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The Marriage of Figaro is funny. Like, really funny. Some of its gags, wit, and mayhem are iconic and when done well, has us laughing the entire evening. But underneath its charming and clever shenanigans, The Marriage of Figaro has a revolutionary spirit. The opera has a fire that motivates its characters, and when done well, transforms its audience through the power of forgiveness, love, and societal change.
Opera is a global art form and throughout its 400-year history, opera has crossed cultural boundaries through the universal power of music. * And yet, something new is afoot. In our current operatic era, opera’s global impulses have been elevated creating new and exciting trends in the musical dramas of our time. Silent Night, the award-winning masterpiece of the 21st century, epitomizes the best of these modern ideas and opens new ways to create and experience this global art.
by Arlyn Imberman
Giuseppe Verdi's signature expresses clarity, high drama and grandiosity. It is a theatrical gesture which fills the page. Even the "i" dot at the upper right of his name expresses intensity and energy. The signature expresses a design thought through with creativity and shot through with certainty. The repeated circuitry of the signature is both a form of self-protection and a grand gesture. Despite the repeated lines, the signature is legible - showing Verdi with a strong sense of self who is aware of his special gifts.
Arizona Opera’s 2019/20 Season offers two distinct operatic experiences: from more intimate, powerful, theatrical performances of new works, to beloved traditional and large format modern masterpieces.
One of Phoenix’s premiere performing arts venues, Symphony Hall is the home of several performing arts originations in the Valley, including Arizona Opera. With over 2,240 seats, Symphony Hall is a perfect place to experience the grand operatic pieces of our Main Stage Series with family and friends.
La Traviata is consistently crowned the most performed opera in the world, receiving thousands of performances a year. In fact, Verdi—rivaled only by Mozart and Puccini—dominates the annual top ten list. Because of this perennial popularity, audiences often equate Giuseppe Verdi with their conception of opera itself. Verdi is opera’s ivory tower, a timeless beacon of tradition that no modern composer can ever hope to match.
The famous riffs of saxophonist Charlie Parker aren’t so distant from the roots of Western classical music tradition.
Parker -- known by nicknames including “Bird” and “Yardbird” -- expanded on traditional jazz ensembles and enjoyed adding orchestral instruments including strings, harp and oboe. One of his recordings lifts a bassoon line from Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and he reportedly yearned to study with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Copland and Bernstein.
When opera was invented in Italy during the 1590s, it had more in common with a jazz club than the opera house. These first operas were performed in dimly-lit, intimate rooms, and they were highly improvised. Small ensembles—or combos—of continuo instruments would stretch time, play with dissonance, and do whatever it took to highlight the drama at hand.
Luis Alejandro Orozco and Catalina Cuervo.
“The entire libretto of Maria de Buenos Aires is surreal,” says Stage Director and Choreographer John de los Santos. “It’s incredibly beautiful, visceral poetry. It gives you clues but it doesn’t give you any answers -- there’s nothing concrete in it at all.”
Maria de Buenos Aires is dazzling audiences the world over after decades of relative obscurity. As new productions increase each year, Maria de Buenos Aires—an enigmatic work—is expanding and reshaping the operatic experience while simultaneously exposing new audiences to the rhythms and moves of tango.
The Temple of Music and Art
The Temple of Music and Art is a Spanish Colonial Revival that resides in the heart of Tucson. Seating 623 patrons, the Temple of Music and Art is a lovely venue for performances of the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Center Stage at the Herberger Theater
The Herberger Theater Center is one of Phoenix’s premiere performing arts venues, featuring three unique stages. Each year, approximately 120,000 people experience performing arts at the Herberger Theater Center.
Think passion, drama, love...think sexy. That’s how Arizona Opera Head of Music Christopher Cano describes the McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series in the 2018/2019 season. “We want to introduce Arizona to newer works in more intimate venues,” says Cano, “so for the first time we’re performing two operas in downtown Phoenix’s Herberger Theater Center and Tucson’s Temple of Music and Art.”