Opening the Cincinnati Opera 2014 season is the war horse “Carmen” by Bizet. In its 94th season, Carmen will play June 12, 14, 20 and 22 with stars such as mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishol in the title role. Joining her will be William Burden as Don Jose, tenor, and Daniel Okulitch, bass-baritone, as Escamillo. Jessica Rivera returns as Micaela and Nathan Stark as Zuniga.
Following that show is the premiere of “Silent Night” by Kevin Puts on July 10 and 12. In 2012, the opera won the Pulitzer Prize for music. Based on a true story, it is patterned after “Joyeux Noel,” a 2005 film which depicted the moving tale of the Christmas truce of 1914 during World War I. Soldiers on the Western Front declared a brief ceasefire and celebrated the holiday together. The Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation donated $300,000 to make the production possible.
With another first, Cincinnati Opera produces “La Calista,” a Baroque opera by Francesco Cavali on July 17, 20, 23, 25 and 27 at the Corbett Theater of the School for Creative and Performing Arts. In lead roles are Michael Maniaci as Endimone and Nathalie Paulin as Calisto/Eternita.
To conclude the season, the famous “Madame Butterfly” will be produced on July 24 and 26. Singing the title roles of Cio-Cio-San is Maria Luigia Borsi and of Pinkerton is Shawn Mathey. Local artist Paul Shortt is the designer of this production.
Celebrating the renovated Washington Park across from Music Hall, the second annual Opera in the Park concert will take place on June 8.
For more information, visit www.cincinnatiopera.org.