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Opera North Reemerges With Sold Out Live Performances Under The Stars

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Opera North Reemerges With Sold Out Live Performances Under The Stars

For Summerfest 2020 and the 38th season of live performances, Opera North is producing two family-friendly, outdoor concerts at their Blow-Me-Down Farm location (in partnership with the National Park Service) in Cornish, NH. Opera North is safeguarding the health of its open-air audience by seating them on the lawn in physically-distanced "patron pods" or in their cars.

· Bluegrass and Broadway (SOLD OUT) on Saturday, August 1, 6;00 PM, with Broadway Star Klea Blackhurst, and Michael Rice pianist, and Plainfield legends Pooh Sprague and the Four Hoarsemen plus

Actress, singer and comedienne Klea Blackhurst us best known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. Most recently she appeared Off-Broadway with Hayley Mills in the comedy, Party Face, at City Center Stage 2. She starred in Hazel during its world premiere production at Drury Lane in Chicago, as Dolly Levi in the highly acclaimed Fiftieth Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! at The Goodspeed Opera House and as Miss Lemon in The Nutty Professor, which premiered in Nashville, directed by legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. She's performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad, including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman's Broadway with Angela Lansbury. In addition to regular appearances at New York's famed Birdland, Klea's nightclub engagements include tributes to the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke at the Café Carlyle and "Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael," a collaboration with Billy Stritch. On television she spent two seasons as former prosecutor, Shelby Cross, on the IFC Channel comedy series, Onion News Network, on Law and Order: SVU, Sesame Street and The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

· Mozart's The Magic Flute (SOLD OUT) on Thursday, August 6, and Saturday, August 8, is presented in a concert format. The performance will be sung in English and features a cast of 11 singers with a 24-piece orchestra conducted by Louis Burkot, Opera North Artistic Director. The musicians, spaced at least six feet apart, will perform from a 60'x40' stage under a bandshell tent.

Each year, Opera North's Resident Artist Program auditions distinguished young professionals who are recognized on a national level for invitations to form Opera North's core company for the season. Since its inception in 1983, over 700 singers and 100 conductors, coaches and directors have participated in the program and a select group of these artists have made major debuts at important opera companies around the world, including: The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, La Scala, and The Royal Opera House. The Opera North Resident Artist cast for The Magic Flute includes Charles Calotta as Tamino, Sean Stanton as Papageno, Avery Boettcher as Pamina, Krista Pape as Queen of the Night/First Spirit, Andrew Boisvert at Sarastro, Robin Clifford as First Lady, Alexandra Burkot as Second Lady/Second Spirit, Chelsea Laggans as Third Lady, Andrew McGowan as Monostatos/Armed Guard, Karl Butterman as Speaker and Caitlin McGrail as Third Spirit.

Opera North is able to present Summerfest 2020 at no charge thanks to generous donors who made the outdoor concerts, among just a handful possible this year, possible. The donors include:

Producers: Marilyn Crichlow, Sylvia and Bill Paxton, Linda and Rick Roesch and Bill and Jane Stetson. Broadway and Bluegrass Performance Sponsor Merrill Lynch and Magic Flute Performance Sponsor Intrack Investment Management. Also: BioXCell, Couch Foundation, Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, King Arthur Flour, Mascoma Bank, National Endowment for the Arts, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Jon and Virginia Bellis, Ruth and Pete Bleyler, Debbie Hannam and Sally and Jeremy Rutter.

Opera North General Director presents a third outdoor concert at The Fells:

· Potpourri Soiree on Sunday, August 16, an afternoon of humor, music and stories at the historic Fells in Newbury NH with Opera North General Director Evans Haile as host and pianist. The program includes the music of Chopin, Liszt, Cuban Composer Ernesto Lecuona, Argentinian Astor Piazzolla, George Gershwin and more. Call (603) 763-4789 for more information.

"It is incredibly gratifying that when we were able to announce that Opera North would actually producing live opera with orchestra this summer, thanks to our unique outdoor venue at Blow-Me-Down Farm that our audience responded so overwhelmingly" said Louis Burkot, Opera North Artistic Director. "We are all in this COVID-19 reality together and it is more apparent than ever that the arts bring our community together while bringing out 'the best angels of our nature.' We can't wait to be able to thank our supporters, performers and audiences - in person at Summerfest 2020."

"We are thrilled to be able to bring people together in the experience that only shared live performance can provide," said General Director Evans Haile.

As they considered plans for Summerfest 2020, Opera North was in frequent communication with elected officials and continues to be an active member of the arts sub-working group of the New Hampshire Task Force on Reopening the Economy as the Governor's Reopening Task Force worked to create guidelines for different sectors of the economy. Governor Sununu allowed performing arts venues to open, in accordance with physical distancing guidelines, starting June 29.


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