Atlanta Opera 2012-2013 Season to Include CARMEN, LA TRAVIATA


Atlanta Opera Zurich General Director Dennis Hanthorn today announced the Atlanta Opera's 2012-2013 season. The Atlanta Opera's 2012-2013 mainstage productions at the Cobb Energy Centre will feature Bizet's popular classic Carmen, November 10-18, 2012; Verdi's tragic and romantic opera La traviata, March 2-10, 2013; and Rossini's comic opera The Italian Girl in Algiers, April 27-May 5, 2013. Season tickets are now on sale for the three Atlanta Opera mainstage productions at Cobb Energy Centre. Also announced were a donor benefits program called MyOpera, a completely new approach to issuing donor benefits in the world of the performing arts; 2012-2013 community engagement initiatives, including the hugely successful 24-Hour Opera Project and High School Opera Institute; and the details of the 2012 Atlanta Opera Ball: A Night in Seville, a fundraiser supporting and sustaining the exceptional artistic quality of The Atlanta Opera. Production, casting, and season ticket information are below, or can be found at


November 10, 13, 16 and 18, 2012 


The Atlanta Opera opens its 2012-2013 season at the Cobb Energy Centre on Saturday, November 10, with Bizet's classic, Carmen.  Other performances will be on November 13, 16 and 18, 2012.  Set in Seville, the action pivots around Carmen, a gypsy who has the power to seduce any man who suits her fancy. Don José, a corporal, throws honor aside in pursuit of Carmen. Carmen soon casts off her ardent lover for the handsome toreador, Escamillo. Jealousy and passion seal Carmen's fate when Don José murders Carmen, while the crowd inside the bullring cheers for Escamillo.  Debuting with The Atlanta Opera is mezzo-soprano Maria José Montiel, who will be singing the role of Carmen. Ms. Montiel is no stranger to the "fiery gypsy," having sung the role in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, and Japan.  Mexican tenor Fernando de La Mora returns to the Atlanta Opera stage in the role Don José.  De La Mora last performed for Atlanta Opera audiences in 2007 in Romeo & Juliet, the Opera's final production at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.  In his Atlanta Opera debut, baritone Aleksey Bogdanov performs the role of the toreador, Escamillo.  Soprano Melissa Shippen, debuting with the Opera, will sing Micaëla. Conducting Carmen is The Carl and Sally Gable Music Director Arthur Fagen. Stage direction will be provided by Jeffrey Buchman, who will be working with The Atlanta Opera for the first time. Choreographer Rosa Mercedes, who choreographed the Atlanta Opera's recent production of Lucia di Lammermoor, will be choreographing this opera.  The Atlanta Opera purchased this set from Opera Company of Philadelphia, which was originally produced by Florida Grand Opera and designed by Allen Charles Klein. Carmen will be sung in French with projectEd English translations. 

La traviata 

March 2, 5, 8 and 10, 2013

In celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, the Atlanta Opera's second opera of the 2012-2013 season will be the tale of opera's most beloved "fallen woman," La traviataLa traviata is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from a novel by Alexandre Dumas, and was composed by Giuseppe Verdi using a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. This will be the Atlanta Opera's fifth production of La traviata, and will be presented on March 2, 5, 8 and 10, 2013.  In this beautiful and tragic love story, Violetta Valery, mistress of a wealthy baron, gets swept away by Alfredo Germont.  Though they leave Violetta's chaotic previous life, Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont, convinces Violetta that their relationship must end for the good of the Germont family.  She writes Alfredo a farewell letter, and returns to the baron, hoping to create enough distance between she and Alfredo.  Misunderstanding her motives, Alfredo goes into a jealous rage, and by the time the lovers are reunited, Violetta dies of tuberculosis in Alfredo's arms.  In her Atlanta Opera debut, soprano Mary Dunleavy will be singing the role of the high-spirited Violetta. Ms. Dunleavy has received critical acclaim for her "effortless" and "nuanced" portrayal of the role in more than 65 productions. Playing Alfredo, Violetta's lover, is Russian tenor Boris Rudak, in his American and Atlanta Opera debut. Baritone Weston Hurt will be singing the role of Giorgio Germont.  Mr. Hurt performed with The Atlanta Opera in Madama Butterfly in 2008. World-renowned conductor, Joseph Rescigno, will be conducting. This production will use sets owned by The Atlanta Opera and designed by Claude Girard and Bernard Uzan. La traviata will be sung in Italian with projectEd English translations.

The Italian Girl in Algiers

April 27 and 30, and May 3 and 5, 2013

The Atlanta Opera closes its 2012-2013 season with The Italian Girl in Algiers by Gioachino Rossini on April 27 and 30, and May 3 and 5, 2013. This will be the first time The Atlanta Opera has performed The Italian Girl in Algiers. Directed by internationally known German stage director, Chris Alexander, in his Atlanta Opera debut, this production will be set in the 1930's, and will feature Isabella as an aviator.  The production also will feature a "pop-up book" set, through which audiences will be transported to a fairy tale landscape. The set, designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, was originally used in a production with Santa Fe Opera, and has been used subsequently in productions around the United States. Nicknamed "The Italian Mozart," Rossini wrote The Italian Girl in Algiers when he was only 21 years old, and it is considered one of his most successful comedies.  This opera begins with Mustafà, the bey of Algiers, bored with his harem and wife.  He orders his captain, Haly, to find an Italian girl for him.  Through a twist of fate, the once distanced couple, Lindoro and Isabella, happen to find themselves together again in Algiers.  Able to outsmart Mustafà, the couple finds a way to be together, and Mustafà realizes he truly loves his wife.  Singing the role of the clever Isabella is mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, who delighted Atlanta audiences as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in 2008.  Tenor Michele Angelini, debuting with The Atlanta Opera, plays Lindoro.  In his Atlanta Opera debut, Turkish bass Burak Bilgili will be performing the role of Mustafà.  Singing Taddeo, an elderly admirer of Isabella's, is Bruno Praticò, also in his Atlanta Opera debut. Conducting The Italian Girl in Algiers is The Carl and Sally Gable Music Director Arthur Fagen. The Italian Girl in Algiers will be sung in Italian with projectEd English translations.

2012 Atlanta Opera Ball: A Night in Seville

The 2012 Atlanta Opera Ball: A Night in Seville, a fundraiser supporting and sustaining the exceptional artistic quality of The Atlanta Opera, will be held on Saturday, September 15 at the St. Regis Atlanta in Buckhead. The evening will feature elements and festive surprises themed after the season's opening production, Carmen.  The St. Regis will be transformed into a beautiful Spanish-style courtyard and dining room, with a decadent dinner, and luxury items in the silent and live auctions.  The Opera Ball Honorary Chair is Jane Willson, one of the Atlanta Opera's most generous donors, and Heather Flint will serve as Chair. Patron tickets start at $1,500. Single tickets are $300 per person, and will be available beginning August 1, 2012. To purchase tickets, contact Amanda Wilborn at 404-591-2928,, or visit

Community Engagement Initiatives

The Atlanta Opera will be auditioning high school students in grades 10-12 from throughout the metro-Atlanta area for the High School Opera Institute (HSOI) training program on Saturday, September 8, 2012. Currently in its third year, the High School Opera Institute provides focused training for high school students looking to continue music study at the collegiate level. Students attend vocal coachings with High School Opera Institute Music Director Walter Huff; diction and dramatic coachings with Ms. Beverly Blouin and Dr. Stephanie Adrian; and informational workshops focused on selecting a music school and preparing for collegiate auditions. HSOI alumni are now studying at some of the top music schools in the country including Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Rice University, and Oberlin Conservatory. The 2011-2012 HSOI program will culminate with a showcase performance on Sunday, June 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Morningside Presbyterian Church and is free and open to the public. Applications for the 2012-2013 HSOI program will be accepted June 1 to August 24, 2012 and will be available for download on our website at

The third annual 24-Hour Opera Project (24HOP) will take place January 18-19, 2013. 24HOP has grown in popularity since it was first introduced for National Opera Week in 2010. With national attention, the project grew in scope this past January when five teams composed and presented works for a live audience of 200 and more than 760 viewing online via live webcast. The 24HOP provides an opportunity for composers, lyricists, stage directors, and singers from around the country to create new works around an assigned theme that is revealed at the project kick-off. The Project will culminate at the end of the 24 hours with a showcase performance on Saturday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. at The Atlanta Opera Center. This event is free and open to the public. Video highlights from the 2012 24HOP, including the five short operas from last season, are available for viewing at

Season Tickets

Season tickets to the Atlanta Opera's 2012-2013 season at the Cobb Energy Centre are on sale now. Ticket prices for a full, 3-opera subscription package range from $75 to $465 plus handling.  To purchase, visit or call 404-881-8885 (Mon-Fri, 9 am–5 pm).  Subscribers enjoy many benefits, including premium seats at significant savings, no-hassle ticket exchanges, and ticket insurance.  Interest-free payment plans are available.

Single Tickets

Single tickets for the Atlanta Opera's 2012-2013 season at Cobb Energy Centre will go on sale in October. Ticket prices will start at $25 plus convenience fees.