Opera Carolina Presents La Traviata
Verdi's Timeless Story Sets the Stage for February Romance
Posted: Monday, January 3rd
Press Contact: James Meena
Charlotte, N.C., (Jan. 3. 2011) - Opera Carolina presents Verdi's La Traviata, one of the world's greatest operas. The timeless and poignant tale of a Parisian courtesan who is redeemed by true love and sacrifice, features irresistible melodies and a heartbreaking drama of love, passion and betrayal that remains a classic, retold and popularized through time. La Traviata has been adapted for the silver screen in the classic Camille starring Greta Garbo, plus contemporary films like Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge.
The three performances at the Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center are: Thurs., Feb. 3 - 7:30 p.m. / Sat., Feb. 5 - 8 p.m. / Sun., Feb. 6 - 2 p.m. For tickets, call 704.372.1000 or purchase online at www.operacarolina.org. Single ticket prices begin at $16.
La Traviata tells the story of a Parisian courtesan who surrenders to true love. Based on the real-life romance of Alexandre Dumas, the son of the famous author of The Three Musketeers, and the alluring Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis, La Traviata spotlights Paris' most illustrious femme fatale, Violetta Valéry, a beautiful but frail woman who leaves her destructive life to live with her first real love, Alfredo Germont. But social bias and Violetta's failing health intervene, turning love to tragedy and remorse as Alfredo's father sabotages the relationship.
The Opera Carolina production of La Traviata brings to the stage an impressive cast of artists that includes the stunning and gifted American soprano Jennifer Black as Violetta Valéry in her Opera Carolina debut; internationally acclaimed tenor Jonathan Boyd as Alfredo Germont returning to Opera Carolina following his performance in Margaret Garner; and Metropolitan Opera baritone Mark Rucker as Giorgio Germont, who also returns to Opera Carolina following his moving performances as MacBeth in 2005.
About La Traviata (the fallen woman)
Premiering in Venice in 1853, La Traviata was scandalous for its time because of the cross-class romance and contemporary dress of the performers. But time has judged the opera as one of Verdi's greatest works, the third of his famous triumvirate of operas (Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La Traviata) from an extraordinarily creative period in his long and productive life. La Traviata remains a touching story that resonates and mesmerizes audiences even today.
La Traviata will be conducted by Metropolitan Opera conductor Joel Revzen, and directed by Kay Walker Castaldo. It will be performed in the original Italian language with English titles projected above the stage. The lavish and traditional production is by Zach Brown, whose credits include the Metropolitan Opera, the Washington National Opera, and Lyric Opera Chicago.
Note to editors: For photography and complete cast biographies, please visit www.operacarolina.org/press.
About the Cast
Jennifer Black (Violetta Valéry) A promising lyric soprano who is making important debuts in her young career, Jennifer Black is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and completed the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Program in 2008. Her recent debuts include Santa Fe Opera performances as Micäela in Carmen in 2006, as Mimi in La Bohème in 2007 and as Adina in The Elixir of Love in 2009. With the New York City Opera, she made her company debut as Musetta in La Bohème in 2006, and returned as Micäela in Carmen in 2007.
Black was recently awarded a 2008 Opera Index Award, a 2007 George London/Leonie Rysanek Award and received second place in the 2007 Loren L. Zachary Society Competition. She was also a 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards finalist, a recipient of a 2005 Sullivan Grant, and a finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition, the Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition, the Connecticut Opera Guild, and the MacAllister Awards.
Jonathan Boyd (Alfredo Germont) Tenor Jonathan Boyd has performed in opera and oratorio throughout Europe, North America and South America, where his recent company debuts include Opéra de Nice and Opéra de Toulon as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Teatro Colón in a live television broadcast as Werther; Opera Faber in Portugal as Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress; Dallas Opera as Narraboth in Salome; Utah Opera, Nashville Opera and Michigan Opera Theater as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette; Opera Royal de Wallonie in Belgium as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni; Le Grand Théâtre de Limoges as Fenton in Falstaff; Portland Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Festival Lyrique-en-mer de Belle Île as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte; as well as his role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with Akouna, Opéra en plein air in France.
Boyd has an extensive repertoire in 20th century operas including Michigan Opera Theatre's world premiere of Margaret Garner as George Hancock, and New York City Opera's productions of Mother of Us All and Central Park. Composer Lee Hoiby personally chose Mr. Boyd for the role of Romeo in his opera Romeo and Juliet, which he subsequently sang in the semi-staged performances at the Opera America convention in Vancouver, as well as with New York City Opera, Stamford Symphony in Connecticut, and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. In Santa Fe Opera's production of A Dream Play, he received an award from the National Federation of Music Club for his accomplishments.
Mark Rucker (Giorgio Germont) Baritone Mark Rucker performs to high praise throughout North and South America, as well as in Europe and Asia. New York Magazine noted "this exceptional but as yet uncelebrated baritone rejoices in a lean, spinning, perfectly focused tone of unfailing natural beauty and vibrancy, while his grasp of Verdi style and phrasing is all but complete."
The Chicago native first appeared on the scene when he sang Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera with Luciano Pavarotti for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Rucker was seen not only in this production in Philadelphia but also in the PBS telecast later that season.
On the concert stage, Rucker has appeared as guest soloist in Walton's Belshazzar's Feast with the Baltimore Symphony under the baton of Stefan Sanderling, has appeared also as guest soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Los Angeles Civic Orchestra, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. His concert repertoire includes Mendelssohn's Elijah, Noah in Britten's Noye's Fludde, Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem, and Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ.
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 $2.5 million for the fiscal year 2011. 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.
Opera Carolina is supported by individuals and corporations throughout the region. Opera Carolina is also supported, in part, with operating support from the Arts & Science Council. Additional support is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.
The final performance of Opera Carolina's 2010/2011 Season will be Gilbert & Sullivan's lighthearted classic operetta HMS Pinafore on May 12, 14 & 15, 2011.
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