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Published: Friday, 11/7/2008

Toledo Opera gets new 'Rigoletto' lead


Stephen Kechulius will take over the title role in Toledo Opera's production of Rigoletto tomorrow because the opera's lead performer, Jason Stearns, became ill.

Kechulius, who will also appear as Rigoletto in performances on Nov 14 and 16, has appeared in 10 productions of the opera, most recently with the Seattle and the Fort Worth operas.

A baritone, Kechulius made his New York City Opera debut singing Baron Scarpia in Tosca, a role that he has also performed with the Arizona, Utah, Nashville, and the English National operas.

Tickets are still available for Rigoletto and may be purchased at toledoopera.org or by calling 419-255-7464. Prices begin at $29. Discounts are available for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more. Rigoletto will be sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

Musica Antigua de Toledo opens its 2008-09 concert series, "The Hundred Years War and More," at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 3620 Heatherdowns Blvd. The concert, "English Enchantment," features early music of England. Tickets are $10 at the door. Information: 419-893-7166.

Author Jan Wahl of Sylvania, will promote his two new books - one for children, the other for adults - at the Writers on the River Book Fair in the Ellis Branch of Monroe County Public Library, 3700 South Custer Rd., Monroe.

He'll join nearly 40 authors who will sign their books at the event from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, including Deborah Diesen, whose rhyming children's book The Pout-Pout Fish made the New York Times best-selling list for picture books, and Nancy Shaw, who wrote Raccoon Tune, selected as a Michigan Reads! book.

Wahl's Bear Dance, illustrated by Swiss artist Monique Felix, tells of a bear that's captured and made to dance in marketplaces. His memoir, Through a Lens Darkly, relates his encounters with famous actors and writers. Information: monroe.lib.mi.us.

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