One of the most beloved works in the opera repertoire will open Opera Omaha’s 2016-2017 season.
Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème,” a tragic story of love and heartache among a group of French Bohemians, will premiere Nov. 4 at the Orpheum Theater, with a second performance two days later.
The performance will feature a notable first: Soprano Leah Partridge will sing the lead role of Mimi for the first time in her career. Partridge is a favorite with Omaha opera fans after appearing in several Opera Omaha shows in past seasons. Her last Omaha performance was at the 10th anniversary gala for the Holland Center last fall.
The coming season also will include “Cosi fan tutte,” a witty opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that runs Feb. 10 and 12, and “Flight,” a contemporary piece by British composer Jonathan Dove that runs April 21 and 23.
Opera Omaha General Director Roger Weitz said he considers this lineup to be monumental.
“ ‘La Bohème’ is one of the best known and beloved operas of all time, with great reason,” he said in a press release. “The hilarious and poignant ‘Flight’ will make its maiden voyage in Omaha. And Mozart’s ingenious ‘Cosi fan tutte’ balances the season perfectly.”
He also said the caliber of artists to be featured is world-class.
Maestro Leonardo Vordoni, who last conducted 2014’s “Cinderella” for Opera Omaha, will return for “La Bohème.”
“Cosi fan tutte” will feature the talents of director Andrew Eggert and conductor Steven White, who both have appeared here before. Opera Omaha’s contemporary production of “Cosi fan tutte” is inspired by Tony Award-winning Broadway and opera director Diane Paulus, who directed it in 2002 for the Chicago Opera Theater. It’s the amusing story of two men who test the devotion of their fiancées.
James Darrah, director of this season’s “Semele” for Opera Omaha, will return for “Flight” with conductor Christopher Rountree. Dove’s opera — with a libretto by April de Angelis — focuses on a group of travelers who meet at an airport with shared departure plans and hidden desires. An electrical storm cancels their flights, trapping them in the airport overnight. Their lives collide with unexpected results.
Subscriptions, from $49 to $148.50, now are on sale for the coming season at operaomaha.org. They include all three operas. First-time subscribers can get up to 50 percent off tickets. Single tickets range from $19 to $99.
Opera Omaha also announced a Sept. 9 date for its annual Opera Outdoors concert in Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, and said it is planning a number of events for National Opera Week, Oct. 28 to Nov. 6.
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