Opera Orlando is ready to hit the ball in its 2022-23 season with a tribute to the national pastime: baseball. The season, announced today, will also see the return of a beautiful true Christmas story of war and peace.
Among the more traditional offerings are a masterpiece by Mozart – presented in an animated Japanese style – and a comedy by Donizetti.
After its performance of “King for a Day” at Universal Orlando’s “Portofino Bay” hotel, the opera will then go “On the Town” for a one-act night at the picturesque Bella Collina, the luxury recreational community from Monteverde. A site-specific double bill of “Gianni Schicchi” and Rossini’s “The Bill of Marriage” will premiere on March 31, 2023.
The baseball tribute, featuring sports songs from musicals such as “Ragtime” and other pop culture nods, will be performed at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Center. Entitled “Baseball: a musical love letter”, the program will be presented on May 19 and 21, 2023.
The season will open with the opera’s traditional summer concert series, with performances August 14, 21 and 28 at the University Club of Winter Park. The recitals will feature artists appearing in the main productions of the season and will see the return of the three baritones: Nathan Stark, Brian James Myer and Gabriel Preisser, the Grammy-winning general manager of Opera Orlando.
Here’s a timeline of upcoming productions from Opera Orlando’s Main Stage, Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
THE MAGIC FLUTE: October 28 and 30. Mozart’s whimsical fairy tale of finding one’s place in the world will unfold like a graphic novel, inspired by the animated art of Yoshitaka Amana.
Orlando Opera Artistic Director Grant Preisser will direct the story of Prince Tamino on his treacherous journey of self-discovery, with choreography by Maxine Montilus and puppets by MicheLee Puppets, who provided the creatures for the production of the company “The Secret River”.
Chaowen Ting will conduct the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. The cast is led by Tyler Nelson as Tamino and Metropolitan Opera soprano Kathryn Bowden as the Queen of the Night, who delivers one of the opera’s most famous arias.
The production will be sung in German with new English dialogue by Grant Preisser and English surtitles.
ALL IS QUIET: THE CHRISTMAS BREAK OF 1914: December 23-24. The company will remount its 2019 production of this musical, based on a real-life ceasefire between German and Allied troops entrenched in the European trenches of World War I.
Using real stories from the soldiers, Peter Rothstein’s moving work brings a message of camaraderie, hope and peace leading to the climactic moment of a German soldier entering No Man’s Land to sing “Stille Nacht (Silent Night) “.
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The music is sung a cappella; Andrew Minear, artistic and executive director of the new vocal performance organization Orlando Sings, will serve as musical director. Grant Preisser will direct.
The cast will be a mix of returning artists and new faces. The show will be presented in English and will tour the Polk Theater in Lakeland and the Ritz Theater at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford in addition to Orlando performances.
DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT : April 21 and 23, 2023. In this family-friendly mix of comedy and romance, Marie was orphaned at a young age and raised by a French army regiment – unaware of her noble birthright.
Puerto Rican soprano Camille Ortiz will play Marie, and she’ll be joined by Orlando native and Metropolitan Opera National Competition winner Carlos Enrique Santelli, who will aim for the stars with the famous aria “Ah mes amis…” brimming with high Cs.
Joshua Horsch will conduct the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra through Donizetti’s score. Andrew Nienaber will direct. The production will be sung in French with new English dialogue by Nienaber and English surtitles.
For more information, head to operaorlando.org and note that “early bird” rates on Main Stage subscriptions are on offer through July 5.
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