Sarasota Opera has just announced casting for the 2012 – 2013 fall and winter Season.
2012 Fall Season
The 2012 Fall Sarasota Opera Season will open with Giuseppe Verdi's RIGOLETTO, the opera chosen to be the first performed in the newly renovated opera house when it re-opened in 2008. Baritone Marco Nisticò, a Sarasota favorite since 2008 when he debuted as Figaro and who was most recently seen as the Consul Sharpless in last fall's MADAMA BUTTERFLY, will make his role debut as the vengeful court jester. Soprano Maria D'Amato, whose voice shone as Desdemona in last season's Otello, will sing the innocent jester's daughter Gilda. Mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson and tenor Hak Soo Kim, who both appeared in the recent production of LA CENERENTOLA, will make their role debuts as the seductive Maddalena and the lustful Duke of Mantua.
RIGOLETTO will open on October 26, 2012 and run through November 12, 2012.
LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND
In addition, the fall season will include the world premiere of Sarasota Youth opera's newest commission, LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND, with music by Daron Hagen and words by J.D. McClatchy. This will be mark Sarasota Youth Opera's 5th commission since the programs inception. Based on Winsor McCay's early-twentieth-centruy comic strip, LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND is a 60 minute, two-act magic opera. The story recounts the adventures of a boy over the course of two nights on a quest to save Slumberland from the evil Emperor Sol who wants it to be bright all night and all day. Nemo's adventures along the way include encounters with a crystal enchantress, menacing giants, a floating bed and a balloon ride, dizzying changes of scale and a palace that turns upside down.
A consortium of local and national arts and educational organizations have agreed to help support this production including Booker High School, Out of Door Academy, Ringling School of Art and Design and the University of Kentucky Opera Theater. LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND will utilize a new leading edge, innovative theater technology, SCRIBE (Self-Contained Rapidly Integratable Background Environment), which was piloted at the University of Kentucky. This technology, which has been successfully used in productions at the University of Kentucky Opera Theater and The Atlanta Opera, will help meet the creative challenge presented by bringing such a fantasy based story to life.
There will be two performances on November 10 and 11, 2012. Casting will be announced at a later date.
2013 Winter Festival
The 2013 Winter Festival will open with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini's vocally extravagant final opera TURANDOT. Soprano Brenda Harris and tenor JoNathan Burton will both make their Sarasota Opera and role debuts as the icy Turandot and the determined prince Calaf. Possessing a voice that has been described as "drop dead gorgeous" and "soaring on high", Ms. Harris has established herself as one of America's finest sopranos tackling leading roles on some of the world's most prominent opera companies and orchestras. Mr. Burton is quickly establishing himself as a leading tenor to watch with a voice described by Opera News as possessing "thrilling power and beauty". Maria D'Amato will sing the slave girl Liù, with Young Bok Kim as Calaf's father, Timur, and Matthew Hanscom as Ping.
THE PEARL FISHERS
Following TURANDOT, Sarasota Opera will travel back to ancient Sri Lanka and revive its much in demand 2003 production of Georges Bizet's THE PEARL FISHERS. Tenor Heath Huberg, a former studio artist who sang the roles of Remendado in Carmen and as Cassio in OTELLO last season, will sing Nadir and baritone Lee Poulis, who debuted as the sinister Don Giovanni in 2011 which was followed by his performance as the conniving Lord Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor, will sing the role of Zurga. Soprano Asako Tamura, who sang Cio-Cio San in MADAMA BUTTERFLY as "beautifully as her superb acting", will return to portray the priestess Leila.