On November 17, 2013 Indianapolis will be part of an international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, joining hundreds of other cities around the world.
2013 is also the Year of Italian Culture in the United States and this performance will showcase operatic and musical talent in tribute to the Italian maestro’s incomparable contribution to opera. You'll hear selections from Verdi’s most celebrated works including La Traviata
, and many more. Think "Giuseppe Verdi's Greatest Hits" performed by accomplished solo artists and your very own Indianapolis Opera Chorus!
Concert will be performed on Sunday, November 17th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
at the Basile Opera Center at 40th and Pennsylvania. Seating is limited. Tickets are $30.00 (students $15.00) and on sale ONLINE or call 317.283.3470 today. Limited Quantity Available
Viva Verdi! is presented by Indianapolis Opera and the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana
“Sempre libera” from La Traviata
“La donna ѐ mobile” from Rigoletto
“Libiamo” from La Traviata
... and many others!
Guest soloists include...
Laura PortuneMark ThomsenBarbara LeMayGalen BowerAmelia KeenanDamien GeterJames Caraher, artistic directorJohn Schmid, chorusmasterMichael Sells, emcee
Artistic Director, James Caraher says, “Verdi has always been one of my favorite composers to conduct, so this will be a great opportunity to celebrate his 200th birthday, as well as to participate in this very special Year of Italian Culture in the United States. The program will include many of Verdi’s most famous arias, duets and choruses, and unfold through narration that will tie the music to important aspects of the history of that time in Italy. It should be an informative as well as fun and inspiring afternoon!”
Ralph Tambasco, President of the Italian Heritage Society says, “Our collaboration with the Indianapolis Opera is a very natural fit, given the prominent role Italian opera holds in our heritage for hundreds of years. It is my desire that the community of Indianapolis will come and enjoy what promises to be a beautiful and inspiring performance.”
INDIANAPOLIS (November 5, 2013) - The Indianapolis Opera becomes part of the testament to the power and beauty of American opera this holiday season with the presentation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors
Menotti brought opera into American living rooms with the televised Christmas Eve 1951 debut of this Christmas classic, performed by the NBC Television Theater. Since then, this charming opera has been staged more than 2,500 times around the world.
This warm and compassionate story captures the essential spirit of Christmas. It tells of the night the Three Kings, following the Star of Bethlehem, stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the Wise Men’s talk of a kingdom “built of love alone,” Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ Child—and experiences a miracle.
Italian born but calling himself an American composer for the half-century he spent in the United States, Menotti wrote his first opera when he was 11. He went on to become the most prolific opera composer of his time and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. The New York Times
called his music “attractive and unfailingly lyrical,” while the LA Times
named Menotti “the toast of opera” whose work “generated the hope that a viable repertoire of American operas was being established at last.”
At approximately 50 minutes long, performed in English and with a young boy in the starring role, perhaps no opera is more family friendly than Amahl and the Night Visitors
. The Indianapolis Opera is striving to make it even more so by offering Amahl’s Family Packages:
- Surprises and other goodies from Amahl will greet your family when you take your seats.
- Pre-show crafts and activities put everyone in the holiday spirit prior to the curtain.
- Friends and relatives can join you and save 10% on their tickets when bought with your family package.
- Star package – Four (4) tickets in premium seats for only $140 (a savings of $60), plus benefits listed above.
- Three Wise Men package – Four (4) tickets in regular seats for only $80 (a savings of $20), plus benefits listed above.
Contact Maria Souza at 317-283-3470 or email@example.com
to take advantage of this holiday family special. Packages are limited, so reserve yours soon!
Don’t miss this heartwarming tale of selflessness and its rewards! What: Amahl and the Night Visitors When:
Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15, 2013
Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Where
: Basile Opera Center, 4011 N. Pennsylvania St. Indianapolis, IN 46205 Single tickets are also available, starting at just $25. For these and more information on Amahl and the Night Visitors
, please visit www.indyopera.org
or call 800.745.3000. Recommended ages for this show are 5 to 105. Packages and tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable between productions. All sales are final.
Photo courtesy of Madison Opera
Not your mother’s opera, The Threepenny Opera presents a sharp political perspective and social commentary wrapped in the sounds of 1920’s Berlin jazz and cabaret. Most will recognize the tune made famous by Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and countless others. Describing the principal character MacHeath aka “Mackie Messer”, “Mack The Knife” originated in Threepenny. Actually, it was Mark Blitzstein who coined the song’s title, “Mack the Knife” in the 1950’s. The original German translation, “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer” or “The Deadly Doings of Mackie Messer” is traditionally sung by a street singer in the opening scene. <Insider scoop: IO will present the famous song with a slight twist in our upcoming October production.>
Redemption from what? Salvation by what?
Thoughts on Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman
by Joachim Schamberger
Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman is one of the most dramatically exciting pieces in all of opera. The story of the cursed sailor who is doomed to sail the seas for all eternity in a ghost ship, and the young woman who sacrifices herself for his redemption has fascinated opera-goers for generations.
The idea of a woman sacrificing herself to redeem a man from guilt or a curse is a recurring theme in Wagner’s work. But what does that mean? Is it just a romantically idealized view of female purity?
The key to my understanding of the story lies in seeing the Dutchman and Senta as one person, not as separate individuals. They respectively personify masculine and feminine principles in each of us.
Wagner's first mature opera, The Flying Dutchman, should be considered in the context of developments in German opera during the first stirrings of Romanticism. Works like Marschner's Der Vampyrand Weber's Der Freischütz (The Freeshooter) were a definite influence on the young composer, with their fascination with the supernatural, a generally melancholic atmosphere, depictions of the power of nature and religious sentiment. Wagner, however, seeks to express these elements in quite specific ways, particularly in depicting the emotions of his characters, which are graced with psychological depth and a sense of dramatic reality.
by Candace Evans courtesy of IU Opera Theater
When asked to direct this production, I was at once delighted and overwhelmed. The music of Philip Glass is uniquely challenging, and the scope of Egyptian history is vast.
My ﬁrst step with any opera is always the music. Why was it written and orchestrated as it was? What did the libretto illuminate? And, most urgently, what was the real story being told? As I listened again and again, ideas began to form.
Parallel to this world of listening, I began doing research. Beyond the Tutankhamen exhibits which toured the United States, a few hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the opera Aida
, my knowledge of Egypt was minimal. One of the great joys of my career is the continual expansion of knowledge that accompanies each project. New language, rich history, varied geography, fascinating social behavior, and apparel are revelations within each directorial assignment. I studied books, toured exhibitions, watched historical DVDs, and immersed myself in all things Egyptian, all the while continuing to listen to the music.
by Daniel Bishop courtesy of IU Opera Theater
We know very little about the historical Akhnaten, the rebellious Egyptian Pharaoh of the fourteenth century B.C.E., who initiated the short-lived religious reform that came to be known as the Amarna period. In approaching tonight’s opera,we might imagine ourselves as archaeologists, examining millennia-old stellae inscriptions and sarcophagus carvings. Always, with such relics, far more is lost than is preserved. Akhnaten
, like ancient history itself, embraces distances and gaps in its search for familiarity and relevance.
"Adoration of the Magi" by Hieronymus Bosch
A note about the inspiration for Amahl and the Night Visitors from Gian Carlo Menotti:
This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.
I actually never met the Three Kings—it didn't matter how hard my little brother and I tried to keep awake at night to catch a glimpse of the Three Royal Visitors, we would always fall asleep just before they arrived. But I do remember hearing them. I remember the weird cadence of their song in the dark distance; I remember the brittle sound of the camel's hooves crushing the frozen show; and I remember the mysterious tinkling of their silver bridles.
b Paris, June 17, 1818; d St. Cloud, October 18, 1893
Charles-François Gounod emerged as one of the leading figures in French music during the latter part of the 19th century. Although the composer never achieved the titanic stature of Wagner or Verdi, his opera Faust once rivaled in popularity some of their most successful works.
The young Gounod showed early artistic talent, but his parents were determined that he study law. His preference for music eventually won, and at the age of 16, the rebellious teen began the official path of a typical 19th-century composer in France.
At the Paris Conservatoire Gounod studied with Halévy, Le Sueur and Reicha. Winning the Prix de Rome in 1839, he embarked upon a two-year study in Italy, during which time the composer first became familiar with the Faust legend.
Returning to France, Gounod quickly obtained a position in a mission church but was fortunate to befriend an influential soprano, Pauline Viardot, who maneuvered a commission for him from the Paris Opéra. Sapho, set to a libretto by Emile Augier, was a succès d’estime — but not a huge box-office draw. It was dropped after six performances.
Cultural life in Paris during the 19th century evolved significantly amidst a whirlwind of improbable events. Tossed back and forth between democracy and autocracy, and transformed by an unlikely and unloved emperor from a medieval maze to well-ordered metropolis, the city’s turbulent history was reflected in its arts. Theaters were especially vulnerable; plagued with closures, relocations, bankruptcies and deadly fires, each competed aggressively for their piece of an upwardly mobile middle class. Out of the chaos emerged such disparate musical forces as Meyerbeer, Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Bizet and Offenbach, all vying for the opera dollar.
A little political history might be in order. Following the revolution of 1789, which displaced Louis XVI and the ancien régime, the Jacobin Republic was established by 1791, followed by the Thermidorian Republic in 1794. As war was declared on the new government by Europe’s other powers (especially Austria, whose royal family member, Marie-Antoinette, had been executed by the rebels) France began to push beyond its national boundaries, and the new government found among its generals one of stellar quality. Little did they know young Napoleon Bonaparte would seize enough power to install his own Consulate in 1799 and crown himself emperor in 1804. His glory was short-lived, however, as his expansionist designs turned back at him — by 1814 he was ousted and exiled, and Louis XVI’s brothers, first Louis XVIII then Charles X, were restored to power.