Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Winning Season in Ft. Worth

Malcolm MacKenzie in Trovatore; Dan Kempson & Justin Hopkins in Hydrogen Jukebox
The Ft. Worth Opera Festival continues to establish itself as a major force among summer opera festivals internationally. The company continues to showcase some of the best emerging talent in the business today, as well as mixing standard repertory with operas that both challenge audiences and appeal to a new generation of opera goer.

Among the "second tier" of opera companies, Ft. Worth practically stands alone in terms of both innovation and quality of performance. Next season is no exception, when they will feature two standard repertory operas, Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" and Puccini's "Tosca," with two contemporary operas, Mark Adamo's "Lysistrata" and Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers."

This year's surprise hit is Philip Glass "Hydrogen Jukebox," which has been completely sold out for weeks. It also happens to feature two emerging barihunks, Dan Kempson and Justin Hopkins. The show also features them baring a bit of skin, so warn your grandma. It's no secret that we're huge Glass fans on this site where you can watch his opera "Kepler" in its entirety, so we're thrilled that Glass is being performed deep in the heart of Texas.

Emerging Barihunk Jesse Enderle and Director John de los Santos
This year's Fort Worth Opera Festival is also featuring a critically acclaimed production of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" with baritone Malcolm MacKenzie. Also on the program is an updated version of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Mikado" directed by our favorite young director/choreographer John de los Santos, who choreographed last year's hit "Before Night Falls." Fans of countertenors will be delighted with the production of Handel's "Giulio Cesare," which features two countertenors and a male soprano. Despite the high male voices, barihunk fans will be delighted to know that Achillas will sung by the stunning and gifted young singer Donovan Singletary, who was a standout in the Lindeman Young Artists program.

Donovan Singletary

Here is Singletary performing some Rachmaninov songs:

The festival runs through June 5. Check out the Ft. Worth Opera website for performance times and additional cast information.

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