger who inspires her fall is as gloriously mesmerizing as she is ruthless. Turandot premiered at La Scala, Milan on Sunday, April 25, 1926, one year and five months after Puccini's death.

Turandot is considered the most mature and accomplished of all Puccini’s works. Written four years after Puccini’s masterpiece Il Trittico, Turandot is contemporaneous with woks such as Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Ferruccio Busoni’s Dr. Faustus; and draws from Maurice Ravel’s exquisite orchestral works, perhaps even his L’enfant et les Sortileges, all of which were premiered in 1925. 

Cast and Artistic Team

Othalie Graham – Turandot – (top credit, Opéra de Montréal)

Dina Kuznetsova – Liu – (top credit, Glyndebourne Festival)

Marcello Giordani – Calaf – (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

 

Conductor: James Meena

Director: Tom Diamond

 

Lucia Di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti (co-production with Toledo Opera)

April 11, 16 & 19, 2015

The distraught make for unpredictable pawns, and the blood on the hands of Lucia di Lammermoor makes for a love note like no other. Family ruin, backdoor deals, and political intrigue be damned, the whisper of love shall be heard. Lucia di Lammermoor premiered on September 26, 1835 by Teatro San Carlo, Naples. The libretto is by Salvatore Cammarano, after the novel The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott.

In a feud between the Scottish families of Ravenswood and Lammermoor, Enrico (Lord Henry Ashton of Lammermoor) has gained the upper hand over Edgardo (Edgar of Ravenswood), killing his kinsmen and taking over his estates. By the time of the opera's action, however, Enrico's fortunes have begun to wane. In political disfavor, he stakes all on uniting his family with that of Arturo (Lord Arthur Bucklaw), whom he means to force his sister, Lucia (Lucy Ashton), to marry.

Cast and Artistic Team

Kathryn Lewek – Lucia – (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

Hyung Yun – Enrico (top credit, Metropolitan Opera)

Zach Borichevsky – Edgardo – (top credit, Glyndebourne Festival)

 

Conductor: James Meena

Director: Bernard Uzan & Fenlon Lamb

 

About Opera Carolina

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, today Opera Carolina is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $2.9 million for the fiscal year 2014.  The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region’s diverse community through the presentation of Opera, Operetta, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.