Regional Opera Company of the Week: Minnesota Opera
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by Scott Frost
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the net, continues its expansion into other areas of entertainment with our latest feature -The Regional Opera Company of the Week!
This week's featured Opera Company is Minnesota Opera!
Minnesota Opera stems all the way back to 1963 when The Masque of Angelsby Dominick Argento was commissioned by the Walker Art Center for its performing arts program, Center Opera. The group continued to grow until it became its own entity in 1969 and changed the name in 1971 to the Minnesota Opera. The company quickly became known as an "alternative opera company" to complement the traditional Metropolitan Opera tour that came through each year and the St. Paul Opera Company but in 1975 Minnesota Opera and St. Paul Opera merged and set their focus on both traditional repertory and contemporary opera.
Ten years later the Minnesota Opera entered a completely new era with the opening of the Ordway Center for the Performings, one of the nationals most respected performance halls. The company now presents its entire season here. Throughout the 1990s the company continued to grow and gain national reputation for the high quality and innovative productions of standards while also establishing a foundation for the expansion of its own season.
In 1997, the company began a Resident Artist Program to bridge the gap between training and professional life. The RAP as it was named is acclaimed for strong individualized training coupled with elite group production. The Artistic Director, Dale Johnson, became inspired by the bel-canto ("beautiful singing") values and has since led to the commitment to producing one work from the early 19th century Bel Canto perios in each season.
Minnesota Opera has continually garnered international attention for its new operas as well as its innovative productions of the masterworks. In 2007 the company launched a New Works Initiative, designed to invigorate the opera repertoire through the production of new commissions and revivials of contemporary American works. The 7 year, $7 million program includes an international coproduction (The Adventures of Pinocchio, 2009), three revivals (including Casanova's Homecoming in 2009-2010 and Wuthering Heights in 2010-2011) and three commissions (Silent Night, which premiered in 2011-2012; Doubt in 2012-2013 and a third to be announced.)
Today Minnesota Opera is the 13th largest opera company in the entire nation with an annual budget of $10.2 million. As the company celebrates its 50th anniversary, the unprecedented stability and unity of mission through the company has allowed the Minnesota Opera to create new, dynamic operas that are based on innovation and quality as a service to the community.
There are two operas left to end this 50th anniversary season that you won't want to miss:
March 2- March 10, 2013
To be or not to be ...
Trapped by the horrifying truth about his father's murder, Hamlet becomes the eye of an increasingly violent storm. His vengeance destroys everything - even love. Based on Shakespeare's unforgettable classic, this treasure of French opera shimmers anew with luxurious melodies and searing theatricality.
April 13-April 21, 2013
Solve three riddles - or die trying.
The cold, proud princess Turandot puts her suitors to the ultimate test. This opulent new production sets the exotic legend like a jewel in a lacquer box. Boasting one of opera's most popular arias, "Nessun dorma," Puccini's Turandot is an absolute powerhouse finale to Minnesota Opera's 50th anniversary season.
The 2013-2014 Season promises to be equally exciting with Manon Lascaut, Arabella, Macbeth, The Dream of Valentino and The Magic Flute
For mor information or to purchase tickets visit http://www.mnopera.org/