Chicago Opera Theater Presents Giuseppe Verdi's JOAN OF ARC, Now thru 9/29
Chicago Opera Theater's Chicago Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's Joan of Arc places the audience directly in the midst of a play within a play in a newly conceived production by "avant-garde director for the masses" David Schweizer. With Suzan Hanson returning after her acclaimed COT debut as Madeleine in The Fall of the House of Usher to sing the title part in this opera, selected via poll by COT audiences to celebrate Verdi's 200th birthday. COT's production features Chicago's New Millennium Orchestra conducted by its artistic director Francesco Milioto. Performances are held at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive tonight, Sept 21; Wednesday, Sept 25; Friday, Sept 27; and Sunday Matinee, Sept 29. Tickets are on sale now.
As a poignant statement attributed to Schweizer, "In a 21st century world still torn apart by military actions and the subsequent carnage of opposing religious beliefs, the historical "JOAN" and the Italian "JOAN" seem to melt together into a portrait of the perpetual, heart-rending consequences of religious fanaticism. Joan herself may have been pure of heart. But like so many other saints and martyrs, the world around her only shuddered and continued to destroy itself in her wake and by her example." The last opera of the 2013 season, POWER OF LOVE - LOVE OF POWER, explores the meaning of personal sacrifice for the greater good illuminating how the Love of Power corrupts the Power of Love. Based on a play by Friedrich Schiller Joan is infused with Verdi's high-octane vocal fireworks.
Joan of Arc (Giovanna d'Arco) premiered at the Scala in Milan on February 15th, 1845. Due to strict religious censorship, three months post Milan, the opera's altered story was produced in Rome as Orietta di Lesbo. The Greek Isles as the new battlefield, Joan became a heroine of the Lesbians against the Turks. Both renditions have seen very little light on stage. In 1966 the US concert premiere was performed at Carnegie Hall and reappeared in 1996. Its first US stage performance was in 1976 by the now known New York Grand Opera and again in 1983 and 1995. COT is presenting Joan of Arc as a Chicago premier interpreted by the innovative Director David Schweizer to continue with MORE OF THE DIFFERENT.
Tickets: Prices range from $35 to $125. Reduced prices are offered to subscribers. First-time subscribers for the new 2014 - 40th Season, receive a 50% discount on season tickets. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the COT Box Office at 312-704-8414 or online at www.chicagooperatheater.org.