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Florida Grand Opera’s 2014-15 Season: An eclectic repertoire that will resonate with both first time attendees and seasoned opera lovers


Miami - JUNE 16, 2014 --   Florida Grand Opera (FGO) announces its 74th continuous season of producing opera featuring four mainstage productions for its 2014-15 Season, which will include Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul.

“I am proud to bring an eclectic mix of repertoire to the stage for the 2014-15 Season, and thrilled that for the first time in FGO’s history we will perform Menotti’s The Consul, a gripping American drama that stunned Broadway audiences in 1950 during its remarkable 40 week run,” said Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera.  “This season will be exciting and thrilling for both first time attendees and seasoned opera lovers.”

 

Madama Butterfly

Puccini’s opera is loosely based on a true story and depicts a shattering clash of cultures.  While stationed in Japan, the American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton obtains through an unscrupulous marriage broker a 15 year old geisha known as Butterfly.  He plans to amuse himself until he can take a real wife from America.

When he goes back out to sea, everyone believes that Butterfly has been abandoned, but her faith that he will return to her is steadfast.  He does return, but with an American wife, and plans to claim Butterfly’s child who was born after his departure.  Hopeless and left with nothing, Butterfly sees suicide as her only option, and re-employs the very knife her father had used to end his own life. 

Madama Butterfly gained immense worldwide popularity during the early 1900s and  has remained among the most frequently performed operas.  Puccini’s spectacular gift for sureness of purpose, both musically and theatrically, is nowhere more evident than here.  Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some of opera’s most famous music and powerful drama. 

 

SCHEDULE |Madama Butterfly

**Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish** 

MIAMI  ◙  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House
November 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 2014

FORT LAUDERDALE  ◙  Broward Center for the Performing Arts /
Au-Rene Theater
December 4, 6, 2014

 

CAST| Madama Butterfly 

Cio-Cio-San                 …………………………………   Kelly Kaduce     
                                                                                     Nov 15, 18, 22, Dec 4

                                  …………………………………    Vanessa Isiguen *  
                                                                                    Nov 16, 21, Dec 6

 Lieutenant Pinkerton  …………………………………   Martin Nusspaumer
                                                                                    Nov 15, 22, Dec 4, 6

                                    …………………………………   John Pickle * 
                                                                                    Nov 16, 18, 21

Suzuki                         …………………………………   Caitlin McKechney ♦ 

Sharpless                    …………………………………   Todd Thomas 

Goro                            …………………………………   Daniel Bates

Prince Yamadori          …………………………………   Will Hughes

The Bonze                   …………………………………   Jeffrey Beruan

The Imperial Commissioner     …………………….....   Chance Eakin ♦ * 

Kate Pinkerton            …………………………………    Hailey Clark

The Official Registrat   …………………………………   Isaac Bray

Conductor                   …………………………………   Ramón Tebar

Director                       …………………………………   Marc Astafan * 

Production                  …………………………………   Sarasota Opera 

                * = FGO Debut  ♦ = Young Artist

 

Così Fan Tutte

Following the triumphs of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così Fan Tutte is the third and final collaboration of the gifted librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte and the brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  But among these three key monuments of Western musical culture, Così has been the least understood.  It was once considered risqué, if not immoral, and during the 1800s Mozart’s music was frequently performed with an entirely different libretto bearing no resemblance to the original.

The theme of testing the constancy of women by improvising a trial can be traced into deep antiquity, but the treatment provided by Mozart and Da Ponte deliciously dissects the social mores of the late 1700s and demonstrates the young composer’s astonishing skill.

Two young men make a bet with an older friend that their fiancées will remain faithful under any circumstances.  The friend, claiming to know better, arranges for the men to leave the girls, who are sisters, and then return in disguise.  The girls waver, and soon fall headlong for each other’s fiancé.  When the mean-spirited trick is revealed, all we can know for certain is that those relationships will never be the same.

 

SCHEDULE |Così Fan Tutte

**Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish**

MIAMI  ◙  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House
January 24, 25, 27, 30, 31, 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE  ◙  Broward Center for the Performing Arts /
Au-Rene Theater
February 12, 14, 2015

 

CAST| Così Fan Tutte

Fiordiligi                      …………………………………   Sari Gruber *
                                                                                   Jan 24, 27, 31, Feb 12

                                   …………………………………  Hailey Clark
                                                                                  Jan 25, 30, Feb 14

Dorabella                    …………………………………   Brenda Patterson * 
                                                                                   Jan 24, 27, 31, Feb 12

                                  …………………………………   Carla Jablonski      
                                                                                   Jan 25, 30, Feb 14  

Ferrando                    …………………………………   Jason Slayden
                                                                                   Jan 24, 27, 31, Feb 12 

                                  …………………………………   Daniel Bates  
                                                                                  Jan 25, 30, Feb 14        

Guglielmo                   …………………………………   Jonathan Beyer * 
                                                                                   Jan 24, 27, 31, Feb 12

                                   …………………………………   Isaac Bray♦ 
                                                                                   Jan 25, 30, Feb 14

Don Alfonso                …………………………………   Arthur Woodley *   

Despina                      …………………………………   Ava Pine * 
                                                                                   Jan 24, 27, 31, Feb 12

                                  …………………………………   Rebecca Henriques  
                                                                                  Jan 25, 30, Feb 14

Conductor                  …………………………………   Ramón Tebar

Director                      …………………………………   Bernard Uzan

Production                  …………………………………   Florida Grand Opera

                * = FGO Debut  ♦ = Young Artist   

 

The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

On his way to creating what was to become the world’s most popular opera, in 1863 Georges Bizet composed this atmospheric tale of love, friendship, and sacrifice. Twelve years later, Bizet’s death at 36 during the first performances of Carmen was a tragic loss to the proliferation of French opera at the time.

The public loved The Pearl Fishers at its premiere, but many critics were hostile, just as they would be with Carmen later on.  In both cases, the public was the better judge.

The Pearl Fishers, inspired by the European infatuation with all things Oriental, enfolded heady elements within the well-established traditions of French opera.  After Bizet’s death, it was revived regularly, and today it is seen in most of the world’s leading opera houses.  Foreshadowing the genius that Bizet was soon to demonstrate with Carmen, The Pearl Fishers contains one of the most famous tenor-baritone duets in all of opera.

 

SCHEDULE |The Pearl Fishers 

**Sung in French with projected titles in English and Spanish** 

MIAMI  ◙  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House
February 28, March 1, 3, 6, 7, 2015 

FORT LAUDERDALE  ◙  Broward Center for the Performing Arts /
Au-Rene Theater
March 12, 14, 2015

 

CAST| The Pearl Fishers 

Leila                            …………………………………   Sydney Mancasola * 
                                                                                    Feb 28, Mar 1, 3, 6

                                   …………………………………  Emily Birsan *
                                                                                   Mar 7, 12, 14

Nadir                           …………………………………   Philippe Talbot *
                                                                                    Feb 28, Mar 3, 7, 12, 14

                                   …………………………………  Daniel Bates
                                                                                  Mar 1, 6

Zurga                         …………………………………   Corey McKern *
                                                                                   Feb 28, Mar 3, 7, 12, 14

                                   …………………………………  Isaac Bray♦ 
                                                                                   Mar 1, 6

Nourabad                    …………………………………  Burak Bilgili 

Conductor                   …………………………………  Anthony Barrese * 

Director                       …………………………………  A. Scott Parry

Production                   ………………………………… Sarasota Opera

                * = FGO Debut  ♦ = Young Artist

  

The Consul

Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul premiered in 1950 and enjoyed a spectacular Broadway run of 269 performances as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Music.  In a world still recoiling from World War II and coming to terms with the grim realities of the Cold War, its themes of suppression, governmental indifference, and despair found resonance around the world. 

The Consul takes place in an unnamed country where Magda Sorel is desperate to obtain visas to enable her family to emigrate and escape persecution.  The endless waiting erodes what hope she clings to, until a tragic and shattering deed concludes both the opera and her terrible saga.

Immediately following The Consul’s New York run, it was presented at Milan’s La Scala in an extraordinary nod to the importance of this new American opera. One of The Consul’s highlights is Magda’s aria, “To This We’ve Come,” which became an anthem for oppressed people everywhere.

 

SCHEDULE |The Consul 

**Sung in English with projected titles in English and Spanish** 

MIAMI  ◙  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House
May 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 2015

 

CAST| The Consul 

John Sorel                   …………………………………   Keith Phares

Magda Sorel                 …………………………………  Kara Shay Thomson

The Secretary              …………………………………  Carla Jablonski

The Mother                 …………………………………   Victoria Livengood

Secret Police Agent      ………………………………… Tyler Simpson

Nika Magadoff              …………………………………  Jason Ferrante

Mr. Kofner                   …………………………………   Chance Eakin  

The Foreign Woman    …………………………………   Betsy Diaz  

Anna Gomez               …………………………………   Rebecca Henriques ♦ 

Vera Boronel               …………………………………   Raehann Bryce-Davis  

Assan                          …………………………………   Isaac Bray  

Voice on the Record     ………………………………… Hailey Clark ♦ 

Conductor                   …………………………………   Andrew Bisantz

Director                       …………………………………   Julie Maykowski

Production                   …………………………………   Seattle Opera

Lighting Designer         …………………………………  Kevin G. Mynatt

                * = FGO Debut  ♦ = Young Artist