Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Presents SummerFest 2012
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh raises the curtain on SummerFest, a three-week classical music festival new to Western Pennsylvania, on Fri., June 29. SummerFest features opera sung in English, concerts, recitals, cabaret, visual arts and the SummerFest Fringe, June 29–July 15, 2012, at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Road, 15238. Music and theater lovers are invited to step into some beloved works, experience witty world-premiere music dramas and discover seldom-performed masterpieces. Free outdoor fringe performances and other visual and performing arts events add to the festivities.
SummerFest’s opera repertoire includes three new mainstage productions: Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Bernstein’s musical Candide and a sultry flamenco version of Bizet’s Carmen - The Gypsy, in repertory. Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a sponsor of Opera Theater’s production of The Magic Flute. Guests can enjoy 14 unique Fringe entertainments on the grounds while eating their own picnic or one pre-ordered from Fabled Table (via www.fabledtable.com). After the productions, attendees can listen to Cabaret Under the Stars by SummerFest Young Artists and Night Caps, six mini-operas.
Jonathan Eaton, entering his 13th season as Opera Theater’s artistic and general director, says: “Pittsburgh is the only major city in America with a major orchestra that has no substantial summer festival centered around classical music. Opera Theater SummerFest offers audiences in and around Pittsburgh first-class, festive musical and theatrical entertainment at a time when their choices are relatively limited.”
Three mainstage operas and a world-premiere cycle of miniature operas comprise the hub of SummerFest offerings at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts.
The Magic Flute, directed by Jonathan Eaton, brings the sublime enchantment of Mozart’s magical adventure to life. June 29, July 1, 8 and 14.
Carmen - The Gypsy, a new flamenco adaptation by Eaton and Robert Frankenberry of Bizet’s beloved opera, intimately retells the world’s most fiery love story. June 30, July 6, 12 and 14. Candide, Leonard Bernstein’s musical setting of Voltaire’s classic, follows the travels of the ultimate optimist. Scott Wise, an assistant professor at Point Park University, directs this production. July 7, 13 and 15.
Night Caps, a series of six contemporary and newly-commissioned 15-minute miniature operas, provides grown-up, late-night entertainment to top off the evening. July 6-8 and 12-15. These thoroughly modern minis take place on subsequent nights in Miss Darlington’s hotel, where WQED-FM’s Anna Singer, soprano, stars in the recurring role of the meddling hotel manager. The libretto by Rob Handel, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s dramatic writing program, takes the audience through bedrooms haunted by the ghosts of presidents and perfumed with the memory of love. The composers are a mix of national and international figures – Daron Aric Hagen, Gilda Lyons, Alberto Garcia Demestres – and local artists: Roger Zahab (University of Pittsburgh), Eric Moe (University of Pittsburgh) and Dwayne Fulton (Mt. Ararat Baptist Church). The July 15 performance features all six Night Caps productions in SummerFest’s closing event. The creation of Night Caps is made possible by generous support from OPERA America's Opera Fund. Mainstage evening performances begin at 7:30 pm. Matinees—all appropriate for children—take
place at 2 p.m. with The Magic Flute, Sun., July 1 and 8; Carmen – The Gypsy on Sat., July 14; and Candide on Sun., July 15.
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