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Opera Carolina to Open the Fall Season with New Benefit Gala Concert at Knight Theater

August 01, 2013

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    August 01, 2013
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina to Open the Fall Season with New Benefit Gala Concert at Knight Theater

Charlotte, N.C., (Aug. 1, 2013) - Opera Carolina, in partnership with the Confucius Institute, will open its fall season with a new Benefit Gala Concert. This inventive and engaging evening promises a little something for everyone - from arts and opera aficionados to the uninitiated - as it showcases some of opera's most popular music, performed by an internationally acclaimed and culturally diverse cast of opera stars under the baton of Opera Carolina's Maestro James Meena accompanied by the Charlotte Symphony.

Opera Carolina will present the concert, Art to Poetry to Music, at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 12 at the Knight Theater in uptown Charlotte. Tickets are just $40, with season subscribers receiving a 50 percent discount, and are available now by calling 704.372.1000 or at operacarolina.org.

"This is a unique collaboration through which we present artists from around the world in an exciting program of grand opera selections that celebrate the 2013/14 season theme, The Architects of Love, as well as traditional Korean and Chinese songs enhanced by live-feed traditional Chinese artwork and poetry from across the globe. This concert brings a 'taste of opera' that the opera lover and the newcomer will enjoy equally - with great music from Aida, Turandot, Das Rheingold, and much more," said James Meena, general director and principal conductor of Opera Carolina.

"We believe that the arts can be a welcoming place for people from across the community to come together and celebrate beauty and artistry. For this reason, our partners at the Confucius Institute, and our concert sponsors, Dr. Ki-hyun Chun and the Asian Herald, Mr. Jimmy Lee of Tide & Times, and the wonderful people with the Foundation for the Carolinas Community Catalyst Fund are helping us create an evening that will open the beautiful world of the Opera to diverse audiences from all segments of this great community."

The roster of guest artists includes North Carolina's own Victoria Livengood, the Metropolitan Opera star often dubbed the "Dixie Diva," who charmed Charlotte audiences with her performance in Eugene Onegin. She is joined by stunning soprano Jill Gardner, who returns to the Opera Carolina stage following her acclaimed performance as Tosca last season; African-American soprano Othalie Graham, widely acclaimed for her Turandot role in opera houses across the country, and soon to appear in Opera Carolina's season opener, Aida; lyric soprano and noted concert vocalist Sharon Neff; Korean-American and Metropolitan Opera baritone Hyung Yun; Chinese bass-baritone Sun Yu, praised by the Washington Post for his performance in the U.S. premiere of Savage Land; African-American tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, acclaimed for his 2013 performances in The Champion at Opera Theater of St. Louis; Korean-American and Metropolitan Opera bass Andrew Gangestad, who is lauded by critics for his "glorious bass voice;" and British tenor Justin Lavender, who is a specialist in opera and traditional Chinese music.

The 2013/14season of Opera Carolina is underwritten by a generous sponsorship from Wells Fargo Private Bank. The company's 65th season, which celebrates three composers dubbed "architects of love," opens with a new production of Verdi's grand tale of love and war, Aida, on October 19, 24 and 27, featuring Canadian-American Opéra de Montréal soprano Othalie Graham; Russian born Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura; La Scala tenor Antonello Palombi, and Metropolitan Opera baritone Mark Rucker in leading roles.

Puccini's Il Trittico, three one-act operas created for the Metropolitan Opera, follows 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.

All mainstage performances are at the Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Art to Poetry to Music will be held at the Knight Theater at the Levine Center for the Arts. Subscriptions are on sale at 704.332.7177, ext. 1. Single tickets may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 704.372.1000, or visit operacarolina.org. Opera Carolina provides significant discounts for subscribers, as well as the new Youth Discount to encourage adults to bring young people to the Opera, plus Student Rush tickets, and Group Discounts.

About Opera Carolina
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 $2.9 million. 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, 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.

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