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SARASOTA OPERA ANNOUNCES CASTING FOR 2012-2013 SEASON

July 6, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322
slowry@sarasotaopera.org

 

Sarasota Opera Announces Casting for the 2012 – 2013 Season

2012 Fall Season will include the Sarasota Youth Opera
world premiere of Little Nemo in Slumberland 
Music by Daron Hagen; Libretto by J.D. McClatchy

2013 Winter Festival will feature three Sarasota Opera premieres:
Puccini’s Turandot; Verdi’s A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno);
and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men

Soprano Brenda Harris to make Sarasota Opera and Role Debut in Turandot

2012 Fall Season
Rigoletto
Little Nemo in Slumberland
(Sarasota Youth Opera World Premiere)

2013 Winter Festival
Turandot
The Pearl Fishers
(Les Pêcheurs des perles)
A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno) (World Premiere of New Critical Edition)
Of Mice and Men

 

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce casting for the 2012 – 2013 Fall and Winter Season.

2012 Fall Season
The 2012 Fall Sarasota Opera Season will open with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto , the opera chosen to be the first performed in the newly renovated opera house when it re-opened in 2008.  Baritone Marco Nisticò, a Sarasota favorite since 2008 when he debuted as Francesco Foscari in Verdi's I due Foscari and who was most recently seen as the Consul Sharpless in last fall’s Madama Butterfly, will make his role debut as the vengeful court jester.  Greek soprano, Eleni Calenos, will make her Sarasota Opera debut as the jester’s ill-fated daughter, Gilda.  Mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson and tenor Hak Soo Kim, who both appeared in the title roles of the recent production of La Cenerentola, will make their role debuts as the seductive Maddalena and the lustful Duke of Mantua.  

Rigoletto will open on October 26, 2012 and run through November 12, 2012.

Little Nemo in Slumberland
In addition, the fall season will include the world premiere of Sarasota Youth Opera’s newest commission, Little Nemo in Slumberland , with music by Daron Hagen and words by J.D. McClatchy.  This will mark Sarasota Youth Opera’s 5th commission since the programs inception.  The child principal roles will be performed by members of the Sarasota Youth Opera program and the adult principal roles will be performed by members of the Sarasota Opera Apprentice and Studio Artists Program. 

Based on Winsor McCay's early-twentieth-century comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland is a 60 minute, two-act magic opera.  The story recounts the adventures of a boy over the course of two nights on a quest to save Slumberland from the evil Emperor Sol who wants it to be bright all night and all day.  Nemo's adventures along the way include encounters with a crystal enchantress, menacing giants, a floating bed and a balloon ride, dizzying changes of scale and a palace that turns upside down.

A consortium of local and national arts and educational organizations have agreed to help support this production including Booker High School, Out of Door Academy, Ringling School of Art and Design and the University of Kentucky Opera Theater.   Little Nemo in Slumberland will utilize a new leading edge, innovative theater technology, SCRIBE (Self-Contained Rapidly Integratable Background Environment), which was piloted at the University of Kentucky.  This technology, which has been successfully used in productions at the University of Kentucky Opera Theater and The Atlanta Opera, will help meet the creative challenge presented by bringing such a fantasy based story to life.

There will be two performances on November 10 and 11, 2012.   

2013 Winter Festival

Turandot
The 2013 Winter Festival will open with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s vocally extravagant final opera Turandot .  Soprano Brenda Harris and tenor Jonathan Burton will both make their Sarasota Opera and role debuts as the icy Turandot and the determined prince Calaf.  Possessing a voice that has been described as “drop dead gorgeous” and “soaring on high”, Ms. Harris has established herself as one of America’s finest sopranos tackling leading roles on some of the world’s most prominent opera companies and orchestras.  Mr. Burton is quickly establishing himself as a leading tenor to watch with a voice described by Opera News as possessing “thrilling power and beauty”.  Rounding out the cast will be soprano Maria Natale as the slave girl Liù, bass Young Bok Kim as Calaf’s father, Timur, and baritone Matthew Hanscom as Ping.          

The Pearl Fishers
Following Turandot, Sarasota Opera will travel back to ancient Sri Lanka and revive its much in demand 2003 production of Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers .  Tenor Heath Huberg, a former studio artist who sang the roles of Remendado in Carmen and as Cassio in Otello last season, will sing Nadir and baritone Lee Poulis, who debuted as the sinister Don in 2011's Don Giovanni and followed with his performance as the conniving Lord Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor, will sing the role of Zurga.  Soprano Asako Tamura, who sang Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly as “beautifully as her superb acting”, will return to portray the priestess Leila.       

A King for a Day
Sarasota Opera will present Giuseppe Verdi’s second opera A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno), Verdi’s second opera and his first comedy.  This will be the world premiere of a new critical edition which uses as its principal source Verdi’s own manuscript. 

Of this production, Artistic Director Maestro Victor DeRenzi says, “It is part of our artistic vision to present all of Verdi’s rarely performed works along with the more mainstream pieces.  Our audience has come to recognize and appreciate the artistic value of these early works, and we are proud to be one of the only opera companies in the United States to present them.”  2013 will also mark the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth.

Making his role and Sarasota Opera debut, baritone Corey Crider will lead the cast as the Cavaliere di Belfiore.  Bass-baritone Stefano de Peppo will return to sing the Baron di Kelbar, soprano Danielle Walker will sing his daughter, Giuletta di Kelbar, and tenor Hak Soo Kim will sing Edoardo di Sanval, Giuletta’s love interest and source of anger for her father, the Baron.  Rounding out the cast will be bass-baritone Kevin Short, as Lord La Rocca, who was last seen as Pagano in I Lombardi alla prima crociata.  A true Verdi rarity, A King for a Day will be the 29th opera in the company’s continuing Verdi Cycle.

Of Mice and Men
Finally, Sarasota Opera will present Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men , a continuation of the American Classics Series.  Baritone Sean Anderson, who gave what was referred to by Opera News as a “richly diabolical performance” as Iago in last season’s Otello, returns to his American roots to make his role debut as George.  He will be joined by tenor Corey Bix as Lennie whose recent portrayal of the same role was called a “tour-de-force performance” by the Salt Lake Tribune. 

As was done in previous seasons, Sarasota Opera will again partner with the Sarasota Film Festival and the Asolo Conservatory to present its series of popular education specifically designed to help familiarize and educate the Sarasota Opera audience about this important work.

The four productions will run in rotation from February 9 through March 24, 2013.


Sarasota Opera’s 2012-2013 Season


Rigoletto
Melodramma in three acts (two intermissions) by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le Roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Sarasota Opera House
Performances (6):  October 26 – November 12

Artists
Rigoletto:  Marco Nisticò
Gilda:   Eleni Calenos
The Duke of Mantua: Hak Soo Kim
Maddalena:  Heather Johnson
Sparafucile:  Young Bok Kim

Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  Stephanie Sundine
Scenic Designer: David P. Gordon
Costume Designer:  Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

†  Sarasota Opera Debut

 

Little Nemo in Slumberland 
Sarasota Youth Opera World Premiere
An opera in two acts by Daron Aric Hagen and Libretto by J.D. McClatchy
Based on the comic strips by Winsor McCay
Sung in English with English supertitles  

Sarasota Opera House
Performances (2): November 10 and November 11

Artists
Cast:   Sarasota Youth Opera Members
Guardian of the Dawn/ Chelsea Basler
Mother’s Voice
Dr. Pill:   Kyle Guglielmo
Morpheus/  Jeffrey Beruan
Father’s Voice 

Conductor:  Steven Osgood †
Stage Director:  Martha Collins
Scenic Designer: Michael Schweikardt
Costume Designer:  Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

†  Sarasota Opera Debut


Turandot 
Sarasota Opera Premiere
Lyric drama in three acts and five scenes (two intermissions) by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
Based on the play of the same name by Carlo Gozzi
Final duet and the finale of the opera completed by Franco Alfano
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Sarasota Opera House
Performances (11):  February 9 – March 23

Artists
Turandot:  Brenda Harris †
Calaf:   Jonathan Burton †
Liù:   Maria Natale †
Timur:   Young Bok Kim
Ping:   Matthew Hanscom

Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  Stephanie Sundine
Scenic Designer: Michael Schweikardt
Costume Coordinator: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

†  Sarasota Opera Debut

 

The Pearl Fishers (Les Pěcheurs de perles)
Opera in three acts and four scenes (two intermissions) by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Michel Carré and Eugène Cormon
Sung in French with English supertitles

Sarasota Opera House
Performances (9):  February 16 – March 22

Artists
Nadir:   Heath Huberg
Zurga:   Lee Poulis
Leila:   Asako Tamura
Nourabad  Andrew Gangestad

Conductor:  Robert Tweten
Stage Director:  Keturah Stickann †
Scenic Designer: J. Michael Wingfield
Costume Designer: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

†  Sarasota Opera Debut

 

A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno)
World Premiere of a New Critical Edition
Melodramma giocoso in two acts (one intermission) by Giuseppe Verdi
Poetry by Felice Romani
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Sarasota Opera House
Performances (7):  March 2 - 24

Artists
The Cavaliere di Belfiore: Corey Crider †
The Baron di Kelbar:  Stefano de Peppo
The Marchesa of Poggio: Jennifer Feinstein
Giulietta di Kelbar:  Danielle Walker
Edoardo di Sanval:  Hak Soo Kim
The Lord La Rocca:  Kevin Short

Conductor:   Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:   Martha Collins
Scenic Designer:  Jeffrey Dean
Costume Designer:  Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer:  Ken Yunker

†  Sarasota Opera Debut


Of Mice and Men 
Sarasota Opera Premiere
A musical drama in three acts, five scenes (two intermissions)
Music and libretto by Carlisle Floyd after the novel and play of the same name by John Steinbeck
Sung in English with English supertitles
Performances (6):  March 9- 23

Artists
Lennie Small:   Corey Bix †
George Milton:   Sean Anderson
Slim:    Matthew Hanscom
Candy:    Andrew Gangestad

Conductor:   David Neely
Stage Director:   Michael Unger
Scenic Designer:  John Conklin
Costume Designer:  Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer:  Ken Yunker

†   Sarasota Opera Debut

 

ABOUT SARASOTA OPERA
Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is approaching its 54th consecutive season.  In 1960, the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater has just undergone a $20-million renovation and rehabilitation enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008, has been called “one of America’s finest venues for opera” by Musical America.

Subscriptions for the 2012 – 2013 Fall and Winter Season are now on sale and available by calling (941) 328-1300 or visiting the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue. Single tickets will go on sale August 1st online ( www.sarasotaopera.org ) and September 4th in the Box Office.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.

Sarasota Opera • 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 366-8450 •  www.sarasotaopera.org