Opera Philadelphia

Published4 Mar 2015

Philadelphia’s own Eric Owens Leads a Powerhouse Cast in New Production of Verdi’s Don Carlo, April 24-May 3 at the Academy of Music

Superstar bass-baritone and native Philadelphian Eric Owens comes home to make his much-anticipated role debut as King Philip II in a new production of Don Carlo, Verdi’s grand opera of passion and political intrigue. Five performances will be staged at the Academy of Music, April 24-May 3. Tickets are available via Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1018 or operaphila.org.

“I am so excited to come back home to Philadelphia to make my role debut as King Philip,” said Owens, who made his Opera Philadelphia debut in 1994 and sang the Friar in a 2004 production of Don Carlo. “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.”

This new co-production with Washington National Opera and Minnesota Opera offers a powerhouse cast, with the Opera Philadelphia debuts of tenor Dimitri Pittas as Don Carlo, soprano Leah Crocetto as Elisabeth de Valois, and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung as Princess Eboli. Set at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, and based on historical characters and events, Don Carlo features some of Verdi’s most beautiful music weaved together with a story of personal, political, and theological conflicts.  As The New York Times notes, “Every production of this profound and challenging work is a major venture for an opera company.”

Educated at Philadelphia’s Central High School, Temple University, and the Curtis Institute of Music, Eric Owens has a unique reputation as an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Hailed as “one of the greatest bass-baritones in the world” (Bloomberg News) and “an American marvel” (Chicago Sun-Times), he created the title role of General Leslie Groves in John Adams' Doctor Atomic and has turned in star performances all over the globe in roles like Alberich in Wagner’s Ring cycle, Porgy in the Gershwin’ Porgy and Bess, and the title role of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.

Making his company debut as Don Carlo, Dimitri Pittas has “a rich tenor, charged with electricity and dynamism” (The Houston Chronicle). His repertoire includes performances as Alfredo in La traviata, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. Soprano Leah Crocetto “has revealed herself as a major operatic star” (The San Francisco Chronicle), impressing this season as Desdemona in Otello with English National Opera, Mimi in La bohème with San Francisco Opera, and Madam Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with Washington National Opera.  Grammy-winning mezzo Michelle DeYoung has “triumphed” (Cincinnati Enquirer) as Princess Eboli, a character with “an unshakeable air of mystery (Opera News).

In his 2012 performance as Marcello in La bohème, baritone Troy Cook impressed “with the sort of baritone that could promise a great future in Verdi (The Philadelphia Inquirer). That future has arrived, as he makes his role debut as Rodrigo, the trusted Marquis of Posa. Bass Morris Robinson, whose performance as Zaccaria was a highlight of 2013’s Nabucco, returns as the Grand Inquisitor, a role he mastered on numerous stages. “There could not have been a more chilling Inquisitor than Morris Robinson, whose formidable bass thundered” (The Cincinnati Enquirer).

Celebrated British director Tim Albery, who has staged numerous productions with Royal Opera House, English National Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, and Opera North, leads this new production, with Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris conducting the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra.

Don Carlo

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

April 24, 26m, 29, May 1 & 3m, 2015
Academy of Music
Production underwritten in part by Ms. Barbara Augusta Teichert

Performance times: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Estimated running time: three hours and 7 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

Tickets to Don Carlo at the Academy of Music are now on sale, and may be purchased at operaphila.org or by calling 215.893.1018.

To learn more about Don Carlo, please visit operaphila.org/production/don-carlo to find full casting information, photos and videos, a synopsis, biographies, ticketing services and other company information.

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