FGO to offer revised season of American operas (with audiences)

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti is among four American operas to be presented in Florida Grand Opera’s revised season. Photo: Opera North

Florida Grand Opera is boldly going where few opera companies have gone in the Covid-19 era.

The Miami company’s original 2020-21 season offered traditional grand operas such as La Traviata, Otello and Faust. Those scheduled productions had to be cancelled due to public safety concerns in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, along with the season of most opera companies around the world.

Yet FGO has rebounded and will now present a revised lineup titled “Season of Specials and Shorts.” Most strikingly, they will present three American chamber operas live in a smaller venue with socially distanced audiences invited to attend.

“Even in this time of Covid and other calamities, our need for music and art is ever-present,” said Susan Danis, general director and CEO, in a released statement. “We have carefully consulted with the experts, and after a successful fall season of concerts . . .we are excited to be performing in different theaters and venues [in] intimate yet socially distanced spaces that are perfect for a unique storytelling experience,”

The main element will be three intimate 20th-century opera programs performed January through March at the 330-seat Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores. The casts in all three will be drawn primarily from the FGO Studio (Young Artist) program.

The company’s revised 2021 season will open with Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers January 30 and 31. The 90-minute family drama stars Emily Pulley, Amanda Sheriff and Efrain Solis with Gregory Buchalter conducting.

Daron Hagen’s New York Stories offers a trilogy of tales related to life in New York and will be performed February 13-14. Stephanie Doche, Michael Miller and Amanda Sheriff are in the cast and will be conducted by Andrew Bisantz.

The opera season concludes with a comedic double bill March 20 and 21, featuring Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Thomas Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso.

The company will also offer non-mainstage events centered on lighter music and diversity-conscious programs. Soprano Angela Brown will present a concert titled “Opera from a Sistah’s Point of View” February 28. Soprano Elizabeth Caballero will perform an evening of zarzuela February 5 and Catalina Cuervo presents a tribute to Latin-American composers March 26.

For further information, go to fgo.org.

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Mon Jan 4, 2021
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