Amore Opera Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Six Productions For The 2018-19 Season

To celebrate the founding of Amore Opera in 2009, Artistic Director Nathan Hull has programmed six main-stage opera productions this season. Over the past decade, Amore has created a niche for itself in New York City's cultural realm, offering lively stagings of opera classics, neglected gems of the repertoire, appealing children's fare, and ever-popular Gilbert & Sullivan presentations in the well- appointed and intimate 200-seat Riverside Theatre at Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, (near 121st Street,) New York, NY 10027.

For tickets at $45 adults; $35 seniors/students/children under 12; $35 - $25 partial view; $35 - $25 for All-Kids "Iolanthe;" $150 adult season pass and $115 senior season pass (includes any four productions); $130 New Year's Eve Dinner & Gala, please visit www.amoreopera.org or call 1 866-811-4111.

Heralded as "an important tradition and a gift to the New York cultural scene," by Classical Music Editor Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times, Amore has built a loyal following among opera lovers of all ages. Thanks to having inherited numerous sets and thousands of costumes from Amato Opera, Amore is able to offer fully-staged productions featuring a 30-member orchestra. Each year, Mr. Hull gives a platform to rising star singers, guest conductors, designers, directors, and, by maintaining a children's choir, offers opportunities for new opera aficionados and performers. In November 2017, in an interview for Operawire, Mr. Hull explained: "I'm really keen on educating the next generation of people on opera and classical music in general." In an effort to give more singers a chance to participate in a fully-staged live operatic production, Amore usually assigns several singers to each role, so the cast rotates with each performance.

"Much love and effort were lavished on the production," wrote James R. Oestreich in The New York Times about a rarely performed sequel to Mozart's Die Zauberflöte called Das Labyrinth, with libretto by Mozart's collaborator Schikaneder and music by Peter von Winter. And, Classical Singer Magazine recently exclaimed, "All is not lost! The Amore Opera Takes Over!!"

AMORE OPERA 2018- 2019 SEASON

Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème - December 21 - 31, 2018 During the 2018 holiday season, starting Friday evening, December 21, 2018, 7:30 p.m., Amore will present Puccini's La Bohème in eight performances, co-directed by Nathan Hull and Iris Karlin, conducted by Scott Jackson Wiley, featuring set design by Richard Cerullo and costumes by Cynthia Psoras. The rotating cast includes, in the role of Mimí: sopranos Rachel Hippert, Iris Karlin, Michelle Pretto, and Dilara Unsal; Rodolfo: tenors José Heredia, Adam Hershkowitz, Thomas Massey, and Riad Ymeri; Musetta: sopranos Katrin Bulke, Miriam Chaudoir, Cassandra Douglas, and Elisabeth Slaten; and Marcello: baritones Robert Garner, Jonathan Green, Jesse Malgieri, and Gustavo Morales.

The schedule of performances for La Bohème is as follows: Friday evening, December 21, 2018, 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, December 22, 2018, 2:30 pm; Saturday evening, December 22, 2018,7:30 pm; Sunday afternoon, December 23, 2018, 2:30 pm; Friday evening, December 28, 2018; 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, December 29, 2018; 2:30 pm; Sunday evening, December 30, 7:30 pm. and on New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31, 7:30 pm (see below for details on the New Year's Eve Gala.)

Scrooge & Gilbert & Sullivan-December 27 - 30, 2018 Artistic Director Nathan Hull has recast the classic Dickens tale A Christmas Carol by writing a new book and lyrics and including musical highlights from 11 operettas of William S. Gilbert and Arthur S. Sullivan, including The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and H.M.S. Pinafore. Performed for the first time by Amore last year, Scrooge & Gilbert & Sullivan was an instant hit with audiences and promises to become an annual holiday tradition. The production, directed by Mr. Hull and conducted by Elizabeth Hastings, features costumes by Cynthia Psoras. The cast includes, as Scrooge, baritones Ray Calderon & Martin Everall; in the role of Jacob Marley, baritone Jay Stephenson; as the Ghost of Christmas Present, soprano Alexis Cregger; and, as Tiny Tim, boy soprano Leo Kogan. Scrooge & Gilbert & Sullivan has been produced by many groups around the country.

Performances are as follows: Thursday evening, December 27, 2018, 7:30 pm; Friday afternoon, December 28, 2018, 2:30 pm; Saturday evening, December 29, 2018; 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoon, December 30, 2018, 2:30 pm.

New Year's Eve Gala-December 31, 2018, 7:30 pm till 2 am, January 1, 2019 Amore Opera will ring in the New Year with a special 10th Anniversary Gala at the Riverside Theatre. The evening's musical highlight will be a fully staged production of Puccini's La Bohème, with a lavish dinner served during the first intermission and dessert during the second intermission. The cast will take a bow just in time for a midnight champagne toast. This is then followed by a New Year's concert featuring operas, and operettas, musical theatre. Tickets at $130, including all food and drink, are available for purchase at www.amoreopera.org/NewYearsEve.

SPRING 2019 (Each production's cast to be announced at a later date.)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Cosí fan tutte-March 15-24, 2019

A charming new two-hour English version of Mozart's Cosí, directed by Nathan Hull and conducted by José Alejandro Guzmán, will be presented in the spring. The schedule follows: Friday evening, March 15, 2019, 7:30 pm; Saturday evening, March 16, 7:30 pm; Sunday afternoon, March 17, 2:30 pm; Thursday evening, March 21, 7:30 pm; Friday evening, March 22, 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoon, March 24, 2:30 pm.

Giacomo Meyerbeer's L'Étoile du Nord-March 19-23, 2019 In the spring of 2019, Amore Opera will unveil a new production of Giacomo Meyerbeer's unjustly neglected L'Étoile du Nord. As part of its mission to discover and present hidden gems of the operatic repertoire, Amore again brings a long-forgotten work to New York, last performed at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music in 1883. Known mostly for the diva coloratura aria "Grand Air de Catherine" in modern times, L'Étoile du Nord relates the tumultuous love story of Peter the Great of Russia and Catherine, a cantinière for opposing Finnish forces.

Giacomo Meyerbeer enjoyed incredible popularity during his lifetime, blazing the path for the integration of music and theatricality that would continue to develop in the works of Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini. Best known for his large-scale works Robert le Diable, les Huguenots, and l'Africaine, all with librettos by the highly popular French dramatist Eugène Scribe, the German-born Jewish composer Meyerbeer established the great tradition of French "Grand Opéra."

His fame was such that as a young composer Richard Wagner initially sought his help and approval, but later on, Wagner, the critic, began a vitriolic anti-Semitic campaign against him, prompted by extreme envy. Wagner successfully influenced public opinion, causing Meyerbeer's works to fall out favor and later to be suppressed by the Nazi Regime. Fortunately there is now renewed interest in mounting his operas in Europe, and Amore is pleased to stage L'Étoile du Nord in New York.

Amore has made it a priority to present unusual operas nearly every season; some of its ambitious productions have included the American debut of the 1826 opera I due Figaro by Mercadante; Das Labyrinth by Peter von Winter and libretto by Schikaneder, which was the American debut of the 1798 Magic Flute, Part II; Kálmán's The Circus Princess in its first New York production since 1927; and, three works by Donizetti, Poliuto in the first American production since 1859, the 1827 work Olivo e Pasquale in its American debut, and La Zingara, the American debut of the 1822 opera.

Directed by Mr. Hull and conducted by Richard Cordova, L'Étoile du Nord will be performed as follows: Tuesday evening, March 19, 2019, 7:30 pm; Wednesday evening, March 20, 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, March 23, 2:30 pm; and Saturday evening, March 23, 7:30 pm

Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera-May 31-June 16, 2019

Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe-Saturday morning, June 11, 2019, 11 am & Saturday morning, June 18, 2019, 11 am To close out the season, Amore Opera will continue to expand its foray into Giuseppe Verdi's rich catalogue, with a production of the beloved opera Un ballo in maschera, directed by Nathan Hull and conducted by Douglas Martin. Additionally, Amore will present its annual Gilbert & Sullivan children's production, this year offering two Saturday morning performances of Iolanthe, directed by Nathan Hull and conducted by Iris Karlin. These productions tailor Gilbert & Sullivan classics to young singers' abilities and cast children in all roles, with the hope of instilling in them a lasting curiosity and love for the operatic art form. Last year's production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance was presented by WQXR as a Family Concert in New York's Greene Space and is still available on the WQXR website: http://www.thegreenespace.org/story/wqxr-family-concert-pirates-penzance/

Un ballo in maschera will be performed Friday evening, May 31, 2019, 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, June 1, 2:30 pm; Saturday evening, June 1, 7:30 pm; Sunday afternoon, June 2, 2:30 pm; Thursday evening, June 6, 7:30 pm; Friday evening, June 7, 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, June 8, 2:30 pm; Saturday evening, June 8, 7:30 pm; Saturday afternoon, June 15, 2:30 pm; Saturday evening, June 15, 7:30 pm; and Sunday afternoon, June 16, 2:30 pm.

All-Kids Iolanthe performances take place on two consecutive Saturday mornings, June 8, 2019, and June 15, both at 11 am.

The Amore season is sponsored in part by a generous grant from Brian Hinchcliffe.

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