Chicago Opera Theater opens their 2009 Spring Festival Season on April 18 with Mozart's La clemenza di Tito (through May 1) at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.
Absent from Chicago stages in more than a generation, La clemenza di Tito has made a resurgence in the rest of the world. Most notably in New York City last year—both at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. The New York Times declared, "Clemenza emerges as a musically ravishing and dramatically complex opera of great immediacy."
"We are again doing what Chicago Opera Theater does best—giving Chicago the chance to see glorious works that are rarely performed here," said General Director Brian Dickie. "This production again brings us the dazzling Jane Glover who conducted Orfeo, the very first opera I presented here at COT 10 years ago—and she has returned almost every season since!"
Jane Glover returns to conduct her 10th opera with Chicago Opera Theater—and it is her La clemenza di Tito debut! Jane is the Music Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque and was recently named Artistic Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her book, Mozart's Women, was published to great critical acclaim in September 2005. It was nominated for both the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Non-Fiction.
Christopher Alden, known at opera houses throughout the world for his groundbreaking work, makes his COT debut. Christopher Alden was just named the winner of the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Opera production for his direction of Handel's Partenope at English National Opera.
"I'm thrilled to have Christopher Alden stage Mozart's wonderful final opera for Chicago Opera Theater," said General Director Brian Dickie. "COT continues to make our productions more innovative and intriguing, and Alden fits in perfectly with this mission."
The design team consists of Scenic Designer Andrew Cavanaugh Holland, Costume Designer Terese Wadden, and Lighting Designer Chris Binder.
La clemenza di Tito is a story of passion, revenge, and forgiveness—the perfect subjects for virtuoso arias performed by a trio of young stars hand picked by Brian Dickie: Dominic Armstrong (Emperor Tito), Amanda Majeski (Vitellia), and Renata Pokupic (Sesto).
Dominic Armstrong makes his Chicago debut with Chicago Opera Theater. He will graduate from The Curtis Institute in May and is also a graduate of The Juilliard School and Truman State University. Mr. Armstrong has been a prize winner in the George London, Liederkranz, Opera Index, and SAI Vocal competitions, and was a Grand Finalist in the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Amanda Majeski is garnering critical acclaim for her "beautiful voice, affecting musicality" (Washington Post) "refined power, effortless dynamic control, and warm tonal color" (San Francisco Chronicle). Ms. Majeski will join the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center in the spring of 2009.
Croatian mezzo-soprano, Renata Pokupic, is known internationally through her acclaimed performances of baroque, classical and other coloratura-mezzo repertoire as well as art songs. In future seasons Renata will make her operatic debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at the Los Angeles Opera, and tour Europe with the Gabrieli Consort singing the title role in Theodora. Ms. Pokupic also makes her debut with Chicago Opera Theater.
Rounding out the cast is Charlotte Dobbs (as Servilia), who appeared this season as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Marie in Wozzeck with the Curtis Opera Theatre. She made her Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall debuts in Nielsen's Third Symphony with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in 2008, under the baton of Alan Gilbert. Singing the role of Annio is Paula Murrihy, who joins Oper Frankfurt as a member of their ensemble in September 2009. Future plans include Cherubino in Ghosts of Versailles (St Louis, Wexford) and Mercedes in Carmen (Covent Garden). In the role of Publio is Andrew Funk, who recently made debuts at Los Angeles Opera in Die Frau ohne Schatten, at the Santa Fe Opera in Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict, and at Seattle Opera in Götterdämmerung. A frequent guest with Lyric Opera of Chicago, he performed in the world premiere of Amistad. Andrew received great acclaim for his role as Il Commendatore in COT's production of Don Giovanni last season.
Chicago Opera Theater presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's La clemenza di Tito for 5 performances on April 18, 21, 26, 29 and May 1, 2009. The 2009 Spring Festival Season continues with Georges Bizet's La Tragédie de Carmen (May 2-15, 2009) and Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave (May 16-26, 2009).
The 2009 Spring Festival season is dedicated to the memory of Alan Stone, COT founder (1921-2008).
Chicago Opera Theater performs at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park—205 East Randolph Drive.
Season Subscriptions for the 2009 Spring Festival Season range from $90-$345 which include a ticket to all three operas. Individual tickets range from $30-$120. COT also offers a 50% discounted student rate in most sections. Tickets may be purchased online at ChicagoOperaTheater.org and by phone at 312.704.8414. Tickets may also be purchased at the Harris Theater Box Office: HarrisTheaterChicago.org or 312.334.7777.