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Knight Foundation hosts Opera Carolina’s Jan. 28th Madama Butterfly performance for first-time operagoers

November 28, 2011

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    November 28, 2011
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    Opera Carolina News

Knight Foundation hosts Opera Carolina’s Jan. 28th Madama Butterfly performance for first-time operagoers

Charlotte, N.C., (Nov. 28, 2011) – Never been to the Opera? The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Opera Carolina are collaborating to make it possible for first-time operagoers throughout greater Charlotte to have their first experience with live Grand Opera.

Knight Foundation has reserved all seats for the Jan. 28, 2012 performance of Opera Carolina’s new production of Madama Butterfly at the Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Anyone who has never attended an Opera Carolina performance is eligible to enter online (one entry per person) for a maximum of two free tickets at www.win.operacarolina.org starting Dec. 5 through Dec. 16.

Winners will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis, with tickets distributed in early January.

“Through a generous grant from Knight Foundation, newcomers will enjoy a unique evening reserved especially for them,” said James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina. “We are excited that so many in our community will have the opportunity to attend Madama Butterfly, one of the most popular operas of all time – and a perfect first-time experience.”

“Seeing Madama Butterfly is a wonderful reminder of how the arts can enrich our lives,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts. “We hope first time operagoers in Charlotte will take us up on our offer of a free seat and get a taste of all the opera has to offer.”

Opera Carolina’s new production of Puccini’s iconic masterpiece, Madama Butterfly, soars with its mélange of international stage presence and stunning artistic design.

A magnificent cast, featuring acclaimed Korean-American lyric soprano Yunah Lee in the title role of Cio-Cio-San, joined by Brazilian-born tenor Fernando Portari and Verdi baritone Todd Thomas, promises an evening of spellbinding vocal and acting talent alongside the breathtaking sets and costume design by Japanese-born sculptor turned opera designer Jun Kaneko.

Kaneko, whose art work is displayed in more than 40 museum collections including Charlotte’s Mint Museum, gives Madama Butterfly an avant-garde look without compromising Japanese history. Opera magazine hailed his designs as ‘visually daring while remaining true to the essence of the music and drama.’

Opera Carolina’s production of Madama Butterfly performs over two weekends: January 21, 26 and 29 at the Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. A 25 percent discount is available for season ticket holders, a 50 percent Youth Discount, plus $10 Student Rush tickets and various Group Discounts. For ticket information, call 704.372.1000 or visit www.operacarolina.org.

The 2011-2012 Season of Opera Carolina is underwritten by a generous sponsorship from Wells Fargo Private Bank. The Charlotte Observer is a media sponsor for the 2011-12 Season.
Note to editors: For photography and complete cast biographies, please visit www.operacarolina.org/press.

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 2012. 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 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.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org. For more on Knight Foundation’s arts program, visit KnightArts.org.