dateSeptember 16, 2013
categoryOpera Carolina News
Opera Carolina's 65th season opener is new production of Verdi's Aida on Oct. 19, 24 and 27 at Belk Theater
Charlotte, N.C., (Sept. 16, 2013) - Opera Carolina's 65th season, underwritten by a generous sponsorship from Wells Fargo Private Bank, celebrates the "architects" of love with grand operas from Verdi, Puccini and Wagner.
The season opener premieres a new production of Aida and celebrates masterful composer Giuseppe Verdi on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Aida has often been called the "grandest of the grand operas." A glorious and inspired 19th century drama about conflicting loyalties and dangerous desires, the opera features some of opera's most memorable music and pageantry - from spectacular arias and choruses to seductive choreography and staging.
Opera Carolina's Aida - performed on Oct. 19, 24 and 27 at the Belk Theater - showcases a supremely talented cast, with artists from the international stages of Canada, Italy, China and Russia in such illustrious theaters as Milan's La Scala, the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing and The Metropolitan Opera. For ticket information, call 704.372.1000 or visit www.operacarolina.org. A 25 percent discount is available for season ticket holders, a 50 percent Youth Discount, plus $10 Student Rush tickets and various Group Discounts.
Aida's illustrious cast features Canadian-American Opéra de Montréal soprano Othalie Graham as Aida; Russian-born Metropolitan Opera star mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura as Amneris, La Scala leading tenor Antonello Palombi as Radames, Metropolitan Opera star baritone Mark Rucker as Amonasro and Beijing Opera bass Sun Yu as The King. Bringing some local flavor to the international cast are 40 members of the Johnson C. Smith University choir who will sing in the Opera chorus in this production.
"This is a powerhouse cast with international panache," said James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina. "Along with this marvelous cast, our enhanced staging and visual projection designs add to the grandeur of this Verdi treasure."
Set in the Egyptian capital of Memphis during the time of the Pharaohs, Aida first premiered in December 1871 at the Opera House, Cairo.
In the war-torn sands of ancient Egypt, a bitter love triangle unfolds against a backdrop of cultural oppression. Ensnared in the tumult of choosing between her homeland and the enemy soldier who loves her, princess and slave Aida eventually finds herself in the cold embrace of a fate no one would wish upon their daughter. The masterful Verdi reminds us that love endures, even at the expense of all else.
Aida's pageantry envelops opera lovers with surging choruses, passionate arias and majestic orchestral music. Verdi skillfully balances the ceremonial pomp with the gravity of heartbreak.
Aida's talented cast is complimented by new scenery and technical staging that enlivens this classic, last performed in Charlotte in February 2008. Opera Carolina's production of Aida is directed by Brian Deedrick and conducted by James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina. Aida will be performed in Italian with English subtitles. The performance presenting sponsors for Aida are Levine Cancer Institute and The Hearst Corporation.
Opera Carolina's 2013/14 season continues with Puccini's Il Trittico, three one-act operas created for the Metropolitan Opera, on January 18, 23 and 26. Passion and intrigue swirl as a seamless evening unfolds with Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi starring Washington National Opera soprano Jill Gardner; Chinese born Welsh National Opera baritone Chen-Ye Yuan; and Korean born Royal Opera Covent Garden tenor Dongwon Shin.
The season concludes with Wagner's haunting tale of love on the high seas, The Flying Dutchman, on March 22, 27 and 30. The cast features Metropolitan Opera tenor and N.C. native Anthony Dean Griffey, Metropolitan bass-baritone Greer Grimsley and Seattle Opera soprano Elizabeth Kataria.
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 excellent 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.
Opera Carolina is supported by individuals and corporations throughout the region Opera Carolina is also supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.