Opera Philadelphia

Published21 Apr 2016

Tenor Dimitri Pittas steps in as Nemorino in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, April 29-May 8 at the Academy of Music

Opera Philadelphia General Director & President David B. Devan announced today that Dimitri Pittas, a dynamic performer poised “to take his place among the great tenors who have assayed Nemorino” (The Financial Times), will replace Christopher Tiesi as the lovelorn Nemorino for all five performances of The Elixir of Love, April 29-May 8 at the Academy of Music. Mr. Tiesi has withdrawn from the production due to illness.

Pittas, who made his Opera Philadelphia debut last season in the title role of Verdi’s Don Carlo, returns to Philadelphia in a role and production he knows quite well. In 2009, Pittas appeared as Nemorino in The Santa Fe Opera’s new production of The Elixir of Love, which was helmed by Opera Philadelphia Music Director Corrado Rovaris and director Stephen Lawless, who have reunited to bring their hit staging to the Academy of Music. Pittas was lauded by Opera News for both his acting ability and his vocal presence in his 2009 performance: “His Nemorino was no illiterate klutz but a young man who, with delightful spontaneity, is discovering the joys and woes life has to offer. He grew from the simplistic sentimentalism of ‘Quanto è bella’ to the articulation of mature, compassionate love in ‘Una furtiva lagrima.’”

“We feel truly fortunate to have Dimitri Pittas, who performed in this same production at Santa Fe with our Music Director Corrado Rovaris and stage director Stephen Lawless, available to step in and sing the role of Nemorino,” said Devan. “He has performed at The Metropolitan Opera, Welsh National Opera, and stages all over the world.”

Dimitri Pittas
Dimitri Pittas as Nemorino in a 2009 production at The Santa Fe Opera Credit: © Ken Howard | The Santa Fe Opera

Pittas began the current season at The Metropolitan Opera singing the role of Cassio in a new, opening night production of Otello, directed by Bartlett Sher. He also performed the role of Alfred in Die Fledermaus at the Met, and in Japan at the Saito Kinen Festival. Last season, his engagements included Rodolfo in La bohème with Opera de Paris, Opera National de Bordeaux, The Dallas Opera, and Palm Beach Opera. He also performed the role of Michele in the world premiere of La Ciocara (Two Women) by Marco Tutino, with San Francisco Opera. Pittas will next appear as Nemorino in an October 2016 production at Houston Grand Opera.

Pittas stars opposite soprano Sarah Shafer as Adina. A recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Shafer was praised for her “luminous voice” and “intensely expressive interpretations” in the New York Times, and named “a singer to watch” by Opera News. Baritone Craig Verm, who impressed as Schaunard in 2012’s La bohème, brings his “enormous comic flair” (Opera News) to his role debut as Sergeant Belcore, with scene-stealing bass Kevin Burdette as the huckster Dr. Dulcamara. In his 2014 turn as Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Burdette was described as “always in a whirl, acting, re-acting, slapstick, slaphappy: a great comic performance” (Parterre Box).  Here, he is reunited with soprano Katrina Thurman (Berta in The Barber of Seville) who has been recognized by Gramophone for her “remarkably vibrant and flexible voice,” singing the role of Giannetta.

Dimitri Pittas
Dimitri Pittas Credit: Kristen Hoeberman

The Elixir of Love
Music by Gaetano Donizetti | Libretto by Felice Romani
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Production from The Santa Fe Opera

April 29, May 1m, 4, 6 & 8m, 2016
Academy of Music
Tickets: $19 to $239
operaphila.org | 215.732.8400

Opera Philadelphia is committed to embracing innovation and developing opera for the 21st century. Described as “one of the leading instigators of new work in the country” by Opera NewsOpera Philadelphia is the only American finalist for the 2016 International Opera Award for Best Opera Company. The company is charting a bold new path to September 2017, when Opera Philadelphia will open its 2017-2018 season with an immersive, 12-day festival featuring seven operatic happenings in six venues throughout the city. The first festival, “O17,” will feature three World Premieres, plus the exclusive East Coast appearance of Barrie Kosky’s groundbreaking production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and a recital by superstar soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Opera Philadelphia will continue to present a spring season each year, including with productions in February and April, making it the only U.S. opera company producing an annual opera season that begins with a dynamic festival.

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