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Opera Carolina Announces New Season

September 04, 2007

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    September 04, 2007
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina Announces New Season

CHARLOTTE — Opera Carolina presents a season of impassioned repertoire that explores the comic and tragic sides of love.

All four mainstage productions will be presented in the Belk Theater in the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and will feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

n Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod — Oct. 18, 20-21. Sung in French with projected English titles.

Opera Carolina brings one of the most famous love stories ever written to the stage. Led by director Jay Lesenger and conductor James Meena, the tragic tale of doomed love features two new artists to Opera Carolina's stage: Gaston Rivero, the 2007 winner of the Mrs. Edgar Tobin Award from the Tobin Foundation, and Sari Gruber, a burgeoning young soprano recently awarded first place at the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation International Voice Competition, who will appear as Romeo and Juliette.

* Aida by Giuseppe Verdi — Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2-3. Sung in Italian with projected English titles.

She would give anything for freedom-except love. She was a princess of Ethiopia, captured and forced into slavery in Egypt. Her captor, Radames, was an Egyptian commander, torn between his love for the slave and his duty to his pharaoh. Together, Aida and Radames would find freedom, but only by paying the ultimate price.

After a ten-year absence from the Opera Carolina stage, Aida returns to Charlotte. Sopranos Susan Patterson and Oksana Krovytska, winner of New York City Opera's "Diva Award," will appear in their Opera Carolina debuts sharing the title role, joined by nationally acclaimed tenors Antonio Nagore and Tonio di Paolo as Radames.

* Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — March 27, 29-30. Sung in Italian with projected English titles.

He was known as the world's greatest seducer, as elusive as his amorous conquests were innumerable. But when he commits murder, even Don Juan's legendary charms cannot save him from a fiery fate. The licentious past and history of seduction that follow the reckless Don Giovanni, also known as Don Juan, are comically brought to judgment in one of Mozart's operatic masterpieces.

The production will be directed by Chad Calvert, resident stage director, and conducted by Robert Lyall, artistic director of the New Orleans Opera and Opera Grand Rapids.

Opera Carolina's production of Don Giovanni introduces bass-baritone Kris Irmiter as Don Giovanni and a promising young soprano, Caitlin Lynch, as Elvira. Soprano Inna Dukach (Margaret Garner), winner of the 2005 Liederknaz Competition, returns to the Opera Carolina stage as Donna Anna.

* Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II — May 1, 3-4. Sung in English with projected English titles.

They still love each other, but neither knows it. Unbeknownst to his wife Rosalinda, Gabriel von Eisenstein is sentenced to prison. Unbeknownst to Eisenstein, his wife is flirting with a local tenor. It takes a series of saucy masquerades to make them lovers once again.

In its first production since 1988, Die Fledermaus returns to the mainstage with its beloved philandering husband-and-wife duo. As they both unveil the other's immodesties, Eisenstein, Rosalinda, and their friends celebrate their reconciliation and the many masks of love.

Bill Fabris (The Pirates of Penzance) returns to Opera Carolina to direct Die Fledermaus along with Opera Carolina veterans: soprano Robin Follman (La Boheme) as Rosalinda and baritone Jeff Monette (La Traviata, Margaret Garner) as Frank.

* Amahl and the Night Visitors by Giancarlo Menotti — 7 p.m., Dec. 22, Halton Theater. Sung in English.

Opera Carolina's annual holiday favorite takes on a fresh, new look in December, moving to Halton Theater on the campus of CPCC in an expanded, production featuring new sets and costumes.

* Love Notes Valentine's Concert — 8 p.m., Feb. 16, 2008. Dana Auditorium, Queens University.

This intimate Valentine's evening will feature internationally acclaimed artists, accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, performing some of the world's greatest music. Then stay for a party with the artists after the show.

Featured artists Adriana Zabala (La Cenerentola), Mark Rucker (Macbeth, Il Trovatore), Olivia Gorra (Pagliacci, La Vida Breve), Todd Geer (Pagliacci), and Israel Lozano (La Vida Breve) will present the best of opera, operetta, and Broadway favorites. The evening will conclude with cocktails and dancing with the artists.

Opera Carolina presenting sponsors are Marjorie and Bob McDorman, Time Warner Cable, The Hearst Corporation and Donald Haack Diamonds.

Season tickets are available now, ranging from $49-$330. Flex subscriptions, which allow you to pick your own 2- or 3-opera package, are also on sale starting at $29. Single tickets range from $15-$95. Tickets may be ordered by calling 704-335-1010 or online at www.operacarolina.org.

Salisbury Post