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Opera Colorado’s Upcoming Productions Include Madama Butterfly, The Magic Flute, Aida and the World Premiere of The Scarlet Lett
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Opera Colorado recently announced that it will present Giacomo Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly" (November 2014), W.A. Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" (May 2015), Giuseppe Verdi’s "Aida" (November 2015), and the world premiere of Lori Laitman’s "The Scarlet Letter" (May 2016) starring Elizabeth Futral as Hester Prynne. A vital presence in Denver’s cultural ecology, Opera Colorado is the Rocky Mountain region’s preeminent grand opera company. The Opera’s programming includes mainstage productions, artist development initiatives, and education and community engagement programming.  

Reflective of Opera Colorado’s commitment to staging classic repertoire while also inspiring audiences and providing opportunities for emerging young talent, these upcoming productions will include traditional stagings of Madama Butterfly and Aida (which has not been performed at Opera Colorado for 20 years), alongside a new production of The Magic Flute and the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter—featuring the return to Opera Colorado of celebrated soprano Elizabeth Futral in a new, contemporary adaptation of the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne novel.

“The operas we are planning over the next few years represent the full spectrum of our artistic vision. Productions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Verdi’s Aida are mainstays of any opera season. Artistic Advisor Ari Pelto and I have assembled outstanding casts for these great works, including many singers making their Opera Colorado debuts,” said General Director Greg Carpenter. “Additionally, I am thrilled that we have found a place in our 2016 season for The Scarlet Letter—a new, American opera with music by Lori Laitman and a libretto by our own Colorado Poet Laureate, David Mason. This will be The Scarlet Letter’s world premiere, and we are so pleased to present this new work under the visionary direction of Beth Greenberg, and starring one of today’s most dynamic sopranos, Elizabeth Futral.”

“To create one of the best-known characters from American literature will be a thrilling opportunity,” said soprano Elizabeth Futral.  “And as she is delineated through the deft lyricism of Lori Laitman's score...a sheer luxury!”

As Opera Colorado looks forward to all four of these productions, the company continues to maintain high artistic standards while operating under a reorganization implemented in 2013. “Over the past twelve months we have been working diligently to restructure Opera Colorado, positioning it for long-term sustainability and artistic achievement,” explains Greg Carpenter. “We have embraced significant challenges and made many difficult decisions, all of which have proven successful in stabilizing our financial health and allowing us to plan exciting programming for future seasons.” Opera Colorado’s fiscal year began on July 1, 2013. Thanks to tremendous community support, the company has met revenue goals for the first two quarters of the fiscal year, and is on track to do the same for the third quarter.  

In addition to these mainstage productions, Opera Colorado will continue its Young Artists residency program, as well as a variety of other education and community engagement activities which reach more than 35,500 community members annually—including a traveling, hour-long production of Romeo and Juliet for school age students. The Company will announce its 2015 Young Artists in the coming months.

About Madama Butterfly
Giacomo Puccini’s tragic tale of the beautiful young Japanese Cio Cio San “Butterfly,” wed to American Naval Officer Pinkerton, captures in stunning music the longing of a deferred reunion, lost love, betrayal and guilt. The traditional costumes and sets will bring to life both the cultural beauty and emotional angst of this story.

About The Magic Flute
Mozart’s classic opera features the debut of rising star Maureen McKay as Pamina and emerging talent So Young Park as Queen of the Night, along with the return of Daniel Belcher as Papageno and Jonathan Boyd as Tamino. This new Opera Colorado production of The Magic Flute will come to life under the direction of Daniel Witzke and conductor Joseph Mechavich.

About Aida
In all the splendor of the Pharaohs, Verdi’s Aida catapults to the forefront a love triangle. Ripe with the complexities of loyalties and jealousy during a time of war and conquest, two strong women test their fate to win the man whom they both love. Verdi’s vivid music, along with grand opera’s costumes and sets make this production an experience with all of the best that opera offers.

About The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter famous character trio -- the young and beautiful seamstress Hester Prynne; Dr. Chillingworth, her deformed and estranged husband; and the ethereal Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester's lover and father of her daughter Pearl -- lands us on familiar "operatic" ground as these characters grapple with theatrically-heightened emotions. We look with awe at the Reverend's self-destruction and descent into madness; we marvel at Hester's ability for self-sacrifice and unwavering strength; how she is a woman alone against society and how she holds onto her inner freedom; and, we question the monstrous vengeance plied by Dr. Chillingworth. In some ways the Doctor is the "most operatic" of all as he rages with an addictive force fueled by intellectual and sexual frustration. As these three lives collide, and are played out against the god-fearing community within the superstitious climate of Puritan America, the work races towards its shocking climax. For librettist and Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason's precise, rich and fast-moving text, the composer Lori Laitman has written a work of power and intensity. She consistently hits the mark to reveal characters in their challenging situations, all the while having composed music of lyric beauty that singers love to sing. Audiences also love to hear her music and she involves the listener immediately and easily. This is an opera that gets to the heart of why opera fans want to continue hearing new work.




  
July, 2017
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