Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pictures from Agrippina featuring "the hottest cast in opera"

Hadleigh Adams
Our recent post about entitles "Hottest Cast in Opera Assembled in Omaha for Handel's Agrippina" drew a disproportionate amount of traffic to our site. It proves once again that with great programming and singers who interest the public, opera can flourish anywhere.  After all, Omaha is better known for Warren Buffet than Leonard Warren.

They also hired the 29-year-old director James Darrah, who didn't shy away from the more sexual aspects of the story, keeping it current and fresh. Fidelity to the music was preserved under the direction of early opera specialist Stephen Stubbs. [By the way Darrah is some pretty serious eye candy, as well].

Hadleigh Adams
The performance received a rave review from the Omaha Tribune Herald.  They said of Hadleigh Adams, who played Claudio, "...Hadleigh Adams had a delivery that was impressively full-bodied and bold. He has a gorgeous voice and performed with a confidence befitting an emperor. Moreover, he had a physical presence that was commanding and powerful and conveyed that, like Agrippina, Claudius is used to getting what he wants."

Doug Williams
Of Doug Williams they wrote, "Bass-baritone Doug Williams and tenor Zachary Wilder perfectly complemented each other as Pallante and Narciso, and their standout scene featured each being pseudo-seduced by Agrippina in her bedchamber. While the action produced many laughs, it was the delivery that demonstrated their abilities to smoothly control their voices, even amid semi-steamy action."

Of course, even the music critic Kim Carpenter couldn't help but notice the attractiveness of this talented cast, giving us our favorite lines of the review: "As a side note, I feel compelled to mention that the entire ensemble is impossibly pretty. While it's the voices and acting that matter, of course, having a gorgeous line-up of performers makes the over three hour production all the more enjoyable."
Doug Williams
Opera Omaha, which began in 1958 as the Omaha Civic Opera Society, is the only professional opera company in Nebraska, It became a fully professional opera company by 1970 and is known for highlighting gifted young singers from the area as well as nationwide. The company is known for both its innovation and educational outreach programs. They had produced eight world premieres and four American premieres.

Although Agrippina ends today, they have performances of Rossini's La Cenerentola coming up in April with two singers familiar to readers of this site, Daniel Belcher and Levi Hernandez. Belcher will be singing Dandini and Hernandez is taking on Don Magnifico. The talented young tenor Andrew Bidlack will be Ramiro, joining soprano Lauren McNeese who is singing Angelina. Performances are April 25 and 27. Tickets are available online.

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