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

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.

Posted in News, Uncategorized

3 Responses to “FGO to present Holocaust drama in 2015-16 amid populist Italian repertory”

  1. Posted Feb 03, 2015 at 12:26 pm by Dave Rosenbaum

    I’m excited about this season. The Rossini and Donizetti don’t thrill me, but I realize that’s the price to pay for getting The Passenger, an opera that I was willing to go to Chicago to see before FGO made its announcement. Thumbs up to Susan Danis.

    And now a question, and I don’t mean this at all as a criticism of Ms. Danis (more of a criticism of South Florida). Houston Grand Opera recently finished a fundraising campaign in which it raised $179-million, an astounding amount. Houston is roughly the same size as Miami/Fort Lauderdale in terms of population and media market. Why does Houston seem to be so far ahead of Miami in its support of the arts? I guess there’s a bit of jealousy in this question: Why can’t Miami have what Houston has?

  2. Posted Feb 15, 2015 at 9:12 am by Jung

    Oh please! The Barber AGAIN? (2001, 2006, 2010 just in this millennium) Give me a break!
    What are they expecting to draw to the same, repeated repertoire and roles filled with inexperienced cheap labor (i.e. students)? Two serious mistakes were made in the transition. Ms. Danis should have introduced herself on the stage and put a friendly, personal face on FGO. Instead it became an impersonal organization. The announcement of Tristan und Isolde (German and “heavy”) for her first season came as affront to Broward subscribers.

  3. Posted Feb 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm by Dave Rosenbaum

    Jung: Just wondering how Tristan, which never happened, was an affront to Broward subscribers?

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Fri Jan 30, 2015
at 3:42 pm