Crested Butte Music Festival's Growing Opera Program Features Marcello Giordani, Joyce DiDonato, "Barber of Seville" & More
Opera In Paradise is a feast for opera lovers from July 15 - 29
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (May 1, 2013) – Now in its 17th year, Crested Butte Music Festival (CBMF) has gone from being a small fish in the big opera sea to being a well-respected program that is landing top-notch talent. So much so that the six-week event began scheduling all of its opera performances during a two-week mini-festival, Opera In Paradise, so opera lovers can feast on 15 performances, master classes, free talks and more from July 15 – 29.
"This mini-festival includes unique opportunities for patrons to experience opera in intimate settings and interact with the celebrated artists of our opera program," says Festival Director Alexander Scheirle.
Keith Miller returns to the festival as director of opera and the Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program. A Colorado native and former star fullback for the University of Colorado and pro football player, Miller began passionately pursuing a career in opera that has landed the bass-baritone on one of the world's most important stages, New York's Metropolitan Opera, and in performances with operas across the country.
David Stern, music director of the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and founder and director of Opera Fuoco in Paris, will conduct CBMF's production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville on July 24, 25, 27 and 28 and lead an insider's talk about the opera on July 17. A native New Yorker, Stern's wide-ranging career includes performances with the Boston Haydn & Haendel Society, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestra, New Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris.
"Crested Butte Music Festival is excited about the return of David Stern, whose busy schedule hasn't allowed it since his debut with us in 2008," says Festival Director Alexander Scheirle.
Ned Canty, stage director, is new to CBMF and is a firm believer in the relevance of opera to all generations and takes a special interest in introducing opera to new audiences. His credits include productions for New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass opera and Wolf Trap Opera.
Training Opera's Next Stars
Since Marcello Giordani joined CBMF's training program for professional young operatic artists in 2011, it has gained international recognition overnight. In 2008, there were 35 applicants for 15 spaces; in December 2012, more than 400 auditioned for the 14 coveted places in this year's rigorous training program.
The Marcello Giordani Young Artist Program (MGYAP) provides up-and-coming stars with the performance tools essential to establishing a successful professional career in opera. For a six-week period, participants are trained by internationally acclaimed singers, coaches and instructors; perform in all four evenings of The Barber of Seville; and take part in nine MGYAP performances on June 30, July 5, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 26 and 29.
"Two things make us unique: first the amount of hands-on training and coaching that each singer gets individually and secondly the physical training program," says MGYAP Director Keith Miller. "It is important not only to acclimate to the mountain altitude, but to enable these young singers to prepare roles on a physical level before reaching the staging process."
Now in its fourth year, Opera Children's Chorus (OCC) is a three-week program designed for children ages 7 to16. Approximately 16 children, including several who take part in the Metropolitan Opera's youth programs, will participate in this summer's OCC, which includes instruction in voice, dance and drama as well as roles in performances on July 17 and July 27.
Opera Performances & Talks
One of the highlights of Opera In Paradise is Rossini's The Barber of Seville presented on the evenings of July 24, 25, 27 and 28. For more than 200 years, this opera has enthralled audiences with its sparkling score and witty libretto. CBMF's version features a brilliant cast including Sandra Piques Eddy, Gregory Gerbrandt, Anthony Webb, Steven Condy and Keith Miller led by Maestro David Stern and Stage Director Ned Canty. Ticket holders are invited to a pre-opera reception hosted by the Mt. Crested Butte Performing Arts Center, a proposed new facility.
Leading up to the highly anticipated performances, Keith Miller and principal artists from The Barber of Seville will perform beloved operatic arias and ensembles in a beautiful mountain home during the Opera Gala Home Soirée on July 16. Participants will be treated to world-class music in an intimate setting and an array of wines and appetizers.
On July 17, join David Stern for an entertaining Insider's Look at The Barber of Seville that will be moderated by the festival's principal bassoonist, Mark Sforzini, who is also the executive and artistic director of St. Petersburg Opera Company. Following the free talk, go downstairs with the maestros for a delicious dinner at West End Public House. Reservations are suggested as space is limited.
World-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will host the Young Artist Opera Gala featuring MGYAP participants singing arias accompanied by the Festival Symphony Orchestra on July 18 followed by a champagne reception.
Also hear these talented MGYAP perform beloved hits form American Songbook on June 30 and scenes from famous operas on July 5 (these performances will take place in Gunnison at Western State Colorado University); present a double bill with the Opera Children's Chorus on July 17; and sing in public masterclasses for acclaimed dramaturg Cori Ellison on July 15 and world-renowned opera stars Joyce DiDonato on July 19 and Marcello Giordani on July 26. They also will perform excerpts from The Barber of Seville on July 22 and join tenor Marcello Giordani in a special Home Soiree on July 29.
In addition to teaming up with MGYAP to present Brundibar and The Emperor of Atlantis, the Opera Children's Chorus will perform a lively adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance on July 27.
Schedule & Tickets
For a full schedule of festival events, tickets and more information call (970) 349-0619 or visit the Event and Schedule page at crestedbuttemusicfestival.org.