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Wagner, Verdi and Boito Set for Opera New Jersey and NJSO's Midsummer Celebration Tonight, 7/26

Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra present the Fourth Annual Midsummer Celebration, sponsored by William and Judith Scheide, at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton tonight, July 26, at 8 p.m. The program, featuring opera excerpts from Wagner, Verdi and Boito, celebrates Opera New Jersey's 10th anniversary season.

The program includes music from Wagner's Tannhauser, Gotterdammerung and Lohengrin; Verdi's Otello and Aida and Boito's Mefistofele. The Opera New Jersey Chorus joins the NJSO on stage, along with a trio of Opera New Jersey vocalists-soprano Erica Strauss, tenor Rafael Davila and bass Young-Bok Kim. Mark Laycock conducts.

William and Judith Scheide, Princeton-area philanthropists and devoted patrons of the arts, present the one-night-only concert event.

"The Scheides have been great friends and supporters of both Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra," says Opera New Jersey General Director Richard Russell. "We are very grateful to them for their generosity in helping to celebrate Opera New Jersey's 10th anniversary. Mark Laycock has been a fixture at Opera New Jersey for the past few seasons, and we are thrilled he will lead the orchestra, chorus and soloists in these grand opera excerpts."

All tickets for the performance are $25 and are available for purchase from Opera New Jersey by phone at 609.799.7700 and from the NJSO online at www.njsymphony.org or by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476).

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is comprised of some of the country's finest musicians. The Orchestra is proud to have Jacques Lacombe as its Music Director and Neeme Jarvi as its Conductor Laureate. Artistic excellence, innovative programming and community engagement are hallmarks of its mission. To best serve the people of New Jersey, the orchestra brings its programs to seven outstanding venues throughout the state. Education and community engagement programs enrich the listening experience for children and adults alike. Select performances of the NJSO are broadcast regionally and throughout North America.

Opera New Jersey is the Garden State's largest and busiest opera company. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, Opera New Jersey presents a summer season of fully staged opera at Princeton's McCarter Theatre-and for the first time in 2012, Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre and Morristown's Mayo Performing Arts Center-in July, with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as its official orchestra. In addition, the company performs one opera in February in collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Princeton and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, in partnership with NJPAC. Three times awarded a Citation of Excellence by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Opera New Jersey has become known for the high artistic quality of its productions. Opera News has called Opera New Jersey one of the Garden State's most enticing summer offerings.

In addition to its main-stage offerings, the company brings its "Interact with Classics" education programs to schools throughout the state. Opera New Jersey presents outreach programs to a diverse community and also performs free concerts in venues throughout New Jersey. For more information, visit www.OperaNJ.org.

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by Richard Sasanow