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Colleen Flanigan


Medea Opens April 23!
« on: Mar 24th, 2011, 2:53am »
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Colleen Flanigan
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
312.704.8420, x225
Marc-Antoine Charpentier
The Second Production of the 2011 Spring Festival Season!
April 23, 27, 29, May 1, 2011
at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park
CHICAGO, IL (March 18, 2011) – Chicago Opera Theater (COT) presents the second opera of their 2011 Spring Festival Season with Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Medea on April 23, 27, 29 and May 1 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.  
This will mark the first time a Chicago company has presented a Charpentier opera, and will also mark the 21st Chicago premiere during Brian thingyie’s tenure as General Director.
“Medea will bring to Chicago a new sound world.  We did this before with my first production at COT, Monteverdi’s Orfeo in October 2000.” said General Director Brian thingyie.  “This wonderful opera is considered to be Charpentier’s masterpiece, and we are proud to bring this groundbreaking work of the French Baroque to the Harris Theater.”
Medea will be the second opera in COT’s baroque “trilogy” that is devoted to the exploration of three operas with Medea as a central character.  COT presented Cavalli’s Jason (Giasone) in April of 2010, and will present Teseo by George Frideric Handel in 2012.  
Christian Curnyn, a rising star in the field of early music, is conducting all three operas of the baroque “trilogy”.  Christian made his Chicago Opera Theater debut with last season’s Jason (Giasone).  The Tribune said of Jason that “(Curnyn) pumped new life into (this) baroque opera…nearly three hours in the theater flew by as if on winged feet.”  Christian made his North America debut with Partenope at the New York City Opera in 2010, and has also recently conducted at English National Opera, Opera Australia, and The Royal Opera at Covent Garden.
Chicago’s own Baroque Band is the orchestra for Medea.  This period-instrument orchestra 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.
James Darrah is directing Medea, as well as designing costumes, and makes his Chicago Opera Theater debut.  James’ upcoming work includes Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the new Harbor Stage Festival in Maine, of which he is Artistic Director. He is the recipient of a James Pendleton Foundation grant and the 2009 Princess Grace Award in Theater.
Completing the Medea artistic team is François-Pierre Couture (Set Designer and Associate Costume Designer) and Julian Pike (Lighting Designer).  François-Pierre was nominated for an Ovation Award for his scenic design of A Picasso at the Los Angeles Geffen Playhouse and received the 2010 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for sustained achievement in set design.  The 2011 Spring Festival Season will mark Julian Pike’s third consecutive season with Chicago Opera Theater, where for the past two years he had been the Lighting Supervisor and Assistant Lighting Designer. He will also serve as Lighting Designer for COT’s last production of the season, He/She.
Starring as Medea is mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany whose recent operatic appearances have included Laurette in Offenbach’s La Chanson de Fortunio (Opéra Comique), Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (Bolshoi in Moscow) and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris).   Singing the role of Jason is tenor Colin Ainsworth, commended by the Toronto Star for a “magnetic stage presence that was the ideal embodiment of a romantic lead.”  He recently appeared in Toronto’s 2010 Luminato Festival as the romantic tenor in Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna.
Paul LaRosa, as Oronte, is currently a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center. He recently made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a concert presentation of Bernstein’s Candide, singing the role of Maximilian, conducted by Bramwell Tovey.  Evan Boyer sings Creon, and is entering his second season with the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.  He has received the Grand Prize from the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation in Men’s Voice.   Micaëla Oeste, singing the role of Créuse, is a former member of Chicago Opera Theater’s Young Artists Program.  She recently sang Gilda in Rigoletto alongside Placido Domingo (in the title role) at Beijing’s Reignwood Theater.
While last season’s Giasone introduced Medea as a loving helpmate to Jason, Charpentier’s opera reveals the tragic side of one of mythology’s most famous – and feared – witches.   Never has there been such a complicated figure as Medea, whose emotions run the gamut from passion to rage to vengeance.  Watch her evil unfold during the telling of this love quadrangle between Medea, her husband Jason, Princess Cruesa, and Prince Oronte of Argos.  Her fury reaches its climax in the final scene, where she commits the ultimate revenge against Jason, ensuring he will die a lonely and heartbroken man.
Medea runs for only four performances on April 23, 27, 29, and May 1, 2011 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, 205 East Randolph Drive.
Season Subscriptions for the 2011 Spring Festival Season range from $85-$305 and include a ticket to Medea, as well as Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers and He/She which includes  Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben and Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared.  Individual tickets to Medea are also on sale and range from $30-$120.  COT also offers half-off tickets to students in sections B, C, and D.  
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.
MEDEA is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JULIE AND ROGER BASKES, JAMES AND JOAN SHAPIRO and Suzanne L. Wagner.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier
MEDEA (Médée)
April 23, 27, 29 at 7:30pm; May 1 at 3pm
Conductor:      Christian Curnyn
Director:         James Darrah
Set Designer:      Francois-Pierre Couture
Costume Designer:       James Darrah
Lighting Designer     Julian Pike
CAST (In order of vocal appearance)
Médée         Anna Stephany
Nerine         Leila Bowie
Jason          Colin Ainsworth
Arcas          Darik Knutsen
Creon         Evan Boyer
Oronte        Paul LaRosa
Créuse        Micaëla Oeste
Cleone        Jamie-Rose Guarrine
Sung in French with English supertitles.
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