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AZ Opera's Sapphire Celebration to Present Greatest Hits of Opera

Arizona Opera opens its 2016/17 Season with a 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert.

Hosted by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, the full Arizona Opera orchestra, chorus, guest artists and the Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artists will perform a sparkling concert of opera's most beloved repertoire. Audience members are encouraged to wear their brightest blue to join in this Sapphire-themed opening to the new Arizona Opera season.

Performances of Arizona Opera's Sapphire Celebration are October 9 at 2:00 pm at the Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tucson, and October 15 at 7:30 pm and October 16 at 2:00 pm in Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale at www.azopera.org or by calling 602-266-7464 in Phoenix or 520-293-4336 in Tucson.

Arizona Opera's Sapphire Celebration includes performances of Mozart's most beloved overtures, the triumphal choruses of Verdi and the beautiful arias of Puccini. Ms. von Stade will guide the performances, sharing enchanting stories from her starring roles in the world's most famous opera houses.

The Sapphire Celebration features baritone Joseph Lattanzi and tenor Andrew Stenson (Arizona Opera's Don Giovanni 2015), sopranos Laquita Mitchell (San Francisco Opera) and Rachel Gilmore (Seattle Opera) and tenor Daniel Montenegro who will also be appearing later this season as Pinkerton in Arizona Opera's production of Madama Butterfly (Jan. 2017). Conductor Ari Pelto will lead the celebration from the pit.

About Frederica von Stade Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television including several PBS specials and "Live from Lincoln Center" telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and "Best of the Year" citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Miss von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the Arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at The White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts.

About Arizona Opera Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio In residence all season, Studio Artists can be seen performing on both Arizona Opera's main stage and throughout Arizona. The Studio also provides well-rounded, personalized instruction that propels each artist to the next level. These opportunities help bridge the gap between academic studies and a professional career. Over 650 applications were received for these six coveted positions. More information about Arizona Opera's 2016/17 Season and its annual programs is available at www.azopera.org.

Arizona Opera opens its 2016/17 Season in October with a 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration featuring Frederica von Stade, followed by the company premiere of Rusalka in November, and the operatic classic Madama Butterfly in January. In February, Arizona Opera will present its first-ever commission, Riders of the Purple Sage, based on the Zane Grey western novel, and the season will conclude with the delightful comedy, Cinderella.
Full and partial ticket packages as well as single tickets are on sale now at www.azopera.org or by calling 602.266.7464 in Phoenix or 520.293.4336 in Tucson.

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