Opera in the Heights to Open New Season with I PAGLIACCI

Opera in the Heights (Oh!) kicks off its 20th anniversary season with Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci (The Clowns) on Sept. 18, one of several inspired works in the company's 2015 -2016 repertoire. I Pagliacci runs Sept. 18, 24 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. and is an enduring tale of jealousy and rage between lovers in a comedy troupe. Art imitates life with fatal results in this iconic tragedy, featuring the famous tenor aria, Vesti la giubba ("Put on the costume").

To create additional excitement for the new season, on Sept. 10 Oh! will host Overture!, a fund raiser/cocktail reception from 6 - 8 p.m. at Tommie Vaughn Ford, 1201 N. Shepherd Dr., which is open to members of the community, with tickets starting at $40. (Funds will help support Opera in the Heights community programs.) Guests will mingle with Oh! conductor Eiki Isomura, take in performances by some of the company's rising stars and enjoy beverages and appetizers.

"I am giddy with excitement, as we have assembled an absolute dream cast for I Pagliacci," says Oh! conductor Eiki Isomura. "It's a remarkable privilege working with such fine artists, and especially with stage director Susan Stone Li, whom I consider to be a visionary."

"Audiences will also be pleased to find how prominently the piece features our extraordinary orchestra and chorus," Isomura continues. "This promises to be something truly special, a powerhouse production worthy of opening the company's 20th anniversary season."

"We hope our subscribers, YOLO (Young Opera Lovers Organization) members and the public will join us for Overture! to experience a taste of what's in store for this season," says Mariam Khalili, Opera in the Heights' Executive Director. "Oh! is known for supporting the careers of emerging artists, such as the ones you will see at our event. Even those who are not familiar with opera should come away with an appreciation for great art and a feel for what we do. It's also a chance to meet other opera lovers."

The next Oh! production is a Menotti double bill, sung in English: The Telephone and The Medium. The opener is the light one-act comedy, The Telephone, in which a man comes to his girlfriend's apartment to propose, only to find her preoccupied with chatting on the telephone. The Medium presents the haunting tale of a spiritual con artist whose life begins to unravel when the powers she purports to wield become all too real. Performance dates are Oct. 30, Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.

Rossini's La Cenerentola is Oh!'s late winter production and is perfect for the entire family. Rossini's take on the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, the opera La Cenerentola is considered to be one of his greatest achievements, complete with mistaken identities, stepsisters and of course, romance. Performance dates are Feb. 5, 11 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.

The season closes with Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, which is based on the myth of Orpheus, a legendary ancient Greek hero endowed with superhuman musical abilities, and his love, Eurydice. The opera takes to the stage on Apr. 8, 14 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and on Apr. 10 at 2 p.m.

Single tickets prices are $35 - $67 for regular tickets, $32 - $58 for seniors and $15 - $17 for student tickets in limited seating areas. To buy tickets or to become a subscriber, please visit operaintheheights.org or call 713-861-5303. All performances take place at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard, in the Houston Heights. Overture! tickets can be purchased in advance on our website.

Opera in the Heights is a professional opera company that exists to provide a stage for emerging performers and to bring affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. All operas are fully staged with orchestra and presented in the original language with English translation (where applicable) projected above the stage.

Photo by: Carl Cramer



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