by Don Dagenais
It is one of the paradoxes of musical history that the shy, bespectacled Frenchman Georges Bizet was creator of Carmen , the story of the sensuous and tempestuous gypsy woman whose life, full of crime and violence, ends in one of the most dramatic of all stage murders. But such are the curiosities of art.
Bizet was born in 1838 and, after showing prodigious musical talent at a tender age, entered the famed Paris Conservatoire when only nine. His teachers there included the grand opera masters Charles Gounod and Fromental Halévy (whose daughter Bizet later married), and upon his graduation he won France’s coveted Prix de Rome. Continue reading
Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro has become a specialty of(OIO 1984), who has recently sung it in Houston and Kansas City. The mezzo was also in Andrea Chenier for the San Francisco Opera in September.
The Florentine Opera of Milwaukee had Katrina Thurman (OIO 1997) in its cast for The Barber of Seville last month, singing the role of Berta.
Baritone Gregory Wascoe (OIO 1999) sang in The Mikado for the Mississippi Opera last year, where he also performed in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. His career has mostly been in the musical theater, where in recent years he has performed Pontius Pilate in and Emile DeBeque in South Pacifc, among other musical theater roles
Anthony Clark Evans, a baritone (OIO 2008) has been busy this past year. Last April he sang Sharpless in Madama Butterﬂy for the San Diego Opera, and then spent part of the summer with the Opera Theater of St. Louis as Marcello in La bohème.
In the fall he repeated Sharpless for the San Francisco Opera, then sang Lovec in Rusalka for the Metropolitan Opera. In June he competes in the famed BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiﬀ, Wales, and in February he takes on Sir Riccardo Forth in I Puritani with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Sarah Tucker (OIO 2005) sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni for the Arizona Opera last spring, then took on Jano in Jenůfa for the San Francisco Opera last summer. This coming fall she will sing in the new opera I Have No Stories to Tell You for the Philadelphia Opera.
The Dayton Opera featured soprano (OIO 2011) in her debut with the company as Blonde in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in February 2017. Also in the cast is Robert Norman (OIO 2009) as Pedrillo. This month Friedlander also appears with the company as Frasquita in Carmen.
Soon she will make her Chautauqua Opera debut in Monteverdi’s Orfeo singing Eurydice, and will also perform Soprano 1 in Phillip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox. Other recent roles for Friedlander include The Pirates of Penzance with the Ohio Light Opera Company and Nannetta in Falstaﬀ with the Martina Arroyo Prelude.
(OIO 1993) journeys to the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston where he will perform Triquet in Eugene Onegin in May and June. Then, for the Charlottesville Opera (Ash Lawn Opera) he plays Curly in Oklahoma before heading West for the Pacifc Opera Project in Los Angeles to sing Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in September. The Long Beach Opera has also signed him to perform in Menotti’s opera The Consul.
Soprano Latonia Moore (OIO 1999) has been singing the title role in Aida at the Metropolitan Opera, attended by several IPFAC supporters (see photo and caption on page 1). She is at least the second OIO graduate to sing the role at the Metropolitan Opera, as one of her predecessors in Aida was Leona Mitchell (OIO 1970). Mitchell sang the role of Aida over 300 times in opera houses around the world during her extensive career.
The 67th season of Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point will open on Friday, June 23 with a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. On the following night, Opera in the Ozarks will perform Carlyle Floyd’s American classic Susannah, and the third premiere will be on Tuesday, June 27, of George Bizet’s Carmen. The three operas will play in repertory through Friday, July 21, when the season closes with the fnal performance of Carmen. The three Sunday matinee performances, on July 2, 9 and 16 will be held at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Monday, July 3 performance will be an Opera Sampler evening, and on Tuesday, July 18 there will be an Opera Scenes performance. In addition, the OiO orchestra will perform a chamber music concert on Monday, July 17 at the Eureka Springs Auditorium at 36 S. Main Street in Eureka Springs.
The three opening night evenings feature one-half price tickets for residents of Carroll, Benton, Washington and Madison Counties. Both season and single tickets are now on sale at www.opera.org or by calling (479) 253-8595. All curtain times are at 7:30 p.m. except for the three Sunday matinees which are at 3:00 p.m.