Classical Arts | 2016-2017
By Richard Schultz, October 2016 Issue.
Arizona Opera | azopera.org
The Copper Queen
This workshop performance tells the gripping story of a haunting in the titular hotel, located in Arizona’s once-prominent mining town for both copper and “Bisbee-blue” turquoise. In 1910, Julia Lowell, a “lady of the evening,” uses Room 315 of the Copper Queen Hotel to service her clients. Following her untimely death, her spirit is unable to leave the room, and the legend of her ghostly exploits gains infamy. As the years pass, ghost hunters and supernatural enthusiasts clamor to stay for a night in Room 315, desperate for a glimpse of the infamous Julia. While the men who stay at the hotel experience little other than the faint scent of perfume or the echo of a lady’s sigh, women who stay in the room run into trouble.
Tucson: Nov. 19-20
When the water nymph Rusalka wants to be a part of our world, she sacrifices everything for the chance at true love. You think you know the story of this little mermaid, but the fairytale doesn’t break the surface. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s original story, Rusalka features dark forests, woodland sprites and the glorious aria, “Song To The Moon.” Sara Gartland returns to take the title role. This production is sung in Czech with English supertitles.
Tucson: Jan. 28-29
Phoenix: Feb. 3-5
With tender duets and the most breathtaking arias of all-time, Madama Butterfly encompasses a lifetime of hope, anticipation, betrayal and despair. Set in the idyllic village of Nagasaki, Japan, an innocent geisha’s love for an American naval officer leads to the ultimate heartbreak and tragedy. Considered Puccini’s greatest masterpiece, Madama Butterfly takes audiences to the pinnacles and depths of human emotion, rightfully securing its place in the heavens. This production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Riders of the Purple Sage
Tucson: Feb. 25-26
Phoenix: March 3-5
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage will be the first world premiere produced by Arizona Opera. Follow this Wild West adventure through the sweeping vistas and massive canyons of the Southwest, brought to life by the vibrant work of world-renowned Arizona artist, Ed Mell.
Tucson: April 1-2
Phoenix: April 7-9
Soaring arias and outlandish hijinks abound in this delightful version of tis classic story. Angelina is forced to serve her stepfather, Don Magnifico, and his two ridiculous daughters. With help from the prince’s tutor and a pair of beautiful bracelets, Angelina navigates the precarious court of Prince Ramiro, hoping to win his heart. Real-life sweethearts Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader bring this fun, vibrant fairytale to life. This production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.