Opera Orlando Announces the 2016 -17 Inaugural Season
With the three Dr. Phillips Center performances this past April, the "...Rebirth of Opera in Orlando" has become an artistic phenomenon. Now Opera Orlando is getting down to business.
"The Inaugural Season" will provide operas, outreach, concerts and education throughout the year.
"Reaching out and impacting the people of Central Florida is exactly what we are about," explained Gabriel Preisser, the Executive and Artistic Director of Opera Orlando. "It was great to display our cause so joyfully and boisterously through our Mozart and Poulenc productions. Now our work begins in earnest." Preisser, a professional baritone, also performs for the company.
The first official performances of Opera Orlando's 2016-17 season happen at the end of this summer. "Opera in the Park" is a recital series originally started by Florida Opera Theatre, the predecessor to the current company. The series features Mezzo-Soprano Amanda Crider from Miami on August 21;
"The Three Baritones"- Preisser, Nathan Stark and Brian Myer on August 28; and the series concludes on September 4 with tenor Adam Diegel. Pianist Robin Stamper, accompanies these 2 p.m. concerts which are open to the public and take place at the University Club in Winter Park courtesy of Frank Barber. Ticket info can be found HERE
"This series has been an opera lovers dream and audience favorite for the past five years," said Preisser. "It brings unique programming by world renowned artists in an ‘up close and personal’ setting. It's also great to have Robin Stamper back. He was such a vital part of Florida Opera Theatre's program."
On November 18 and 20, Opera Orlando returns to the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for Gaetano Donizetti's opera buffa "Don Pasquale." Metropolitan Opera star Peter Strummer will assume the title role and Opera Orlando's General Director, Vincent Connor, is the stage director.
"I'm usually the first person in the room to suggest a 'reimagined' update to standard repertoire," said Connor. "But after how we approached our just completed double bill I have to admit I'm excited to champion a production that evokes opera's great 'bel canto' tradition. We'll inject great comedy and invention into our 'Pasquale' but it will live in the early 19th century."
Giancarlo Menotti's opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" then arrives just in time for Christmas.
"We want to make this an ongoing holiday tradition for Central Florida," claimed Preisser. "Amahl is a seasonal favorite that will make you laugh and make you cry. It leaves families primed for the beauty and spirit of the season."
To realize this modern classic New York-based mezzo-soprano Ola Rafalo will perform the key role of Amahl's mother. Opera Orlando staff member Robin Jensen will be Music Director and the company's Director in Residence, Eric Pinder, who directed the April performances, will be assigned the stage direction.
For the season finale, the company takes on Mozart's magnum opus "Don Giovanni" with Preisser returning to the Opera Orlando stage in the title role.
"We might be better off calling this production 'Don Juan goes to College," said Preisser. "The music is all Mozart but we're going to take this dramatic story into our own age. We feel it's going to translate and resonate very powerfully."
Skylark Opera’s Robert Neu will serve as stage director and renowned Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone Rod Nelman will make a special appearance as the Commendatore.
Back again in the Pugh Theater, performance dates for "Don Giovanni" are March 24, 25 and 26, 2017.
Opera Orlando will be presenting lead-up events for all of these productions.
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