“Slapstick, a timeless love story (and) a spaghetti Western” make up Opera Carolina’s 2016-17 season, general director James Meena notes, in a nod to the art form’s range.
The group’s 68th season kicks off in October with Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” (and yes, Meena referenced Bugs Bunny’s version). Metropolitan Opera soprano Kathryn Lewek will play Rosina, with tenor Victor Robertson as Count Almaviva and Hyung Yun, Met baritone and Seoul native, as Figaro: Oct. 22, 27 and 30.
Next is “La Traviata,” love beset by class differences (pop references: “Pretty Woman”; Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge”), with Met soprano (and star in the current Opera Carolina double bill) Elizabeth Caballero, Met tenor Sean Panikker and Houston Grand Opera baritone Reginald Smith Jr.: Jan. 22, 26 and 28.
And for the season-ender? A poker-playing sheriff falls in love with a saloon owner who loves a bandit, during the California Gold Rush. Naturally, Opera Carolina is partnering with the Puccini Festival in Lucca, Italy, and New York City Opera on this, Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West).” Metropolitan Opera tenor Marcello Giordani makes his Opera Carolina debut as the bandit; New York City Opera soprano Kristin Sampson will be the saloon owner and Washington Opera baritone Aleksy Bogdanov the sheriff: April 23, 27 and 29.
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Tickets start at $21, season tickets at $90 and those under 18 get half-off. Wells Fargo Private Bank is the season sponsor for the sixth straight year. Details: operacarolina.org.