Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

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lennygoran
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Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

Post by lennygoran » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:10 am

Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

By ANDREW R. CHOW MARCH 20, 2018


Opera Philadelphia has of late prioritized embracing new work and unorthodox programming; last month, New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe wrote that the company “has swiftly become one of the most creative and ambitious in this country.” On Tuesday, the company announced its 2018-19 season, which will include a second annual citywide festival and two world premieres.

The festival, O18, will race through five operatic performances from Sept. 20-30. (“It may be a risk, but it’s one well worth taking,” Anthony Tommasini wrote of last year’s iteration.) On Sept. 20, the Perelman Theater will host the premiere of “Sky on Swings,”an opera about two women suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, by the composer Lembit Beecher and the librettist Hannah Moscovitch. Starting on Sept. 22 at the Barnes Foundation, the countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo will perform in “Glass Handel,” an art installation that fuses the music of Handel and Philip Glass.

The multimedia piece will include live painting, a new dance work by Justin Peck, and videos from James Ivory — who just won an Oscar for his “Call Me By Your Name” screenplay. The festival will close with a three-night cabaret performance titled “Queens of the Night,” with Stephanie Blythe and Dito van Reigersberg.

The company’s regular programming at its home base, the Academy of Music, features more known quantities. Brenda Rae stars in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” starting Sept. 21; Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” arrives on Feb. 8 with Tim Mead and Anna Christy as Oberon and Tytania; Puccini’s “La Bohème” begins April 26, with Mimi played by Vanessa Vasquez, a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” conducted by Karina Canellakis, plays at the Perelman theater starting March 7.



https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/arts ... collection

John F
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
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Re: Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

Post by John F » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:14 am

Philadelphia's history of opera is complicated and troubled. No one opera company has survived more than 20 years as originally organized; instead there has been a series of rivalries and mergers. Opera Philadelphia was renamed and perhaps reorganized five years ago from the Opera Company of Philadelphia, which was created in 1975 by merging the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company and the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company. Both of these originated in the 1950s, when the latter was created by merging the Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera Company and the Philadelphia La Scala Opera Company. This was the last of four different companies that carried the same name.

In the best years, Philadelphia's opera fans could hear major singers in full repertory seasons conducted by Giuseppe Bamboschek with singers of the Metropolitan Opera such as Giovanni Martinelli, Eleanor Steber and Leonard Warren. A database of opera in Philadelphia is here - read it and weep:

http://www.frankhamilton.org/ph/

All that faded out in the 1970s, and the current Opera Philadelphia bears no resemblance to any of its professional precursors. It offers a very short season of a few standard operas with no-name casts and conductors, two performed by Curtis Institute of Music students, as well as one new opera by a no-name composer and a strange concoction called an "art installation" whose description is baffling. The only name performer is Stephanie Blythe, not in opera but a "cabaret performance."

To see any major-league opera, then, Philadelphians will have to travel to New York or Washington.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
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Re: Ambitious Opera Philadelphia Announces Its New Season

Post by lennygoran » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:57 am

Yeah I'm weeping-so far there's little that has enticed us down there to Philly for any opera-Wilmington Delaware has done more for us in that regard--we loved the Faccio Hamlet, a well done Semiramide seeing a performance of that opera for the first time and this year it will be Schicchi and Buoso's Ghost. Regards, Len

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