Fort Worth Opera, Opera of the Americas, KERA, Think, FWOpera
La Bohème (April 20, 28m, May 3, 11, 2013) - Puccini's tragic drama of young love, (which Rent is loosely based upon), featuring renowned soprano Mary Dunleavy and up-and-coming Sri Lankan tenor Sean Panikkar in their company debuts as the ill-fated Mimì and her smitten poet Rodolfo; Puerto Rican soprano Rosa Betancourt, a FWOpera Studio alumna, as the saucy Musetta, and baritone Wes Mason as her jealous beau, the struggling painter Marcello. FWOpera Music Director Joe Illick conducts, with direction by David Lefkowich, who made his company debut with FWOpera's critically acclaimed Il Trovatore in 2011.
The Daughter of the Regiment (April 27, May 5m, and 10, 2013) - Donizetti's spirited switched-at-birth romantic comedy, featuring Texas soprano Ava Pine (Lysistrata, 2012), in the title role of Marie, and tenor David Portillo as her love interest, Tonio, (Don Giovanni, 2010). Bass-baritone Rod Nelman (Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro, 2012), sings Sergeant Sulpice, head of the 21st regiment. Renowned character mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle (The Turn of the Screw, 2003), returns as the Marquise of Berkenfeld, and FWOpera General Director and retired character tenor Darren K. Wood makes his company debut as the hapless butler Hortensius. Conductor Christopher Larkin (Three Decembers, 2012) conducts, with direction by Broadway and Hollywood veteran Dorothy Danner (Pirates of Penzance, 2004), a frequent conductor-director team who have led Daughter to great acclaim and laughter across the U.S.
Glory Denied (April 21m, 23, 24, 27m, 30; May 1, 4m, 7, 8, and 11m, 2013 - regional premiere) - American composer Tom Cipullo's emotion-packed, landmark work based on the bestselling book by journalist Tom Philpott, of the tragic, true story of America's longest-held Vietnam prisoner-of-war, Colonel Jim Thompson. Featuring Texas baritone Michael Mayes (Lysistrata, 2012) in role debut as Older Thompson; Caroline Worra in company debut reprising the role of Older Alyce; tenor David Blalock in company debut as the Young Thompson; soprano Sydney Mancasola in company debut as Young Alyce. Tyson Deaton, a longtime FWOpera pianist and in-demand collaborative recitalist, makes his company conducting debut. Also on the team are Dean Anthony, a former character tenor turned director directs; set designer Richard Kagey (Lysistrata, 2012), and Emmy Award-winning costume designer Stephen Chudej.
Ariadne auf Naxos (May 4, 12m, 2013) - FWOpera's first-ever production of Strauss' entertaining and comedic opera-within-an-opera. Featuring soprano Marjorie Owens (Il Trovatore, 2011), as the Prima Donna, whose character Ariadne is wooed by the Greek god Bacchus, sung by tenor Corey Bix in his company debut; soprano Audrey Luna makes her company debut as Zerbinetta, and mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall makes her company debut singing the pants role of the Composer. FWOpera Music Director Joe Illick conducts, and frequent FWOpera presence David Gately (Lysistrata, 2012) directs.
Frontiers, FWOpera's, annual new works program, makes its debut during the 2013 Festival. The showcase will present eight unpublished works by composers from the Americas during May 6 - 11 of the 2013 Opera Festival in the McDavid Studio across from Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth www.fwopera.org/Frontiers.
Please note that the company's 67th season and seventh festival is one month earlier than previous seasons as it moves to its new time. For more on all the information above, please visit www.fwopera.org or call 817.731.0726 or toll-free at 1.877.396.7372.
Fort Worth boasts a unique mix of western culture, urban sophistication, and fine art. The city is home to world-renowned arts organizations such as the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. On the other end of the spectrum, the city sponsors daily cattle drives through its Stockyards district, hosts equestrian and livestock events throughout the year, and is home to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Downtown Fort Worth is a lively spot for residents and tourists; attractions include fine dining, shopping, night life, and the opera house, the acclaimed Bass Performance Hall.
Pictured: James Bobick in Dog Days by composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek. Photo courtesy Peak Performances at Montclair State University.