Musings on opera in NC and beyond

Archive for January 2010

OCNC Opera Ball Postponed Til Next Weekend

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Due to adverse weather conditions in the Triangle, The Opera Company of North Carolina has rescheduled its 2010 Opera Ball to February 6, 2010 at 6:30 PM. The Ball will still be held at Prestonwood Country Club and all reservations will be honored. The original date was tomorrow evening, and there are still reservations. For tickets or further information, call the office at 919.792.3850.

Stay warm and dry this weekend. And because I know how you are, North Carolinians, go on already and get your bread, milk, flashlight, water and candles for the blizzard! See you at the Opera Ball NEXT SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6!!

Opera Ball postponed. Snow in our future?

Written by Darla

January 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Opera Ball

Weather Updates Posted Here at NCOpera

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As the Triangle braces for a major winter storm this weekend, weather updates will be posted here. Please check back here for updates concerning opera events this weekend. You can also check WRAL-TV and for any cancellations. OCNC’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Opera Ball, Midwinter Night’s Dream, is scheduled for Saturday evening at Cary’s Prestonwood Country Club. This blog will keep current any information regarding postponement or rescheduling of this event should the weather dictate.

Written by Darla

January 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

Posted in Opera Ball

Yeah! A Blog for Opera!

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Surprise!!! You’ve now been redirected!! Want to know why? Two main reasons. First, OCNC’s website was outdated and tangled in an old online presence. Second, so much going on, so little time–a blog is the best way to start communicating!

So now that you’re officially here, let me welcome you to NCOpera–a blog for North Carolina Opera and opera in the Triangle and beyond. Watch this space for behind-the-lens/up-to-the-minute news, commentary and all-round musings on opera from programs and events to anything else that seems to fit. Check back regularly for new content!

Written by Darla

January 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

Posted in About NCOpera

Ooh La La! Opera Ball This Weekend!

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Can it be already the end of January? Must be because the tres chic OCNC Opera Ball is Saturday night at Prestonwood Country Club. The clink of champagne glasses, ballgowns and penguin suits–oh my! And thankfully, unlike the annual Dresden SemperOperaball which took place a few weeks ago, I don’t think we need worry much about LaToya Jackson turning up (best not to ask).

OCNC’s Opera Ball is its largest fundraiser, generating essential support for the upcoming season. For last minute ball tickets or to buy raffle tickets, call the office at 919.792.3850. Meanwhile here is the lovely Danielle de Niese as Susannah in Nozze di Figaro in Amsterdam three years ago. Delightful, lovely voice.

Written by Darla

January 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

Posted in Opera Ball

It’s Raining Hunky Opera Men in Seattle

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Thanks to an NCOpera reader for mentioning this article about Seattle Opera’s production of Bizet’s first opera, Les Pêcheurs de Perle (The Pearl Fishers). Well actually, the article is not on the production itself but on its buff tenor (William Burden shown above in the role of Nadir) and bass singer, Patrick Carfizzi (who as Nourabad displayed physical and vocal heft on stage), and how they bulked up to their hunky selves. Below is an excerpt from Excellence Health and Fitness club where they trained. If you want a detailing of their fitness program (in case you too want to be a buff opera tenor) go to the article directly.

“At the beginning of December two wonderful guys approached Elias Roberts, personal trainer at Excellence Health and Fitness. They were interested in changing their physiques because they would be on stage, with their shirts off, in front of 2,600 people….How can Elias influence these two guys to stay focused on their nutrition and consistent with their workouts in order to dramatically change their bodies in one months time?  Well, these two guys were determined to work as hard as possible….These two guys happened to be the stars of Seattle Opera’s “Pearl Fishers”.  William Burden, playing Nadir, the love struck lead, and Patrick Carfizzi playing Nourabad, the high priest….January 10th was opening night at McCaw Hall and the two men looked amazing with defined arms, chest, and abs.”

Who knew, fit opera singers!?!  Oxymoron?  Not anymore! While The Pearl Fishers is not on the same level as Bizet’s crown jewel, Carmen, it’s still has some beautiful arias and duets in addition to being set in an exotic location (Ceylon) and raining hunky men. Learn more about the Seattle production of The Pearl Fishers in this Seattle Times article.

Written by Darla

January 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

Opera to the People–Bravo!

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Jim shared this video link on NCOpera today and I just had to put it on the Home page — it is so so — well, es magnifico! On this grey January day, this has got to be the coolest place on the internet! Shot in a farmer’s market in Valencia last November, Verdi’s Traviata truly shows the power of beauty to lift the spirit. Just fabulous, fabulous! Make sure you watch the whole thing and in particular, look at the people’s reactions, their dancing, their spirits soaring!

Bravo! Bravo!

Written by Darla

January 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Music, Verdi

Dark-Haired, Tanned and Sweaty

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Bizet’s Carmen is next on the Met’s Live in HD schedule, airing this Saturday at 1 at both Brier Creek and North Hills theatres. It is sold out, BTW, but I have it that tickets are still available for the encore on Wednesday Feb 3. Don’t miss it because:

OMG, what an opera!!! Bizet was told he’d “frighten the audience away” with his sexy, irascible Carmen, but he never watered her down and stuck with his theme of sex, violence, racism and freedom. Now, Carmen is considered one of the most popular operas. Carmen, Carmen…now there’s a gal! Many adjectives have described her. Sex addict. Erotic. Superstitious (yes there are Tarot cards). Evil. Seductress. Death-obsessed. Suicide. Ruiner. Ultimately doomed.

And what a mezzo role! Some of the memorables who’ve played Carmen include Regina Resnik, Rise Stevens, Marilyn Horne and Teresa Berganza. Berganza singing with Placido Domingo in the Don Jose role is my personal fav. This time it’s Elina Garanca as the feisty Carmen. Elina is tall, lithe and beautiful and apparently lifts her skirts and splays her legs a lot: “a real man-eater full of sexual magnetism.” She also plays a mean tambourine.

Be a Carmen. Face death proudly. Find a ticket somewhere.

Written by Darla

January 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

Posted in Opera Production

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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With the Opera Ball–A Midwinter Night’s Dream–fast approaching, I got to thinking about Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The 1968 production of Shakespeare’s play is set in an English boarding school–think Hogwarts minus musicians. It includes two queens: one Queen of the Fairies and one for the Amazons. It also has a tinker, tailor, weaver and a treble Moth. Helen Mirren (who just bleeds Oscars) played love-interest Hermia in the 1968 play production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Later, in the early ’80s, BBC did a television production of the play, and Mirren was promoted to playing the Queen of the Fairies. Lucky lady.

But let’s play opera trivia. Anyone remember who took Shakespeare’s play and turned it into an opera earlier in the 20th century??? Anyone??? Yup, it was Benjamin Britten, that British composer (go you Suffolk lad!), friend of Aaron Copland, and conscientious objector (yes they had them in WWII). Britten also wrote Peter Grimes, Turn of the Screw and Billy Budd, three other English operas.

I’d show you a picture of Britten, but I think pictures showing Mirren in 1968 and today are more interesting!

1968 Helen

Dame Helen

Dame Helen today

Written by Darla

January 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

Posted in Opera Ball

Get Your Opera Ball Tickets Now!

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Mad Hot Opera Ball!

What’s the Triangle area without the Opera Ball??? That’s like Venice without canals!!!

You don’t want to miss a minute of A Midwinter Night’s Dream–the return of the Opera Company of North Carolina’s spectacular annual fundraising gala. Last year’s ball goers hailed it as “the best gala event ever” and the Opera Company said its auction was the “best fundraising event” of 2009.

The event sells out fast, so get your Ball tickets now to the 2010 Opera Ball: A Midwinter Night’s Dream.

In conjunction at the Ball, A Midwinter Night’s Dream Auction is a benefit for the Opera Company of North Carolina. OCNC seeks to foster the advancement of and provide opportunities for all opera artists and patrons, and to increase community awareness, appreciation and support of opera in North Carolina.

Come and celebrate opera at the 2010 Opera Ball, A Midwinter Night’s Dream!

6:30 PM Saturday, January 30, 2010
Prestonwood Country Club
130 Prestonwood Parkway
Cary, North Carolina 27513

6:00 – 8:15 pm Cocktails & Silent Auction
7:00 – 9:00 pm Dinner
8:45 – 9:30 pm Live Auction

Dancing, dessert & cocktails to follow the Live Auction
Attire: Black Tie
Tickets are priced at $225 each (partially tax deductible)

Call the Company today at 919.792.3850!

Written by Darla

January 5, 2010 at 7:07 am

Posted in Opera Ball