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Arizona Opera Begins 2012-2013 Season with Performances, Partnerships, Events and Buzz About the New Opera Center

Arizona Opera Begins 2012-2013 Season with Performances, Partnerships, Events and Buzz About the New Opera Center
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Phoenix, AZ (August 15, 2012) – Arizona Opera’s 2012-2013 season is filled with unforgettable performances and a variety of special events. This season’s theme is “The Price of Passion.” From the dark Scottish highlands of Lucia di Lammermoor to spectacular classics such as Il Trovatore andTosca, from the love story of Roméo et Juliette to the comedy of The Marriage of Figaro, this diverse, magnificent season features cast members who have performed at the world’s top opera houses. Season subscriptions, single tickets and a variety of multi-performance packages are available.

To add to a masterful season, Arizona Opera also presents a number ofspecial events and performances such as the Arizona Opera Up Closeconcert series at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM Music Theater), the popular Opera dell’Arte lecture series (expanding to Tucson this year), and the continuation of community partnerships with a special new dinner series, Arizona Opera Culinary Mischief, and the first-ever joint gala with Ballet Arizona and The Phoenix Symphony, TRIO.

Arizona Opera is also embarking on a watershed and transformational next step with its new Opera Center, establishing a permanent home from which it will bring to life its world-class programming and events. The Opera Center, which is currently under construction, will house an intimate black box performance venue, administrative offices, educational and meeting facilities, rehearsal space, and costume, wig and makeup shops-offering the community unprecedented behind-the scenes access to the creative process. The Opera Center joins other cultural pillars such as Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum and Phoenix Theatre in the “uptown” arts district, which is easily accessible via METRO Light Rail. Completion of the Opera Center is expected in the first quarter of 2013.

Arizona Opera is pleased to offer a full menu of programming and experiences throughout the 2012-13 season, including performances for children, social events, educational programs, culinary adventures and patron participation opportunities.

Upcoming 2012 events:
Arizona Opera Up Close at MIM |2012: September 30, December 2; 2013: January 9, March 14, April 11 |Times vary |$32.50-$42.50
Five concerts at the Musical Instrument Museum offer an intimate, operatic experience in the 300- seat MIM Music Theater. The first three concerts in the series, including a holiday concert, will be performed by Arizona Opera’s four Resident Artists. The final two performances “Bold & Bellisimo!” and “Double Entendre” feature the dynamic international stars of the final two Arizona Opera season productions, Il Trovatore and The Marriage of Figaro. These concerts offer the unique opportunity to hear and see main stage performers in this acoustically stunning venue. Tickets available at www.theMIM.org.

Special Ticket Offer! | $40 Under 40
Younger opera fans will want to take advantage of a special ticket promotion called $40 under 40, which offers a 3 opera pack for $120, making each ticket just $40. This makes for a wonderful date night, which can be enjoyed 3 times throughout the season. With performance venues in downtown Phoenix and Tucson, making a night of it is easy. To purchase this special package call 602.266.7464 or 520.293.4336.

On Stage Experience with Arizona Opera | Azucena’s Gypsy Caravan | During the performance of Il Trovatore
Patrons won’t want to miss this chance of a lifetime to join the cast of Il Trovatore onstage for the legendary “Anvil Chorus,” no singing required! These lucky patrons will toast the occasion during an intermission reception and enjoy the remainder of the performance from the theater. The price is $100 per person and includes a commemorative photo with the cast. Purchase this ticket online at AZOpera.org or by calling the box office.

Arizona Opera Culinary Mischief |October 14; November 18; January 27; March 3; April 7 | $110 per person
These 4-course, intimate, opera-themed dinners feature wine pairings and follow each of the Sunday performances in Phoenix. The menu and location are top-secret—but each location will be within 5 miles of Symphony Hall. Direct from Florence, Italy, Chef Gabe and Arizona Opera create an evening of musical and culinary indulgence with an experience you won’t soon forget. Experience an afternoon of superb opera followed by the culinary brilliance of Chef Gabriele Bertaccini, who says “Cooking is one of the highest forms of cultural activity!” Each dinner also features a special surprise guest from Arizona Opera! Will it be a leading soprano? The artistic director? You’ll have to attend to find out! Tickets for each Culinary Mischief dinner are $110 per person and each dinner is limited to just 30 guests. Dinner guests also receive a promotion code for discounted tickets to Sunday’s Opera performance. Tickets become available one month before each event by calling 424.644.4387 or emailingRSVP@iltoccofood.com. Tickets to the Opera are purchased separately. To be added to the invite email list, click here.

Pre-Show Lectures and Talk Backs | Free with each performance ticket
Included in each ticket is the opportunity to attend pre- and post-performance lectures. Pre-show lectures are thirty minutes in length and begin one hour prior to curtain. Opera professionals offer insight and perspective to enhance enjoyment of the performance. Attendance is recommended if attending the opera for the first time and perfect for brushing up on a storyline. The opera experience doesn’t end when the curtain goes down; the Opera’s talkback program offers an opportunity to hear performance insights directly from principal artists, designers and directors after the performance. Patrons in attendance need simply move forward towards the stage for this post-performance interactive session.

Community Nights | Wednesdays Prior to Each Opening Night | 7 p.m.
The final dress rehearsal for each opera is set aside for student and community non-profit groups for children to attend. Advance registration is required. This season, all community nights are at Phoenix Symphony Hall with the exception of November 7th’s Roméo et Juliette, which will take place at Tucson Music Hall.

Opera dell’Arte | Scottsdale & Tucson | FREE with a Reservation
This daytime music and lecture series delves into the history, story, value and behind-the-scenes details of each opera in the Arizona Opera 2012-13 season. Series held in Tucson at the Jewish Community Center and in the Phoenix area at the Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. Click here for more details.

L’Opera at L’Auberge | December 1 | $195 per person
The legendary L’Auberge Resort and Spa in Sedona is the setting for a festive evening of gourmet food, cocktails and exceptional entertainment. Come for the day, or make it a long weekend with special room rates offered to Arizona Opera patrons. Reservations can be made by calling 602.219.7328 or by emailing events@azopera.org.

Gift of Music | Selected Dates December 10-21
An a capella program of holiday and seasonal music performed by our Teaching Artists for student and community groups. Locations are to be determined. Groups can contact Lori Fisher at LFisher@azopera.org to apply to receive the Gift of Music.

About the 2012-2013 Season
The 2012-2013 season leads off with Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece,Lucia di Lammermoor. Set in the foggy moors and stately castles of 17th-century Scotland, this tragic romance tells the story of a family feud crushing the love and spirit of a fragile young woman. Containing one of opera’s great mad scenes, Lucia di Lammermoor was made popular by sopranos Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland singing the title role during the mid-20th century.

Hailed recently by the New York Times for her “gleaming voice and beguiling grace,” the spellbinding young soprano Lisette Oropesa takes on the demanding title role alternating with soprano Stacey Tappan. Singing opposite Oropesa and Tappan, as Edgardo, is tenor Joseph Wolverton who played Turiddu in Arizona Opera’s recent production of Cavalleria Rusticana. Baritone Mark Walters (Valentin in last November’s Faust) will return to Arizona Opera to sing the role of Lucia’s scheming brother Enrico. Rising young bass Jordan Bisch plays Raimondo.

Later in the fall, Arizona Opera presents Charles Gounod’s French operatic masterpiece, Roméo et Juliette, which takes Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers to an even higher level of romance. Featuring sopranos Jennifer Black and Corinne Winters, both Metropolitan Opera performers, alternating as Juliette the opera’s show-stopping aria is “Je veux vivre.” Sharing the role of Roméo, is tenor Brian Stucki and Zack Borichevsky who was recently seen in this summer’s Arabella at Santa Fe Opera. This production features a strong supporting cast that includes baritone David Adam Moore as Mercutio and bass-baritone Jamie Offenbach as Capulet.

Italian opera doesn’t get much more dramatic than the season’s next two productions, Tosca and Il Trovatore. Soprano Jill Gardner, who wowed Arizona audiences in 2011 as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot, will perform the role of the fiery diva Floria Tosca in a production directed by Bernard Uzan.Tosca also stars veteran tenor Frank Lopardo as Cavaradossi, alternating with Metropolitan Opera’s rising talent Garret Sorenson. Arizona Opera favorite Gordon Hawkins is the sinister Scarpia. Joel Revzen will lead the Arizona Opera Orchestra.

Il Trovatore returns to Arizona Opera for the first time in nearly 20 years and in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth. This new production is packed with everything from swordplay and late-night abductions, to gypsy curses and secret identities. Verdi’s early opera also includes the celebrated “Anvil Chorus” and a wealth of thrilling arias. The new production combines dramatic stage elements with richly colored projections. Leading the cast is tenor Dongwon Shin as Manrico, sopranos Michelle Capalbo and Indra Thomas as Leonora, baritone Malcolm MacKenzie as Count di Luna and mezzo-soprano Mary Phillips as Azucena.

Tragedy turns to comedy with the final opera of the season, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. This production will mark the exciting Arizona Opera debut of Canadian baritone Daniel Okulitch. The singer’s portrayal of Figaro has been critically acclaimed as “the stuff of greatness” (Vancouver Sun) and “ever lively on stage and a stylish singer” (Los Angeles Times). Arizona Opera favorite Marian Pop is the perfect foil for Okulitch as the Count. The production also includes the superlative talents of soprano Joelle Harvey as Susannah and soprano Erin Wall as the Countess. Joel Revzen will conduct.

Performance Dates and Times
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti
Phoenix: October 12 & 13 at 7:30p.m.; October 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Tucson: October 20 at 7:30p.m.; October 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod
Tucson: November 10 at 7:30p.m.; November 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Phoenix: November 16 & 17 at 7:30p.m.; November 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
Phoenix: January 25 & 26 at 7:30p.m; January 27 at 2:00 p.m.
Tucson: February 2 at 7:30p.m.; February 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi
Phoenix: March 1 & 2 at 7:30p.m.; March 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Tucson: March 9 at 7:30p.m.; March 10 at 2:00 p.m.

The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Phoenix: April 5 & 6 at 7:30p.m.; April 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Tucson: April 13 at 7:30p.m.; April 14 at 2:00 p.m.

All Phoenix performances of Arizona Opera’s 2012-2013 Season are at Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Tucson performances are at the Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701.

Full season subscription tickets begin at $115. Single tickets begin at just $25. For ticket information, call the box office in Phoenix at 602.266-7464 or in Tucson at 520-293-4336. Box office hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Queries can also be sent to info@azopera.org.

To learn more about the 2012-2013 season, including cast lists and biographies, visit www.azopera.org. Many images are available for download by clicking here. For interviews and additional images, please contact Kate Crowley at kcrowley@azopera.org.

Arizona Opera is Arizona’s only professional opera company, which produces fully-staged opera performances, concerts, in-school touring productions, educational and outreach programs that reach over 70,000 school-children and adults annually. Founded in 1971, Arizona Opera is the only opera company in the United States to serve multiple cities.

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PRESS CONTACT
Kate Crowley
Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
kcrowley@azopera.org | 602.218.7341