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2020-21 Opera On The Mainstage Moves to Fall; Lineup Announced

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Having already transitioned summer concerts and other events online, the Opera is delaying the “On the Mainstage” series from October to December.

Opera Orlando's 2020-21 season continues to evolve as COVID-19 numbers remain in flux. Having already transitioned summer concerts and other events online, the Opera is delaying the "On the Mainstage" series from October to December.

"Postponing our in-person performances just a little longer is truly in the best interest of our audiences, performers, and staff," says artistic director Grant Preisser. "Of course, we are anxious to be back in the theater, but we want to be able to present our shows in the most responsible, healthy, and safe way possible."

Opera Orlando has been working closely with Dr. Phillips Center on safety protocols and procedures for live performances, as well as developing its own policies and standards for rehearsals, Opera Orlando Youth Company classes, and other events hosted by the Company at Broadway United Methodist Church. "In addition to getting input from fellow opera and theater companies who have started to re-open, we are incorporating CDC recommendations, local official guidance, and input from our Company partner Orlando Health in preparing to launch our season in December," states executive director Gabriel Preisser. "We are taking the time now to ensure we have the best practices in place as we get back to producing opera and celebrating our fifth anniversary season."

And what a season it will be! Audiences are in for quite a party as the Opera on the MainStage series kicks off this December with Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus: The Revenge of the Bat, sung in English with English dialogue and supertitles, at Dr. Phillips Center in the Walt Disney Theater. Come dressed to the nines and enjoy a night of intrigue and disguise, all appropriately socially-distanced, in this semi-staged version of the show.

Argentinian-born maestro Jorge Parodi returns to Opera Orlando to conduct musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in some of the most luscious and memorable waltzes ever composed, with Grant Preisser directing this COVID-conscious send-up of Strauss's comic farce. Soprano Abigail Rethwisch makes her Opera Orlando debut as the captivating Rosalinda, joined by Grammy Award-winning baritone Gabriel Preisser as her less than faithful husband Eisenstein. Metropolitan Opera National Competition winner, tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli, takes on the role of Alfred, and soprano Cree Carrico makes her Opera Orlando debut as the feisty maid Adele. Husband and wife duo, mezzo-soprano Sarah Nordin and bass-baritone Tyler Putnam, round out the cast in the roles of Prince Orlofsky and Police Warden Frank, respectively.

Die Fledermaus: The Revenge of the Bat at Walt Disney Theater

Thursday | Deember 17, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | December 19, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Opera Orlando will now remount its acclaimed production of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel in January 2021. This scrumptious treat for the whole family, sung in English and reduced to a kid-friendly 75 minutes, will be presented in the round at Dr. Phillips Center in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater. Featuring a gorgeous score, charming characters, and a delightfully villainous witch, this retelling of the Grimm's fairy tale is headlined by Opera Orlando 2020-21 studio artists, soprano Kyaunnee Richardson as the plucky and adorable Gretel and mezzo-soprano Gloria Palermo as her headstrong but lovable brother, Hansel. Mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein is the witch and creepy purveyor of cookies, candies, and cakes, with real-life husband and wife, baritone Torlef Borsting and mezzo-soprano Cass Panuska, as the father and mother. Opera Orlando's education director Robin Jensen conducts, and artistic director Grant Preisser directs, with musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the Opera Orlando Youth Company.

Hansel & Gretel at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Friday | January 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | January 30, 2021 at 2 p.m.
Saturday | January 30, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday | January 31, 2021 at 2 p.m.

The fifth-anniversary MainStage series concludes back in the Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center as Opera Orlando presents Georges Bizet's fiery masterwork, Carmen. Sung in French with Creole dialogue and English supertitles, Carmen is presented in partnership with the Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Orlando.

Making their Opera Orlando debuts, critically-acclaimed maestro Kelly Kuo conducts musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sara E. Widzer directs this original production of Carmen, set in the politically tumultuous and culturally provocative arena of 1960s Haiti. Mezzo-soprano Brianna Hunter, described as "radiant" by The New York Times and as "a mesmerizing Carmen" by Opera News, takes on the title role in her Orlando debut, joined by tenor Nathan Grannar from the Sony Masterworks "The American Tenors" as the tragic Don José. Metropolitan Opera soprano Brittany Renee Robinson returns to Orlando to sing Michaela, Broadway and opera veteran Gregg Baker makes his MainStage debut as Zuniga, and baritone Norman Garrett, a Domingo-Cafritz young artist, also makes his Opera Orlando debut as Escamillo. The seductive and treacherous world of Carmen and Haiti in the 1960s comes to life with members of the Opera Orlando Chorus and Youth Company.

Carmen at Walt Disney Theater

Thursday | April 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | April 3, 2021 at 2 p.m.

Opera Orlando has a lot in store for audiences leading up to its Opera on the MainStage series. Tune in online throughout August and September for the Opera on Park Summer Concert Series, a stellar line-up of artists to be featured in the 2020-21 season; Opera Orlando in Concert, presenting executive director and Grammy award-winning baritone Gabriel Preisser; and its virtual anniversary party, A Grand Night for Singing. "Like" Opera Orlando


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