Minnesota Opera Presents THE DREAM OF VALENTINO, 3/1-9

Minnesota Opera presents a major new revival of Dominick Argento's The Dream of Valentino as the sixth production of the New Works Initiative. A sultry young dancer is transformed from an unknown immigrant into a silent film sensation. Rudolph Valentino's stardom blazes across the silver screen but is quickly consumed by the same forces that ignited it. Seduction and scandal swirl in this tango-tinged opera about an artist discovered and destroyed by Hollywood. Composed by Argento with a libretto by Charles Nolte as a joint commission between Washington and Dallas opera companies, the work received its world premiere in 1994 at The Kennedy Center, where it was described by the Chicago Tribune as "visually and theatrically ... a thumping success."

"I have known Dominick since my first season when Minnesota Opera premiered Casanova's Homecoming in 1985 and have always admired the freshness and vibrancy of his works," said Artistic Director Dale Johnson. "The Dream of Valentino is the only major Argento opera that we have not staged, and I thought it imperative, as we began the New Works Initiative, that we invest in producing his entire canon. After I approached Dominick to discuss this revival, he spent the summer making major changes to literally give Valentino a new beginning. By reworking the dramaturgy and focusing more on Valentino the artist, Dominick feels that the work will better embody how Hollywood uses its stars and tosses them away when they are no longer convenient."

Internationally acclaimed tenor James Valenti (Werther) reimagines the role of the 1920s film icon and sex symbol, Rudolph Valentino. As the catalyst of his meteoric rise to fame, sopranoBrenda Harris (Macbeth) sings the role of June Mathis, a screenwriter. Mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti (debut) is celebrated movie star Alla Nazimova, Alan Held (The Aspern Papers) is The Mogul and former Minnesota Opera Resident Artist soprano Angela Mortellaro (Madame Butterfly) is Jean Acker. Tony Award nominee and Academy Award winner, Eric Simonson(The Grapes of Wrath, Silent Night), directs this new production by Erhard Rom (sets), Kärin Kopischke (costumes), Robert Wierzel (lighting) and Peter Nigrini (projections). MaestroChristoph Campestrini (Werther) conducts this Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative production.

What: The Dream of Valentino by composer Dominick Argento - sung in English with English captions projected above the stage

Where: Ordway, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102

When: Saturday, March 01, 7:30pm; Thursday, March 06, 7:30pm; Saturday, March 08, 7:30pm; Sunday, March 09, 2pm

Tickets: $20 - $200. Call the Minnesota Opera Ticket Office at 612.333.6669, Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, or purchase online at

Media: An online press kit (available now on our website at includes artist headshots, marketing artwork and other useful resources. Contact Communications Manager Daniel Zillmann to take advantage of the following interview, photo and video opportunities at dress rehearsals at Ordway: Wednesday, February 26, 7:30pm and Thursday, February 27, 7:30pm.

Preview: Minnesota Opera hosts a Social Media Preview for bloggers and tweeters onThursday, February 27, 6pm. Beginning with refreshments and a pre-rehearsal discussion on the Mezzanine Level at Ordway with a special guest to prepare attendees for the final dress rehearsal of The Dream of Valentino. R.S.V.P. online at by February 25.

To learn more about The Dream of Valentino ...
Please visit There you will find casting updates, artist biographies, synopses, background notes, audio and video clips, ticketing services and other company information.

The 2013-2014 Minnesota Opera season is sponsored by Ascent Private Capital Management of U. S. Bank.

Minnesota Opera combines a culture of creativity and fiscal responsibility
to produce opera and opera education programs that expand the art form, nurture artists,
enrich audiences and contribute to the vitality of the community.

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