Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago Opera Theater: Cavalli's JASON (Giasone)
« on: Mar 19th, 2010, 2:20am »
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CHICAGO OPERA THEATER PRESENTS
The Second Production of the 2010 Spring Festival Season!
April 24, 28, 30, May 2, 2010
at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park
CHICAGO, IL (March 16, 2010) — Chicago Opera Theater (COT) presents the second production of their 2010 Spring Festival Season – Cavalli's Jason (Giasone) on April 24, 28, 30 and May 2 at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park.
This will mark the first time a Cavalli opera has been performed by a professional company in Chicago.
"Many people in Chicago are going to make a miraculous discovery after they have seen Giasone, and they'll wonder how it is possible that Cavalli was overlooked in this city for so many years," said COT General Director Brian thingyie.
Jason is the first opera in Chicago Opera Theater's presentation of three baroque masterpieces in the next three seasons. This baroque "trilogy" will be devoted to the exploration of three operas with Medea as a central character. In addition to Jason, COT will present Medea (Médée) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier in 2011, and Teseo by George Frideric Handel in 2012.
Jason also anchors the first Chicago Early Music Festival. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Office of Tourism, this unprecedented collaboration amongst the City of Chicago and some of Chicago's leading Early Music ensembles and organizations also features University of Chicago Presents, Baroque Band, International Music Foundation, and the Newberry Consort.
This will mark the first collaboration between Chicago Opera Theater and Baroque Band, the orchestra for Jason. Founded in 2007 by British baroque violinist Garry Clarke, Baroque Band has rapidly established itself as an important member of Chicago’s musical community. As Chicago's period-instrument orchestra, it has been hailed by critics and audiences and has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting period-instrument ensembles in the United States.
"Baroque Band is delighted to be working with COT on this exciting project," said Mr. Clarke. "Using period instruments adds a vitality and articulation that can be lacking using modern equivalents. Whilst Cavalli, Bach, and Handel would undoubtedly have written very differently if they were alive today we must remember we are bringing the piece to an audience many of whom will be hearing it for the very first time."
This comic opera cleverly mixes the myth of "Jason and the Argonauts" with bawdy humor centered around the love triangle of Jason, Medea and Isifile. The look of the production will be inspired by the classic James Bond films of the 1960s.
Jason will be led by conductor Christian Curnyn, a rising star in the field of early music. Mr. Curnyn founded the Early Opera Company, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of baroque opera using period instruments. In the fall of 2008 he made his English National Opera debut conducting a new production of Handel's Partenope—which won the Olivier Award (UK) for Best New Opera Production. In April of last year, he conducted performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, also at the English National Opera. Mr. Curnyn makes his New York City Opera debut on April 3 with Partenope.
Directing Jason is Justin Way. This will be his third production with Chicago Opera Theater after his triumphant Orlando in 2008 and the audience favorite Abduction from the Seraglio in 2006. Mr. Way just finished a run of La bohème at the Minnesota Opera and earlier this year directed Carmen at the Canadian Opera Company. He works regularly at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera Australia, Center City Opera, and Pinchgut Opera.
The set designer is Anka Lupes, who will make her Chicago Opera Theater debut with the first opera of the 2010 Season, Moses in Egypt. The costume designer is Kimm Kovac, who has worked with Justin Way on both Orlando and Abduction from the Seraglio. Returning to Chicago Opera Theater from 2009 is lighting designer Keith Parham. He is a company member of TUTA Theatre, and has worked at The Public Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and the Writers' Theatre, among many others.
Cavalli's Jason stars Franco f*gioli (countertenor) making his North American debut in the title role. General Director Brian thingyie discovered f*gioli when traveling to Argentina during auditions of the Bertelsmann Foundation's Neue Stimmen Competition. It marked the first time a countertenor made the finals of this prestigious singing contest, and Mr. f*gioli went on to win the top prize. Since then, he has begun an international career, most notably at the Bonn Opera, Teatro Colon, and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, as well as in the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare in Zurich, Oslo and Karlsruhe.
Singing the role of Medea is Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano). Ms. Cooke starred as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams' Doctor Atomic, and sang this past November in Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Grazia Doronzio (soprano), who sings Isifile, made her Metropolitan Opera debut last season as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, and recently sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Mozart Requiem. Ms. Cooke and Ms. Doronzio are recent graduates of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Program. The role of Egeo will be sung by Vale Rideout (tenor), whose engagements in 2010 included Boston Lyric Opera (Turn of the Screw), Nashville Opera (The Fall of the House of Usher) and the upcoming Elmer Gantry at the Florentine Opera.
Returning to Chicago Opera Theater this season is Andriana Chuchman (soprano) as Alinda and Andrew Funk (bass) as Besso. Ms. Chuchman sang Dorinda in COT's 2008 production of Orlando. The Chicago Tribune said she "sang with winning freshness, sparkle and charm; you didn't want to take your eyes off her." Mr. Funk returns to COT after singing Commendatore in COT’s 2008 production of Don Giovanni. His previous COT appearances were in Noah’s Flood (2002) and Orfeo (2000), which went on to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2003.
Julius Ahn (tenor, Demo), Evan Boyer (bass, Oreste) and Tyler Nelson (tenor, Delfa) complete the cast.
Jason runs for four performances only on April 24, 28, 30, and May 2, 2010 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, 205 East Randolph Drive.
Season Subscriptions for the 2010 Spring Festival Season range from $90-$345 and include a ticket to Jason (Giasone), as well as Rossini’s Moses in Egypt and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Single tickets are also on sale, and range from $30-$120. COT also offers a half-off discounted student rate in most sections.
Tickets may be purchased at Chicago Opera Theater: ChicagoOperaTheater.org or 312.704.8414. Tickets may also be purchased at the Harris Theater: HarrisTheaterChicago.org or 312.334.7777.
Jason is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Suzanne L. Wagner.
April 24, 28, 30 at 7:30pm; May 2 at 3pm
Conductor: CHRISTIAN CURNYN
Director: JUSTIN WAY
Set Designer: ANKA LUPES
Costume Designer: KIMM KOVAC
Lighting Designer: KEITH PARHAM
Demo JULIUS AHN
Oreste EVAN BOYER
Alinda ANDRIANA CHUCHMAN
Medea SASHA COOKE
Isifile GRAZIA DORONZIO
Giasone FRANCO f*gIOLI
Besso ANDREW FUNK
Delfa TYLER NELSON
Egeo VALE RIDEOUT
Sung in Italian with English supertitles.