Utah Opera Opens 2018-19 Season with Gounod's Tragedy ROMEO AND JULIET
Utah Opera opens its 2018-19 season with Shakespeare's love story of two star-cross'd lovers in Charles Gounod's musical take on the tragic tale, "Romeo and Juliet" The production will be performed five times at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South) on October 13 and 19 at 7:30 PM, October 15 and 17 at 7 PM, and October 21 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced from $29-$108, and $15 student tickets, are available for purchase through www.utahopera.org or by calling 801-533-6683.
Tenor Joshua Dennis, who made his Utah Opera debut as Greenhorn in "Moby-Dick" in January 2018, and soprano Anya Matanovic, who sang Gretel in the company's January 2011 "Hansel and Gretel," Adina in the company's March 2012 "The Elixir of Love," and Pamina in "The Magic Flute" in March 2013, return to the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage as Romeo and Juliet. The pair share no less than four irresistible duets throughout the show with the final heart-wrenching harmonies by the Romantic-era Gounod occurring in the tomb just as Juliet awakes and Romeo breathes his last breath. Utah Opera created the original sets and costumes, and previously mounted the production in 1998 and 2005.
Veteran Utah Opera conductor Robert Tweten, who has conducted an astonishing 11 prior productions, most recently "La bohème" in October 2017, returns to lead vocalists, Utah Opera Chorus, and the Utah Symphony from the orchestra pit. Stage Director Vera Lúcia Calábria, who has directed "Le nozze di Figaro" at Rice University and "Der Rosenkavalier" at Israeli Opera, makes her Utah Opera directorial debut. Sets and costumes were constructed in-house at the company's Production Studios for the original 1998 production and designed by longtime Utah Opera costume designer Susan Memmott Allred and scenic designer Eric Fielding. The sets have since been rented by half a dozen regional opera companies: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Hawaii, San Diego, and Vancouver, Canada.
The production is three hours with one intermission.
Utah Opera, established by Glade Peterson in 1978, has been part of the Utah community for 40 years and engages audiences through inspiring operatic performances. The opera company presents four annual productions at the historic Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and regularly partners with Utah Symphony and other organizations for special presentations. In addition to producing classic works from the operatic repertoire, Utah Opera also emphasizes the importance of contemporary American opera, with notable achievements including the 1996 world premiere of David Carlson's "Dreamkeepers" and the co-commissioning and Western U.S. premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's "The Grapes of Wrath" in 2007, presenting the Western U.S. premiere of Jeremy Howard Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann's "The Long Walk" in 2016, the creation of a new production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's "Moby-Dick" in 2018 that featured a versatile set designed to adapt to a wide range of theater stages, and an all-new production of Rachel Porter and Nicholas Wright's "The Little Prince," premiering on the Capitol Theatre stage in January 2019.
Utah Opera operates a full production studios where productions are rehearsed and costumes, props and set pieces are designed, made, rented out and stored. The opera currently has 19 full sets and costumes for 50 full productions in its inventory. Utah Opera also offers a Resident Artist Program, a nationally recognized young artist training program for professional singers and pianists who perform for more than 81,000 students each year free of charge through the organization's education and outreach activities. The Utah Symphony has performed as part of the Opera's productions since the company's founding, and the two organizations merged in 2002.
Utah Opera's current Artistic Director, Christopher McBeth, joined the company in the fall of 2000 and took over primary artistic leadership in 2003. Under his leadership, Utah Opera productions have received acclaim for introducing audiences to the next generation of fine singing actors. Mr. McBeth strives to provide distinguished quality productions that showcase emerging and established artists, celebrate traditional works, and champion the American operatic tradition. For more information, visit www.utahopera.org.