FGO books a late-night trip to hell with Andy Vores’ “No Exit”

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Matthew Newlin and Caitlin McKechney in Chicago Opera Vanguard’s 2009 production of Andy Vores’ “No Exit.”

Florida Grand Opera will further burnish its growing reputation as a company willing to take chances by presenting the contemporary opera No Exit next season.

“Could two words be farther apart than Miami and Existentialism?” laughed Susan T. Danis, FGO general director and CEO. “I can’t wait!”

Andy Vores’ edgy opera is adapted from Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s celebrated play about three people tormenting each other in a waiting room, which they eventually discover is hell. The opera was premiered by Guerilla Opera at Boston Conservatory in 2008, where the same company is reviving it next month. No Exit also had a highly successful Chicago debut in 2009, presented by the now-defunct Chicago Opera Vanguard.

The Miami cast will be made up FGO Young Artists with mezzo-soprano Caitlin McKechney repeating her acclaimed performance as Inez from the Chicago production. The cast also includes soprano Riley Svatos, tenor Casey Finnigan and baritone Carlton Ford. Jeffrey Buchman, who helmed FGO’s recent, well-received productions of Magic Flute and Rigoletto, will direct.

The opera will be presented late night February 27-March 1 at the NoWhere Lounge (appropriately) on Washington Avenue in South Beach as part of FGO’s “Unexpected Operas in Unexpected Places” program. Last season, the company launched the series with a successful double bill of Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires and Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Tango.

The “Unexpected Operas” initiative is supported with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with the intention of expanding the demographic reach of opera in South Florida.

Florida Grand Opera opens its mainstage season November 7 with Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. fgo.org; 800-741-1010

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Thu Aug 29, 2013
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