Press Room

07-22-2014

Tickets for All Five Productions in Opera Philadelphia’s 40th Anniversary Season on Sale Wednesday, August 13

July 29, 2014: Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, August 13, for Opera Philadelphia’s 40th Anniversary Season, featuring a stellar cast of international opera stars in five new productions at the Academy of Music and the Perelman Theater.  Single tickets will be available at operaphila.org or 215-893-1018.  

“This 40th Anniversary Season at Opera Philadelphia looks to the future while celebrating Philadelphia’s operatic heritage,” said David B. Devan, General Director and President. “The five outstanding new productions form a journey—a carefully sequenced collection of the classic and the daring, the sublime and the surreal. It is an open dialogue between opera’s biggest stars, its greatest fans, and its grandest stage.”

Single tickets go on sale on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at operaphila.org or 215-893-1018.

40TH ANNIVERSARY GALA: FROM THE STAGE TO THE STARS
Friday, September 12, 2014
Academy of Music and Avenue of the Arts

The season begins on Friday, September 12, with a black-tie, star-studded 40th Anniversary Gala featuring a recital by opera’s star couple Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez, with guests seated on the Academy of Music stage. The duo, who met as students at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, come home to celebrate on the stage where they’ve dazzled in productions like Carmen, Cyrano, and Romeo & Juliet.  Join the party in a tented ballroom on the Avenue of the Arts with dozens of celebrity guests including Nathan Gunn, William Burden, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Jennifer Higdon, and many more. Tickets to the 40th Anniversary Gala are on sale at operaphila.org/gala.

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
September 26, 28m, October 1, 3 & 5m, 2014
Academy of Music

Opera Philadelphia opens the season with the funniest of all comic operas. Rossini’s rapid-fire romp set in Spain kicks off with a famous overture and veers into a hilarious series of misadventures and mistaken identities.  Determined to win the heart of the beautiful, strong-willed Rosina (Jennifer Holloway, in her role and company debuts) with charm and wit—rather than nobility and wealth—Count Almaviva (tenor Taylor Stayton) enlists the help of a wily barber (baritone Jonathan Beyer) to steal her away from her lecherous guardian, Dr. Bartolo (bass Kevin Burdette). From the famous “Figaro” aria to Rosina’s equally spectacular “Una voce poco fa,” the opera is a non-stop parade of hits. With colorful sets and costumes, director Michael Shell’s production recalls the comic films of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. A FREE, HD broadcast of The Barber of Seville will be presented at Independence National Historical Park on Saturday, September 27, marking the fourth year of Opera Philadelphia’s popular Opera on the Mall

Music by Gioachino Rossini; Libretto by Cesare Sterbini; performed in Italian with English supertitles; a new co-production with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

OSCAR
East Coast Premiere
February 6, 8m, 11, 13 & 15m, 2015
Academy of Music

February brings the East Coast Premiere of a revised version of Oscar by Theodore Morrison and John Cox, starring countertenor David Daniels in his Opera Philadelphia debut as Oscar Wilde. In its 2013 World Premiere at the Santa Fe Opera, the production was hailed for outstanding performances by Daniels, soprano Heidi Stober, tenor William Burden, and dancer Reed Luplau, in a silent role as Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas.

In this beautifully tragic tale of self-expression and individual freedom, countertenor David Daniels electrifies with what The New York Times called a “Wildean mix of arrogance and vulnerability.” Chronicling his trial and subsequent incarceration over “the love that dares not speak its name,” Oscar marries one of literature's most daring voices with one of music’s most singular. The result is unforgettable.

Music by Theodore Morrison; Libretto by John Cox and Theodore Morrison, based on quotations from the writings of Oscar Wilde and his contemporaries; performed in English with English supertitles; a new co-commission and co-production with The Santa Fe Opera.

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
Curtis Opera Theatre
March 4, 6 & 8m, 2015
The Perelman Theater

When the wealthiest man in Vienna hosts a lavish night of music and fireworks, the entertainment is in no short supply—and neither is the drama. In a farcical twist of fate, a brash burlesque troupe and a buttoned-up opera company must now perform together on the same stage. In a new Curtis Opera Theatre production, the two groups argue, flirt, and fight for the spotlight as the comic preparations of the first act transform into a beautiful opera-within-an-opera before your eyes. Conductor George Manahan and director Chas Rader-Shieber lead the talented young singers of Curtis Opera Theatre. Further details of the creative team will be announced later in the spring of 2015. 

Music by Richard Strauss; Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal; performed in German with English supertitles; a new production of the Curtis Institute of Music presented in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

DON CARLO
April 24, 26m, 29, May 1 & 3m, 2015
Academy of Music

World-renowned, Philadelphia-born bass-baritone Eric Owens comes home in April 2015 to make his role debut as King Philip II in a new production of Verdi’s Don Carlo.  This Academy of Music production features the Opera Philadelphia debuts of Dimitri Pittas as Don Carlo, Leah Crocetto as Elizabeth de Valois, and Michelle DeYoung as Princess Eboli. They are joined by three returning favorites: baritone Troy Cook (La bohème, Silent Night) as Rodrigo; bass Morris Robinson (Nabucco) as the Grand Inquisitor; and soprano Ashley Emerson (Powder Her Face) as Tebaldo.

“I am so excited to come back home to Philadelphia to make my role debut as King Philip,” said Owens. “When I get a chance to sing Verdi it seems like a homecoming for my voice. To do this role that I have wanted to do for so long, at home, it’s just the perfect match.”

Music by Giuseppe Verdi /Libretto by François Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle; Performed in Italian with English supertitles; a new co-production with Washington National Opera and Minnesota Opera.

CHARLIE PARKER’S YARDBIRD
World Premiere
June 5, 7m, 10, 12 & 14m, 2015
The Perelman Theater

March 12, 1955. New York City. Charlie Parker is dead.  But nobody knows it yet. In that twilight between the here and the hereafter, Parker sets out to write his last great musical work. As he composes, he revisits the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius. As a chamber opera, Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD invites the audience directly into the mind and heart of a musical genius. Set after-hours in the famed New York City jazz club Birdland, the intimacy of the surroundings and the small supporting cast shine a spotlight onto tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Parker, soprano Angela Brown as his mother, Addie, and charismatic baritone Will Liverman as jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, who once described Parker as “the other half of my heartbeat.”

The most in-demand American tenor in the world in the bel canto repertoire, Lawrence Brownlee has become a star on the international scene, performing opposite the leading ladies of contemporary opera, and lauded continually for the seemingly effortless beauty of his voice.  Music by Daniel Schnyder; Libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly; performed in English with English supertitles; a World Premiere production of the American Repertoire Program.

 

The Aurora Series is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation.Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund, with additional support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Ariadne auf Naxos is funded, in part, through support from the William Penn Foundation. The Curtis Opera Theatre season is sponsored by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Performance times for productions at the Academy of Music and Perelman Theater:  Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.