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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 9/17/2005

'Figaro' kicks off opera's new season

BY STEVEN CORNELIUS
BLADE MUSIC CRITIC

Listener-friendly blue-chip repertoire by Mozart, Puccini, and Leoncavallo should spur audience growth as Toledo Opera gets set to open its season at the Valentine Theatre.

Those willing to travel to Cleveland and Detroit will find a diverse selection of generally mainstream productions from Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Strauss, and others.

Toledo Opera productions begin Oct. 1 with a three-performance run of Mozart's elegant The Marriage of Figaro, a multi-dimensional opera in which lessons of politics, power, and fidelity are housed within a pair of love stories.

Love turns tragic on Nov. 5 when Toledo Opera presents three performances of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, the story of a faithful Japanese geisha who finds honor in suicide after being discarded by her feckless American husband.

The company closes its season with an April run of Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, the story of the world's most infamous broken-hearted clown.

As with last season, expect the New York City-based Carl Rosa Company to give another quickly paced Gilbert & Sullivan performance. The company returns to the Valentine Theatre on April 11 to present H.M.S. Pinafore.

Michigan Opera Theatre opens its season Oct. 8 at the Detroit Opera House with a five-performance run of Vincenzo Bellini's Norma, a slow-moving but florid masterpiece about love, ancient religion, and infidelity amidst members of an ancient Druid cult.

A run of Puccini's La Boheme opens November 5. MOT's spring season includes five-performance runs of three more standards: Verdi's expansive Aida (opening April 22), Rossini's La Cenerentola (opening May 2), and Richard Strauss' audacious Salome (opening June 3), which scandalized audiences across Europe and America following its 1905 premiere.

Cleveland Opera's five-production season opens Nov. 5 with Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; Donizetti's light-hearted The Elixer of Love follows with a Dec. 2 opening. The spring season includes Gounod's Romeo & Julliette (opening Feb. 10), Puccini's Turandot (opening March 31), and Paul Dresher's The Tyrant (opening May 2). This last work is receiving only its second production and is being offered in collaboration with The Cleveland Play House.



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