Utah Opera's 40th Anniversary Season Ends on a Bang with Johann Strauss Jr.'s "Die Fledermaus"

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (April 30, 2018) – Utah Opera concludes its 40th anniversary season with Johann Strauss Jr’s light-hearted opera, “Die Fledermaus.” The shows will be performed five times at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre on May 12, 14, 16, 18 at 7:30 PM, and May 20 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced from $15-$100, are available for purchase through www.utahopera.org or by calling (801) 533-6683.

Johann Strauss Jr’s “Die Fledermaus”ends Utah Opera’s 40th anniversary season on a celebratory note, with lavish costumes, a masked Viennese ball, a cast of outrageous characters, and a “Champagne Song” finale. Leading the cast, chorus, and musicians of the Utah Symphony is Gary Thor Wedow, a conductor known for his work with the Seattle and New York City Operas, including the New York premiere of Telemann’s “Orpheus,” and Christopher Alden’s productions of “Don Giovanni.” Kyle Lang makes his directorial debut with Utah Opera after previously serving as assistant director and choreographer for the January 2017 production of “Man of La Mancha” and the January 2016 production of “The Merry Widow.” The production will mark the third time the company has presented Strauss’ comedy, which was last seen at the Capitol Theatre in March 2003.

Described by “Opera News” as “Statuesque beauty and opulent coloratura...a wholly sympathetic heroine”  for her role in Utah Opera’s 2014 production of “La traviata,” soprano Sara Gartland returns to perform the role of Rosalinde. GRAMMY award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher plays Eisenstein, a favorite performer with Utah audiences, hewas most recently with Utah Opera in a production of the contemporary opera “The Long Walk.” Two favorite performers of Utah Opera audiences who have made Utah their home return to the stage: tenor Robert Breault in the role of Alfred and bass-baritone Christopher Clayton in the role of Frank.

Troy Cook, who stepped in at the 11th hour to sing Marcello for two of last fall’s “La bohème” performancesplays Dr. Falke, a role he recently performed with the Atlanta and San Diego Operas. Following her triumph in last year’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” and most recent appearance with Utah Opera in “Gianni Schicchi,” soprano Abigail Rethwisch portrays Adele in her finale performances as a Utah Opera Resident Artist before returning to The Santa Fe Opera this summer. Former Resident Artist and rising opera star Abigail Levis sings the trouser role of Prince Orlofsky, returning after her roles in “Le nozze di Figaro,” “The Child and the Enchantments,” and “Così fan tutte.” Ms. Levis has been called a “crisp, witty singer” by “Opera News.” Utah Opera Resident Artists Christopher Oglesby (tenor) and Melanie Ashkar (mezzo-soprano) join the cast, playing the parts of Dr. Blind and Ida. Tobin Atkinson, known in Utah for his role in co-founding Plan B Theatre and prominent appearances in Utah Shakespeare Festival and Pioneer Theatre,takes the colorful speaking role of Frosch.  

The performance will last approximately 3 hours with two intermissions.

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RELATED EVENTS

Learn Before You Go
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's education and community outreach department facilitates an online "learn before you go" series prior to each opera. Online learning materials for “Die Fledermaus” were created by Anthony Buck, who is presently completing his DMA at the University of Utah School of Music. They are available online at www.utahopera.org/onlinelearning.

Libretti & Libations
Utah Opera presents Libretti & Libations, a promotion with Salt Lake City's and Park City's top mixologists offering craft cocktails inspired by the storyline and characters of each opera. Participants are encouraged to post photos of the craft cocktails on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UtahOperaSips to enter a contest to win a pair of tickets to the opera. For more details about Libretti & Libations and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.utahopera.org/libations.

Opera-tunities Night
Students in grades 7 through 12 are invited to attend Utah Opera's final dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 10 at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre through "Opera-tunities Night." Public/charter school students and their accompanying teachers can attend for free, and private/home schooled students and accompanying teachers pay just $5 per person. Visit www.usuoeducation.org/index.php/for-schools/opera-tunities for more information, or call 801-533-6683.

Red Carpet Event
Opening night on May 12 will feature a red carpet event where patrons can pose for a free photo. Photos will be posted on the Utah Opera Facebook page, allowing participants the chance to tag themselves during their night out on the town. Visit www.facebook.com/utahopera for more information. The starting time of the red carpet event is 6:30 PM.

Opera Prelude Lecture
Utah Opera Principal Coach Dr. Carol Anderson will offer an Opera Prelude Lecture, free of charge for ticket holders, in the Capitol Room of the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South) one hour before curtain for each performance.

Q&A Session
Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth will hold a Q&A session, free of charge for ticket holders, immediately following each performance in the Capitol Room of the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South.)

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PROGRAM
Utah Opera presents
“Die Fledermaus”
By Johann Strauss Jr
Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101

May 12, 14, 16, 18 | 7:30 PM |
May 20 | 2 PM |
Composed by Johann Strauss Jr

Original German libretto by Karl Haffner & Richard Genée

English translation by Ruth and Thomas Martin

English dialogue by Charles Ludlam

Supertitles prepared by Utah Opera

Premiere: April 5, 1874, Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria

Previously at Utah Opera: 1983, 1989, 2003
Performed in English with English supertitles

SPONSORS:

40th Anniversary Season Sponsor: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Production Sponsor: Elizabeth Solomon
Set and Costume Sponsor: Utah Division of Arts & Museums
Opera Artistic Director Sponsor: Emma Eccles Jones Foundation
Props Sponsor: Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks
Supertitles Sponsor: S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney and Ray Quinney Nebeker Foundations
Opening Performance: BMW of Murray | BMW of Pleasantville
Floral Season Sponsor: Every Blooming Thing
VIP Intermission Reception Sponsor: J. Wong’s Asian Bistro
VIP Intermission Opera Wine Sponsor: Empress Theatre

About Utah Opera
Utah Opera, established by Glade Peterson in 1978, has been part of the Utah community for 40 years and engages audiences through inspiring operatic performances. The opera company presents four annual productions at the historic Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and regularly partners with Utah Symphony and other organizations for special presentations. In addition to producing classic works from the operatic repertoire, Utah Opera also emphasizes the importance of contemporary American opera, with notable achievements including the 1996 world premiere of David Carlson’s “Dreamkeepers” and the co-commissioning and Western U.S. premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s “The Grapes of Wrath” in 2007, presenting the Western U.S. premiere of Jeremy Howard Beck and Stephanie Fleischmann’s “The Long Walk” in 2016, and leading the creation of a new production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s “Moby-Dick” that will feature a versatile set designed to adapt to a wide range of theater stages, making it possible for more companies to undertake this important 21st century opera.

Utah Opera operates a full production studios where productions are rehearsed and costumes, props and set pieces are designed, made, rented out and stored. The opera currently has 19 full sets and costumes for 50 full productions in its inventory. Utah Opera also offers a Resident Artist Program, a nationally recognized young artist training program for professional singers and pianists who perform for more than 70,000 students each year free of charge through the organization’s education and outreach activities. The Utah Symphony has performed as part of the Opera’s productions since the company’s founding, and the two organizations merged in 2002.

Utah Opera’s current Artistic Director, Christopher McBeth, joined the company in the fall of 2000 and took over primary artistic leadership in 2003. Under his leadership, Utah Opera productions have received acclaim for introducing audiences to the next generation of fine singing actors. Mr. McBeth strives to provide distinguished quality productions that showcase emerging and established artists, celebrate traditional works, and champion the American operatic tradition.

For more information, visit www.utahopera.org.

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The Utah Opera 40th Anniversary Season Sponsor is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

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