Saratoga Springs, NY – Opera Saratoga (formerly Lake George Opera) will pay homage to its rich history this summer, when it presents Johann Strauss Jr’s Die Fledermaus, W. A. Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and a 50th Anniversary Concert featuring many singers from the Company’s past. Opera Saratoga will celebrate its 50th anniversary season with new productions of comedic masterpieces Die Fledermaus and Cosi Fan Tutte, both produced during the Opera’s inaugural year.
Along with the mainstage productions, the Opera has many special events planned to commemorate the 50th including the 9th annual Saratoga Opera Ball, a free concert in Congress Park on the 4th of July and a new workshop opera created by Company Artistic Director Curtis Tucker.
The Fun Starts in June
The talented singers and all production staff responsible for “making the show go on”, arrive in Saratoga at the beginning of June. The casts of both operas and the concert, begin rigorous rehearsals while the production departments are busy at work building sets and backdrops, designing costumes and wigs, arranging lighting and sound and in essence, creating the magical world where operas come alive. Before moving to the Spa Little Theater, Opera Saratoga (OS) will once again rehearse at the vacant JC Penney store in the Wilton Mall. In 2010, due to unavoidable conflicts, the Opera found itself without rehearsal space. Through a unique agreement with the Wilton Mall, arias were heard throughout the month of June, in and around the former JC Penny store. Cast, crew and mall patrons loved this distinctive collaboration. Visit the mall this June and get a sneak peak at what’s in store at the Opera!
50th Anniversary Main Stage Productions
Spa Little Theater
Eight total performances of Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus and Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte will be produced beginning on June 29th. The 50th Anniversary Concert will take place one night only on Saturday, July 8th. Die Fledermaus is the ideal opera to celebrate the Opera’s fifty years and new identity. Performed in English featuring a stellar veteran cast, it’s a perfect tale for opera newcomers, aficionados and everyone in between! Kyle Pfortmiller will sing the role of Eisenstein. Pfortmiller, who was once an Apprentice Artist with the Company, was featured in the 2006 production of The Barber of Seville and the 2009 production of Don Pasquale. Curt Olds who sang the role of The Pirate King in 2008’s The Pirate of Penzance will return to sing the role of Dr. Falke. Elizabeth Pojanowski, a 2010 Apprentice Artist, will sing the role of Prince Orlofsky and Metropolitan Opera soprano Emily Pulley will join the cast singing the role of Rosalinda. Opera Artistic Director Curtis Tucker will conduct and Nelson Sheeley will direct. Sheeley a familiar face around OS, has directed Company productions of Don Pasquale, The Pirates of Penzance and Tartuffe.
Die Fledermaus Performances: June 29th & July 2nd at 7:30pm; July 5th & July 10th at 2:00 p.m.
A work of comic deception featuring one of Mozart’s best musical scores, Cosi Fan Tutte offers opera at its finest. John Stephens, an OS favorite who last sang the title role in the Company’s 2009 production of Don Pasquale, will return to the Spa Little Theater singing the role of Don Alfonso. Additional returnees include Adriana Zabala singing the role of Dorabella and Andrew Garland singing the role of Guglielmo. They were last seen with the Company in 2006’s The Barber of Seville and 2007’s La Boheme respectively. David Lefkowich who directed the 2008 critically acclaimed production of La Traviata, returns to direct and Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director David Alan Miller will conduct. It is sure to be a collaboration to remember!
Cosi Fan Tutte Performances: July 30th & July 9th at 7:30 p.m.; July 3rd & July 6th at 2:00 p.m.
Die Fledermaus will be performed in English and Cosi Fan Tutte will be sung in Italian. English titles will be projected at all performances.
50th Anniversary Concert
On July 8th, Artistic Director Curtis Tucker and returning guest conductor Mark Flint, will take the audience on a musical journey through the first fifty years of Lake George Opera (now Opera Saratoga), with returning guest artists from the Company’s past accompanied by the Opera Saratoga Orchestra. This special concert for the Opera’s golden anniversary is sure to yield once-in-a-lifetime memories. Maestro Flint has conducted more performances for the Company than any other conductor. The Company is very excited to welcome him back!
50th Anniversary Concert: July 8th at 7:30pm.
“Free Opera Insights ”
There will be free pre-performance opera talks for ticket holders one hour before each performance in the Spa Little Theater. Patrons will hear the history and stories behind each opera, as well as information regarding the casts and director.
2011 50th Anniversary Opera Ball
Friday, July 1st – 7:00pm
What better way to kick off the Saratoga cultural season and the Company’s 50th anniversary, than be attending the 9th annual Saratoga Opera Ball on Friday July 1st. Opera Saratoga’s magnificent gala will feature renowned Albany band Spare Parts and will take place for the first time at the beautiful Saratoga Hilton Hotel. The 2010 Opera Ball was the highlight of last year’s opera season. The Company’s 50th Anniversary gala promises to enchant guests as they dance and dine under twinkling stars. Ted & Carol Newlin serve as the 50th Anniversary Chairpersons and Helen Mastrion and Courtney Smith are Co-Auction Chairs. This grand affair will delight guests with wonderful food, dancing, a superb array of auction items and an exclusive operatic performance featuring 2011 mainstage artists. Proceeds will benefit Opera Saratoga’s numerous educational programs. This is an evening not to be missed and a marvelous way to welcome in the opera summer season!
Free Concert in Congress Park
At 5:00 on July 4th, Opera Saratoga will perform in concert, free of charge, as part of Saratoga’s annual Independence Day Celebration. Listen to fantastic arias prior to the City magnificent firework display. Join the Opera in celebrating the Country’s independence and the Opera’s 50th anniversary!
The Trial of BB Wolf
Opera Artistic Director Curtis Tucker has composed a new family friendly opera that will be performed during SaratogaArtsFest weekend (June 10-12). The Trial of BB Wolf features elements of favorite children’s stories set to music composed by Curtis Tucker with libretto by Nelson Sheeley. Tickets are available through www.SaratogaArtsFest.org.
Early bird subscription tickets are now available for Opera Saratoga’s 50th summer season and can be purchased by calling the Opera office at 518-584-6018. Call now to reserve the best seats at a discounted rate. Single tickets will go on sale in mid-February. Numerous additional events are planned to commemorate Opera Saratoga’s 50th anniversary. Visit the Opera’s website at www.operasaratoga.org for additional information.