Wagner’s Rienzi at Lincoln Center

New York, NYThe Opera Orchestra of New York continues its 41st season with an opera-in-concert performance of Wagner’s Rienzi conducted by Music Director Laureate, Eve Queler at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  The opera, based on the life of Cola di Rienz (1313–1354), the Italian medieval politician and popular leader of the Roman people whose goal was to transform society by raising the power of the people, stars tenor Ian Storey in the title role, with soprano Elisabete Matos as Irene and mezzo-soprano Geraldine Chauvet in her US debut as Adriano.  All three artists will be making their Opera Orchestra of New York debuts.

Rienzi, one of Eve Queler’s signature operas, was first performed by The Opera Orchestra of New York in 1980 at Carnegie Hall and again in 1982 at Avery Fisher Hall and the Kennedy Center. Following the Kennedy Center performance The Washington Post reported, “Grand Rienzi: Eve Queler’s Crowd-Pleasing Wagner…the near capacity crowd was storming and cheering,” and music critic Byron Belt also remarked, Rienzi set off skyrockets that sent most of the audience into the night buzzing with excitement. Thank you, Eve Queler, for an unforgettable experience!” The next performance of Rienzi by the Opera Orchestra of New York was at Carnegie Hall in 1992 and introduced German soprano Dorothea Roschmann as the Messenger of Peace. It has been Ms. Queler’s tradition to feature a young upcoming soprano in the role, and since singing the Messenger of Peace, Ms. Roschmann has gone on to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and at major concert halls worldwide.

For this performance of Rienzi, the title role will be sung by the Wagnerian heldentenor Ian Storey, who recently sang the role of Siegfried in the San Francisco Opera’s Ring Cycle. Soprano Elisabete Matos, who recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Minnie in Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West, will sing Irene, the highest role Wagner wrote for soprano, and French mezzo soprano Gabrielle Chauvet will make her U.S. debut in the trouser role, Adriano. Young soprano Emily Duncan-Brown will be featured in the performance as the Messenger of Peace and rounding out the cast will be bass-baritone Philip Horst as Stefano Colonna, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel as Raimondo, baritone Shannon DeVine as Cecco Del Vecchio, tenor Jonathan Winell as Baroncelli, and baritone Ricardo Rivera as Orsini.  They will be joined by The New York Choral society and the West Point Cadet Glee Club who will march into the hall singing the vigorous soldiers chorus.

Single tickets priced from $35 to $165 can be purchased online by visiting www.operaorchestrany.org or www.carnegiehall.org, or by calling the Opera Orchestra of New York’s box office at 212-906-9137.

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