New Rochelle Opera, Westchester’s longest running opera company, will present Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, from June 22-25, 2017 in the Frank J. Auriana Theatre at the Ursuline School, 1354 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY. The production will be directed by Company co-founder and artistic director Camille Coppola, with orchestra and chorus conducted by Gregory Ortega and choreography by Christine Perone. The operetta will sung in English, with libretto by Sheldon Harnick, best known as the composer of Fiddler on the Roof and She Loves Me.
Mrs. Coppola has directed all of the productions for the past 32 seasons and has been instrumental in assisting young opera singers in their careers, several of who are currently performing leading and comprimario roles at the Metropolitan Opera. Mrs. Coppola has been a vocal competitions judge for The Puccini Foundation, New York Vocal Artists, Inc. and Career Bridges Association and lectures on opera throughout the county. She also directed for the Altamura Center for the Performing Arts. As a soloist she has performed with the New Rochelle Opera, Westchester County Opera Association and the Performing Arts Society. She is the founder of the Queen City Singers and received the Cab Calloway Lifetime Achievement Award for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Ortega is celebrating his 21st year with New Rochelle Opera. He has studied music at Hunter College, Harmony and Ear Training with Louise Talma (Hunter College, the American Institute at Fontainbleau, Academy of Arts and Letters) Piano with Herbert Stessin (Juilliard School), and has conducted for most of the small major opera houses in New York City and Boston, including the Bel Canto Opera, for which he conducted two U.S. premieres: Rossini’s La Pietra del Paragone and Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar.
The cast on Thursday (6/22) and Saturday (6/24) evenings are: Evelyn Thatcher (Hanna), Peter Hakjoon Kim (Danilo), Claire Leyden (Valencienne), Tom Mulder (Camille), John Schenkel (Baron Zeta), David Gordon (Cascada), Daniel Kamalic (St. Brioche), David Morrow (Njegus), Karen Giordano (Zozo), Kevin Rockower (Kromov), Victor Marino (Bogdanovitch), and Nicole McQuade (Sylvaine). The Friday evening (6/23) and Sunday matinee (6/25) cast includes: Claire Kuttler (Hanna), Wayne Hu (Danilo), Haley Marie Vick (Valencienne), Bray Wilkins (Camille), Miguel Acevedo (Baron Zeta), David Gordon (Cascada), Marques Hollie (St. Brioche), Christopher Sanfilippo (Njegus), Edith Dowd (Zozo), Kevin Keane (Kromov), Ben Dunevitz (Bogdanovitch), and Lauren Busing (Sylvaine).
Performances on June 22, 23 and 24 are at 8:00 pm, and June 25 is at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $40 general admission, $37 for seniors and a new $15 ticket price for students. A discounted ticket price of $32 is being offered for all tickets to the Thursday, June 22nd performance, only if reserved and paid for in advance. Tickets purchased at the door on Thursday will be full price. To purchase advance tickets, visit www.nropera.org, or send a check payable to New Rochelle Opera, Inc., to P.O. Box 55, New Rochelle, New York 10804. All tickets will be held at the door. Group rates are available for 10 or more. For further information, call (914) 576-1617.
New Rochelle Opera was formed for the purpose of presenting imaginative and appealing operatic productions to the Westchester community. It serves to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of live opera, and make it accessible and affordable to a diverse audience. The company presents the art form in its various aspects (e.g. fully staged performances, opera in concert, school programs, opera workshops and demonstrations), engaging aspiring young artists as well as experienced professionals. www.nropera.org