Voted the Garden State's favorite opera company by JerseyArts.com's People's Choice Awards, Opera New Jersey celebrates its tenth anniversary by bringing its summer season to Asbury Park's historic Paramount Theatre.
Opera New Jersey will present Gilbert & Sullivan's delightful H.M.S. Pinafore on July 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Verdi's thrilling Il trovatore on July 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $110 and are available from Opera New Jersey at (609) 799-7700 or at www.OperaNJ.org.
Gilbert & Sullivan's first major success, H.M.S. Pinafore has been delighting audiences for over a century. Opera New Jersey's production stars TV and Broadway star Malcolm Gets (Caroline in the City, Mostly Sondheim) as Sir Joseph Porter. Versatile opera baritone Sean Anderson also stars as Captain Corcoran, with Sarah Beckham as Josephine, Mathew Edwardsen as Ralph Rackstraw, and Jennifer Feinstein as "Little Buttercup." Michael Unger directs the clever production and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Mark Laycock.
The fully-staged production with sets by Tim Saternow, opened in Princeton on July 15 to rave reviews. The Philadelphia Inquirer called it "an artistic success on every front." The Star-Ledger writes "even a Gilbert & Sullivan skeptic would have a difficult time finding fault with Opera New Jersey's engaging, creative production."
The most popular of his works during Giuseppe Verdi's lifetime, Il trovatore is full of the exciting, heart-pounding music, including the famous "Anvil Chorus," that made the composer famous.
Opera New Jersey's production is conducted by Victor DeRenzi, artistic director of Sarasota Opera and acknowledged as one of the world's leading Verdi conductors. Stephanie Sundine directs the production, which is designed by Boyd Ostroff (for Syracuse Opera) with costumes by Howard Tsvi Kaplan.
Tenor Rafael Dávila (Sarasota Opera, Washington National Opera) sings Manrico with Erica Strauss (Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera) as Leonora. Margaret Mezzacappa (Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions) sings Azucena, with Marco Nisticò (Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Regio Turin) as Count de Luna and Young-Bok Kim (Sarasota Opera, New York City Opera) as Ferrando.
Reviewing the Princeton opening of this production on July 8 the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "Opera New Jersey delivered a compelling fusion of vocal art and blood-steeped melodrama." The Princeton Packet called it a "feast of fine singing" and the Star-Ledger singled out Mezzacappa's "riveting Azucena."
Tickets and Information
Tickets range from $20 to $110 and can be purchased from Opera New Jersey at www.OperaNJ.org or by calling (609) 799-7700.