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Florida Grand Opera's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA Receives Critical Raves As One Of The Company's Best In Years

Audiences have only four more chances to see Florida Grand Opera's (FGO) acclaimed production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball), which Lawrence Budmen in South Florida Classical Review, calls "a world-beater. First-rate singing, impassioned orchestral playing and a traditional but imaginative staging do full justice to this musically rich Verdi masterpiece."

Florida Grand Opera has assembled a world-class cast to inhabit one of the greatest masterpieces of Verdi's rich middle period.

"Every now and then, the ideal cast falls into place," says FGO General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis. "That's exactly what has happened with our production of Ballo. Thanks to the extraordinary chemistry among these performers-something that's been borne out in the reviews-this will be a Ballo to remember for years to come."

Tenor Rafael Davila, last heard at FGO as Don José in Carmen, essays the role of Gustavo, the enlightened king who paves the way to his own destruction. Budmen wrote that Davila "brought just the right mix of dignity, vocal heft, subtlety and keen musicianship to Gustavo's arias." Davila shares the role with JoNathan Burton, a rising tenor, praised by Budmen in South Florida Classical Review for his "real Italianate fervor and high intensity."

Sopranos TaMara Wilson and Alexandra LoBianco share the role of Amelia, the tormented woman who commits infidelity in her heart. In Miami Clasica, Sebastian Spreng hailEd Wilson's "authentic spinto, generously flowing and never forced." Budmen callEd Wilson "nothing less than thrilling. [She] is the full-blooded Verdi soprano opera buffs have been waiting for," and found that LoBianco's "widely terraced dynamics and intensity turned both of Amelia's arias into high wire displays of emotion, tottering on the brink of unhinged. She is a dramatic soprano of great promise."

On concertonet.com, Jeff Haller found Todd Thomas's Anckarström "a knockout, vocally and dramatically," while Lawrence Budmen praisEd Thomas's "warm and mellifluous baritone taking on just the right edge of angry malevolence." Haller also thought that Dana Beth Miller's Ulrica "harkens to the great mezzos and contraltos of the past....Time for her Azucena, Eboli and Amneris, FGO; this caliber doesn't come along often." Budmen considered Miller "a frightening Ulrica with the rich voice to match." As Oscar, FGO Young Artist Elena Galván was judged by Haller to be "a brilliant performer."

Ramón Tebar, FGO's Principal Conductor, leads the Ballo performances. Budmen hailed Tebar's "taut pacing....This was red-blooded Verdi conducting."

Un ballo in maschera runs for two more performances in Miami, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County's Ziff Ballet Opera House:

Friday, May 5, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Ballo also plays two performances in Fort Lauderdale, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts' Au-Rene Theater:

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

ABOUT FLORIDA GRAND OPERA

Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organization in Florida, celebrates its 75th Anniversary Season in 2016-17. The mainstage operas of the season include: Georges Bizet's Carmen, November 12-December 3, 2017; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, January 28-February 11, 2017; Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls, March 18-25, 2017; and Giuseppe Verdi's A Masked Ball (Un ballo in maschera), April 29-May 13, 2017.

FGO is currently accepting single ticket purchases for A Masked Ball and subscription renewals for the 2017-18 season online or at FGO's offices. FGO's Box Office is located at the Doral Center on 8390 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33122, and is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday during the season. Season tickets may also be purchased by phone at (800) 741-1010.

Founded in 1941 as Greater Miami Opera and later merging with The Opera Guild Inc. in 1994, FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissions and new productions - all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish. FGO is recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Program support is provided by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, and the Cultural Arts Council. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera.


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