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Reserve your Seat for the 2008/2009 Season:

May 07, 2008

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    May 07, 2008
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    Opera Carolina News

Reserve your Seat for the 2008/2009 Season:

The Barber of Seville
Love Notes Concert
The Marriage of Figaro

Opera Carolina's 2008/2009 Season features old favorites with new twists. Including some of the most beloved composers of all time, Opera Carolina's upcoming season will feature the most memorable characters in all of Opera sung by a diverse cast of internationally acclaimed performing artists. Also new this season is an updated ticketing plan - patrons may choose from Opera 5 (Mainstage Productions including Love Notes), Opera 4 (Mainstage Productions), Opera 3 Flex, Opera 2 Flex, and Opera 1 plans. Additionally, Opera Carolina has moved three of the four mainstage opening performances to Saturday nights in a basic Saturday - Thursday - Sunday schedule, subject to additional performances.

The season opens October 18 with Gounod's devilishly good opera, Faust. Directed by Bernard Uzan, Faust will feature opera Carolina veteran James Valenti (Rigoletto) as Faust, with the widely acclaimed soprano Maureen O'Flynn as Marguerite and Chester Patton as Mephistopheles in their Opera Carolina débuts.

In January, our journey takes us from Berlin to Seville where the beloved comedy The Barber of Seville will take place. Victor Ryan Robertson (Don Giovanni) returns as Almaviva opposite Ryan Taylor as Figaro and Adriana Zabala as the sought-after Rosina. Opera Lyra Ottawa Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Tyrone Patterson will lead the production as conductor. In February, Love Notes returns in its second Valentine's Day Concert featuring Opera Carolina veterans Todd Geer (Pagliacci) of Charlotte and Angela Renee Simpson (Margaret Garner), and debut artists Michael Fabiano and Kyle Pfortmiller. March will bring the sequel to Rossini's tale in Mozart's composition of The Marriage of Figaro. Enlisting the local talent of Kristopher Irmiter (Don Giovanni) as Figaro and rising soprano Ailyn Perez (Rigoletto) as the Countess, The Marriage of Figaro's satirical portrayal of aristocracy quickly made it Mozart's most acclaimed opera. The season will close in a journey to the Far East where the cold-hearted Turandot, sung by Lori Philips (Love Notes), is finally won by the persistence of love. Roy Cornelius Smith and Jee Hyun Lim (Love Notes) join the cast under the baton of conductor James Meena.


[Charles Gounod] October 18, 23 & 26, 2008
Sung in French with projected English titles.


As our story unfolds, Faust desires youth and not just his own, but also that of a beauty named Marguerite. In fact, he is willing to sell his soul for a second chance at life - and love.

Faust is one of the most majestic and beloved operas in the world. With sweeping melodies, extravagant costumes and elaborate sets, Faust is French grand opera at its best. James Valenti (Rigoletto) returns to Opera Carolina in the title role. Valenti performed with "ardent vigor" in Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera, which was nationally televised on "Live from Lincoln Center" on PBS. Singing opposite Valenti in the role of Marguerite is Maureen O'Flynn, who received a "deserved standing ovation from the audience" for her performance in the Metropolitan Opera's opening production of Roméo et Juliette. O'Flynn has been awarded prizes by two of opera's most prestigious organizations, the Richard Tucker Foundation Grant and the Opera Index First Prize.


[Gioachino Rossini] January 24, 25, 29 & 31, 2009
Sung in Italian with projected English titles.


The cantankerous Dr. Bartolo intends to marry his young ward, Rosina - in fact, he has her under lock and key. So how is the younger, more dashing Count Almaviva going to slip in and steal her away? Leave it to the clever barber Figaro to assist in a masterful plot of deception.

The first installment of Beaumarchais' revolutionary trilogy, The Barber of Seville is a comic masterpiece that sings to audiences of all ages. Victor Ryan Robertson (Don Giovanni) returns to Opera Carolina as Almaviva with great critical acclaim - he "offers an appealing, well-defined tenor with plenty of energy," and "delivers body and soul." Ryan Taylor (Cinderella) also returns as the clever barber, Figaro. Mr. Taylor recently performed with Adriana Zabala, singing Rosina, in the Wolf Trap Discover Series. This production is made possible by Time Warner Cable.


[Concert des notes d'amour] February 14, 2009
Dana Auditorium, Queens University of Charlotte


Share the journey with someone you love! This intimate evening features internationally acclaimed artists, accompanied by a full symphony orchestra, performing some of the world's greatest music.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the City of Love. Then, end the night with a perfectly Parisian toast among the stars: stay for a party with the artists after the show. It's the ideal Valentine for opera lovers and new comers alike.

Following the immense success of the 2007/2008 Season's premiere of Love Notes, this second Valentine's Concert and reception promise a perfect evening for you and the one you love. Charlotte native Todd Geer (Pagliacci) and Angela Renee Simpson, who sang in the world premiere of Margaret Garner with Michigan Opera Theatre and with Opera Carolina in 2006, join a delightful array of artists whose sumptuous melodies will have you humming out the door and into the reception, where you can dance the night away to live music with the artists themselves.


[Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] March 7, 8, 12 & 14, 2009
Sung in Italian with projected English titles.


This particular journey takes place three years after The Barber of Seville, recounting a single day in the palace of Count Almaviva. In fact, it is the very day that Figaro (the Barber) is to marry the lovely Susanna, the Countess' chambermaid. However, it seems Figaro isn't the only one with an unbridled passion for the bride-to-be. And so the day unfolds...

Originally banned by Louis XVI for its satirical portrayal of aristocracy, this sequel to The Barber of Seville quickly became Mozart's most acclaimed opera. Under the direction of John Hoomes (Rigoletto), Rock Hill native Kristopher Irmiter (Don Giovanni) and Ailyn Perez (Rigoletto) return to Opera Carolina's stage. Ms. Perez was recently awarded Second Prize at the Operalia Competition in Valencia, Spain and toured the United States and Mexico with Andrea Bocelli. Anne-Carolyn Bird, who The New York Times describes as "...luminous...," makes her Opera Carolina debut as the lovely Susanna.


[Giacomo Pucinni] April 16, 18 & 19, 2009
Sung in Italian with projected English titles.


Turandot is a woman of power. Any prince wishing to seek her hand in marriage must fist answer three riddles. The price paid for a wrong answer is execution before a bloodthirsty mob. Over the years, Turandot mercilessly claimed many a man's head ... until she finally met her ultimate match.

Turandot, Puccini's last opera, was not completed for another two years after his death. Originally banned by the People's Republic of China, it wasn’t until 1998 that Turandot was performed in the Forbidden City itself. Lori Philips (Love Notes) and Jee Hyun Lim (Love Notes) assume opposing sides to win the love of Prince Calàf. Ms. Philips will sing the role of the icy Princess Turandot, with Ms. Lim as Liu, a slave girl secretly in love with Calaf. Under the baton of Opera Carolina's General Director and Principal Conductor James Meena, this riddle of love will take you on a wild journey full of love and sacrifice. This production is made possible by The Hearst Corporation.

Mainstage Season Information

All mainstage productions will be performed at the Belk Theater in the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Love Notes will be held at Dana Auditorium at Queens University of Charlotte. Season tickets are available now ranging from $36 to $409 in your choice of 5, 4, 3, or 2 opera flex plans. Single tickets range from $20 to $125 and go on sale July 30. Tickets may be ordered by calling 704.335.1010 or online at www.operacarolina.org.

For further ticketing information, events, librettos, full cast listings and bios, education information, and other opera news, please visit our website at www.operacarolina.org. All performances feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Opera Carolina would like to thank its presenting sponsors: Time Warner Cable and The Hearst Corporation.

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 $3.5 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire 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. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

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