Arturo Chacon-Cruz and Ailyn Perez Lead Florida Grand Opera's LA BOHEME, 11/17-12/8

Arturo Chacon-Cruz and Ailyn Perez Lead Florida Grand Opera's LA BOHEME, 11/17-12/8

Florida Grand Opera's (FGO) 72nd season is marked by the return of company favorites. The company's season opener is none other than Puccini's internationally beloved La bohème, taking place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County from November 17, 2012 to December 2, 2012 and at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale on December 6, 2012 and December 8, 2012. Leading the cast are two outstanding Hispanic voices: Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Mexican-American soprano Ailyn Pérez.

Last produced by FGO in 2008, Puccini's La bohème is a standard in the Italian repertoire and one of the most frequently performed operas world-wide, known not only for its glorious arias and intoxicating melodies but for its poignant tale of friendship and doomed love. The inspiration for the widely popular musical Rent, the opera follows a group of young bohemians living in Paris in the 1830s, as a love story develops between the impoverished poet, Rodolfo, and the lovely, yet sickly, seamstress, Mimì.

In the role of Mimì, FGO is proud to welcome the return of bewitching Mexican-American soprano, Ailyn Pérez, who recently became the first Hispanic woman to win the coveted Richard Tucker Award; known in the industry as the "Heismann Trophy of opera." A noted talent, she has been featured in Vanity Fair magazine as well as on the cover of Opera News magazine, identified as being among the next wave of great opera singers.

Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz returns to the FGO stage to sing Rodolfo, a role he has made his signature and performed with Washington National Opera, LA Opera, Berlin State Opera, and other top companies. Called "an explosive tenor" by La Nueva España, he last sang the role of Rodolfo with Opera Royal de Wallonie in Belgium in 2010.

Following a highly successful performance as the title role in FGO's most recent Rigoletto, Mark Walters, the baritone Opera News calls "a force to be reckoned with," returns as Marcello. He has just finished a run as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoorwith Arizona Opera, where his "sturdy and strong baritone voice" shone through, according to Concerto.net.

Returning to South Florida immediately following a successful run in FGO's Young Artist Studio is Brittany Ann Reneé Robinson. The young soprano brings what South Florida Classical Review calls a "lush voice" to the role of Musetta.

The production is conducted by FGO Music Director Ramon Tebar. Director David Gately, who is much in demand, having staged works for almost 60 opera companies and festivals, will once again bring his vivid storytelling to FGO.

This production of La bohème, created by Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 2008, is made possible by a generous donation from Randy Gage. Fort Lauderdale performances are sponsored by Rose Miniaci.

A glamorous themed evening will follow the opening night performance of Puccini's La bohème on November 17, 2012, featuring Ailyn Pérez and Arturo Chacón-Cruz, along with the rest of the cast.

Step into the world of La bohème as the Lynn Wolfson Stage is transformed into Café Momus, a well-known gathering place of bohemian life for artists and writers in 19th century Paris. Located in the famed Latin Quarter, the Café is the romantic setting for Act II of Puccini's enduring musical masterpiece and the location of this one-of-a-kind dinner-dance.

Gala guests will also enjoy an elegant pre-performance VIP cocktail reception and silent auction as well as the opportunity to mingle with the opera's cast, including the stars of the evening.

Gala reservations for the dinner-dance on the Lynn Wolfson Stage - inclusive of pre and post opera receptions, silent auction, and intermission - begin at $750 per person. Table reservations range from $7,500 to $100,000. Reservations are subject to availability. Tickets to the gala night performance of La bohème only, range in price from $21 to $250.

To reserve tables or individual tickets for the full gala evening as well as sponsorship or underwriting information, please contact Denise Courshon at 305-854-1643 or dcourshon@fgo.org. For information about La bohème performances, contact the Box Office by phone at 800-741-1010 or online at www.FGO.org.

A 60-second preview is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOjDTTOyLvw.

Performances will be sung in Italian with English and Spanish projected translations

MIAMI - Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House
November 17, 2012, at 7 p.m. – Opening Night
November 21, 24, 27, & 30, 2012, at 8 p.m.
December 2, 2012, matinee at 2 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE - Broward Center for the Performing Arts / Au-Rene Theater
December 6, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.
December 8, 2012, at 8 p.m.

The cast features Ailyn Pérez as Mimì, Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Rodolfo, Brittany Ann Reneé Robinson as Musetta, Mark Walters as Marcello, Adam Lau as Colline, Ryan Milstead as Schaunard, Craig Colcough as Benoit and Alcindoro.

Ramon Tebar conducts with direction by David Gately, set design by R. Keith Brumley, costume design by Malabar, Ltd. and lighting design by Mark Stanley.

Subscriptions for the 2012-2013 season start at only $36 and single tickets are as low as $11. FGO's Box Office is located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25 St., Doral, FL 33122, and is open to the public from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday during the season. Offices are closed on Fridays in the summer. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 800-741-1010 or online at www.FGO.org.

Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organizations in Florida, celebrates its 72nd year of continuously producing grand opera during the 2012-2013 season, which features: Puccini's La bohème, Nov. 17 through Dec. 8; Mozart's The Magic Flute, Jan. 29 through Feb. 23; Bellini's La sonnambula, Feb. 9 through Feb. 17; and Verdi's La traviata, Apr. 20 through May 5.

Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissions new productions – all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish. FGO, recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Program support is provided by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. American Airlines is the Official Airline, Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera.

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