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Chicago Opera Theater presents Gioachino Rossini’s “Moses in Egypt”

The Opening Production of the 2010 Spring Festival Season!

April 17, 21, 23, 25, 2010 at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park

Chicago Opera Theater (COT) presents the opening production of the 2010 Spring Festival Season – Rossini’s Moses in Egypt (Mosè in Egitto) on April 17, 21, 23 and 25 at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park.

Moses in Egypt was only performed in Chicago onceback in 1863 during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency,” said General Director Brian Dickie. “We like to think our fellow Illinoisan, who we know did enjoy the theatre, might have been at that performance. Of course, we’ll never knowbut we look forward to introducing present-day Chicagoans to this very great opera.”

Moses in Egypt is one of Rossini’s many serious but underperformed operas.  Chicago Opera Theater will be presenting the U.S. premiere using the edition by Charles Brauner for Philip Gossett’s critical edition of Rossini’s complete works.

Mr. Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor at The University of Chicago and a professor “di chiara fama” at the Univeristy of Rome “La Sapienza,” is the  general editor of Works of Gioachino Rossini (a publication of Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel.)

The story concentrates on Moses freeing the Hebrews from Egypt.  The opera ends with the famous parting of the Red Sea, as well as the beautiful and famous “Prayer: From thy starry throne (Dal tuo stellato soglio.)”

In 2008, Chicago Opera Theater launched The People’s Opera, the first fundraising initiative of its kind, in which the public voted, dollar by dollar, to choose one of the operas in the 2010 season.  Moses in Egypt was named The People’s Opera, and raised over $40K for Chicago Opera Theater.

The production will be led by Leonardo Vordoni, known for his specialty in Italian repertory, who has conducted most recently at the Minnesota Opera (Les Pecheurs de Perles and Casanova’s Homecoming.)  He will be making his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut later this month in Le nozze di Figaro.

The director will be Andrew Eggert who made his directorial debut with Chicago Opera Theater in last season’s production of Bizet’s La Tragédie de Carmen after eight seasons as assistant director on thirteen COT productions.  His new production of Mourning Becomes Electra was selected as a winner of Opera America’s 2009 Director-Designer Showcase.

Designing both the set and costumes is Anka Lupes, making her Chicago Opera Theater debut.  She has worked numerous times with regular COT director Diane Paulus, including creating the costumes for the Glimmerglass production of Kiss Me Kate in 2008, and more recently in January, for Gotham Chamber Opera’s production of Il mondo della luna.

Returning to Chicago Opera Theater from 2009 is lighting designer Keith Parham.  He is a company member of TUTA Theatre, and has worked at The Public Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and the Writers’ Theatre, among many others.

In the title role is Andrea Concetti (bass) making his Chicago debut.  He has performed with La Scala, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Berlin State Opera, and the Minnesota Opera. Manuela Bisceglie (soprano) sings the role of Elcia in her North American debut.

In the past two seasons, Ms. Bisceglie has sung in a number of Italian opera houses including in Florence, Bologna, and Trieste.  Singing the role of Faraone is Tom Corbeil (bass), who recently sang at Santa Fe Opera and Florida Grand Opera, and who will sing later this season at Ft. Worth Opera.

Taylor Stayton (tenor), who will sing Osiride, made his debut earlier this year at Teatro dell’opera di Roma in Franco Zeffirelli’s new production of Falstaff. Kathryn Leemhuis (mezzo, Amaltea), Samuel Levine (tenor, Mambre), Jorge Prego (tenor, Aronne), and Emily Grace Righter (mezzo, Amenofi) complete the cast.

The chorus is made up mostly of the 2010 class of Chicago Opera Theater’s Young Artists Program, a performance-based training program for young professional singers.  These participants have the opportunity to work with the innovative artistic teams which are the hallmark of Chicago Opera Theater under General Director Brian Dickie.

The intention is to provide an artistic benchmark for young artists as they commence their careers, recognizing performance experience of standard and new repertoire as an essential training element.

Chicago Opera Theater’s 2010 Spring Festival Season runs April 17 through May 16 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, 205 East Randolph Drive.

Season Subscriptions for the 2010 Spring Festival Season range from $90-$345 and include a ticket to Moses in Egypt, as well as Cavalli’s Jason (Giasone) and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers.

Single tickets are also on sale, and range from $30-$120.  COT also offers a 50% discounted student rate in most sections.

Tickets may be purchased at Chicago Opera Theater: ChicagoOperaTheater.org or  312.704.8414.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Harris Theater:  HarrisTheaterChicago.org or 312.334.7777.

Moses in Egypt is generously supported by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and an Anonymous Donor.

Gioachino Rossini
MOSES IN EGYPT (Mosè in Egitto)
April 17, 21, 23 at 7:30pm; April 25 at 3pm

Conductor: LEONARDO VORDONI
Director: ANDREW EGGERT
Production Designer: ANKA LUPES
Lighting Designer: KEITH PARHAM

CAST (Alphabetical)

Elcia MANUELA BISCEGLIE
Moses ANDREA CONCETTI
Faraone TOM CORBEIL
Amaltea KATHRYN LEEMHUIS
Mambre SAMUEL LEVINE
Aronne JORGE PREGO
Amenofi EMILY GRACE RIGHTER
Osiride TAYLOR STAYTON

Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Chicago Opera Theater Young Artists -2010

Blake Bard, Leila Bowie, Rabihah Davis Dunn, Catalina Cuervo, Darik Knutsen, Benjamin LeClair,
Samuel Levine, Rebecca Luttio, Jorge Prego, Emily Grace Righter, Nikolas Wenzel, Martin L. Woods

MEDIA CONTACT:

Colleen Flanigan, 312-704-8420, Ext. 225
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
cflanigan@chicagooperatheater.org

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