Summer is a time of preparation at Opera in Williamsburg. We are thrilled to bring to Virginia a terrific cast and creative team for our October production, Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni. Some of them have worked with us before and others are new to Williamsburg. Singers love coming to our beautiful town, to be a part of one of the exciting productions we have a track record of putting together. For up-to-date details please see www.operainwilliamsburg.org.
We have great news to share: we have been notified that we will receive for 2015-16 our first grant from the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, for $5000. We appreciate very much both the help and the recognition. Thank you all so much!
Who’s coming to town:
Three of our leads for Don Giovanni have already performed together with us in Lucia di Lammermoor in October 2014 (see picture). Our title character will be played by Suchan Kim, whose beautiful voice and dramatic intensity shone in the role of Enrico, Lucia’s manipulative brother. Sean Christiansen, who excelled as his right hand Normanno, will be Giovanni’s rival, Don Ottavio; and Williamsburg’s own favorite bass Branch Fields, who was Lucia’s confidant, will now take on the double role of the Commendatore and Masetto. Mozart’s operas demand and reward outstanding ensemble work, as we have shown last April in our production of Cosi fan tutte. We look forward to hear this trio of fabulous singers again creating gorgeous moments together.
Where are they now?
Jamison Livsey, the Assistant Conductor of Opera in Williamsburg’s L’elisir d’amore (October 2012), La Traviata (April 2013), Il Trovatore (October 2013), and Don Pasquale (April 2014), is now on the musical staff of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, holding one of the most highly coveted positions in the opera world.
Emily Dorn (nee Duncan-Brown), who was our Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone in May 2012 and Violetta in our La Traviata in April 2013, is singing major roles at the Semperoper in Dresden, one of the top opera houses in the world. She was highly praised for her performances there as Violetta, Michaela (Carmen), and Adele (Die Fledermaus), and is scheduled to perform there as Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), and Musetta (La Boheme). She also performed as Mimi in Opera Southwest and as both Susanna and Michaela at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland.
Won Whi Choi (here with his wife, Metropolitan Opera soprano Haeran Hong, who was our breathtaking Lucia) was Alfredo in our La Traviata in April 2013 and Edgardo in our Lucia di Lammermoor in October 2014. He is currently one of the artists at Theater Erfurt in Germany. Over the last year, Won Whi Choi has been captivating and thrilling audiences from Hong Kong to Croatia to the USA with his gorgeous voice, elegant musicianship, and sensitive artistry, singing many of the major roles of the tenor repertoire: Alfredo (La Traviata), Il Duca (Rigoletto), Rodolfo (La Boheme), Don José (Carmen) and more. Mr. Choi is right now in Sweden as Alfredo in La Traviata for Opera på Skäret.
Jonathan Blalock, who was Nemorino in our L’elisir d’amore in October 2012 and Arturo in our Lucia di Lammermoor in October 2014, has been making the news in the world of opera. Jonathan has a busy career combining contemporary opera (including world and USA premieres) with classical roles, like Ramiro (La Cenerentola) with Opera Roanoke, The Mole (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) with both Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Cedar Rapids Opera, Count Almaviva with LOFT Opera in New York City in a performance that won rave reviews in the New York Times, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Nevada Opera, Fenton (Falstaff) with Mercury Opera in Rochester, and Pedrillo in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Des Moines Metro Opera. Jonathan’s recent blog was picked by Classical Singer as the featured blog of the week — you can read it here: http://www.jonathanblalock.com/#!blog/c9rg . We are thrilled that Jonathan will join Opera in Wiliamsburg again as Prince Ramiro in La Cenerentola in April 2016.
Don’t miss our upcoming productions, both at the Kimball Theatre, Merchants Square, Williamsburg –Tickets and other details are already available on our web site, www.operainwilliamsburg.org:
Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Friday October 30 (evening) and Sunday November 1 (matinee)
Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella), Friday April 8 (evening) and Sunday April 10 (matinee)
Please tell your friends!
Thank you so much and see you at the Kimball!
Naama Zahavi-Ely, Founder and Artistic Director
Frank Knuettel, Advisory Board Chair
Opera in Williamsburg (VA)
(large high-definition versions of all pictures are available; please ask)