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Numi Opera Presents DER RING DES POLYKRATES At Zipper Hall

Numi Opera completes its inaugural season with its second production-Erich Korngold's first opera Der Ring Des Polykrates. which he composed in 1914. Directed by Numi Opera Executive Director Gail R. Gordon and conducted by Francesco Milioto, the rarely performed opera will have two performances on Thursday, December 19 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 22 at 7:30pm at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, located at 200 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.

The production will feature acclaimed singers Shana Blake Hill, Scott Ramsay, Roberto Perlas Gómez, Alex Boyer and Emily Rosenberg. Tickets for Der Ring Des Polykrates are now on sale at NumiOpera.org or by phone at 866-811-4111.

The Numi Opera Inaugural Season was launched last May with Alexander Zemlinsky's rarely performed Der Zwerg based on a story by Oscar Wilde; the company was hailed by Opera Wire as "a welcome addition to LA's opera scene."

Conceived by Founding Director Gail Gordon, Numi Opera is a company inspired by her desire to stage works like the company's debut productions. These works not only share a connection to Los Angeles but also share the fate of having been suppressed and banned by the Nazi regime due to the Jewish Heritage of the composers. Ms. Gordon, the child of Jewish Immigrants, feels deeply that the neglect of works of art such as these due to Nazi suppression over the greater portion of a century must be rectified in order to heal a portion of the many injustices perpetrated on the underrepresented and oppressed throughout music history.

Zemlinsky and Korngold are just two of the many lost voices that deserve a new audience in the present day. The name Numi was chosen to evoke the Italian meaning of "the gods" or "the heavens" as in Verdi's Aida when the divine spirit is invoked by a Priestess for the protection of Egypt, or appealed to by Aida for mercy "Numi, pieta."

It also is meant to recall the term "Numinous" or "many." Ms. Gordon's hope is that Numi Opera will guard and protect the many forgotten voices of opera composers, reaching through the barriers of time and space to reanimate their creative forces so that they may return victorious to the stage and to the repertoire.

Ms. Gordon says," When we planned this season, I wanted to tie our operas as the composers were tied in real life. That being said, it seemed only fitting that we would begin with the master/teacher Alexander Zemlinsky, the composer of Der Zwerg, to Erich Korngold, the wunderkind/student and composer of Der Ring Des Polykrates.

In 1916 at the age 19, Korngold became an instant success with his first two one-act operas Der Ring Des Polykratyes and Violanta. This December 19 and 22, we will be performing the first of the one acts Der Ring Des Polykratyes at Zipper Hall at the famous Colburn School. Next year Violanta will be performed in June 2020 at The Broad Stage.

Friedrich Schiller wrote the lyrical ballad of Der Ring in June, 1797. The story tells the tale of the fate of Polykrates boasting of his victories to Pharaoh Aamsis. It begins as the Pharaoh reminds Polykrates that arrogance defies the Gods and brings about the downfall of the perpetrator of hubris.

This ballad became a comic parody by Heinrich Teweles (1856-1927), which becomes the basis of the libretto of the Korngold Opera Der Ring Des Polykratyes. Its final incarnation is by the famous Austrian librettist/dramaturge Leo Feld."

These two works have an interesting connection: Gustav Mahler suggested to Korngold's family that he study composition with Zemlinsky in Vienna. These works are also rarely performed, and share the fate of having been suppressed and banned by the Nazi regime due to the Jewish Heritage of the composers.

Although popular when they were first produced, with the rise of the Third Reich the two composers were forced to flee, with Zemlinsky eventually resettling in New York and Korngold in Los Angeles, and these works fell into near-complete obscurity.
While these works were originally debuted in opera houses in Germany, performing them in Los Angeles, where Korngold became famous for his scores for films like The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood, brings a full circle relevance to these productions.

Set in the 18th century, the protagonist of the Der Ring Des Polykrates, musician Wilhelm Arndt, seems to have everything going for him: he is happily married to Laura, he has been appointed Hoffkapellmeister and he has just inherited a small fortune.

But when Wilhelm's long lost friend Peter returns, he is jealous of Wilhelm's happiness, and convinces him that in order not to challenge fate, he should sacrifice something (after the example set in Schiller's ballade Der Ring des Polykrates). Tensions ensue between Wilhelm and his wife over the question of her past, but ultimately all agree that the sacrifice to be offered is the cause of all the mayhem himself: Peter!

Gail R. Gordon, Founder and Artistic Director of Numi Opera, began producing operas in 2000 with her first company, Opera Nova, which she founded to give young singers an opportunity to perform standard repertoire. She went on to lead the Santa Monica College Opera Theater in 2008. Ms. Gordon has produced many traditional operas from the master works of Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Bizet. In addition she was responsible for the acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy. In producing this epic work that had only previously been heard at The Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Gordon discovered that there was a real desire from the Los Angeles public to experience new works. She carries this spirit of discovery forward into Numi Opera's debut 2019/20 season. Ms. Gordon is passionate about her vision for Numi and has elected to donate her time and expertise until the company finds its footing in the community.

Francesco Milioto, Conductor, - Francesco Milioto is excited to be making his conducting debut with Numi Opera in this rarely heard opera by Korngold. He is currently on the music staff at both Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Milioto also enjoys guest conductor relationships with a wide variety of organizations, and was recently named Artistic Advisor to the Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee. After opening this season with a successful production of Tosca with Opera San Antonio, he then returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for productions of Luisa Miller, Madama Butterfly and Die Walküre. Mr. Milioto will finish his season by returning to Opera San Antonio for their production of Rigoletto, before heading to The Santa Fe Opera for Wagner's Tristan and Isolde
Numi Opera Presents DER RING DES POLYKRATES At Zipper Hall


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