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La Traviata

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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | September 9, 1994
The Annapolis Opera has announced the details of its 1994-'95 season, an ambitious slate of performances and musicales highlighted by the presentation of Verdi's "La Traviata" at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in November.The season begins at 4 p.m. Sept. 18 with a musicale at the Marian Hall of St. Mary's School on Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis.The musicale is planned as a benefit for Arundel Habitat for Humanity.The program will feature arias from opera settings the world over.
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NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Opera AACC is celebrating its 11th anniversary this month with a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar," running Feb. 1-9 at Anne Arundel Community College's Robert Kauffman Theater at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts. Director Douglas Brandt Byerly, chairman of AACC's performing arts department, said he hopes the show reflects his admiration of Lloyd Webber's groundbreaking work, as well as his own appreciation of the production's three leading players: Emily Sergo as Mary Magdalene, Robert Bradley as Judas and Benjamin Lurye as Jesus.
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FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer | March 28, 1995
Opera is an acquired taste, they say, but represents a grand mix of music, theater and choreography. PBS tonight offers a grand opportunity to acquire an appreciation for the form.* "Backstage/Lincoln Center" (7:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Channels 22, 67) -- Music is best heard when you know something about it. This pre-production special takes a look at Verdi's "La Traviata," composed in 1853. The opera's original working title was "Amore e morte," or "Love and Death," but official censors in Venice forced it to be changed to the final title, which means "A Fallen Woman."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 22, 2011
Three years ago, a Druid priestess and her Roman lover walked willingly and melodically into a blazing pyre as the curtain fell on a performance of Bellini's "Norma" at the Lyric Opera House . Those epic characters were not the only ones being consumed. The Baltimore Opera Company, which gave that masterpiece an effective staging, soon went up in smoke, too, the victim of debt and disillusionment. A Chapter 11 filing in December 2008 was followed in early 2009 by a decision to liquidate.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | November 24, 1994
Meeting tough demands, the Annapolis Opera gave a credible production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at Maryland Hall last weekend.Verdi's songful tale of the ill-fated love shared by Violetta and her headstrong Alfredo is truly a stiff test, requiring three star-quality singers, a succession of handsome sets and a stage director adept enough to prevent the slender, anachronistic plot from seeming sillier than it already is.Thankfully, most of these objectives were...
FEATURES
By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN STAFF | October 14, 1995
Three decades ago, when director Frank Corsaro staged his first production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the New York City Opera, with Placido Domingo and Patricia Brooks in the lead roles, detractors branded him an enfant terrible for his "daring" conception of Violetta, the drama's consumptive heroine."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 19, 1996
Boy loves courtesan who returns the favor.Father asks girl of easy virtue to leave son alone for his family's sake.Girl reluctantly agrees and dumps boy, who promptly acts like a jerk at the gambling table.Boy once again pledges his love and shows up just in time to have the girl die in his arms.A hot new afternoon soap opera?No, it's the immortal "La Traviata," Guiseppe Verdi's rich, colorful tear-jerker of an opera that just happens to be chock-full of some of the most glorious melodies ever composed.
NEWS
November 7, 1994
One of the things I truly love about getting older is the myriad opportunities that are given me to learn that stereotypes and assumptions are equally risky, and that having them shattered can be great fun.A case in point is opera. I grew up with a Mom who went to opera but didn't play it at home and an image of the typical opera buff as a New Yorker cartoon in formal dress with massive bosom or belly. (My mother, of course, was an aberration).Come to find out, the human voice is an extraordinary instrument, the stories of opera can be every bit as breathtaking as the novels I tend to immerse myself in. And, there are many folks, old and young, who can make the transition from Parton to Pavarotti in the blink of an eye, without blushing.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 13, 2003
Annapolis Opera conductor and artistic director Ronald J. Gretz and his cast of singers are in the final week of rehearsal of Verdi's La Traviata. The second fully staged opera of this 30th anniversary season is to be presented March 21 and 23 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Often described as the world's most popular opera because of its compelling love story and its relatively small cast and orchestra size requirements, La Traviata is also the most contemporary Verdi opera. Having premiered six years after the death at age 22 of Marie Duplessis, the woman that Alexandre Dumas loved and described in his La Dame Aux Camelias, Verdi's opera was criticized when it opened in Venice in 1853 for being too modern.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 27, 2003
To bring off Giuseppe Verdi's perennial favorite, La Traviata, you need three excellent soprano voices. That's the easy part. The hard part is that they all must emanate from the same throat. For Violetta Valery - the flighty Parisian courtesan who falls for handsome, aristocratic Alfredo Germont, only to let him go at his father's request - is no ordinary role. Violetta the Act I party girl must be nimble and lyrical enough to sprint through the fearsome coloratura passages of "Sempre libera," her hyperactive ode to free love.
NEWS
Jacques Kelly | July 29, 2011
The other morning I did a double take. I was coming south on Maryland Avenue and reached the old Lyric. There, for the first time, I spotted workers installing an exterior corridor to our venerable opera house. It must have been 50 years ago that plans were first discussed about making it easier for performers to get from one side of the stage to the other. The Lyric's stage is not so deep, and with today's elaborate sets, the chorus, tenors and sopranos had to descend into the basement and reascend steps.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 14, 2011
When Ron Griffin received a solicitation for Lyric Opera Baltimore a few weeks ago, he had some questions. The organization sounded a lot like the Baltimore Opera Company, which folded midseason in 2009 because of financial problems, leaving Griffin and many others holding worthless tickets. "It was an abrupt end, and it wasn't handled well," said Griffin, a property manager. He and his partner were subscribers and patrons of the old company for more than a dozen years. "I asked what kinds of changes had been made.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to the Sun | November 9, 2007
Annapolis Opera celebrated its 35th anniversary last week with a program of arias from many of the productions it has presented over the years. In 1972, Martha Wright, the company's first president, decided with a small group that Annapolis should have its own opera company. She returned for "Bravo 35" on Oct. 27 to accept the good wishes and proclamations of the city of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Congratulations, wine-sipping and hors d'oeuvres-sampling preceded the main event at the Unitarian Universalist Church, a concert featuring four fine singers who are audience favorites and rising young stars, all under the direction of Annapolis Opera artistic director Ronald J. Gretz.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | November 10, 2006
J. Ernest Green and the Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra reached a new artistic pinnacle last weekend in concert-setting performances of Verdi's La Traviata. The music director's promise to "put the audience in the thick of the action, close to the singers so that music and drama envelop them" was fully realized, creating a memorable experience for the audience at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. On opera stages in Brazil, Paris and Hawaii, Green has become known as "a singer's conductor."
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | November 3, 2006
Baritone Jason Stearns has mastered the demands of being in demand. During a 2 1/2 -week break from rehearsals of Wagner's Lohengrin at the Leipzig Opera House in Germany, he returned to his Eastport home to fulfill concert commitments at the German Embassy in Washington and at the Chesapeake Arts Center. The day after he sang in the second concert of the Performing Arts of Linthicum's 25th anniversary, Stearns flew to Leipzig for final rehearsals of the opera, which opens Nov. 18. Stearns arrived in the United States shortly after the Sept.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 4, 2006
The Annapolis Chorale's 2006-2007 season will feature works not previously presented along with familiar favorites, Music Director J. Ernest Green has announced. With more than 300 members, the Annapolis Chorale consists of a 180-voice chorus, the in-house Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Youth Chorus and a group of fine soloists. Subscriptions are available for the chorale's 34th season, which opens Oct. 7 with a Cole Porter program that will display the singers' ability to capture every nuance of the composer's lyrics and melodies.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 22, 2002
Annapolis Opera's 2002-2003 season will feature two popular favorites, Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss' operetta celebrating 19th-century Viennese life, and Verdi's La Traviata, the incomparable love story of the ravishing Violetta Valery and romantic Alfredo Germont. A new event next month, "Opera on the Half Shell," will open this 30th anniversary season, which also includes two fund-raisers, "Pasta, Puccini, Verdi and Friends" and the annual Opera Gala and Auction. The season also will include a holiday candlelight "Mozart, Beethoven and Others" concert, and the annual Vocal Competition in February.
NEWS
November 25, 1999
To our readers:On Nov. 15, The Sun published a review of the Baltimore Opera Company's performance of "La Traviata."After the review appeared, a reader wrote the newspaper to point out striking similarities between a passage in the review and one about a recording of "La Traviata" from a commonly used musical reference book, "The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera," published in 1993.The critic who wrote The Sun's review, when asked about the similarity, acknowledged having committed plagiarism.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 11, 2005
From the stirring rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" that started the evening to the standing ovation that closed it, the Annapolis Chorale's season-opening program lived up to its Heaven and Earth title. Music Director J. Ernest Green conducted the chorale, the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and soloists in a performance that seemed to be earthbound only during its patriotic opening segment, which featured chorale members singing the National Anthem from the aisles. Other American works performed Saturday included Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, originally commissioned as a salute to those who served during World War II, and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, which increasingly seems to express the profundity of post-9/11 feelings for our country and its defenders who remain in harm's way. In his preconcert lecture, Green described the central work of the first half of the program - Anton Bruckner's Te Deum as, "a glimpse into the mind and faith of Bruckner with the chorus and soloists functioning as sections of the orchestra."
FEATURES
By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC | October 28, 2005
Wednesday evening's performance of the Baltimore Opera Company's production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata - the second night of the season-opening show - had just about everything you'd want in this perennial classic about a beautiful fallen woman and the callow youth who adores her. Soprano Elena Kelessidi delivered a magnetic vocal performance as Violetta Valery, the pleasure-loving Parisian courtesan who's willing to give it all up for the one...
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