OPERA San Antonio Has Received NEA Art Works Grant
OPERA San Antonio is has announced the addition of a winter performance series to commence this February for the first time in the company's five-year history. The Capulets and Montagues is a beautiful interpretation of the iconic love story of Romeo and Juliet by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini. OPERA San Antonio will present this lesser-known treasure of 19th century Italian opera in an experimental concert version at the University of the Incarnate Word on February 13th and 15th, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to expanding the 2019/20 season, OPERA San Antonio has been approved for a $20,000 NEA Art Works Grant to support the production of Rigoletto in May of 2020. Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020. Funding supports arts projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Verdi's Rigoletto has often been called the greatest of all operas. A remarkable combination and conflict of human wills: Rigoletto, a father and the lackey of a corrupt court, is overwhelmed by his new love for a daughter he doesn't know how to protect; The Duke, a powerful seducer who thinks he has found his better impulses, but cannot stop abusing his power; and Gilda, an innocent girl who values her unfaithful lover more than she does herself. It is an epic testament to the power humans can wield over each other. Performances will be May 7th and 9th, 2020 at 7:30 pm.
The Capulets and Montagues
February 13th and 15th, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
University of the Incarnate Word, Luella Bennack Music Center
The tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet inspired some of Shakespeare's finest verse and some of Bellini's most beautiful melodies. Antony Walker, Artistic Director and Conductor of Washington Concert Opera will lead a stellar cast featuring acclaimed soprano Rachele Gilmore as Giulietta and rising star, mezzo-soprano Corrie Stallings in a historic operatic "pants role" as Romeo. Additional cast members include Grammy Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher, tenor Jonas Hacker, and bass Matthew Treviño from Austin, TX. San Antonio-based chamber group Agartia will be the featured accompanying ensemble for this event.
"OSA has long wanted to bridge the gap between our fall and spring productions to create a full season of opera for the city of San Antonio," says General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker. "We will use this new opportunity to broaden repertoire and partner with new venues and communities throughout the city. Kicking off this series with a tale as timeless as Romeo and Juliet, performed by the extraordinary talent we have gathered, is not to be missed this Valentine's Day."
To further elevate this unique operatic experience, on Saturday, February 15th, 2020, OSA presents Pick Your Poison, My Sweet - a special pre-concert wine event designed to perfectly enhance the concert experience. The event will be complete with decadent bites in tribute to this timeless romantic tale, an on-site sommelier from Fine Wining to advise on perfect pairings, a pre-concert lecture by Dr. Veronica S. Lopez of OPERA San Antonio, and will feature art pieces courtesy of the McNay Art Museum. Guests at the wine event will also receive special reserved seating for the concert.
This exclusive event will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at the Condos Student Art Gallery at the University of the Incarnate Word.
OPERA San Antonio receives $20,000 Art Works Grant from the
National Endowment for the Arts
The Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts in the fabric of community life.
"The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression," said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like OPERA San Antonio's production of Rigoletto."
"OSA is honored to receive our first grant from the National Endowment of the Arts," states General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker. "To receive this prestigious honor signals a new level of national recognition for the work we are doing to make OSA integral to the artistic and cultural fabric of San Antonio."
For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement,
May 7th and 9th, 2020
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
This production of Rigoletto will continue OPERA San Antonio's mission to produce operatic masterpieces a the highest level, including an incredible cast from across the globe. Starring James Westman as Rigoletto, Santiago Ballerini as the Duke, and Andriana Chuchman as Gilda. Supporting cast includes Andrea Silvistrelli as Sparafucile, Zoie Reams as Maddelena, Kyle Alberston as Monterone, Bill McMurray as Marullo, and Brian Yeakley as Borsa. Local artists comprise the remaining roles with Sergio Gaona as Count Ceprano, Maeli Gonzales as Giovanna, Carrie Warren as Countess Ceprano, Thomas Soto as the Usher, and Julie Silva as the Page.
The production was originally directed by Tomer Zvulun with sets by John Conklin, costumes by Vita Tzykun, and lighting by Robert Weirzel. Stage director and newly appointed General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker will stage the production for OSA.
"We are proud to bring this gorgeous production to San Antonio from Atlanta Opera. Tomer Zvulun and I have been colleagues for many years and it's exciting to share work between our companies," states E. Loren Meeker. " It's a pleasure to use this production to bring together artists from around the world. Santiago Ballerini, Andriana Chuchman, Zoie Reams, and Andrea Silverstrelli are incredible artists with whom I have previously worked and the rest of the cast is not to be missed. I have no doubt these artists will thrill San Antonio audiences. It's exciting to present a piece that allows us to combine so many guest and local artists."
About OPERA San Antonio
OPERA San Antonio's mission is to produce opera of uncompromising artistic quality and to enrich our community through educational outreach and social engagement. The company is committed to preserving and sharing opera as an art form that is relevant, inspirational, and accessible to residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The civic premise of OPERA San Antonio is that the community needs, and the citizens deserve, access to the major performing arts.
a-? Bringing grand opera to a grand city: We showcase masterpieces of the operatic canon with world-class productions at the Tobin Center.
a-? Presenting extraordinary artists: Established, emerging, and local talent are brought together to create a transcendent experience that engages our public and propels opera into the future.
a-? Social Responsibility: We strive to broaden the impact of opera on the community by producing works in diverse venues throughout the city. These intimate settings expand the operatic repertoire to include modern works, works that speak to the diverse communities of San Antonio, and works that provide depth to the social fabric of San Antonio.
a-? Educational Outreach: Our goal is to break down stereotypes and promote opera as an accessible and relevant art form by exploring underlying and recurring themes present in today's society. We take great joy in cultivating a love for opera and the arts in our youth to ensure the strengthening of our city's cultural impact in our modern age. We achieve this through active community engagement and educational outreach.