LO SPEZIALE Opera Channels BREAKING BAD at Dragon Theatre, Now thru 7/26

A young apprentice dreams of a woman just out of his reach, while he toils away making batches of drugs under his boss's watchful eye. The local lawyer tries to woo the same woman away, while the boss himself plots to accumulate wealth manipulating those around him. A comedic tale of mixed up romance and life in the drug industry. Opera as you've never seen it before, told through the style of the hit TV show, Breaking Bad. Sung in the original Italian with supertitles.

A co-production with the recently created nonprofit company Bay Area Opera Collective, Lo Speziale is the final production in Dragon Theatre's 2015 2nd Stages season. Composed by Joseph Hadyn, LO SPEZIALE features libretto by Carlo Goldoni and direction by Steve Flavin.

Ewa Nowicka (PRODUCER/VOLPINO) led this production from her original concept, to bringing together the founding members of Bay Area Opera Collaborative, to the performance you are watching today. She started BayOp with the goal of creating operatic programming that features emerging artists and engages new audiences. In 2014 Ewa was named a member of Silicon Valley Creates' NextGen Cohort and with this financial backing she wrote, produced, directed, and led the cast of Reserved for Amy, an event that presented classical vocal music in a modern and intimate setting. Ewa believes in developing strong relationships with audiences online as well as on stage. She has implemented arts marketing campaigns, and served on the Board of Directors at Lyric Theatre of San Jose where she created a participatory art, theatre and music event called Art Start. Ewa currently serves on the Steering Committee of GenARTS Silicon Valley, the Palo Alto Public Art Advisory Committee, and works full time at Stanford. Ewa completed her Bachelor of Music at Boston Conservatory and Master of Arts at Jagiellonian University in Poland. She looks forward to continuing her path in arts advocacy and innovative performance programming in the Bay Area. Learn more at www.EwaNow.com and on Twitter @Ewa_Now.

Managing Director Kimberly Wadycki says that "Lo Speziale is a perfect example of what Dragon hopes to achieve with the 2nd Stages series. We get to introduce our community to opera in a low cost, accessible way while mentoring a group of highly motivated emerging local artists through the production process while guiding them through the challenges of running a nonprofit. We're just thrilled for our audiences to get to see Lo Speziale this summer at the Dragon Theatre."

Steve Flavin (Director/Co-Scenic Designer/Sound Designer) is a filmmaker, writer and content creator in San Francisco and is thrilled to return to his theatrical roots in his first production at Dragon Productions Theatre Company. He has directed numerous commercials and short documentaries for Bay Area startups GoldieBlox and Social Print Studio, and arts organizations Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley Symphony, Cutting Ball Theater and Magic Theatre, and appears in his own comedy videos online. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram, @steveflavin, and check out his work on Vimeo, /steveflavin.

Franz Joseph Haydn was among the creators of the fundamental genres of classical music, and his influence upon later composers like Schubert, Brahms, and Mendelssohn, is immense. Haydn's most celebrated pupil was Ludwig van Beethoven, and his friend and contemporary was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Born in Rohrau in 1732, the son of a wheelwright, he was trained as a chorister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, where he made his early living before his appointment to the small musical establishment of Count Morzin in 1759. In 1760 he entered the service of the Esterházy Princes, and he succeeded to the position of Kapellmeister on the death of his predecessor and immediate superior Gregor Werner in 1766. Much of Haydn's life now centered on the magnificent palace and estate at Eszterháza, where his employer Prince Nikolaus Esterházy had moved his entourage for most of the year. Haydn lived long enough to reap the rewards of his own imagination and toil. The Esterházys curtailed their musical activities in 1790, but by that time Haydn was known all over Europe and widely considered the greatest living composer. (He himself deferred to Mozart in that regard, and the friendly competition between the two composers deepened the music of both.) Two trips to London during the 1790s resulted in two sets of six symphonies each (among them the "Surprise" symphony) that remain centerpieces of the orchestral repertoire. Haydn's final masterpieces included powerful choral works: the Creation and Seasons oratorios and a group of six masses. Haydn stopped composing in 1803, after which he prefaced his correspondence with a little musical quotation (from one of his part-songs) bearing the text "Gone is all my strength; I am old and weak." He died in Vienna on May 31, 1809.

Carlo Goldoni, (born Feb. 25, 1707, Venice-died Feb. 6, 1793, Paris), prolific dramatist who renovated the well-established Italian commedia dell'arte dramatic form by replacing its masked stock figures with more realistic characters, its loosely structured and often repetitive action with tightly constructed plots, and its predictable farce with a new spirit of gaiety and spontaneity. For these innovations Goldoni is considered the founder of Italian realistic comedy.

The precocious son of a physician, Goldoni read comedies from his father's library as a child and ran away from school at Rimini in 1721 with a company of strolling players. While studying at the papal college in Pavia, Goldoni read comedies by Plautus, Terence, and Aristophanes. Later he studied French in order to read Molière.

Goldoni was expelled from the Ghislieri College in Pavia when he was caught writing a satire on the ladies of the town, and he reluctantly began law studies at the University of Pavia. In 1748 Goldoni agreed to write for the Teatro Sant'Angelo company of the Venetian actor-manager Girolamo Medebac. Goldoni's early plays veer between the old style and the new. By observing society and providing plausible motivation for his characters, Goldoni's more credible and more realistic works soon gained a tremendous following. A believer in modernity and progress, he championed the rights of women and the equality of all classes. In espousing these views, Goldoni frequently satirized the aristocracy and their courts. One of his most famous plays, Servant of Two Masters, was recently adapted by playwright Richard Bean into a play called One Man, Two Guvnors, and has been playing to great success in London and America.

Goldoni retired in 1764 to teach Italian to the princesses at Versailles. In 1783 he began his celebrated Mémoires in French. After the French Revolution his pension was cancelled, and he died in dire poverty.

Featuring:

Team White

Carmelo Rosado as Sempronio

Nicole Cooper as Grilletta

Mark Bonney as Mengone

Corinne Rydman as Volpino

Performance nights: pay what you will preview on July 9, July 11, 17, 19, 23, 25

Team Pinkman

Katia Hayati as Sempronio

Kathryn Benedicto as Grilletta

Carmello Tringali as Mengone

Ewa Nowicka as Volpino

Performance nights: July 10, 12, 16, 18, 24, 26

Designers & Production Team:

Director: Steve Flavin

Stage Manger: Kristine Gilreath

Pianists: Lindsey Breitschaedel and Paul McCurdy

Set Design: Kristine Gilreath, Steve Flavin, Carmello Tringali

Lighting Design: Jeff Swan

Sound Design: Steve Flavin

Costume Design: Sabrina Cuddy

Executive Artistic Director: Meredith Hagedorn

2nd Stages Associate Producer: Karen Altree Piemme

Production Manager: Ashley Taylor Frampton

Managing Director and Press Inquiries: Kimberly Wadycki

Box Office Manager: Josiah Frampton

Company Manager: Linda Olbourne

Performances run July 10 - July 26, 2015, playing Thursdays - Saturdays, 8pm, Sundays, 2pm. Pay What You Will Preview, Thursday July 9th at 8pm. Opening Night Friday, July 10th at 8pm. Post show discussion after Sunday, July 12th matinee. It all takes place at The Dragon Theatre in downtown Redwood City, 2120 Broadway Street at the intersection of Broadway and Theatre Way. $22 for general admission seats; $10 rush tickets on Thursdays and Fridays starting 2nd week. Limited availability and cash only at the door. Limited discount tickets available on tixbayarea.com. Pay what you will preview on Thursday July 9th - no reservation, just walk up and pay cash at the door. $125 for the VIP box (seats 4 people and includes champagne and chocolates.)

For tickets and more information, visit dragonproductions.net.

Pictured: Carmello Tringali and Carmelo Rosado. Photo by Steve Flavin.




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