2010-2011 season: A World Premiere, A Classic Comedy and A Baroque Double-Bill
MILWAUKEE, Wis.—February 15, 2010—After announcing plans for the organization’s first-ever world premiere opera, Río de Sangre, earlier this month, the Florentine Opera Company’s General Director William Florescu announced today the remaining operas slated for the Florentine’s upcoming season: Rossini’s beguiling The Italian Girl in Algiers (L’italiana in Algeri) and a unique double-bill featuring Baroque works: John Blow’s Venus & Adonis and Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, presented together in one performance.
In addition, the Florentine Opera 2010-2011 Studio Artists will be featured in “Golden Days.” The concert, a nostalgic look at a bygone musical era that laid the groundwork for modern American musical theater, will be performed Sunday, November 14 at 2:30 pm in Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Audiences will enjoy selections by composers such as Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, and Victor Herbert, from such pieces as The Desert Song, The Student Prince, The Vagabond King, Naughty Marietta and others.
“The Florentine Opera continues to expand our repertoire this season,” remarked Florescu. “Our world premiere will be an exciting milestone in the Company’s history; Rossini’s whimsical bel canto comedy is a nod to our 77-year legacy, and presenting two selections from the Baroque era in the intimacy of Vogel hall will provide a new way for our audiences to experience opera. There is truly something for everyone.”
The curtain opens on Río de Sangre, created by Emmy Award-winning composer Don Davis and Los Angeles author and librettist Kate Gale. Presented October 22, 23 and 24, 2010 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the opera depicts war and love against the backdrop of the twenty-first century—where all kinds of violence are possible—and the inevitable consequences of death, revenge and madness follow. Paula Suozzi, a fixture of the Milwaukee arts community, will direct the new work. Principal Conductor Joseph Rescigno will conduct the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Davis’s vibrant, Latin-inspired score. The opera has seven lead roles, four supporting roles, and requires a 63-piece orchestra, a 10-piece on-stage merengue band and 35 choristers.
As Río de Sangre opens the company’s 77th season, it will mark the first time that the Florentine has presented a work in Spanish, which has long been a goal of the organization. “I developed an interest in Río de Sangre for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its excellent English-to-Spanish translation by Alicia Partnoy,” he states.
In its second offering of the season, the Florentine will present the charming Rossini comedy The Italian Girl in Algiers (L’italiana in Algeri) for the second time in its history. Beloved local director William Theisen will direct the work and Joseph Rescigno will conduct the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Rossini’s exuberant score. The opera tells the tale of the quick-witted Isabella, who is captured for a sultan’s harem after being shipwrecked and separated from her fiancé. Luckily, the charming girl remains undaunted and using guts and guile, she forges her own happy ending.
In May 2011, the Florentine will move to Vogel Hall of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts to perform a sensuous double-bill featuring two timeless Baroque works: The earliest surviving British opera and the first English operatic masterpiece. John Blow’s sumptuous Venus & Adonis illuminates the unparalleled pleasure and unsurpassed heartbreak caused by fatal attraction, while Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas tells an enthralling tale of two lovers forced to choose between passion and duty. The intimacy of Vogel Hall’s “jewel-box” theater is the perfect setting to experience the lush Baroque melodies and passionate drama, brought to life by these two works.
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