From Opera To Opry: LIQUOR, LOVE, AND THE LORD Returns on 12/5

From Opera To Opry: LIQUOR, LOVE, AND THE LORD Returns on 12/5The Atlanta Opera will present From Opera to Opry: Liquor, Love and the Lord on Tuesday, December 5th at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Now in its second year, the holiday concert, in collaboration with ADA Ovations, will feature renowned professional opera singers as well as the bluegrass and country stylings of Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers. From Opera to Opry thrilled a packed house in December 2016, bringing the crowd to its feet on multiple occasions to applaud, as well as dance in the aisles.

The combination of the musical genres gets to the heart of the striking similarity between the themes and inspiration that drove both legendary opera composers and iconic country songwriters to write the music that speaks to us all. The evening's first half includes performances of great opera arias, followed by a second half of country music similar to what you might hear at the Grand Ole Opry. The performing artists - Michael Mayes, Leah Partridge, Corey Crider and Jonathan Burton - are international opera singers who also share a lifelong passion for country music and the skills to play multiple instruments, namely guitar. These singers are as authentic in their operatic performances as they are in playing rousing renditions of classic country hits.

The Atlanta Opera presents From Opera to Opry: Liquor, Love and the Lord on Tuesday, December 5th at 7:30 p.m. at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. The Playhouse opens at 6:15 p.m. for early drinks and dinner. Single tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at atlantaopera.org or by calling 404-881-8885. Tickets are $35 and all seating is General Admission. The concert will be performed on the set of "A Christmas Carol" at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

Written by baritone Michael Mayes and produced in collaboration with ADA Ovations, From Opera to Opry features arias and duets by composers like Puccini, Verdi, and Mozart, as well as country songs from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and George Jones. From Opera to Opry introduces its own brand of humor and music that will appeal to fans of the arts, opera, country music and comedy. Audiences can expect a holiday song or two, as well. The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is all ages, however, some content may not be suitable for children. Parents and guardians should use discretion.

With a "powerful" voice and an "arresting stage presence," Michael Mayes is known for his consummate portrayals of iconic characters in the operatic repertoire. Mayes sang the lead role of Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking, in which Tomer Zvulun (General & Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera) directed him in early 2016 at New Orleans Opera. Zvulun and Mayes also worked together on Rigoletto with the Boston Lyric Opera, in which Mr. Mayes sang the title role, and will reunite in the 2017-2018 season, when Mayes sings the title role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Zvulun. Mayes will sing lead and play guitar in >From Opera to Opry.

Atlanta-resident soprano Leah Partridge has received consistent praise worldwide for her intelligent and compelling interpretations of opera's most beloved heroines. She was most recently seen onstage in Atlanta as Musetta in La bohème during the 2015-16 opera season, and previously sang the roles of Adina in The Elixir of Love in 2009 and Rosina in The Barber of Seville in 2006 with The Atlanta Opera. Partridge currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at Kennesaw State University and graduated from Mercer University. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and teaches voice and yoga at The Voice Studio Atlanta. Partridge will sing lead in From Opera to Opry.

Baritone Corey Crider is an alumnus of Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center and recently returned to the company as Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Additional recent highlights include Marcello in La bohème with Arizona Opera and the Munich Philharmonic, Cavaliere di Belfiore in Un giorno di regno with Sarasota Opera, and Escamillo in Carmen with Opera Lyra Ottawa. In the 2016-2017 season, Corey added two important roles to his repertoire: Ford in Verdi's Falstaff (Opera on the James) and the title role in Rigoletto (Mississippi Opera). Crider will play bass guitar in From Opera to Opry.

American tenor Jonathan Burton has been praised for having "thrilling power and beauty" (Baltimore Sun) and for being "an engaging all-around singer with a powerful, full-bodied sound" (Opera News). Recent engagements include Cavaradossi in Tosca at Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Omaha, and Central City Opera, Caláf in Turandot at Nashville Opera, and Radames in Aida at Sarasota Opera. Burton will play lead guitar in From Opera to Opry.

Rolando Salazar - Assistant Conductor, Interim Chorus Master, and the Music Administrator for The Atlanta Opera - will accompany the singers on stage. He has served as assistant conductor and pianist at the Bellingham Festival of Music, as assistant conductor at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, and as coach/conductor for the Harrower Opera Workshop. He currently serves as artistic director and conductor of the Georgia Piedmont Youth Orchestra, while maintaining a guest conducting schedule, most recently in performances with the Georgia State University Orchestra, Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra, Georgia State University Opera, and the Ozark Family Opera. A student of Michael Palmer, he is a graduate of Georgia State University with a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting and an Artist Diploma in Orchestra and Opera.

About The Atlanta Opera

The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation. In 2013, the company recruited internationally recognized stage director Tomer Zvulun as its General and Artistic Director. In the 2014-2015 season, the company launched the acclaimed Discoveries series of operas staged in alternative theaters around Atlanta. The program was recognized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as part of its Best of 2015 awards and the company was nominated for the International Opera Awards in London in 2016. The Discoveries series has grown from three to sixteen performances in the past four seasons. In the 2016-2017 season, the company expanded its mainstage season from three to four productions at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The Opera works with world-renowned singers, conductors, directors, and designers who seek to enhance the art form and make it accessible for a sophisticated, 21st century audience. The Atlanta Opera was founded in 1979 and to this day adheres to its mission to enrich lives through opera.



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