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New Opera SISTER CARRIE Comes to Marcus Center This Fall


Milwaukee, WI -- SISTER CARRIE, a new American opera commissioned by Florentine Opera from the creators of Elmer Gantry, comes to Milwaukee's Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for two performances: Friday October 7 at 7:30 PM and Sunday October 9 at 2:30 PM.

The celebrated mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala (who's American premiere include The Adventures of Pinocchio and the world premieres of Doubt and The Manchurian Candidate) creates the role of Carrie, the young woman born into poverty who defies social and sexual norms to rise to stardom on the New York stage. The brilliant lyric baritone Keith Phares ("a strong contender for iconographic recognition"-- Opera News on Elmer Gantry) creates the role of Hurstwood, one of the great tragic characters of American literature: the established middle-class man who throws away his life in pursuit of Carrie. The author, Dreiser, an ardent lifelong Social Progressive, presented a view of the gulf separating the 'leisure class' from the 'working class' that was originally condemned as 'sordid.' His bleak and uncompromising depiction is still relevant today.

This World Premiere production reunites the creative team that won double GRAMMY awards for the Florentine Opera recording of Elmer Gantry*, as conductor William Boggs (The two-time Grammy Award-winning recording and Midwest premiere of Elmer Gantry 2010, Julius Caesar 2014) once again leads the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Florentine Opera Chorus. The large cast of SISTER CARRIE includes Milwaukee favorites soprano Alissa Jordheim (Caramoor's Dialogues of the Carmelites 2015, Florentine's Elmer Gantry 2015 and Albert Herring 2013) and tenor Matt Morgan (NYC Opera's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Florentine's Elmer Gantry 2015). SISTER CARRIE will be directed by William Florescu with lighting design by Noele Stollmack, scenic design by Kris Stone, and costume design by Rachel Laritz. *GRAMMY awards for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Engineered Classical Recording

Florentine Opera General Director (stage director) William Florescu stated "The Florentine Opera Company is honored to be a part of the creation of a new American Opera, SISTER CARRIE. We are grateful for the community support that has driven this company to create and present 'new opera' as a part of 'popular' repertory, on a level that supports the production of this world premiere, and the recording and worldwide release of this new work."

Composer Robert Aldridge and Librettist Herschel Garfein made US opera history when Elmer Gantry opened to rave reviews at Nashville Opera in 2007 followed by a Florentine Opera Midwest premiere and professional recording in 2010. Opera outsiders, they had undertaken a full-length grand opera on a classic American novel without a commission. Their seventeen-year ordeal searching for a full production was the basis of a front-page article in the New York Times Arts and Leisure ("Behold! An Operatic Miracle!").


The World Premiere and Recording
Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7:30pm
Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 2:30pm

At Uhlein Hall, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
929 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Sung in English with English supertitles projected above the stage.

Get tickets by phone 1-800-32-OPERA (M-F | 9am-4pm)

Purchase online at

Cast and Creative team:
Carrie: Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala
Hurstwood: Baritone Keith Phares
Lola: Soprano Alisa Jordheim
Drouet: Tenor Matt Morgan
Composer: Robert Aldridge
Librettist: Herschel Garfein
Director: William Florescu
Conductor: William Boggs
Scenic Designer: Kris Stone
Lighting Designer: Noele Stollmack
Costume Designer: Rachel Laritz (debut)

The three-time Grammy Award-winning Florentine Opera Company's productions and recordings reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin's art community and the nation's sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Audiences enjoy beautiful main stage productions that include first-rate vocal artistry brought to life by established and emerging international, national and local opera stars. With a foundation of fiscal responsibility, the company continues to grow its artistic and educational programs. Through its community engagement and in-school educational programming, the Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support from corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.

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