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La fanciulla del West
La fanciulla del West opens City Opera's thrilling 2017-18 season!
La fanciulla del West
Here's a clip of tenor Jonathan Burton singing the most famous phrase from this incredible opera.
La fanciulla del West
Kristin Sampson, Jonathan Burton and Kevin Short take the stage...
La fanciulla del West
Jonathan Burton sings music from Act 1 of Puccini's La fanciulla del West.
La fanciulla del West
Kristin Sampson and Kevin Short sing music from Act 2 of Puccini's La fanciulla del West.
La Fanciulla del West
Kevin Short sings an excerpt from Act 3 of Puccini's La fanciulla del West.
Praised by the New York Times for her “bright, sizable and expressive voice” Kristin Sampson’s 2017-18 season includes performances as Minnie in La fanciulla del West at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Goldoni Livorno, and Teatro Verdi in Pisa; the title role in Suor Angelica at Torre del Lago; and concert appearances in Italy and throughout the United States. Her engagements in the 2016-17 season included her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Magda in Respighi's La campana sommersa with New York City Opera, Minnie in La fanciulla del West with Opera Carolina, and her debut at the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago as Tosca. Her 2015-16 season included debuts at Potenza’s Teatro Francesco Stabile as Mimi in La bohème and at the New York City Opera as Tosca in the celebratory production that re-opened the company. Ms. Sampson is a two-time recipient of a grant from the Olga Forrai Foundation. She has performed in the U.S. with the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Augusta Opera, El Paso Opera, and the National Lyric Opera among others, and internationally with the Opera Society of Hong Kong, Armel Opera Festival, National Theater of Szeged, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
American tenor Jonathan Burton has recently garnered considerable critical acclaim for his performances in leading tenor roles. OperaWire wrote “special kudos to Mr. Burton, whose ringing tenor voice never failed throughout the evening. His ‘Nessun dorma’ literally stopped the show in the last act, not because it was so familiar to the audience but because of the incredible vocal power displayed by the tenor. The final B was held for so long, with such strength and evenness of tone, my jaw literally dropped; I was left agape. His performance gave me insights into his character that were simply lost to me the last time I saw Turandot.” His recent engagements include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Welsh National Opera, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West with Opera Colorado, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Central City Opera, Rodolfo in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera and Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera with Florida Grand Opera. His upcoming engagements include leading roles with Austin Lyric Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera Omaha and many others.
Bass-baritone Kevin Short's current and future engagements include performances of Pfleger in Elektra and covering Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera; Le Comte de Gormas in Massenet’s Le Cid at Theater St. Gallen; Archibaldo in Montemezzi's L’amore dei tre re at Sarasota Opera; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress at Théâtre de Caen, l'Opéra de Reims, l'Opéra de Rouen, l'Opéra de Limoges, and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; and Porgy in Porgy and Bess at Seattle Opera. He also has two major recording projects with Maestro Larry Foster on the Pentatone music label: Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello and a solo aria album with Orchestre de l'Opéra de Marseille. In addition to performing in over twenty operas at The Metropolitan Opera, he has performed in prestigious North American and European houses including Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Canadian Opera Company, Opéra Comique, Oper der Stadt Köln, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Theater Basel and at festivals including Bregenzer Festspiele and Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Alexander Birch Elliott
Baritone Alexander Birch Elliott’s 2016-17 season includes house and role debuts across the United States. He appears as guest soloist with The Knights for de Falla's Master Peter’s Puppet Show in Brooklyn, and as Marcello in La bohème with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Elliott makes his house and role debut as Guglielmo in Opera Omaha's production of Cosí fan tutte in February. He finishes the season in May covering the role of Doug Hansen in Everest with The Dallas Opera, and reprising the role of Marcello with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under Music Director Ward Stare. Recent performances include the title role in Eugene Onegin with Portland Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Tulsa Opera, and Pilatus in St. John Passion with The Pittsburgh Symphony.
Tenor Michael Boley returns to New York City Opera after appearing in Hal Prince’s 2016 production of Candide. An exponent of the romantic Italian and French repertoire, his recent performance highlights include Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La bohème, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Popular with audiences and critics alike, he has been praised by Mercury News for his “meaty tenor” and “vibrant, dramatically alert performances,” by Opera Today for his “firm-voiced” characterizations, and by Opera News for his “fine contributions.” Mr. Boley has performed principal roles for Opera San Jose, Opera Company of Middlebury, Little Opera Company of New York, Opera Charleston, Opera Columbus, among others.
Bass-baritone Christopher Job is a rising star on the American opera scene. This season, Job performs Verdi’s Requiem with DCINY in Barcelona, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Phoenix Symphony, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Idaho, and returns to The Metropolitan Opera in Cendrillon, Roméo et Juliette, and as Sciaronne in Tosca. A house favorite at The Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Job made his debut in their production of The Nose under the baton of Valery Gergiev. Subsequent engagements there include the role of Sir Gualtiero Raleigh in Roberto Devereux, Brühlmann in Werther, 4th Waiter in Der Rosenkavalier and for their productions of Roméo et Juliette, Eugene Onegin, Don Carlo, The Enchanted Island, The Nose, From the House of the Dead, and Lulu created by world-renowned artist and director William Kentridge. He also can be seen on two of their Live in HD broadcasts in Werther and Macbeth.
Baritone Kenneth Overton has been lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic and varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” Heralded by the BBC for his “exceptional voice,” Mr. Overton made his New York City Opera mainstage debut in 2012 as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi's La traviata. That season, he also made an acclaimed debut in the world premiere of David Ott's The Widow's Lantern at Pensacola Opera, whereby he was immediately re-engaged to star as Joe in Showboat and later Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd the next season. This season he reprises the title role in Porgy and Bess with Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest, and joins San Francisco Opera for the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West, a new opera by John Adams and Peter Sellars.
James Meena ( Conductor )
James Meena, Opera Carolina’s General Director and Principal Conductor since 2000, consistently earns critical acclaim for his artistic vision and dynamic presence on the podium. This season, Mo. Meena conducts La fanciulla del West for five prestigious Italian theaters: Teatro di Giglio in Lucca, Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Teatro Alighieri di Ravenna, Teatro Pavarotti di Modena and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno. His season also includes Rigoletto with Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids, where he also conducts Le nozze di Figaro; a Gala concert with Renée Fleming and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra; Porgy & Bess with Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest for their Summer Festival; Turandot with Tulsa Opera; and La bohème with the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago.
Ivan Stefanutti ( Stage Director )
Ivan Stefanutti’s intense activity in the opera world spans from the great classical repertoire to contemporary music-dramas. His stagings, ranging from traditional productions of Andrea Chénier at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Teatro Regio in Turin, La Fenice in Venice and at the A.B.A.O. in Bilbao to his original, “galactic” re-imagining of Aida, have been lauded by both the youngest audiences and the lovers of tradition. He has worked as a director and set and costume designer in the most important Italian opera houses including Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Teatro Goldoni in Livorno, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia, Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Teatro Regio in Turin, Teatro Comunale in Treviso, Arena di Verona, Festival Pucciniano in Torre del Lago as well as in international houses including Théatre de l’Opéra in Montecarlo, Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Théatre Municipal in Lausanne, Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Wienerkammer Oper in Vienna, Opéra Comique in Paris, Massenet Festival in Saint-Etienne, Kansai Opera in Osaka, Amigos Canarios de la Opera and Teatro Perez Gadòs in Las Palmas, Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera in Bilbao, National Theater in Belgrade, and Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. His motion picture credits include the scenery and costume design for Ugo Gregoretti’s Maggio Musicale, and he directed Plácido Domingo in Le donne di Puccini at the open theatre in Torre del Lago during the summer festival dedicated to the great composer. In 2014, the magazine The Scenographer dedicated a special issue to him titled “The Eclectic World of Ivan Stefanutti.”
Michael Baumgarten ( Lighting Designer and Projection Designer )
Opera Carolina’s Director of Production and Lighting Designer since 2005, Michael Baumgarten has designed lighting for more than 350 opera productions at regional and international companies, including Opera Lyra Ottawa, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Palm Beach Opera, and Opera Columbus during his 30-year design career. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama and member of United Scenic Artists-Local 829, Mr. Baumgarten also serves as Director of Production and Resident Lighting Designer for Chautauqua Opera since 1999. Equally at home with digital design and innovative technologies, he has designed and created new digital imagery for Opera Carolina’s existing productions of Turandot and Les pêcheurs de perles, as well as digital imagery for Opera Carolina’s new productions of Nabucco and Romeo et Juliette.