Opera telling its own story

Sing: Annapolis Opera celebrates success as it looks forward to another harmonious year.

April 15, 1999|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Some noteworthy changes have occurred at Annapolis Opera during Anna Marie Darlington-Gilmour's first year at the helm.

There are more donors, more volunteers and a sense of renewal, optimism and clear direction. All that was evident Thursday at the "Tosca is Coming" champagne party for supporters, volunteers and board members.

Darlington-Gilmour, the opera's president, invited 60 guests to the party announcing the new season and celebrating recent successes.

Cause for celebration included the sold-out Pasta and Puccini concert in late February and the Opera's March 19 gala, which raised almost $9,000.

Along with fund-raising achievements, the president noted that the Annapolis Opera-sponsored opera appreciation courses at Maryland Hall and Heritage Harbor, now in their second term, are so popular that classes at additional locations are planned for next fall.

A highlight of current classes is to be a trip to Baltimore Opera on April 25 for a performance of "Andrea Chenier."

Two trips are planned for next year's courses, one to the Metropolitan Opera in January and another to the Philadelphia Opera in April 2000.

On June 19 the Annapolis Opera will again offer a free concert to the public at Quiet Waters Park, where for the first time artistic director Ronald Gretz will conduct. He will also narrate a program of operetta favorites.

Darlington-Gilmour announced that in November the Annapolis Opera will present Puccini's "Tosca" in Italian with super-titles.

Allison Charney, who was a memorable Cio Cio San in Annapolis Opera's 1996 "Madama Butterfly," will perform as Tosca.

As Cavaradossi, tenor Peter Riberi will repeat a role he has sung a number of times. Bass-baritone Sun Yu will be Baron Scarpia.

The highlight of Thursday's festivities was the arrival of Sun Yu, whom Gretz introduced.

Yu has been praised in the Washington Post for his portrayal of Count Almaviva in Washington Opera International's "The Marriage of Figaro." He recently returned from Austria, where he was acclaimed for his performance in the title role of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov."

The fully staged "Tosca" will be presented at Maryland Hall Nov. 5 and 7.

"Mozart by Candlelight" will be given two performances at the Charles Carroll House on Dec. 12.

Darlington-Gilmour also announced an Opera Spring Concert on March 25 next year at Maryland Hall. She suggests making a deposit of $35 to ensure a choice seat for the mini-series of "Tosca" and the spring concert.

For information, call 410-267-8135.

Pub Date: 4/15/99

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