MILWAUKEE, Wis.—April 17, 2019— The Florentine Opera Company proudly announces its first season under the leadership of new General Director and CEO Maggey Oplinger. The 2019-2020 season explores themes of love, power, and destruction through timeless classics and fresh repertoire, and will feature a diverse range of artists, directors, and designers, both familiar and new to Milwaukee.
The Florentine Opera launches its mainstage season on October 11 & 13, 2019 with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Mozart turns the battle between the sexes and classes into sublime comedy, with some of the most beautiful music ever written. The Florentine’s sumptuous revival features a cast of audience favorites and anticipated debuts. Baritone Alexander Dobson returns as the Count; soprano Ariana Douglas, a former Baumgartner Studio Artist, returns as Susanna; and mezzo-soprano Jenni Bank returns as Marcelina. Among the many debuts, bass-baritone Calvin Griffin sings Figaro, soprano Alisa Peterson is the Countess and mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis is Cherubino. An all-new creative team includes Shawna Lucey in her Florentine directorial debut and Maestro Clinton Smith conducting the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
With a new twist this year, the Florentine Opera’s Baumgartner Studio Artist Showcase will feature operatic repertoire selected especially to highlight the particular voice types and talents of this year’s young artists-in-residence. The Baumgartner Studio Artist Showcase takes place on February 8 & 9, 2020 at the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall in the Marcus Performing Arts Center.
The Florentine will perform a new and original production of The Tragedy of Carmen by Peter Brook in the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall on March 13, 15, 21 & 22, 2020. Peter Brook’s acclaimed chamber adaptation strips the story of Carmen to its emotional core, focusing on the four main characters and their interrelationships. This taut psycho-drama is great opera and dynamic theater. Audiences will hear all the famous arias and get to know the heroine in a whole new way. Exciting Florentine debuts include mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian in the role of Carmen, Eugenia Arsenis as stage director and Christopher Rountree as conductor. Baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco returns to the Florentine stage as Escamillo, and Don José and Micaela will be sung by 2019-2020 Baumgartner Studio Artists.
The season closes with Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth. Last seen at the Florentine Opera in 2007, this historically grounded revival production will be performed in Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Performing Arts Center on May 29 & 31, 2020. Verdi takes Shakespeare to an operatic level with one of the most complex relationships ever to haunt the stage. Stage Director John de los Santos focuses this production on the violence and intensity of the characters and drama. This is grand opera at its best, with powerhouse roles and a big chorus. Singing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are baritone Lester Lynch in his Florentine debut and soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams. Tenor Aaron Short, another Baumgartner Studio Artist alum, will sing the role of Macduff. John de los Santos makes his Florentine Opera debut as stage director, and Maestro Joseph Mechavich returns as conductor.
The Florentine Opera’s 2019-2020 season also includes five @ The Center concerts at the Wayne & Kristine Lueders Florentine Opera Center in Riverwest:
The June and July performances will feature the Florentine’s Summer Residency Quartet and the remaining three concerts will star the 2019-2020 Donald and Donna Baumgartner Studio Artists.
Season subscriptions are now available for purchase through the Florentine Opera box office. Find package details and an subscription order form at www.florentineopera.org/subscribe or call 414-291-5700 ext. 224 for more information. Single tickets will go on sale July 22, 2019.
THE FLORENTINE OPERA COMPANY
GRAMMY Award® winning. Three times.
The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin’s art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. The Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin (with support from the National Endowment for the Arts), as well as corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.
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