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Florida Grand Opera (FGO) with its new artistic vision, is proud to announce the beginning of its 2015–16 Season, with four mainstage productions that strive to appeal to the diverse tastes of the Opera’s South Florida audience: Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger, and Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

All four of these productions will be performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Since FGO’s fundraising efforts in Broward County were successful, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Bellini’s Norma will also be performed at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets can be bought at the Florida Grand Opera’s Box Office, located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25 Street, Miami. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday during the season. Season tickets may also be purchased by phone at (800) 741-1010.

FGO’s 2015–16 PRODUCTIONS


Il barbiere di Siviglia

FGO will open its 75th season of continuous production with a beloved opera classic, Il barbiere di Siviglia, or “The Barber of Seville.” Although FloridaGrandOpera_diSivilgliacomposed 30 years after Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia is based on the first of Beaumarchais’ triology of “Figaro” plays, serving as a “prequel” to Mozart’s Nozze, and considered one of the greatest comic operas ever composed.

This quintessential comic opera traces the adventures of handsome young Count Almaviva as he spots the lovely Rosina and courts her, in spite of her jealous guardian’s attempts to thwart him. Of course, he would never have succeeded without help from the crafty Figaro, who is much more than just a barber.

Witness the delicious unfolding of comic opera at its best: energetic young lovers’ foiling the grand schemes of a buffoon; mistaken identities; a plot that turns and twists—all wrapped up in Rossini’s unmistakably masterful music. Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish.

MIAMI Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House, through November 21

FORT LAUDERDALE – Broward Center for the Performing Arts / Au-Rene Theater, December 3 and 5, 2015

 


Norma

Bellini has famously been recorded saying, “If I were shipwrecked at sea, I would leave all the rest of my operas and try to save Norma.” Although a failure at its premiere, out of all of Bellini’s operas, Norma is the one that FloridaGrandOpera_Normahas consistently remained an audience favorite and is among the most requested operas by FGO audience members over the past decade. Florida Grand Opera is proud to announce that it will be producing this masterpiece after a 26-year absence from South Florida stages.

This opera tells the story of a supposedly chaste Druid priestess who has convinced her followers not to go to war with their Roman captors. In secret she has borne children by the Roman leader, Pollione. But when Pollione grows tired of Norma and falls in love with Adalgisa, Norma is driven to murderous jealousy by her lover’s inconstancy and vows to make the guilty atone for their crimes.

This work has its scenes of pageantry and moments of ringing grandeur, but it by far rises to its greatest lyrical heights in the celebrated aria, “Casta diva.” The simplicity and directness of this work was celebrated by Wagner, who later conducted the piece at Riga in 1837, remarking that Norma was “indisputably Bellini’s most successful composition.” Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish.

MIAMI – Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House, January 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 2016

FORT LAUDERDALE – Broward Center for the Performing Arts / Au-Rene Theater, February 11, 13, 2016

 


The Passenger

As one of only five communities in the United States with the opportunity to experience this piece, Florida Grand Opera is honored to present Weinberg’s The Passenger as the third installment of the company’s “Made for Miami” series.

The horrors of World War II, still raw today, were fresh in 1959 when Auschwitz survivor Zofia FloridaGrandOpera_ThePassengerPosmysz wrote a play titled The Passenger from Cabin 45 for Polish radio. The play became the basis of the opera by Mieczysław Weinberg in 1967. The action of the drama takes us from the stylish gentility of a luxury liner’s deck to the squalor of a death camp, where cruelty, despair, and unspeakable courage are evident in equal measure.

As William Faulkner wrote, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” Memory can comfort, torment—even terrify—but it is always with us. En route to a new post with her husband, a German diplomat, Liese is unnerved by the sight of a woman—another passenger—who eerily resembles Marta, one of the inmates Liese oversaw when she was a prison guard at Auschwitz.

Suppressed for more than 40 years, Weinberg’s gripping opera has emerged anew, electrifying audiences at Austria’s Bregenz Festival and again in Houston, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and London. Unique to this production is that it is considered a polyglot, meaning it is performed in multiple languages. This South Florida premiere will be one of the most important musical events of the year. Projected titles in English and Spanish.

MIAMI – Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House, April 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 2016

 


Don Pasquale

As a long-standing audience favorite, Donizetti’s delightful Don Pasquale is one of the pillars of Italian comic opera, and its scintillating coloratura and spirited ensembles make it a richly rewarding musical experience, from its lyrical arias to its punchy patter and sparkling humor. FloridaGrandOpera_DonPasqualeThis revival of a comedic classic will finish out FGO’s 2015–16 Season on a high note.

There’s no fool like an old fool, particularly when it comes to love and money. Don Pasquale, worried that his wealth will be squandered by his scheming nephew Ernesto, sets out to find himself a wife. When a distinctly feline young lady conveniently turns up, he is smitten… but he soon finds out that marriage is not quite as straightforward as he expected.

With endearingly eccentric characters, fabulous music, and plenty of laughs, director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe return to South Florida with their colorful and quirky style after their 2013–14 Season triumph, Thaïs. Set in Rome at the cusp of the Swinging Sixties, it’s the perfect setting for a titanic clash of the generations. Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish.

MIAMI – Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House, May 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 2016

For more information on the Florida Grand Opera, including how to purchase tickets, visit fgo.org.