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Opera Carolina to bring back 'Aida'

April 19, 2007

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    April 19, 2007
  • article type
    Press
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina to bring back 'Aida'

Forget Broadway's "Aida" and go to the source. The original "Aida," Giuseppe Verdi's ancient-Egypt extravaganza, will get its first Charlotte performances in a decade during Opera Carolina's 2007-08 season.

The season, announced by Opera Carolina last week, will open in October with Charles Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet." Verdi's "Aida," which sets another doomed pair of lovers in a grandiose setting of wartime spectacle, will follow in January.

Putting faith in its popularity, the company has scheduled "Aida" for four performances rather than the typical three.

Opera's womanizing anti-hero, Don Juan, will resume his misadventures in March when the company presents Mozart's "Don Giovanni." The season will end with a more jovial tale of skirt-chasing: "Die Fledermaus," Johann Strauss' comedy about a man who's tricked into pursuing his own wife.

The annual holiday staging of Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night" will undergo an expansion. New sets and costumes will suit its move to a larger venue, the Halton Theatre at Central Piedmont Community College.

The company will celebrate Valentine's Day with a one-night concert of opera and Broadway music. The Feb. 16 concert will bring back several singers who have headlined in recent Opera Carolina productions -- including tenor Todd Geer, who played the heartbroken clown in "Pagliacci" in January, and baritone Mark Rucker, star of the 2004 staging of Verdi's "Macbeth."

Opera Carolina's 2007-2008 season

Unless noted, performances are in the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The schedule:

"Romeo and Juliet" by Charles Gounod: Oct. 18, 20, 21.

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Gian Carlo Menotti: Dec. 22 at the Halton Theater, CPCC.

"Aida" by Giuseppe Verdi: Jan. 31 and Feb. 1-3.

"Love Notes" Valentine's Day concert: Feb. 16 at Dana Auditorium, Queens University of Charlotte.

"Don Giovanni" by Mozart: March 27, 29, 30.

"Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss: May 1, 3, 4.

Season tickets are $49 to $330. Two- or three-operas packages begin at $29. Single tickets, $15-$95, will go on sale July 30. Details: 704-335-1010; www.operacarolina.org.

STEVEN BROWN
sbrown@charlotteobserver.com