“Opera in the Park” delivers the essence of the art form


What: “Opera in the Park: The Opera Orlando Summer Concert Series”

Where: University Club of Winter Park, 841 N. Park Ave, 32789

When: August 21: Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider
            August 28: “THE THREE BARITONES”
Nathan Stark, Brian Myer, Gabriel Preisser
            September 4: Tenor Marco Panuccio
All concerts are on Sundays at 2 p.m. accompanied by pianist Robin Stamper

Tickets: $30 per recital or $75 for the entire series. Purchase online HERE or call 407-718-4365. Tickets will be sold at the door if still available

Opera Orlando kicks off the “2016-17 Inaugural Season” with three concerts 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 world-class artists up-close-and-personal at the at the University Club of Winter Park located at 841 N. Park Ave.                                                          

“One would think that opera, stripped bare of all of its ‘grand’ dressing would be a rather dull experience,” said Vincent Connor, General Director of Opera Orlando. “But just the opposite is true. The physical sensation of having great voices in an intimate environment is pleasingly overwhelming. Add the direct contact with an audience that ‘recitalists’ innately have in this style of performance and the results are powerful and unforgettable.”

All three concerts will benefit from having Robin Stamper as piano accompanist. He has been a stalwart for opera in Central Florida. In 2003, he served as Music Director and Chorus Director with the Orlando Opera until the opera company closed in 2009. In 2011 he was named as Music Director for Florida Opera Theatre and remains as an artistic advisor to the newly named Opera Orlando. Stamper currently serves as Managing Director and Chorus Master for Opera Tampa.

Mezzo-Soprano Amanda Crider begins the series on August 21. Currently the Artistic Director of Miami's Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music series, IlluminArts, she has been praised for her “focused golden-toned voice.” Crider has sung with numerous opera companies across the US including Castelton Festival, the Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Omaha, Des Moines Metro Opera and others.  She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Crider will bring a program largely consisting of art song from the pen of Britten, Debussy, Grieg, Mahler, Schumann and Argento.
It will be an operatic affair- Verdi, Rossini, Bizet, Mozart and Bellini –on August 28, as the series welcomes “The Three Baritones”- Brian James Myer, Nathan Stark and Gabriel Preisser. Myer joins the resident artist ensemble at Opera San Jose during the 2016-2017 season where he will sing Figaro (The Barber of Seville), Ponchel (Silent Night), and Schaunard (La Bohème). Stark has performed with opera houses throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Virginia Opera and Arizona Opera, to name a few. Preisser has performed leading-man roles for various companies throughout the US including the Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Opera San Antonio, and others.  Most notably, he created the role of Lt. Gordon in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera with subsequent performances at Opera Philadelphia and Cincinnati Opera and subsequent national broadcasts on PBS. He is also the Executive and Artistic Director of Opera Orlando.
"This series has been an opera lovers dream and audience favorite for the past five years," said Preisser. "We performers love this format as well and having Robin Stamper at the keyboard assures that all will be profoundly musical.”

The series concludes on September 4 with lyric tenor Marco Panuccio with a program entitled "O Sole Mio." EMMY® nominated and award-winning, Panuccio is earning sensational international acclaim from both critics and audiences. Recently, he sang Alfredo in La Traviata with Grange Park Opera in which Bachtrack said, “Marco Panuccio has a real sense of reach and depth in his voice. His ‘Parigi, o cara’ is bewitching and heartrending.”  He also performed Bégearss in The Ghosts of Versailles with Wexford Festival Opera in which Opera News raved saying, “As the villain Bégearss, he gave what might well turn out to be a career-making performance.” He also performed in the EMMY® nominated production of O Holy Night: An Evening of Holiday Song which the Chicago Tribune described as “what a holiday concert should be: beautifully sung, moving, intelligent.”

All concerts are held at 2 p.m. on three consecutive Sunday afternoons: August 21, 28 and September 4. Tickets are $30 per recital or $75 for the entire series. Purchase online at Operaorlando.org or call 407-718-4365. If still available, remaining seats will be sold at the door of each concert.