Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Photos courtesy of Grand Lubell Photography for Toledo Opera
Friday, May 4 – 7:30 PM | Saturday, May 5 – 7:30 PM
The quintessential comic opera
Featuring Mozart at the height of his creative genius, in what many consider to be the greatest opera of all time, is a tangled tale of farce and folly ending, at last, in love. Below its madcap surface, an age-old wisdom is revealed: wealth and power are no match for ingenuity and authenticity. Musically sophisticated, yet catchy; screwball, yet poignant; this opera sparkles with genius from overture to finale.
Presented at DeVos Performance Hall
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Stage Director: Garnett Bruce | Conductor: Maestro James Meena
Opera Grand Rapids Chorus | Grand Rapids Symphony
Language: Presented in Italian with English titles
Run time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Student tickets just $5 for any performance.
Student tickets can be purchased prior to the performance day or at the door. Student ID required at the door.
Casting, repertoire and event details are subject to change without notice or refunds, but are specified in good faith as accurate and updated accordingly. Refunds not accepted.
DeVos Hall Ticket Prices
Conductor | Maestro James Meena
James Meena, Opera Carolina’s General Director and Principal Conductor since 2000, consistently earns critical acclaim for his artistic vision and dynamic presence on the podium. The breadth of his repertoire is represented by the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Puccini, Berlioz and Verdi, the world première of Victor Davies’ Transit of Venus, to full ballet productions and symphony concerts. This season, Mo. Meena conducts a double-bill of Pagliacci/Aleko with New York City Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia, La fanciulla del West, and La traviata with Opera Carolina; a Masterworks Concert with Memphis Symphony Orchestra; a concert with Toledo Symphony Orchestra; and La bohème with Opéra de Montréal and the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago. More.
Director | Garnett Bruce
Garnett Bruce’s body of work includes directing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and his European opera debut staging Turandot for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. From 2008 to 2011 he was the artistic adviser and principal stage director for Opera Omaha, where he led a cycle of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas. He began directing for the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 2004, receiving a faculty appointment in 2006. He has been on staff at the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1993 and the faculty since 1997. Born in Washington, D.C., Bruce was a choirboy at Washington National Cathedral and holds degrees in English and drama from Tufts University. After internships with Hal Prince and Leonard Bernstein in the early ’90s, he joined the staffs of The Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Opera Colorado. His award-winning production of La Cenerentola for Kansas City has traveled to Austin, Orlando, and Madison. Known especially for his large-scale work of the standard repertoire, he has created stagings of Turandot, Carmen, Tosca, Aida, Pagliacci, and La bohème that have been seen coast to coast.
Meet the Cast | Joseph Barron—Figaro
Hailed by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times as “vocally robust” and “lyrically malevolent”, American Bass-Baritone Joseph Barron was a winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Awards. Recently, Mr. Barron debuted as Kaspar in Der Freischütz at the Virginia Opera. His 2016-2017 season also includes a return to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Salome and Rigoletto, a debut with Bard Summerscape as Basmanov in Dvorak’s Dimitrij, Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the Princeton Music Festival, Leporello in Don Giovanni with New Orleans Opera, and the First Soldier in Salome with Pittsburgh Opera. More.
Meet the Cast | Raffaella Di Caprio—Susannah
Italian soprano, Raffaella Di Caprio, is a recent graduate cum laude of Conservatorio di Musica Domenico Cimarosa in Avellino, and she’s currently studying under the tutelage of renowned soprano Mariella Devia.
She recently appeared as soloist soprano in Carmina Burana by C. Orff, Gloria by A. Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Stabat Mater with Coro di Voci Bianche of Santa Cecilia conducted by Maestro M. Rizzo.
In 2014, Ms. Di Caprio was a young artist singing the role of Lesbina in Il Filosofo di Campagna by B. Galuppi at Theater Carlo Gesualdo in Avellino.
Other performance credits include Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. In addition, she was invited by the music critic Sabino Lenoci as a soloist soprano in several concerts at the Sarzana Opera Festival.
Ms. Di Caprio has performed in master classes with Lella Cuberli, Renato Bruson, Renata Scotto, Anna Vandi, and Cesare Scarton.
She was also a finalist at the competition R. Leoncavallo in Potenza (2009) and a winner of the competition Esecuzione Musicale citta di Eboli.
She makes her American debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Meet the Cast | Melinda Whittington—Countess
The Philadelphia Inquirer hails Melinda Whittington as “especially marvelous in handling the rapturous jail scene music” in recent performances of Marguerite in Faust. In the 2016-17 season, she returns to Arizona Opera for the title role of Rusalka in addition to joining Utah Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Greensboro Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Eugene Onegin. Last season, she made debuts with Arizona Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ash Lawn Opera as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Kentucky Opera as the Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro. She also joined the Charlotte Symphony for excerpts of Roméo et Juliette, was presented by Opera Birmingham in a solo recital, and joined the Ocean City Pops in concert. More.
Meet the Cast | Carsten Wittmoser—Count
Carsten Wittmoser, Bass-Baritone, was born in Essen, Germany. Mr. Wittmoser graduated in economics at the University of Essen and studied voice with Hendrikus Rootering. He began his career at the Stuttgart Staatsoper. He became a principal soloist at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, after which followed engagements with the Landestheater Linz, the Opera of Freiburg and the Hamburgische Staatsoper.
Mr. Wittmoser has worked in some of the most prestigious opera houses in the world, including State Opera Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, State Opera Munich, Monte Carlo Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera de Bogota, Opera de Bellas Artes Mexico City and the Metropolitan Opera. He has performed at the Festivals of Bayreuth, Luzern, Rotterdam, Taiwan and Singapore. As a concert singer, he has sung at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Sao Paulo Concert Hall, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Brucknerhaus in Linz, the KKL in Luzern and Carnegie Hall. More.
Meet the Cast | Diane Schoff—Marcellina
Diane Schoff performs regularly with Michigan Opera Theatre both as a part of the ensemble and in comprimario roles. Recent career highlights include the second lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute (May 2016) the Second Maid in Elektra (October 2014), Natalia Trotsky in Frida (March 2015), and Praskovia in the Merry Widow (May 2015) with MOT. Diane holds the honor of being a National Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition and was an apprentice with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program where she performed the roles of Pr. Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus and Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri. Regional credits also include roles with Opera for the Young and Milwaukee Opera Theater. A recent transplant to the Detroit metro area, Diane sings at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church as soloist and section leader.
Meet the Cast | Eric Jordan—Bartolo
Bass Eric Jordan has been sought by opera companies for his trademark “big bass and presence to match” (Opera News). His voice is described as possessing “a resonant, ringing tone that” (St Louis Post-Dispatch), and the New York Times opines that his “powerful, nuanced singing and thoughtful acting amounted to a wholly remarkable portrayal.”
Future seasons include re-engagments with the Metropolitan Opera and the Dallas Opera for The Aspern Papers.
The 2010/11 season brought his first proejcts with the Metropolitan Opera in productions of Don Carlo, Magic Flute and Pelléas et Mélisande and with Dallas Opera as Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliette. He sppeared at Bob Jones University as Mephistopheles in Faust, in a re-engagement to the Cesky Krumlov Festival as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Alidoro in La Cenerentola with the Belleayre Music Festival, and a Verdi Requiem in Connecticut. This summer he sang Bruckner’s Te Deum at the Spoleto Festival. Last season he was Bonze in Madama Butterfly with New York City Opera and appeared in the annual Opera Gala with the Johnstown Symphony.
Some years following The Barber of Seville, Count Almaviva develops a wandering eye for his former matchmaker’s bride-to-be. As the Count and his cronies conspire to thwart the wedding of Figaro and Susannah, Figaro and his friends scheme up a plan of their own.