Elizabeth Futral News

Dallas Opera Announces Ten Finalists for 2014 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year; Ceremony Set for 5/22
by BWW News Desk - Apr 17, 2014

Ten artists have been nominated and thousands of subscribers will soon be casting their vote for this year's winner of the prestigious “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award. The Dallas Opera bestows this award annually to the performer who makes the most unforgettable impression onstage in their company debut. The winner will be announced at the annual Dallas Opera Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, May 22, 2014 in the Crescent Ballroom of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel, 400 Crescent Court in Uptown Dallas. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Billy Zane, Jenn Gambatese and More in Lyric Opera of Chicago's THE SOUND OF MUSIC
by BWW News Desk - Apr 17, 2014

Lyric Opera of Chicago General Director Anthony Freud announced today four additional performances due to popular demand for Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved Broadway musical The Sound of Music, April 25-May 25, 2014, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Additional performance dates are Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 and are available now at lyricopera.org/soundofmusic or at 312-827-5600. (more...)

Jennifer Aylmer, Burak Bilgili and More Nominated for 'Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year' Award, 5/22
by BWW News Desk - Apr 17, 2014

Ten artists have been nominated and thousands of subscribers will soon be casting their vote for this year's winner of the prestigious “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award. The Dallas Opera bestows this award annually to the performer who makes the most unforgettable impression onstage in their company debut. The winner will be announced at the annual Dallas Opera Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, May 22, 2014 in the Crescent Ballroom of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel, 400 Crescent Court in Uptown Dallas. (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Sneak Peek - In Rehearsal with Lyric Opera of Chicago's THE SOUND OF MUSIC
by Stage Tube - Apr 14, 2014

In the video below, take a peek into the very first day of The Sound of Music rehearsals at the Lyric Opera of Chicago! (more...)

Houston Grand Opera to Present DAS RHEINGOLD Tomorrow
by BWW News Desk - Apr 10, 2014

Tomorrow, April 11, Houston Grand Opera presents Das Rheingold, launching the American debut of a visionary and groundbreaking treatment of Der Ring des Nibelungen by La Fura dels Baus. As the first staging of Wagner's epic cycle in HGO history, the event marks an important company milestone-one that HGO follows two weeks later with a new take on Carmen from Broadway sensation Rob Ashford. These two productions come at a time when HGO has once again been making headlines, not only for the world premiere of A Coffin in Egypt and an acclaimed revival of A Little Night Music, but by successfully appealing to new audiences. 'The most recent NEA survey shows that only 2% of Americans go to the opera each year. Yet HGO is bucking the trend. Since the 2009-10 season it has seen its attendances grow by 24 percent,' reported the Economist last month. As Houston History noted in a recent feature article, 'many arts programs across the nation are shutting down due to financial failure, [but] HGO has succeeded in remaining relevant.' (more...)

'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for April 2nd, 2014
by Paul W. Thompson - Apr 02, 2014

The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. 'Peter' plays Monroe Street, new musicals try out in Wicker Park and Bucktown, 'Evita' lights up Cicero, 'Hot Mikado' jazzes up Rogers Park, The Hypocrites announce a trilogy, three Tony winners start rehearsal here and Las Vegas calls on the Windy City's finest! (more...)

Lyric Opera of Chicago Extends THE SOUND OF MUSIC Through 5/25
by BWW News Desk - Apr 02, 2014

Lyric Opera of Chicago General Director Anthony Freud announced today four additional performances due to popular demand for Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved Broadway musical The Sound of Music, April 25-May 25, 2014, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Additional performance dates are Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 and are available now at lyricopera.org/soundofmusic or at 312-827-5600. (more...)

Lyric's Rising Stars in Concert to Showcase Ryan Opera Center Members, 3/29
by BWW News Desk - Mar 26, 2014

On Saturday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., the talented singers and pianist of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center 2013-14 ensemble will perform with members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in works of Adams, Bizet, Copland, Donizetti, Gershwin, Gounod, Handel, Lehár, Massenet, Mozart, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Walton. Rising Stars in Concert is offered in celebration of an extraordinarily successful year of study and performance for these up-and-coming artists. (more...)

TWISTED, PAGLIACCI & More Set for Opera Columbus' 2014-15 Season
by BWW News Desk - Mar 10, 2014

Opera Columbus today announced the lineup for its 2014-15 season, premiering the first season in Opera Columbus history to present all locally produced productions. Opera Columbus opens the season with a never-been-done-before collaboration with BalletMet and the Columbus Symphony and Chorus to present the world premiere of Twisted, an all-original work written and directed by Crystal Manich, featuring dancers, singers, and musicians from all three organizations on stage together for the first time. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Houston Grand Opera's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is Extraordinarily Gorgeous
by David Clarke - Mar 09, 2014

Ever since it premiered on Broadway in 1973, Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, with a book by Hugh Wheeler, has been a favorite of musical theatre fans. The Michigan Opera Theatre was the first American opera company to present the piece in 1983, and other companies followed suit. It last graced Houston Grand Opera's (HGO) stages in 1999. Now, the musical, with an extraordinary set and gorgeous costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, is thrilling Houston audiences again with HGO's latest production of this American masterpiece. (more...)

DAS RHEINGOLD, A COFFIN IN EGYPT and More Set for Spring 2014 at Houston Grand Opera
by BWW News Desk - Mar 07, 2014

The new year has already brought notable success for Houston Grand Opera (HGO), where the hotly anticipated American premiere of the long-lost Holocaust opera The Passenger-hailed by the Associated Press as 'the latest coup for a company known for producing new works'-took the national and local press by storm, and where the company's Rigoletto revival was pronounced 'glorious' (Theater Jones). These accolades come at an exciting time for the company, which continues this season's extraordinary line-up with the launch of the first American presentation of a visionary and groundbreaking treatment of Das Rheingold by La Fura dels Baus; the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's A Coffin in Egypt, named one of the twelve 'must-see opera events of the season' (Opera News); a new HGO production of Carmen from Broadway sensation Rob Ashford; and Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, which boasts designs by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi. (more...)

'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for March 5th, 2014
by Paul W. Thompson - Mar 06, 2014

The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. The Mosh Pit's exclusive Oscar wrap-up, Billy Zane announced for Lyric Opera, DLO's 'Les Miz' aims high, Porchlight tries 'How To Succeed,' Bailiwick's 'Dessa Rose' begins, as does 'Heartbeat Of Home' from BIC, 'Option Up! ' returns, voice students compete at NATS, and more! (more...)

BWW Interviews: Chad Shelton Talks Houston Grand Opera's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
by David Clarke - Mar 05, 2014

Houston Grand Opera's highly anticipated production of Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC opens this week in the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Theater Center. In addition to Stephen Sondheim's celebrated and lush score, this production proudly features sets, costumes, and original direction by popular American fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. I recently spoke with HGO alumna Chad Shelton, who is playing Fredrik Egerman, about the production and his career. (more...)

Billy Zane to Join Jenn Gambatese in Lyric Opera of Chicago's THE SOUND OF MUSIC this Spring
by BWW News Desk - Mar 04, 2014

Billy Zane, star of James Cameron's international blockbuster Titanic and critically acclaimed for his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Broadway's Chicago, has been cast as Captain von Trapp, completing principal casting for Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of The Sound of Music, April 25-May 18, 2014. (more...)

Segerstrom Center to Present LA Opera in Concert Version of Jules Massenet's THAIS, 5/27
by BWW News Desk - Feb 28, 2014

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will present LA Opera Off Grand with a special concert performance of Jules Massenet's lyric masterpiece Thais on Tuesday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The opera tells the story of Thais, a courtesan in Alexandria, Egypt during the Byzantine period whom men find irresistible in the hedonistic way she celebrates life and its most sensual pleasures. The monk Athanael vows to save her soul, but loses his own when his unholy obsession for her overpowers him. The incomparable Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze will sing the title Role alongside LA Opera General Director Placido Domingo in the baritone role as her conflicted savior, Athanael. Patrick Fournillier will conduct the same cast as well as the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus that will appear in the company's fully-staged production from May 17 - June 7 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The opera is filled with intoxicating melodies, including the well known violin concert piece, Meditation. There will also be a free Preview Talk prior to the Segerstrom Center performance in the Studio Performance Space from 6:30 - 7:15 p.m. Thais will be performed in French with English supertitles. (more...)

Houston Grand Opera Launches New RING Cycle and More
by BWW News Desk - Feb 26, 2014

The critical response to Houston's American premiere production of The Passenger was overwhelming. Classical Voice America proclaimed the opera “a masterpiece,” and the Chicago Tribune found it an “engrossing, thought-provoking experience” that “deserves [a place] in the regular repertory.” Houston's production impressed the Houston Chronicle as one “that unites commanding performances and vivid, fast-paced staging,” while the Wall Street Journalcommended the way “conductor Patrick Summers shaped the evening with enormous care.” As for the performers, “top to bottom, the cast is excellent,” asserted the Dallas Morning News. Melody Moore “gave Marta's anguish lyricism and strength” (Wall Street Journal), “Michelle Breedt's instrument seemed ideally suited to the role of Liese” (Classical Voice America), and “Kelly Kaduce was mesmerizing” as Katya (Wall Street Journal). The Toronto Star concluded: (more...)

DAS RHEINGOLD, A COFFIN IN EGYPT and More Set for Spring 2014 at Houston Grand Opera
by BWW News Desk - Feb 19, 2014

The new year has already brought notable success for Houston Grand Opera (HGO), where the hotly anticipated American premiere of the long-lost Holocaust opera The Passenger-hailed by the Associated Press as 'the latest coup for a company known for producing new works'-took the national and local press by storm, and where the company's Rigoletto revival was pronounced 'glorious' (Theater Jones). These accolades come at an exciting time for the company, which continues this season's extraordinary line-up with the launch of the first American presentation of a visionary and groundbreaking treatment of Das Rheingold by La Fura dels Baus; the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's A Coffin in Egypt, named one of the twelve 'must-see opera events of the season' (Opera News); a new HGO production of Carmen from Broadway sensation Rob Ashford; and Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, which boasts designs by fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi. (more...)

'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for February 12th, 2014
by Paul W. Thompson - Feb 12, 2014

The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. 'Gypsy' at CST and 'Into The Woods' from The Hypocrites begin, Paula Scrofano honored, Bernadette performs, another out-of-town tryout announced, a Barrel Of Monkeys revue, casting news from the Paramount and the Lyric, the Sarah Siddons Society show and more! (more...)

Lyric Opera of Chicago Announces Casting for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, 4/26
by BWW News Desk - Feb 05, 2014

A roster of accomplished young singing actors from the Chicago area will portray the von Trapp Family children in Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of The Sound of Music, the company announced today. (more...)

'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for January 22nd, 2014
by Paul W. Thompson - Jan 22, 2014

The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. Sondheim shows 'Gypsy,' 'Road Show,' 'Passion' and 'Waltz,' plus Gambatese in Lyric's 'SOM,' NBC's follow-up, Lamont Dozier's show, Bailiwick's Casting Auction results, Chris and Aaron start a monthly variety show, and more! (more...)

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