The Amore Opera Company will continue its season with a fully staged production of Lehar's romantic operetta, "The Merry Widow." Amore Opera will also be delivering performances for kids and the whole family, entitled "Opera-in-Brief" of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera, "The Mikado." All performances are taking place at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street) through March 28 with performances being presented on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Maestro Raymond Calderon is the Music Director. Tickets for the Operas are $35.00 for general admission and $30.00 for Students and Seniors. Tickets for the Opera-in-Briefs are $15.00. Tickets are accessible by visiting the Amore Opera website at http://www.amoreopera.org/tickets or by visiting the OvationTix website at https://www.ovationtix.com
New York Times critic, Steve Smith, stated, "Patrons of the Amato Opera, the scrappy, beloved company that mounted homegrown opera in New York for six decades before closing in June, surely feel right at home at the inaugural presentation by the Amore Opera, a new company established by Amato veterans."
When the closing of Amato Opera was announced, performers and a group of former Amato board members - all passionate opera lovers- were determined not to let Anthony Amato's dream die. They moved quickly to form a new opera company, Amore Opera. With Amato's blessing, Amore Opera was able to secure sets, costumes and props from the Amato Opera Theater. The Amore Board of Directors, whose members boast credentials from New York University, the New York Philharmonic, the Opera Orchestra of New York, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, developed its premiere season and established a performance venue, the Connelly Theater. Nathan Hull, a frequent Amato Opera performer, was elected to the helm of the fledgling company as it strives to develop and grow while maintaining the great principles established by Anthony Amato over 60 years ago.
The Merry Widow
Premiered on December 30, 1905, Vienna
Libretto by Victor Leon and Leo Stein after Henri Meilahc's L'attache d'ambassade
This charming and very relevant love story still entertains and delights audiences a century after it debuted. The operetta opens at a soiree at the Parisian embassy of Pontevedro, a fictional Eastern European kingdom, hosted by Baron Mirko Zehta, the Pontevedrian Ambassador, for his high society friends. Everyone is anxious as they await the arrival of Hannah Glawari, the recent widow of the owner of the Bank of Pontevedro. Zeta's ambition is to prevent Hannah from marrying a foreigner, which would leave the Bank in financial ruin. He makes sure that Prince Danilo, the country's most eligible bachelor, is available to woo Hannah. What he doesn't know is that Hannah and Danilo are not exactly strangers. Years earlier, they had met and fallen in love when Hannah was a poor farm girl but his aristocratic Opera rejected her and they couldn't marry. The party moves to Maxim's, a cabaret bar in Paris, and Zeta continues to convince Danilo that it is his patriotic duty to marry the widow. Meanwhile, Hannah is courted by many suitors whom she knows really only want her money. As Hannah and Danilo dance and reminisce, their feelings for each other return. Hannah is stubborn and suspicious; she tests Danilo to determine his love is true. All ends well, and the reunited couple joyfully waltz their way to a happy ending.
Premiered on March 15, 1885, London
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
The opera opens in the town of Titipu where Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, has escaped in order to avoid an arranged marriage to Katisha, whom he doesn't love. Unfortunately for the disguised Nanki-Poo, the girl he does love, Yum-Yum, is engaged to be married to her guardian, the tailor Ko-Ko. Yum-Yum finds Nanki-Poo with her sisters, Pitti-Sing and Peep-Bo. He reveals to them that he is the son of the Mikado, the ruler of Japan.
Yum-Yum tells him she does not love her guardian but is forced to marry him. The fiancé, Ko-Ko, held the title of Lord High Executioner, a rank awarded to him by powerful people who wanted to slow down the rash of executions. It seems that Ko-Ko had been sentenced to death himself for the crime of flirting, but, as Lord High Executioner, he would have had to execute himself before he could execute anybody else! The Mikado notices the lack of executions and declares that, if no executions take place within a month, he would take matters into his own hands. Ko-Ko vows to find a substitute for him and encounters Nanki-Poo who is determined to take his own life rather then live without Yum-Yum. The two men strike a bargain: Ko-Ko agrees to let Nanki-Poo marry Yum-Yum for one month and in return Nanki-Poo agrees to have himself beheaded at the end of the month so Ko-Ko can marry his widow. The wedding plans are disrupted when Ko-Ko discovers that, under Mikado's law, when a married man is beheaded, his wife must be buried alive. As the Mikado approaches, Ko-Ko realizes that he cannot face having to bury Yum-Yum alive. Instead, he sends Yum-Yum to marry Nanki-Poo. The Mikado is seeking his son, the son that Ko-Ko and his accomplices just testified to beheading. They confess the truth and vow to find Nanki-Poo alive and well. Nanki-Poo returns with his new bride and the Mikado converts Ko-Ko's death sentence to one of life with Katisha.
Performances of The Merry Widow
March 12, 7:30 p.m.
March 13, 7:30 p.m.
March 14, 2:30 p.m.
March 18, 7:30 p.m.
March 19, 7:30 p.m.
March 20, 7:30 p.m.
March 21, 2:30 p.m.
March 24, 7:30 p.m.
March 25, 7:30 p.m.
March 26, 7:30 p.m.
March 27, 7:30 p.m.
March 28, 2:30 p.m.
Performances of The Mikado
March 20, 11:00 a.m. (Opera-in-Brief version)
March 20, 3:00 p.m. (Opera-in-Brief version)
March 27, 11:00 a.m. (Opera-in-Brief version)
Single tickets for the Operas are $35.00 for general admission and $30.00 for Students and Seniors. Tickets for the Opera-in-Briefs are $15.00. Tickets can be purchased directly on the Amore Opera Website or by downloading an order form at their website, http://www.amoreopera.org. Tickets are also available on the OvationTix website, https://www.ovationtix.com or by calling their toll-free hotline at 1-888-811-4111.