Florida Grand Opera Announces 2014-2015 Lineup

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Florida Grand Opera Announces 2014-2015 Lineup

Florida Grand Opera (FGO) announces its 74th continuous season of producing opera featuring four mainstage productions for its 2014-15 Season, which will include Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul.

"I am proud to bring an eclectic mix of repertoire to the stage for the 2014-15 Season, and thrilled that for the first time in FGO's history we will perform Menotti's The Consul, a gripping American drama that stunned Broadway audiences in 1950 during its remarkable 40 week run," said Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera. "This season will be exciting and thrilling for both first time attendees and seasoned opera lovers."

Madama Butterfly

Puccini's opera is loosely based on a true story and depicts a shattering clash of cultures. While stationed in Japan, the American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton obtains through an unscrupulous marriage broker a 15 year old geisha known as Butterfly. He plans to amuse himself until he can take a real wife from America.

When he goes back out to sea, everyone believes that Butterfly has been abandoned, but her faith that he will return to her is steadfast. He does return, but with an American wife, and plans to claim Butterfly's child who was born after his departure. Hopeless and left with nothing, Butterfly sees suicide as her only option, and re-employs the very knife her father had used to end his own life.

Madama Butterfly gained immense worldwide popularity during the early 1900s and has remained among the most frequently performed operas. Puccini's spectacular gift for sureness of purpose, both musically and theatrically, is nowhere more evident than here. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy some of opera's most famous music and powerful drama.

**Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish**

"Madama Butterfy" will be performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House on November 15, 16, 18, 21, and 22 of 2014. Additional performances will be in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts/Au-Rene Theater on December 4 and 6 of 2014.

Così Fan Tutte

Following the triumphs of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così Fan Tutte is the third and final collaboration of the gifted librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte and the brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But among these three key monuments of Western musical culture, Così has been the least understood. It was once considered risqué, if not immoral, and during the 1800s Mozart's music was frequently performed with an entirely different libretto bearing no resemblance to the original.

The theme of testing the constancy of women by improvising a trial can be traced into deep antiquity, but the treatment provided by Mozart and Da Ponte deliciously dissects the social mores of the late 1700s and demonstrates the young composer's astonishing skill.

Two young men make a bet with an older friend that their fiancées will remain faithful under any circumstances. The friend, claiming to know better, arranges for the men to leave the girls, who are sisters, and then return in disguise. The girls waver, and soon fall headlong for each other's fiancé. When the mean-spirited trick is revealed, all we can know for certain is that those relationships will never be the same.

**Sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish**

"Così Fan Tutte" will be performed at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House on January 24, 25, 27, 30, & 31 of 2015. Additional performances will be in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts/Au-Rene Theater on February 12 and 14 of 2014.

The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

On his way to creating what was to become the world's most popular opera, in 1863 Georges Bizet composed this atmospheric tale of love, friendship, and sacrifice. Twelve years later, Bizet's death at 36 during the first performances of Carmen was a tragic loss to the proliferation of French opera at the time.

The public loved The Pearl Fishers at its premiere, but many critics were hostile, just as they would be with Carmen later on. In both cases, the public was the better judge.

The Pearl Fishers, inspired by the European infatuation with all things Oriental, enfolded heady elements within the well-established traditions of French opera. After Bizet's death, it was revived regularly, and today it is seen in most of the world's leading opera houses. Foreshadowing the genius that Bizet was soon to demonstrate with Carmen, The Pearl Fishers contains one of the most famous tenor-baritone duets in all of opera.

**Sung in French with projected titles in English and Spanish**

"The Pearl Fisher" will be performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House on February 28, March 1, 3, 6, 7 of 2015. Additional performances will be held in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts/Au-Rene Theater on March 12 and 14 of 2015.

The Consul

Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul premiered in 1950 and enjoyed a spectacular Broadway run of 269 performances as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Music. In a world still recoiling from World War II and coming to terms with the grim realities of the Cold War, its themes of suppression, governmental indifference, and despair found resonance around the world.

The Consul takes place in an unnamed country where Magda Sorel is desperate to obtain visas to enable her family to emigrate and escape persecution. The endless waiting erodes what hope she clings to, until a tragic and shattering deed concludes both the opera and her terrible saga.

Immediately following The Consul's New York run, it was presented at Milan's La Scala in an extraordinary nod to the importance of this new American opera. One of The Consul's highlights is Magda's aria, "To This We've Come," which became an anthem for oppressed people everywhere.

**Sung in English with projected titles in English and Spanish**

"The Consul" will be performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County / Ziff Ballet Opera House on May 9, 10, 12, 15, & 16 of 2015.

Subscriptions for the 2014-15 Season start at only $40. 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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday during the season. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (800) 741-1010 or online at www.FGO.org.

Sponsorship opportunities for productions and events throughout the season are available. For more information, contact Individual Giving Officer, Max Kellogg at 305-854-1643 or mkellogg@fgo.org.

Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organization in Florida, celebrates its 74th year of continuously producing grand opera during the 2014-15 Season. The main stage operas of the season include: Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly, November 15 - December 6; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, January 24 - February 14; Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles), February 28 - March 14; and Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul,May 9 - May 16.

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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