Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present THE CAPULETS AND THE MONTAGUES, Feat. Joyce DiDonato, 9/21-29
Lyric Opera of Kansas City opens its 56th season with a Company premiere and new production of Vincenzo Bellini's The Capulets and the Montagues September 21, 25, 27 and 29, 2013 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Based on Renaissance legend (rather than Shakespeare's play), a longstanding political feud drives the drama in Bellini's opera, adding a fascinating layer to this Bel Canto masterpiece. Bel Canto, which means beautiful singing in Italian, is a classic form of opera which is rarely performed. The score's vocal fireworks are tempered by elegant and luminously beautiful duets illustrating Bellini's passionate love affair with the human voice. The production will be sung in Italian with English and Italian titles.
General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler stated, "We have created our own new production of this Bel Canto masterpiece with a cast that brings world class singing to Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kauffman stage." She continued, "And, we place this talent in a theatrical environment which illuminates man's eternal conflicts, leading to war and its consequences on the lives of its everyday citizens. Our Romeo and Juliet deal with the struggle of "Love in a War Zone" - which can happen anywhere and anytime. It happened centuries ago and continues in the present."
Kansas City beloved native and Grammy award-winning superstar Joyce DiDonato, who last appeared with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 2004 (Cinderella), will make her debut in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, playing the 'trouser role' of Romeo. The 'trouser role' literally means a role in which a female performer puts on a male costume and plays a male character. DiDonato, widely recognized in the opera community as the pre-eminent mezzo-soprano, has performed on stages around the world. Opera News raved of her performance in this role with San Francisco Opera, writing that "DiDonato's voice is a marvel - tender and expressive in Bellini's long-breathed melodies, mercurial in the opera's most intricate passagework - and her ornamentation is focused and flawless." David Littlejohn, cultural critic forThe Wall Street Journal, wrote that "As Romeo, Joyce DiDonato created a new world every time she sang. The basic tone of her voice was pure gold. Her control, nuance and range-shifts were impeccable, from her lowest tenor tones to her highest trills-at every instant she was acting with her voice."
Singing alongside DiDonato is internationally acclaimed soprano Nicole Cabell who will be making her Lyric Opera debut as Giulietta. She recently sang the role at the San Francisco Opera with Joyce Di Donato to great critical acclaim. The Times (London) wrote of Cabell's voice, "It's a voice that wraps itself around you...long, sinuous phrasing, warm tone and a sophistication that touches everything she sings." Along with performances at the Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House, she won the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.