- August 6th at 2pm - Soprano Kenneithia Mitchell
- August 13th at 2pm - Baritone Daniel Belcher
- August 27th at 2pm - Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer
- All concerts at the University Club of Winter Park (841 N. Park Ave, 32789)
Our ever-popular Summer Concert Series treats music lovers to a precious portal into the essence of the art of singing. Celebrated opera singers from across the country will transform the Winter Park University Club into a space for "must hear music."
17/18 Season Press Release
Eric Jacobson leads the Orlando Philharmonic for Cinderella in March, 2018
Cecilia Violetta Lopez - Mimi in “La Bohème” & Eric Jacobsen - Conductor for "Cinderella" & Amanda Crider - Cinderella
The inaugural season of Opera Orlando has been distinguished by critical and audience acclaim and sold out houses. For a myriad of reasons, the 2017-2018 season will have an even greater impact in Central Florida.
“From the moment we launched Opera Orlando on the coattails of Florida Opera Theatre a year ago January, our primary goal was to become the leading voice for the art form in the region,” said Gabriel Preisser, the Executive and Artistic Director of the company. “Through the hard work of our staff and board and the stalwart support from so many in the community, we have shown that opera can indeed have a powerful impact in Central Florida."
In January, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it would no longer produce operas, rather preferring to “... hand off the artistic and administrative leadership (of opera) to the capable hands of Opera Orlando,” according to RK Kelley, the orchestra’s board president. But out of this decision has come a new partnership between the organizations that assures the artistic quality of all main-stage productions will be on a consistently high level.
“The Philharmonic will be our orchestra and we couldn’t be more delighted,” said Robin Jensen, Opera Orlando’s Music Director. “And for our upcoming season, we’ll have their Music Director, Eric Jacobson, conducting Rossini’s ‘Cinderella.’ Also by adding the Orlando Ballet to any productions that have dance episodes, we feel we’re putting the best that Orlando has to offer together for our community.”
The 2017-18 season kicks off in an intimate manner with “Opera on Park: The Summer Concert Series,” three vocal recitals featuring nationally-renowned artists on three Sundays in August each at 2 pm. Multi award-winning soprano Kenneithia Mitchell performs on the 6th; Grammy-award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher is featured on the 13th; and Metropolitan Opera Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer concludes the series on the 27th. This is a mainstay of the company and will once again be held at the University Club of Winter Park (841 N. Park Ave, 32789).
The company then moves into the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando for the rest of its season where the Orlando Philharmonic will join for each of three fully-staged and costumed productions.
Giacomo Puccini’s beloved “La Bohème” opens the main-stage season on November 15-19. The original story’s 1830 setting for the colorful ensemble of struggling artists will be transported to the Roaring 20s of Paris – the “City of Lights.” Metropolitan Opera Roster Artist Cecilia Violetta Lopez will make her Opera Orlando debut in the iconic soprano role of the doomed Mimi (love lost) and company-favorite soprano Bridgett Gan performs Musetta. Preisser will take the stage and perform the key baritone role of Marcello. Other confirmed principals include, bass-baritone Nathan Stark as Colline and baritone Brian James Myer as Schaunard. All three men were featured this past August in an “Opera on Park” recital. Internationally-renowned conductor Joseph Mechavich, a fixture at the Orlando Opera when it was still in existence, will lead the musical forces.
Opera Orlando welcomes back two company favorites behind the scenes for Puccini’s masterpiece: Robert Neu follows up his acclaimed work for “Don Giovanni” and will be stage director and Kim Welborn will design and build costumes.
Opera Orlando set out to create a holiday tradition through performances of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Christmas opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” in December, 2016. Audiences, young and old alike, were delighted by a series of performances throughout Orlando. For an all-new production, the same formula will be put to work in 2017 and Jensen will once again be music director and conductor while the Orlando Ballet will add dance. Three Pugh Theater performances are slated for December 9-10.
Then for March 21-25, a fantastical production of Gioachino Rossini’s “Cinderella” (“La Cenerentola” in Italian) will conclude the 2017-18 season with a happy ending when the well-known heroine is reunited with Prince Ramiro in this cartoon-like comedy (love found). Conductor Jacobsen will make his Opera Orlando debut. Internationally-renowned stage director Ophelie Wolf will make her Opera Orlando debut for this production as well. Costumes will be designed and built by Charles Caine.
On stage, Opera Orlando welcomes back mezzo soprano Amanda Crider, a soloist in last summer’s “Opera On Park,” in the title role and Tenor Javier Abreu, who was heard in the “One Voice Orlando Pulse Nightclub Benefit” will make his official company debut as her “Prince Charming.” Bass-baritone Calvin Griffin as Alidoro and baritone Jonathan Byer as Dandini make their company debuts.
Opera Orlando will also be heard throughout Central Florida in the 2017-18 with ongoing presentations including a series of special lead-up events for “La Bohème” and “Cinderella.”
“We founded our organization with the mission to inject new life and energy into the traditional operatic repertoire,” explained the John Wettach, President of the Board of Directors “We feel that in the 2017-18 season we’ll hit our stride as our production concepts challenge us at every turn. We couldn’t be happier.”
Season tickets for the 2017-18 Opera Orlando will go on sale March 31 and are available by visiting or calling the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 South Magnolia Ave. in Orlando or 844-513-2014.