Florida Grand Opera

Shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Broward Center

Florida Grand Opera (FGO) announces its 74th continuous season of producing opera featuring four mainstage productions for its 2014-15 Season, which will include Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte, Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul.

“I am proud to bring an eclectic mix of repertoire to the stage for the 2014-15 Season, and thrilled that for the first time in FGO’s history we will perform Menotti’s The Consul, a gripping American drama that stunned Broadway audiences in 1950 during its remarkable 40-week run,” said Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera.  “This season will be exciting and thrilling for both first time attendees and seasoned opera lovers.”

Below are the four operas that will be shown at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami and at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

Madame ButterflyMadama Butterfly

(sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish)

Puccini’s opera is loosely based on a true story and depicts a shattering clash of cultures.  While stationed in Japan, the American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton obtains through an unscrupulous marriage broker a 15-year-old geisha known as Butterfly.  He plans to amuse himself until he can take a real wife from America.

When he goes back out to sea, everyone believes that Butterfly has been abandoned, but her faith that he will return to her is steadfast.  He does return, but with an American wife, and plans to claim Butterfly’s child who was born after his departure.  Hopeless and left with nothing, Butterfly sees suicide as her only option, and re-employs the very knife her father had used to end his own life.

Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, November 15, 16, 18, 21 and 22; Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, December 4 and 6.

Cosi Fan TuteCosì Fan Tutte

(sung in Italian with projected titles in English and Spanish)

Following the triumphs of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Così Fan Tutte is the third and final collaboration of the gifted librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte and the brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  But among these three key monuments of Western musical culture, Così has been the least understood.  It was once considered risqué, if not immoral, and during the 1800s Mozart’s music was frequently performed with an entirely different libretto bearing no resemblance to the original.

Two young men make a bet with an older friend that their fiancées will remain faithful under any circumstances.  The friend, claiming to know better, arranges for the men to leave the girls, who are sisters, and then return in disguise.  The girls waver, and soon fall headlong for each other’s fiancé.  When the mean-spirited trick is revealed, all we can know for certain is that those relationships will never be the same.

Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, January 24, 25, 27, 30 and 31; Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, February 12 and 14.

The Pearl FishersThe Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

(sung in French with projected titles in English and Spanish)

On his way to creating what was to become the world’s most popular opera, in 1863 Georges Bizet composed this atmospheric tale of love, friendship, and sacrifice. The public loved The Pearl Fishers at its premiere, but many critics were hostile, just as they would be with Carmen later on. In both cases, the public was the better judge.

The Pearl Fishers, inspired by the European infatuation with all things Oriental, enfolded heady elements within the well-established traditions of French opera.  After Bizet’s death, it was revived regularly, and today it is seen in most of the world’s leading opera houses.  Foreshadowing the genius that Bizet was soon to demonstrate with Carmen, The Pearl Fishers contains one of the most famous tenor-baritone duets in all of opera.

Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, February 28, March 1, 3, 6 and 7; Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, March 12 and 14.

The ConsulThe Consul

(sung in English with projected titles in English and Spanish)

Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul premiered in 1950 and enjoyed a spectacular Broadway run of 269 performances as well as a Pulitzer Prize for Music. The Consul takes place in an unnamed country where Magda Sorel is desperate to obtain visas to enable her family to emigrate and escape persecution.  The endless waiting erodes what hope she clings to, until a tragic and shattering deed concludes both the opera and her terrible saga.

Immediately following The Consul’sNew York run, it was presented at Milan’s La Scala in an extraordinary nod to the importance of this new American opera. One of The Consul’s highlights is Magda’s aria, “To This We’ve Come,” which became an anthem for oppressed people everywhere.

 Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, May 9, 10, 12, 15 and 16.

For more information on the Florida Grand Opera, visit fgo.org or call (305) 854-1643.