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The Pearl Fishers

September 19, 2005

  • date
    September 19, 2005
  • article type
    Press
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

The Pearl Fishers

Charlotte, NC (September 19, 2005) - The Opera Carolina 2005-06 season opens with the Charlotte premiere performance of The Pearl Fishers, by Georges Bizet. It's a season of great women, great characters, and great music, and it's time to launch into the perfect first offering. Join Opera Carolina as Leila, the island of Ceylon's veiled priestess sets a course of yearning, sacrifice, destruction, and forgiveness that will change the island and its inhabitants forever.

Great Women: Jennifer Welch Babidge makes her Opera Carolina debut as Leila. A North Carolina native, Ms. Welch-Babidge performs regularly with the nation's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera.

Great Characters: On the shores of ancient Sri Lanka, two friends, once in love with the same girl, restore their brotherly bond and renounce their heart's desire. Their beloved, in turn, renounces love. But fate, more powerful than all temporal vows, intervenes to reunite the three childhood sweethearts with fatal results.

Great Music: Bizet found his first critical success with this 1863 lyric opera, featuring the haunting Je crois entendre encore and the famous Pearl Fishers duet, Au fond du temple saint. Don't miss this rarely performed and often-requested gem, no less engaging than Bizet's powerhouse favorite, Carmen.

The Pearl Fishers is on stage for three days only, opening Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 pm, with performances also on Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, October 23 at 2:00 pm in the Belk Theater at the North Carolina Performing Arts Center. All performances feature easy-to-read projected English titles, the Opera Carolina Chorus, choreography by The Moving Poets and orchestra by the The Charlotte Symphony. Individual tickets are on sale from $15-$92.

The performance of The Pearl Fishers is a first appearance in Charlotte and an exceptional team creates the 2005 premiere production. Conducted by James Meena, and stage directed by Stephanie Sundine, this production features several excellent artists. Metropolitan Opera artist Jennifer Welch Babidge, Leïla, makes her debut with Opera Carolina; Fernando de la Mora, Metropolitan Opera, as Nadir; and Luiz Ottavio, Seattle Opera, as Faria. Full cast listing and bios are available at: www.operacarolina.org/pearl.asp.

This production is made possible by the presenting sponsors Marjorie and Bob McDorman and supporting sponsor Goodrich Corporation.

To download images of this production please go to: www.operacarolina.org/2005/photos/media.asp. Current images available include: production photos, artists' headshots, and the Opera Carolina logo.

COMMUNITY PREVIEWS

Audiences are invited and encouraged to attend a free "Know Before You Go" opera preview at one of these locations: Borders Books & Music Café at Stonecrest, Sunday, October 9 at 2:00 pm, Borders Books & Music Café at Southpark, Sunday, October 16 at 2:00 pm and Davidson College Recital Hall Wednesday, October 19 at 12:00 pm. Previews are also held prior to each performance in the Mezzanine Lobby. Call 704-332-7177 x209 for directions or questions. In order to appreciate our multi-dimensional and elaborate performances, we encourage both newcomers and opera aficionados alike to attend our community previews and visit our website, www.operacarolina.org.

PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION

All performances are in the Belk Theater of the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 130 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte, and feature easy-to-read English titles projected above the stage. Thursday performances are at 7:30 pm, Saturday performances are at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances are at 2:00 p.m. Individual tickets from $15 - $92 are on sale at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 704-372-1000, or online at operacarolina.org. The Box Office is located in Founders Hall in the Bank of America Corporate Center and is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Half-hour complimentary parking is available to Box Office customers in the Bank of America Parking Garage on College Street.

Student and Group discount ticket prices are available. (For group arrangements, call 704-332-7177 x210). Full-time student offer: Student rush, one hour prior to curtain all remaining seats in the house are $10 or a student can purchase a seat anywhere, anytime for 10% off retail ticket price.

OPERA CAROLINA'S HISTORY AND MISSION

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $2.8 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire and entertain the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, 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 the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc. The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, also supports Opera Carolina. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.