Friday | Sep 28, 2012

Meet the Artist: Joshua Kohl

The primary love affair and focus of the storyline in La traviata is the forbidden relationship between Violetta and Alfredo Germont. Alfredo is passionate about Violetta from the beginning of the opera and they leave Paris for the French countryside to be together. But, as often happens when a soprano and a tenor fall in love and want to be alone, a baritone (in this case, Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont) comes along and tears them apart.

Joshua Kohl is Alfredo in Opera Omaha’s production of La traviata. The young tenor sings and acts the part in perfect keeping with the role. He is every bit the devastated young lover, torn between Violetta and the demands of his father and society.

Join us on October 5 or 7 and see Mr. Kohl as Alfredo. Don’t miss it! Go online at Ticket Omaha or call 402-345-0606 for tickets today.

More information about Mr. Kohl, including the biography quoted below, is available on his website.

American tenor Joshua Kohl was called a “tenor to watch” by The Boston Herald and was recently singled out for his “glorious, relaxed performance” by Opera News. The Salt Lake Tribune said of his performance in Macbeth that he “nearly steals the show with his impassioned portrayal of Macduff. The young tenor brings a jolt of urgency to every scene he’s in, and the aria in which Macduff expresses his grief over his family’s murder is arguably the emotional high point of the evening.”

During the 2012-13 season the tenor will be heard as Alfredo in La Traviata with Opera Omaha, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Dayton Opera, Chevalier in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Southwest, and finally Nanki-Poo in The Mikado with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. On the concert stage he returns to the New Haven Symphony for performances of Carmina Burana.

Mr. Kohl began the 2011-12 season at Nashville Opera portraying Alfredo in their production of La Traviata, and followed that engagement portraying the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Sarasota Opera before returning to Opera Saratoga as the Duke in Rigoletto for which the Albany Times-Union said that his “singing revealed the fullest emotional range of the principals — joy, rapture, rage.” In addition, as tenor soloist in Carmina Burana in his debut with the Hartford Symphony, he “conveyed the roasting swan’s plight with poignancy and humor” (In the Spotlight), making the passage “otherworldly and nightmarish.” (Hartford Courant)

During the 2010-11 season Mr. Kohl sang Alfredo in La Traviata with Tulsa Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Sarasota Opera, West Side Story Suite in concert with the Lexington Philharmonic, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 with the New Jersey Symphony. During the previous season, he joined the Dallas Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for student matinee performances, Sarasota Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte which was “sung suavely” (Herald-Tribune), Lake George Opera as Don José in Carmen, the Commonwealth Opera as Ferrando in Così fan Tutte, and Utah Opera as Macduff in Macbeth. On the concert stage he was an Artist-in-Residence with Opera Theatre of St. Louis and sang Handel’s Messiah with the New Haven Symphony.

During the 2008-09 season, the tenor sang Rodolfo in La Bohème with the Pittsburgh Opera in a student matinee performance, and made debuts with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as First Jew in Salome and with the Virginia Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. His Nemorino was praised for his “sincere and touching performance. The young tenor displayed a bright voice of great size, yet capable of movement and nuance.” (Portfolio Weekly) On the concert stage he presented a recital under the auspices of the Upper Ohio Valley Opera Guild, joined Yale University for a performance of Stravinsky’s In Memoriam Dylan Thomas, and appeared with
both Opera Providence and Connecticut Concert Opera.

Thursday | Sep 27, 2012

Meet the Artist: Director, James de Blasis

How many people can say that they’ve directed opera for more than 40 years? How many of those individuals are still directing world-class, professional opera? How many of those still have new ideas that inject excitement into the classics? After narrowing that down, you’ve got a short list of people that includes our La traviata Director, James de Blasis.

Mr. de Blasis does all of those things and more. He is a force of nature in the rehearsal hall creating moods and scenes for the audience that few others could devise. Opera Omaha is thrilled to welcome Mr. de Blasis for a repeat appearance with the company.

Please take a few moments to read Mr. de Blasis’ biography and get to know a little more about this incredible artist.

James de Blasis has been an active Producer, Stage Director and Dramatic Operatic Role Coach all over the United States.  After a professional debut starring Richard Tucker in La Boheme his career flourished with a New York City Opera debut in Carmen, starring Placido Domingo and Beverly Wolff.  After that came came debuts in San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia, Hawaii, Pittsburgh, Palm Beach, Tulsa, San Diego, Portland, Memphis, Harford, The Schubert Opera and Opera Canada.
Jim took over the Cincinnati Opera as both General and Artistic Director leading that company to international acclaim with productions of rarities like Zaza and Risurrezione, a US premiere, repertoire of vast diversity and discovery of young artists who made major international careers.  He received the Post Corbett Award in Cincinnati as Artist of the Year, The Ohio Governors award for Artistic Administration, served on both the Opera and  National Panels for the National Arts Endowment and received the Opera America Citation for 25 years of Outstanding Leadership of Cincinnati Opera.
Recommended by Beverly Sills and Norman Treigle, Jim became National Consultant to The Corbett Foundation giving financial assistance to28 Opera Companies in America, including the first grants to the then OMAHA OPERA in the early 1970’s.  He is also remembered locally having directed Beverly Sills in Lucia di Lammermoorwhich opened the restored Orpheum Theater in 1975.
His operatic repertoire consists of 64 differing operas from L’Incoronazione di Poppea to Boris Godonov. Jim has a special affinity for French repertoire scoring huge successes in Faust, Manon, Romeo et Juliette, Werther, Carmen and Pearl Fishers.
His famous Wild West Elixir has been seen all over the U.S. to great acclaim, and shown on National Television along with his Hansel & Gretel.
Jim says his favorite work is the “one-on-one” coaching of artists with special emphasis on character discovery thru the score and constant work on meaning of the music thru the bel-canto emphasis on text.

Wednesday | Sep 26, 2012

Meet the Artist: Conductor, Joseph Rescigno

Maestro Joseph Rescigno is difficult to photograph. During rehearsals this week, our company photographer worked hard to capture an image of the man at work in front of the piano. He is so absorbed by the music and making it the best it can be, that he is tough to catch on film. The Maestro plays piano beautifully, sings, dances, and conducts singers and musicians like a true wizard. In short, he’s magnificent to watch and his enthusiasm and skill produce the most gorgeous music possible.

Opera Omaha is fortunate to welcome Maestro Rescigno for a repeat appearance during our October 5 and 7 production of La traviata. We are honored by his presence and the depth and breadth of his experience and knowledge. Welcome back, Maestro! We’re happy that you’re here.

If you would like to hear Maestro Rescigno speak about La traviata and his experiences in the world of professional conducting, join us for our lunchtime preview on Tuesday, October 2 beginning at noon. Doors open at 11:30am at our office, 1850 Farnam Street. Bring your lunch and enjoy a free musical performance by the Maestro. It’s sure to be fast-paced and filled with singing, playing, and a story or two.

Do you need tickets to La traviata? They are available through Ticket Omaha or by phone 402-345-0606.

More information about the Maestro is available at this website and in the biography below from the same site. Enjoy!

Joseph Rescigno

Joseph Rescigno has conducted symphonies, concertos, operas, and oratorios for more than 50 companies on four continents. Since 1981, he has served as Artistic Advisor and Principal Conductor of the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee (WI), where he has conducted some of the company’s most challenging repertory.

In his permanent and guest engagements, Maestro Rescigno has conducted symphonies and concertos from the baroque to the modern era—sometimes from the keyboard in works from earlier eras. He has also led performances of such masterworks of the choral literature as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem. Beyond the concert stage, Maestro Rescigno has conducted virtually all of the core Italian opera repertory, including romantic, verismo, and bel canto works; the standard French and German operas, including the works of Wagner and Richard Strauss; and contemporary works, including the Florentine Opera’s first world premiere, Don Davis’s Río de Sangre, in 2010.

As a guest artist, Maestro Rescigno has conducted the New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Seattle Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Vancouver Opera, Teatro Bellini, l’Opéra de Marseille, and l’Opéra de Montreal among others. The symphony orchestras he has conducted include the Montreal Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony orchestras, both of which he has conducted in their regular subscription series as well as in opera productions. In addition, he won Quebec’s Prix Opus for a program of all five Beethoven piano concertos with Anton Kuerti at the piano and the Metropolitan Orchestra of Greater Montreal.

Don Davis’s Río de Sangre, recorded during the 2010 world premiere production, was released on compact disc in October 2011 by Albany Records. Maestro Rescigno’s discography also includes four recordings for Analekta of Canada with the same Metropolitan Orchestra: Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony plus the overture and rarely performed arias from the incidental music to the play Egmont with soprano Karina Gauvin; Brahms’s two piano concertos with Anton Kuerti; Mendelssohn’s two violin concertos with Angèle Dubeau; and soprano arias from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro plus Exsultate Jubilate with soprano Lyne Fortin. Also for Analekta, he recorded the highly regarded Verismo featuring Diana Soviero, with the orchestra of the Montreal Opera, a collection of arias from well-known and little-known operas of the verismo school. Having conducted the world and Japanese premieres, Maestro Rescigno recorded Minoru Miki’s Jōruri with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra for Toei Video Disk.

This native New Yorker comes from a long line of musicians on both sides of his family. He trained as a pianist and has been studying and performing music since childhood. His grandfather taught him sightsinging from about the age of two. His uncle was the prominent conductor Nicola Rescigno, a founder of both the Dallas and Chicago opera companies. Joseph Rescigno is a graduate of Fordham University (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Manhattan School of Music.

Maestro Rescigno studied with composer Nicolas Flagello and other distinguished teachers in the United States and Europe, including privately at l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He went on to serve the time-honored, opera-house apprenticeship in the European manner with such influential conductors as Laszlo Halasz (founder of the New York City Opera), Bruno Maderna, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Moresco (the first director of the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company), and his uncle. Powerful influences also included pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, conductors Herbert von Karajan and Erich Leinsdorf, and Roberto Benaglio, the legendary chorus master of La Scala. Each one personally taught him something unforgettable.

Maestro Rescigno has further been privileged to collaborate with prominent musicians of three generations including instrumentalists Brigitte Engerer, Ida Haendel, Elmar Oliveira, and Pieter Wispelwey, and singers June Anderson, Angela Brown, Ghena Dimitrova, Giuseppe DiStefano, Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Eva Marton, Johanna Meier, Erie Mills, Andrea Rost, Erika Sunnegårdh, Ruth Ann Swenson, Tatiana Troyanos, Ramón Vargas, and Deborah Voigt.

A born teacher, Joseph Rescigno has always derived tremendous gratification out of working with young musicians in student orchestras and singers in master classes. He is a past faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music and currently serves as the Music Director of La Musica Lirica festival in Italy. Multi-lingual, he readily gives lively and informative talks before performances, illustrating themes on the piano when one is available. He is working on his first book, The View From The Pit: Where Theater Meets Music.

Tuesday | Sep 25, 2012

Meet the Artist: Inna Dukach

The title of Verdi’s opera, La traviata, when translated to English, means “the woman who strayed” or “the fallen woman”. In Opera Omaha’s production of this great opera, Inna Dukach is charged with not only singing, but personifying that idea in the role of Violetta. Her previous performance of Violetta earned the following remarks from a reviewer in Kontrapunkt:
“Inna Dukach is the genuine embodiment of Violetta. Not only is her technical output impeccable, but she has a brilliant coloratura soprano. Exceptionally talented, charismatic and beautiful – with a mix of fragility, vulnerability, passion, and joy of life. Her acting is delicate and theatrical with finely measured gestures. This demanding part in her execution appears as light gossamer because she performs it without any visible effort.”

This gorgeous role is well-matched to the lovely voice and superb theatrical skills of our Violetta, Ms. Inna Dukach. We are excited to present La traviata and Ms. Dukach to the Omaha community. Make plans to join us today!

Tickets are available through Ticket Omaha or by calling 402-345-0606. Performances are Friday, October 5 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 7 at 2:00pm. Don’t miss it!

The biography below is from Ms. Dukach’s professional website. Click here for more information.

Inna Dukach Sporano


Russian-American soprano Inna Dukach has been praised for “an immediately appealing, youthfully rich and velvety voice,” and when shen made her Covent Garden debut as Musetta in La Bohème, MusicOMH wrote, “It was, however, Inna Dukach’s portrayal of Musetta that stole the show. She earned mid-aria applause with a spell binding pianissimo in act 2, and even managed to inject some humanity into the usually shallow man-eater.”

Inna’s engagements in 2012-2013 include Violetta in La traviata with Opera Omaha, as well as in concert with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Toledo Opera.

Ms. Dukach’s 2011-2012 season included debuts with the Israeli Opera, as Nedda in Pagliacci; Dayton Opera, as Mimì in La Bohème; Pensacola Opera, for her role debut as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly; and New Orleans Opera, as Nedda and the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana. She also returned to Opera Colorado, as Rosalba in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and appeared with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, as Mimì.

The soprano made her London debut at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Musetta in La Bohème. She was chosen to sing the role of Mimì in La Bohème for two consecutive seasons at New York City Opera, and recently returned to the role for her debut with Opera Colorado. She has also appeared as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro for Hawaii Opera Theatre; Walter in La Wally with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte for Opera Hong Kong; Liù in Turandot for the Savonlinna Opera Festival; Tatiana in Eugene Onegin with Opéra Lyra Ottawa; Violetta in La traviata with the Croatian National Opera; Dorotea in Conte’s Don Chisciotte with the Caramoor Festival; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with both Orlando Opera and with Opera Carolina; Xenia in Boris Godunov for San Diego Opera; and Caroline Gaines in Margaret Garner with Opera Carolina.

She made her Alice Tully Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra as Aljeja in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, and her Carnegie Hall debut in a program of Rutter’s Magnificat and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. Other concert highlights have included a concert of Gluck arias with Opera de Oviedo in Spain; the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Hartford Symphony; Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with Theater Pforzheim in Germany; Songs of Yiddish Poetry, as well as the Verdi Requiem with the Brooklyn Philharmonic; the Dvorak Stabat Mater and Brahms Requiem with the Greenwich Choral Society; the Mozart Requiem with the Saratoga Choral Festival; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Smith College Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer Of 1915 with Bay Shore Lyric Opera.

Inna Dukach received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Mannes College of Music, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College.

Monday | Sep 24, 2012

First Glimpse Photos–LA TRAVIATA

Joshua Kohl (Alfredo Germont) and Inna Dukach (Violetta Valery)

The first photos from the La traviata rehearsal process are below. More chorus photos will be available soon. Enjoy!

Patricia Soria Urbano (Annina) and Inna Dukach (Violetta)
Inna Dukach and Jake Gardner (Giorgio Germont)

Inna Dukach (Violetta) and Jake Gardner (Giorgio Germont)
Joshua Kohl (Alfredo) and Inna Dukach (Violetta)

Jake Gardner (Giorgio Germont) and Joshua Kohl (Alfredo Germont)

Leah Wool (Flora) and Liam Moran (Grenvil)
Joshua Kohl (Alfredo), Liam Moran (Grenvil), and James Benjamin Rodgers (Gastone)
Joel Atella (Assistant Director) and Terry Hodges (Marquis)

Leah Wool (Flora), Inna Dukach (Violetta), and Joshua Kohl (Alfredo)
Inna Dukach (Violetta), Jake Gardner (Germont), and Kirk Vaughn Robinson (Baron Douphol)

Joshua Kohl (Alfredo) and Kirk Vaughn Robinson (Baron Douphol)

Liam Moran (Dottore Grenvil) and Inna Dukach (Violetta)
The fabulous Opera Omaha chorus

Inna Dukach (Violetta), Joshua Kohl (Alfredo), and Patricia Soria Urbano (Annina)


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