The Atlanta Opera Opens Its 40th Season With FRIDA
The Atlanta Opera opens its 40th Anniversary season with Robert Xavier Rodríguez's biographical opera, Frida, based on the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
A part of The Atlanta Opera's Discoveries series, Frida tells the story of Frida Kahlo, her relationship with renowned muralist Diego Rivera, her debilitating health problems and her paintings as an expression of her Mexican identity and existence. Visually rich, Frida features colorful sets and costumes, projections and puppetry to tell the story of Kahlo's tortured life.
The Atlanta Opera presents Frida on October 5, 9, 11 and 13 at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased at atlantaopera.org or by calling 404-881-8885. Frida will be presented in English and Spanish with English supertitles. In addition, The Atlanta Opera will present a free screening of the Academy Award-winning movie "Frida," starring Salma Hayek, on August 22 at 7:30pm in the Byers Theater at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs. While tickets are free, you must reserve your spot at citysprings.com/events.
"Frida, the opera, brings us closer to the life of Frida Kahlo and the physical pain and the emotions that animated her as an artist," said Tomer Zvulun, Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General and Artistic Director at The Atlanta Opera. "Sandy Springs' Byers Theatre is a perfect venue for an intimate production, which will be critical in helping us get a little closer to this portrait of an artist."
The Atlanta Opera's presentation of Frida will be directed by Jose Maria Condemi, whose directorial work, presented by companies in North America and abroad, encompasses an eclectic range of styles and repertoire that has been consistently praised for its creatively theatrical and innovative approach. His career has ranged from directing the best loved operas in the canon to collaborating with living composers on the most talked about contemporary operas performed today.
Argentinean-born Jorge Parodi will lead the orchestra for this production. Parodi has worked as conductor at Buenos Aires Lírica (Argentina), The Banff Centre (Canada), Tsaritsynskaya Opera Volgograd (Russia), Encuentros Internacionales de Opera (Mexico), Opera Tampa, Hofstra University and New York University among others. He has previously worked with The Atlanta Opera, conducting both productions of Maria de Buenos Aires, in 2017 and 2019.
Known as the "Fiery Soprano," Colombian-born Catalina Cuervo will sing the role of Frida Kahlo. Cuervo holds the distinction of having performed the most performances of Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires - more than 50 productions, including her 2017 performance with The Atlanta Opera. She made her Frida role debut in 2015 with the Michigan City Opera and has since performed the role across the county.
Bass-baritone Ricardo Herrera will sing Diego Rivera, the prominent Mexican painter who helped establish Mexico's muralist movement. Herrera was honored with the First Prize Award Winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition in NYC and was invited to participate in Placido Domingo's Operalia World Opera Contest. In addition to a busy performance schedule, Herrera is also a professor of voice at University of Illinois.
Soprano Maria Valdes, a Marietta, Ga. native, will sing the role of Cristina Kahlo, Frida's younger sister and closest sibling. She was recently described as a "first-rate singing actress and a perfectly charming Gilda" by the New York Times. Atlanta Opera audiences last saw her in 2018, when she made her debut as Doris Parker in Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD.
Running time is approximately two hours and 30 minutes with a 20-minute intermission. Frida contains adult content, including suggestive themes, graphic scenes, and partial nudity.
About the Discoveries Series
The Atlanta Opera Discoveries series is dedicated to audience members who are seeking new works, new ideas and fresh perspectives. As a part of The Atlanta Opera's efforts to bring opera to new audiences all over the Atlanta Metro area, these productions will be performed in exciting alternative venues.
About The Atlanta Opera
The Atlanta Opera's mission is to build the major international opera company Atlanta deserves, with a vision to reimagine opera.
Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera celebrates its 40th anniversary in the 2019-20 season. The Opera works with world-renowned singers, conductors, directors, and designers who seek to enhance the art form.
Under the leadership of internationally recognized stage director and Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun, The Atlanta Opera expanded from three to four mainstage productions at Cobb Energy Centre and launched the acclaimed Discoveries series. In recent years, the company was recognized by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as part of its "Best of 2015" awards; it was nominated for an International Opera Award in 2016; and it won ArtsATL's 2019 Luminary Award for Community Engagement, recognizing its successful Veterans Program in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation.
In addition, The Opera was featured in a 2018 Harvard Business School case study about successful organizational growth, and Zvulun presented a TEDx Talk at Emory University entitled "The Ambidextrous Opera Company, or Opera in the Age of iPhones."
For more information, visit atlantaopera.org