(Portland, ME) Opera Maine will celebrate a return to live opera with two performances July 28 and 30 at Merrill Auditorium. Under the direction of Artistic Director Dona D. Vaughn, the company will stage an original production of Gaetano Donizetti's endearing comic opera, L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love.) The opera will be reimagined and presented without intermission. Maestro Israel Gursky will conduct an outstanding cast of singers, along with an Opera Maine orchestra of sixteen select musicians. Nicolás Alberto Dosman is chorus master. Set and lighting will be designed by Tony-award winning Christopher Akerlind and costumes by Millie Hiibel.
The Elixir of Love combines Donizetti's exuberant music with a joyful story in which true love is revealed--with a little help from a magic potion.
Opera Maine's production of The Elixir of Love will be presented at Merrill Auditorium on Wednesday, July 28 and Friday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English supertitles. Pre-performance talks at 6:30 p.m. will be given in Merrill by Calien Lewis, dramaturg.
Conductor Israel Gursky has been making a name for himself both in Europe and in the U.S. Born in Tel Aviv and trained in New York, he made his professional conducting debut in 2007 when he led critically acclaimed performances at Washington National Opera. Gursky is an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, where he works with members of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
The Elixir of Love marks Dona D. Vaughn’s 26th production with Opera Maine. Recent credits include Artistic Director of Opera at Manhattan School of Music, Artistic Director at Bel Canto in Tuscany, and Artistic Director/Acting Coach for the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
The Elixir of Love Cast:
- Adina, a café owner, will be performed by soprano Sarah Walker.
- Singing the role of Nemorino, a mechanic, is tenor Joshua Wheeker.
- Luis Alejandro Orozco, baritone will perform as Sergeant Belcore, a mercenary soldier.
- Dr. Dulcamara, a traveling con artist, will be sung by Gary Simpson.
- Shaina Martinez will appear as Gianetta, a florist.
Opera Maine will continue its “Opera for All!” program this year thanks to generous donations from Opera Maine Trustees and Advisory Board members. The program invites people aged 25 and under to attend The Elixir of Love for free.
Hi-res images of the performers are available HERE.
Leading up to The Elixir of Love, Opera Maine presents two performances of As One, a contemporary opera by Laura Kaminsky with libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. Performances will be July 16 and 18 at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. The 75-minute opera tells a poignant story about a journey toward true identity and self-love. Studio Artist Director Richard Gammon directs mezzo-soprano Heather Jones and baritone Jack Canfield who perform the roles of Hannah “before” and Hannah “after.” Jackson McKinnon will conduct performances with The Palaver String Quartet.
Immediately following each performance there will be a community conversation and Q & A moderated by dramaturg, Calien Lewis. The conversation will feature composer Laura Kaminsky (Friday only); Gia Drew, Program Director of Equality Maine; Brandy Brown, Gender Clinic Coordinator at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital; and local transgender community members.
The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti
Wednesday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Pre-Curtain Presentation at 6:30 p.m. by Calien Lewis
Merrill Auditorium, Portland
Tickets: $31 – $131 (includes service fees)
(207) 842-0800 or porttix.com
As One by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Friday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Post-show conversation with creators and community partners
Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook
Tickets: $12 - $28
For more details, visit OperaMaine.org
About Opera Maine:
Founded as the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, later shortened to PORTopera, Opera Maine presented its inaugural production, Carmen, in 1995 at the State Theatre. In 1997 the company relocated to the newly renovated Merrill Auditorium. Opera Maine offers Maine residents and visitors the only opportunity to experience fully staged and orchestrated professional opera in the state. The company's productions feature talented artists of international, national, and local fame who come together to create an outstanding experience for all who attend. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dona D. Vaughn and Executive Director Caroline M. Koelker, Opera Maine is widely respected for its community engagement and superb operatic productions and programming. For more information about Opera Maine’s programs, visit OperaMaine.org and follow Opera Maine on Facebook and Instagram.
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