Opera Orlando to present THE SECRET RIVER world premiere
Opera Orlando’s “On the MainStage” series continues in December with an original chamber opera adaptation of The Secret River, based on the book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a resident of Central Florida , Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Individual tickets are now on sale for this world premiere opera, which also marks the Company’s first new order. Bring the whole family and enjoy the touching story of how a young African American girl, Calpurnia, searches for a secret river to help her family and small town. This story for all ages demonstrates the power to trust your imagination and the goodness within us all: a perfect feeling for this holiday season.
“The Secret River is a beautiful story that we were delighted to turn into an opera,” shares Gabriel Preisser, General Manager of Opera Orlando. “It has been a labor of love between me, the creators and the production team. I know our audience will be blown away by this magical and serious opera that took three years to develop, write and produce. grateful for all the support from the community and local and national foundations as we prepared the article.After hearing the public reading of the work last April at Mead Garden, I know we have something really special to share with central Florida. and beyond. “
With music composed by Professor Stella Sung of the University of Central Florida Pegasus and a libretto by the Pulitzer Prize and the Grammy Award-winning librettist Marc Campbell, this one-act chamber opera takes place in central Florida during the Great Depression. Opera Orlando is delighted to once again welcome former studio soprano artist Kyaunnee Richardson, singing the role of Calpurnia. Last season Ms Richardson was a fan favorite for her starring role as Adele in Die Fledermaus and Gretel in the company’s Hansel & Gretel. She will be joined by acclaimed soprano NaGuanda Nobles and 2021-2022 studio artist baritone Geoffrey Peterson, playing the role of Calpurnia’s mother and father. Mezzo-soprano Kimberly Milton will sing the role of the city’s wise woman, Mother Albirtha, and Metropolitan Opera soprano Emily Pulley will complete the cast, singing the role of the author herself, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
This immersive production will be presented in the Alexis & Jim pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center and features musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the Opera Orlando Youth Company under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey, founder and musical director of the American Spiritual Ensemble. It is led by up-and-coming director Dennis Whitehead Darling, with puppets created and performed by Michèle puppetss and dance choreographed by Maxine Montilus, performed by students from the University of Florida.
Opera Orlando has been fortunate to receive funds from several foundations and institutions to support The Secret River. Stella Sung’s commission received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. In addition, the Opera Orlando Youth Company, which will be featured in The Secret River, has received funding from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts has approved a $ 10,000 art projects award to promote support the world premiere production, as well as a touring production of the work at school. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this Opera Orlando project,” said Ann Eilers, Interim Chair of the Endowment for the Arts. “Opera Orlando is one of the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence and resilience during this very difficult year.” Additional funds also came from the Pabst-Steinmetz Foundation, the Miller Foundation and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation.
Sung in English with English surtitles, The Secret River will last approximately seventy-five minutes without an intermission. It’s sure to sell out, so buy tickets today or upgrade to a full season pass offering exciting lineup of all new productions:
VIVE VERDI! | Opera for the 2020-21 season on the MainStage series
All performances take place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
La Traviata at Walt disney Theater
Friday | October 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday | October 31, 2021 at 2 p.m.
The Secret River at Alexis & Jim pugh Theater
Friday | December 19, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
saturday | December 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday | December 21, 2021 at 2 p.m.
Rigoletto at the Steinmetz room
Friday | April 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. & Sunday | April 24, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Making safety its top priority in presenting its 2021-22 season, Opera Orlando continues to monitor the progress of COVID-19 and vaccination plans linked to the virus. The company remained in consultation with its healthcare partners and the Dr Phillips Center to implement an appropriate and comprehensive plan focused on reducing the risk of infection and protecting members of the public, distribution and production teams, staff and volunteers.
Stay up to date with the upcoming season of Opera Orlando and plan online at www.operaorlando.org. Individual tickets to La Traviata and The Secret River, as well as season tickets to Opera Orlando on the MainStage are now on sale through the Bill & Mary Darden box office at the Dr. Phillips Center (445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando), in line on www.drphillipcscenter.org, or by calling (407) 839-0119, ext. 0.
Season ticket packages are also available for Opera Orlando on the Town. Call (407) 512-1900 or visit www.operaorlando.org for “On the Town” subscriptions. See you at the Opera!