Monday, March 14, 2011

Nashville Opera Announces 2011-12 Season

The upcoming season slate is out for Nashville Opera. Here's the presser:

March 14, 2011 (NASHVILLE, TN) — Nashville Opera‘s 2011-12 season will feature three beloved opera productions: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and the Nashville Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West). 3-show, 2-show, and FLEX voucher season ticket orders are available online at, or directly from the Nashville Opera’s Box Office by calling (615) 832-5242. Individual reserved seats will be available for purchase on Monday, August 29. Nashville Opera subscription packages offer significant discounts over the published single ticket prices which range in price from $19 to $95, plus other exclusive perks. Nashville Opera now offers a convenient installment payment option for subscribers which is available online or through the Nashville Opera Box Office.

“We are proud to continue Nashville Opera’s tradition of creating legendary productions,” says John Hoomes, Artistic Director. “The 2011-12 season, our 31st since the company’s founding in 1981, features three unique and popular operatic works, and will display the best and brightest opera talent throughout the year.”

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata will be performed on Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm and Saturday, October 15 at 8 pm at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall located at 505 Deaderick Street in Downtown Nashville. The opera is sung in Italian with projected English translations, and features the Nashville Symphony under the direction of Maestro Christopher Larkin. Principal artists include Emily Pulley, soprano as Violetta; Joshua Kohl, tenor as Alfredo; Grant Youngblood, baritone as Germont.

Emily Pulley is a frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, and has performed such legendary roles as Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi in La bohème.

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata is a glamorous and heartfelt portrait of a worldly courtesan forced to give up the man of her dreams, and has become the third most popular opera in the world behind only La bohème and Madama Butterfly. Produced by Nashville Opera for the first time in eight years, this tale of love and selfless sacrifice weaves an amazing range of emotions into a nearly perfect dramatic confection. The memorable score positively glows with poignant preludes, inspired ensembles, and marvelously crafted duets. An irresistible classic!

Ruggero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci will be performed Friday, December 2 at 8 pm; Saturday, December 3 at 8 pm; and Sunday, December 4 at 2 pm at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater. Principal artists include Allan Glassman, tenor as Canio; Elizabeth Caballero, soprano as Nedda; and Todd Thomas, baritone as Tonio. Pagliacci is sung in Italian with projected English translations, and features the Nashville Opera Orchestra under the direction of Maestro William Boggs.

This famous play-within-a-play-where the clown who makes others laugh is sobbing inside, because onstage and off, his actress-wife is having a torrid affair with a younger man-is high-testosterone Italian opera at its best! Full of irony and some of the most powerful music ever written, Pagliacci cemented the new, more realistic (read shocking and gritty!) verismo opera into the art form’s canon. Based on the lives of real people, verismo opera was calculated to stir an emotional reaction from audiences, and Pagliacci has been doing just that since 1890!

Tenor Allan Glassman, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera, triumphed as Herod in a new production of Salome starring Karita Mattila in 2004, and has since been heard in the MET’s productions of Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Boris Godunov, The Great Gatsby, Carmen, Elektra, Káta Kabanová and The Ghost of Versailles, among others. He has also been a frequent guest at New York City Opera, where he has performed the title role in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don José in Carmen and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, among many other productions.

Giacomo Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) will be performed Thursday, April 12 at 7 pm and Saturday, April 14 at 8 pm in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall. Principal artists include Othalie Graham, soprano as Minnie; Roy C. Smith as Dick Johnson, reprising his critically-acclaimed Chicago Lyric Opera role; Malcolm MacKenzie as Jack Rance. The Girl of the Golden West is sung in Italian with projected English Translations, and features the Nashville Symphony under the direction of Maestro Dean Williamson.

Everyone loves a good Western: a handsome outlaw in disguise, the sheriff in hot pursuit, and a garter-snapping, pistol-packing, poker-playing heroine who knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em to save the man she loves. Puccini was fascinated by the American West, and California during the Gold Rush was perfect for the adventures of one of his most memorable leading ladies. Rough-and-tumble characters, soaring arias, and a harmonically sumptuous score in the original “spaghetti Western” inspired by a 1905 play about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. A company premiere!

Roy Cornelius Smith is fast becoming known for his voice of great natural beauty, his compelling dramatic interpretations, and his fine musicianship. He has already been heard on some of the world’s great operatic stages including the Metropolitan Opera, Salzburger Festspiele, Volksoper Wien, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Nashville Opera, and the New Israeli Opera. He has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

About Nashville Opera
Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and play to over 17,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 30,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.

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