Toledo Opera, 2015

- Published Monday, April 27, 2015
by Toledo Opera

Toledo, OH, April 27, 2015—Toledo Opera will open its 2015-2016 season with performances of Puccini’s beloved opera Madama Butterfly on October 2 and 4, 2015. Conducted by Sara Jobin, with stage direction by Chautauqua Opera’s General/Artistic Director Jay Lesenger, the cast will include tenor Shawn Mathey, a Bowling Green Native, as Pinkerton and soprano Yunah Lee in her signature role of Cio-Cio San. Continuing Toledo Opera’s series of American operas, the second production of the season will be The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess performed in concert version on February 12 and 14, 2016. This timeless classic will have an all-African-American cast of thirteen artists performing on the stage of the Valentine Theatre with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Meena, and a chorus with members drawn from the Opera’s chorus and other choruses in Toledo. Digital projections will be created especially for the production to express Catfish Row and Kitiwah Island. Bess will be sung by Laquita Mitchell, who, since her debut in the role at San Francisco Opera in 2009, has taken it to audiences around the world. Gordon Hawkins, who will play Porgy, is a leading interpreter of the role in the United States and Europe.

The season will conclude with Gounod’s opera Roméo et Juliette in a lavish production created in partnership with both Opera Carolina and Virginia Opera, with performances on April 8 and 10, 2016. Celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, this production will be directed by Bernard Uzan and conducted by James Meena. Canadian soprano Marie Eve Munger will sing the role of Juliette, with tenor Jonathan Boyd as Roméo. Ms. Munger is singing this season at La Scala, the Paris Opera-Comique and the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Boyd performs throughout Europe and the Americas and was last seen as Alfredo in Toledo Opera’s 2011 La traviata.

All of Toledo Opera’s 2015-2016 performances will take place at the historic Valentine Theatre and feature the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.

Subscriptions to Toledo Opera’s 2015-2016 Season can be purchased online at beginning April 24th, or by calling the Toledo Opera’s box office at 419-255-7464 (419-255-SING) beginning April 27th. Subscribers receive first choice of seating, discounted ticket prices, and invitations to Toledo Opera events throughout the year.

About Toledo Opera

Major companies in large cities hire opera’s superstars. Regional companies such as Toledo Opera create the next generation of artists and audiences.

A professional company in operation since 1959, Toledo Opera provides high-quality professional training and experience to the newest singers entering the field, through our Resident Artist program and the Toledo Opera Chorus. In our recent Lucia di Lammermoor, Resident Artist Laura Reaper showed her powerful voice in the role of Alisa, singing alongside rising star Kathryn Lewek in the title role. In 2015-2016, our Resident Artists will be cast in supporting roles for all three of the season’s operas, benefiting from the opportunity to sing with major artists cast in the principal roles. The forty-five member locally based Toledo Opera Chorus, under the direction of Chorus Master Kevin Bylsma, also has the opportunity to sing with and learn from the best: our directors, conductors and visiting artists.

Toledo Opera is supported by individuals, corporations and foundations throughout the region and by funding from the Ohio Arts Council. Toledo Opera is a member of OPERA America.

Toledo Opera’s Mission: To enhance the cultural fabric of the region by creating opera experiences that celebrate, both in the theater and beyond its walls, what is unique to opera: dramatic, passionate stories expressed through glorious music and the powerful voices of classically trained singers.

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