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FGO to present Holocaust drama in 2015-16 amid populist Italian repertory

Fri Jan 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Mieczyslaw Weinberg's "The Passenger" will be reformed by FGO inApril of 2016.

Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s “The Passenger” will be performed by FGO in April of 2016.

Florida Grand Opera’s 2015-16 season will offer its first performances of Bellini’s Norma in over a quarter-century, and a contemporary Holocaust drama as well as a pair of popular Italian comedies.

The company also announced an extension of its ongoing fund-raising campaign to February 14. The company must raise $200,000 to keep the company performing at the Broward Center In Fort Lauderdale next season.

“We are thrilled to announce our 2015-16 season, ” said Susan T. Danis, executive director and CEO on Friday. “As we continue our journey to keep opera growing in South Florida, we believe this mix of repertoire holds a bit of excitement for one and all.

“We are honored to present The Passenger to South Florida audiences. It will be one of the most important musical events for our community next year. Norma is the opera people ask for all the time and I am so pleased we will be presenting that as well.”

Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger will receive its Florida premiere April 2-9, 2016. The Holocaust drama concerns Liese, a concentration camp survivor, who believes she sees Marta, her former prison guard, aboard a luxury ocean liner years after the war. The Polish composer’s opera has already been seen in New York and Houston, and opens at the Lyric Opera of Chicago February 24.

Norma will return for the company’s first staging since 1990. Bellini’s bel canto classic about the Druid priestess caught between her vestal duties and a romantic triangle with her lover Pollione and friend Adalgisa, will be performed at the Arsht Center January 23-30.

Two popular Italian comedies will frame the season. The company opens November 14 with Rossini’s evergreen buffo The Barber of Seville. The season will close May 7-14 with Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, about a rich old man, who is pranked into marrying a younger woman. The staging, by Renaud Doucet and Andre Barbe, will update the action to London in the 1960s.

Operas will be double cast as has been the company’s norm in recent seasons. All casting is to be announced.

If FGO is successful in its fund-raising, Norma and The Barber of Seville will also be performed at the Broward Center next season.

fgo.org; 800-741-1010.

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