The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Madison Opera announces its 50th anniversary season – favorites figure big

March 29, 2010
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By Jacob Stockinger

A reminder: It’s spring break. Because of staffing for the blog, your comments may take a bit longer to get posted. But don’t despair — they will get there.

The Madison Opera has announced its 50th anniversary season, featuring Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” (below) in Overture Hall; the company premiere of Kurt Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera” in The Playhouse; and Verdi’s “La Traviata” in Overture Hall.

In July 2011, Madison Opera also celebrates the 10th anniversary of Opera in the Park, a Madison summer tradition.

Here is the company’s press release:

“Our programming for the 50th anniversary season reflects both Madison Opera’s history and future,” says General Director Allan Naplan. “From audience favorites to a company premiere, between opera and musical theater, plus some very exciting casting, it is a celebration season that should have wide appeal in our community and beyond.”

For the fourth consecutive season, Madison Opera presents three full productions, with an increase in performances from eight (2009-10) to 10 (2010-11).

That increase in the total number of shows can be taken as a sign of the company’s financial health, according to company officials.

The Opera will also be performing in The Playhouse for the second season, following the recent artistic and box-office success of “The Turn of the Screw,” the company’s first endeavor in the venue.

“We’ve enjoyed producing our mid-season repertoire in Overture’s smaller venues over the past three years,” Naplan says. “These productions allow us to explore more adventurous and ambitious repertoire, while providing our audience a unique and intimate experience.”

Casting highlights for the 2010-11 season include bass Jason Hardy as Figaro and soprano Anya Matanovic as Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro”; the Madison Opera debuts of American Players Theatre favorites James DeVita (below top in a Zane Williams photo) and Tracy Michelle Arnold in “The Threepenny Opera” (below middle; and the American debut of Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano as Alfredo in “La Traviata” (below bottom).

Maestro John DeMain (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot), of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, will conduct all three productions, with leading opera directors A. Scott Parry, Dorothy Danner and Garnett Bruce providing stage direction.

Subscriptions for the 2010-11 season are now available, starting at $32 for the Overture Hall Series. New subscribers receive an additional 15% off. Single tickets, $16-$114, go on sale Sept. 11. Seats for the front of the upper balcony have reduced.

On Monday, April 12, Madison Opera launches a re-designed website featuring online subscriptions. Call (608) 238-8085 or visit for more subscription information.

What do you think of the new season?

What do you think of the Madison Opera in general?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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