MASQUERADE, CINDERELLA, THUMBPRINT and More Set for Opera Ithaca

MASQUERADE, CINDERELLA, THUMBPRINT and More Set for Opera IthacaOpera Ithaca will open its third season with a grand celebration entitled Masquerade, followed by the regional premiere of Kamala Sankaram's opera based on the story of Mukhtar Mai, Thumbprint, a New Year's Eve Gala to include Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and a spring 2017 production of Rossini's Cinderella, in addition to several concerts and community events.

Masquerade, an evening of music, dance and revelry will occur at the ballroom of the Community School of Music and Arts on Thursday, October 6th. The evening will feature the talents of NYC Wagnerian soprano, Amanda Zory, singing highlights from Wagner's Ring, Opera Ithaca favorite, soprano Megan Nielson (Bluebeard's Castle, Don Giovanni), singing highlights from Puccini's Tosca and Madama Butterfly, and many more performers including local favorites and the 2016/2017 Opera Ithaca Apprentice Artists. NYC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week makeup artist, Dorothy Petersen, will transform the performers for this gala event.

Continuing their mission of championing the work of women, Opera Ithaca presents Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz's contemporary opera, Thumbprint, December 2nd through 4th at the Hangar Theatre. The 90-minute opera is inspired by the experiences of Mukhtar Mai, the first victim of gang rape to bring her attackers to justice in Pakistan. In lieu of a financial settlement, Mai requested the construction of schools for girls, that they may be formally educated to help prevent the humiliation of signing their name with only their thumbprint. The work is based on interviews with Mukhtar Mai and explores the family ties and tribal traditions that lead to her astonishing act of courage. The score is a dynamic collision of Hindustani music and traditional opera styles with an ensemble of seven singers and six instrumentalists. The cast features Broadway's Evangelia Kingsley, Smitha Johnson, Yamuna Meleth and Ithaca's own Christian Henry. Susannah Berryman directs and Jonathan Rose conducts.