FGO announces casting details for 2016-17 season

By Lawrence Budmen

Tamara Wilson sings the role of Amelia in Florida Grand Opera's production of Verdi's "Un Ballo in maschera" this season.

Tamara Wilson sings the role of Amelia in Florida Grand Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Un Ballo in maschera” this season.

Florida Grand Opera has announced the casts for the four productions of the 2016-2017 season. Bizet’s perennial Carmen is the opener (November 12-19 at Miami’s Arsht Center and December 1-3 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale) and Spanish mezzo Maria José Montiel and American Tara Vendetti alternate in the title role. Rafael Davila, previously heard at FGO in Tosca, shares the role of Don José with Alok Kumar. Ryan Kuster is Escamillo and Hailey Clark, a former member of the company’s young artist program, sings Micaëla. Ramón Tebar conducts.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin takes the stage January 28-February 4 (Miami) and February 9-11 (Fort Lauderdale) with baritones Franco Pomponi and John Brancy splitting the title role. Russian sopranos Dina Kuznetsova and Lyubov Petrova sing Tatiana. Lensky is played by tenors Chad Johnson and Martin Nusspaumer and Alex Soare is Prince Gremin. Denyce Graves alternates with Melissa Fairardo in the cameo part of Filipievna. Alexander Polianichko, a conductor at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater, is on the podium.

Before Night Falls by Cuban-American composer Jorge Martìn will be presented only at the Arsht Center March 18-25. The opera premiered in 2010 at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. It is based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet and political dissident Reínaldo Arenas, which was made into a highly successful film. Eliot Madore plays Arenas with Michael Kuhn as his partner Lazaro. Miami-based singers Javier Abreu and Elizabeth Caballero play multiple roles. The conductor is Christopher Allen.

The season concludes with Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) conducted by Tebar on April 29-May 6 (Miami) and May 11-13 (Ft. Lauderdale). Tamara Wilson, the 2016 winner of the coveted Richard Tucker Award and an impressive soprano soloist with Seraphic Fire in Brahms’ German Requiem last season, sings Amelia on opening night with Alexandra LoBianco doing the role in the second cast. Tenors Martin Muehle and Jonathan Burton play Gustavo. Veteran baritone Todd Thomas is Count Anckarstrom and Dana Beth Miller, the excellent Adalgisa in last season’s FGO Norma, sings Ulrica. Elena Galván is the page Oscar.


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Sun Sep 11, 2016
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