Opera San José Presents PAGLIACCI

Opera San José Presents PAGLIACCIOn November 17th, Opera San José's 35th season continues with Leoncavallo's tragedy Pagliacci.

The laughing clown whose heart is crushed has become one of the great icons of opera. When we open, it will have been seven years since we last produced Pagliacci, and we will be creating a new production for this one. Carmen inspired many operas that have become the brightest stars in the operatic firmament, and Pagliacci is among these, with its depiction of rather ordinary people who are subjected to the indifferent cruelties of life. Perhaps this is why we so identify with these clowns, they are just people seeking happiness, who are just trying to survive another day.

This is production from Opera San José is funded in part by a City of San José Cultural Affairs grant and a grant from the Applied Materials Foundation.

Pagliacci will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Runtime is approximately ninety minutes. Opera San José presents six performances of this opera, opening in San José's California Theatre on November 17, 2018, closing December 2, 2018. The California Theatre is at 345 S. First Street in downtown San José.

Christian Reif makes his OSJ debut on the conductor's podium for Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Mr. Reif recently joined the San Francisco Symphony as their Resident Conductor and Wattis Foundation Music Director of the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) in the 2016-17 season. He came to San Francisco from Miami, where he was the Conducting Fellow with the New World Symphony for the previous two seasons. He is currently a member of Germany's prestigious Conductor's Forum (Dirigentenforum) and was accepted to their list of "Maestros of Tomorrow".

Highlights of Mr. Reif's 2016-17 season included leading the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in the opening concert of the International Festival Heidelberger Frühling, performing Mozart's Jupiter Symphony and Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde" with Michelle DeYoung and Toby Spence. He also lead the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony in several critically acclaimed concerts.

Acting as both assistant conductor and chorus master for Pagliacci and making his OSJ debut is Christopher Ray. For the 2017-18 season, Mr. Ray served as Interim Music Director for Opera at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis where he led performances of Cosi fan tutte and The Tender Land. Additional conducting credits include Handel's Alcina at the Pennsylvania State University, Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters at Texas Christian University, Le nozze di Figaro for Land of Enchantment Opera, and Florida State Opera's productions of Heggie's Three Decembers, Glass's In the Penal Colony, Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, and Britten's The Beggar's Opera.

Chuck Hudson makes his directorial debut during the 2018-19 season, serving as stage director for Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Based in New York City, Mr. Hudson has directed opera productions at major international companies including Cape Town Opera (South Africa), Cincinnati Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Sacramento Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Cleveland, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera Center, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, among others. He has directed award winning theatre productions in New York and regionally, including The Pearl Theatre, The Chester Theater, Cape May Stage, The Children's Theatre Festival of Houston, New City Theatre, and Chicago's Fox Valley Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Hudson's work as a director was mentioned in the January 2011 Edition of American Theatre Magazine. Chuck's specialty in movement comes from a background in gymnastics as well as being one of three Americans to have received a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School of Mimedrama in Paris. He is the only American to be appointed to teach at Marceau's School, and he performed with Marceau on his 1991 European Tour and in Klaus Kinski's film Paganini. Chuck also studied at the Paris School for Theatrical Fencing and was awarded an Honorary Diploma from the French Academy of Arms.

Soprano Maria Natale makes her company debut in the 2018-19 season as a member of OSJ's resident company of principal artists. First up for Ms. Natale is Nedda in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci followed by season closer Cio-Cio-San in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Most recently, Ms. Natale made her Opera Maine début as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata and debuted with Sarasota Opera as Liù in Puccini's Turandot. On the concert stage, she performed the soprano solo in Faure's Requiem and Mozart's Missa Solemnis with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Natale's other roles include Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen, Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, Marguerite in Gounod's Faust, Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Countess in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Mimì and Musetta in Puccini's La bohème, Angelica in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, and Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto.

Tenor Cooper Nolan makes his company debut during the 2018-19 season, appearing as Canio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Recent engagements for Mr. Nolan include Don José in Bizet's Carmenwith El Paso Opera and his European debut with Theater Kiel. For Santa Fe Opera, he appeared as Tybalt in Gounod's Roméo and Juliette while covering Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West. Upcoming engagements will include a debut with Oper Frankfurt in the title role of Verdi's Stiffelio.

During the 2014-15 season, Mr. Nolan was a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera, performing Don Jose in Carmen and Trin in La Fanciulla del West, in addition to covering Nemorino (Donizetti's The Elixir of Love), and taking part in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' The Manchurian Candidate. In the summer of 2015, he joined the Apprentice Program at Santa Fe Opera, covering both Narraboth (R. Strauss's Salome), and Teague in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain.

Baritone Anthony Clark Evans makes his OSJ debut during the 2018-19 season, appearing as Tonio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Recent engagements for Mr. Evans include Riccardo in Bellini's I Puritani with Lyric Opera of Chicago and an appearance in the annual Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall, as well as appearing as soloist in Angela Rice's Easter Oratorio Thy Will be Done with the National Chorale at David Geffen Hall. Performances during the 2016-17 season saw Mr. Evans' debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Huntsman in the new Mary Zimmerman production of Dvorak's Rusalka, which was broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met's Live in HD program. Mr. Evans also made his San Francisco Opera debut as Sharpless in the Jun Kaneko production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

Irish-American baritone Emmett O'Hanlon makes his company debut during the 2018-19 season, appearing as Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Mr. O'Hanlon is currently a member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, appearing as Wagner in a new production of Gounod's Faust, and covering the roles of Valentin in Faust, Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto.

The 2016 - 2017 season saw Mr. O'Hanlon's debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as 2nd Priest in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Dancaire in Bizet's Carmen. Additional assignments include covering the roles of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Captain in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Mr. O'Hanlon also made his debut at Des Moines Metro Opera in a new production of Britten's Billy Budd singing Novice's Friend and covering the title role. Concert work includes the Rising Stars concert at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Timothy Myers.

OSJ resident tenor Mason Gates appears as Beppe in Pagliacci and will perform Flask in the company premiere of Heggie's Moby-Dick, and Goro in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Last season, Mr. Gates appeared as Prunier in Puccini's La rondine, the Steersman in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, and Gastone in Verdi's La traviata. Other OSJ roles performed include Jonathan Dale in Puts and Campbell's Silent Night, and his company debut as Don Curzio in the 2015-16 production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Opera San José's production of Pagliacci includes set designs by Andrea Bechert, costumes designed by Cathleen Edwards, lighting design by Ken Dorsay, and wig and makeup designs by ChrisTina Martin.

Pagliacci: November 6, 2018 from 12 - 1 p.m., California Theatre, 345 S. First Street in downtown San José; Please use the Market Street entrance; Free vocal preview with members of the cast. For information, call 408-437-4450.

Introduction to Opera: General Director Larry Hancock will present a free 45-minute talk to ticket holders about the opera at the California Theatre before each performance of Pagliacci. The talk begins at 6:30pm prior to evening performances and at 1:30pm prior to Sunday matinees. No reservations required.

To learn more about Pagliacci, please visit operasj.org

Performances supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José and a grant from the Applied Materials Foundation.

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