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Wednesday | Oct 23, 2013

Twelve Days of Carmen–Day Three

Welcome to day three of our Twelve Days of Carmen blog series. This introduction is from our Conductor, Hal France.

Honest            Down to Earth           Gifted              Unselfish        Team Players

These words come to mind when thinking about our cast.  It’s really fun to watch dedicated actors work. They listen intently to our Director Lillian, absorb and challenge ideas, contribute their own, argue and joke, experiment with new things, create scenes together, and most importantly, display tremendous vulnerability.  While waiting to get onstage, I’ve noticed our leads Leann, Leah, Jonathan, and Marcelo watch their colleagues with definite admiration. That’s really inspiring.

These are the opera singers of today and, yes, they have extraordinary singing voices, but what they do is not always about singing.

Today we share some personal reflections of our Carmen, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo. Enjoy.

Video shot at the Strauss Performing Art Center in community partnership between Opera Omaha and University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Communication Fine Arts and Media, CFAM.

Do you need tickets for our production of Carmen? Visit Ticket Omaha online or call 402-345-0606 to order by phone.

Tuesday | Oct 22, 2013

Twelve Days of Carmen–Day Two

In this video, day two in the “Twelve Days of Carmen”, we continue by sharing the words of Director Lillian Groag, as she answers the question, “Who Is Carmen?”

Video shot at the Strauss Performing Art Center in community partnership between Opera Omaha and University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Communication Fine Arts and Media, CFAM.

Commentary about the rehearsal process from Conductor Hal France:

The next step in the rehearsal process takes us out of the frying pan and into the fire. Last night’s room run through deepened our our approach to this story and the sense of this show. This is something we will try to hold on to as we leap from Opera Omaha’s rehearsal space to the Orpheum’s proscenium. People will now communicate through walls and across footlights. Before concepts can thrive, however, there is business to take care of.  The backstage crew now joins this enterprise. Through their work and skill we introduce another essential piece of this pie, the environments for Carmen; the set!

From Opera Omaha, ticket purchase information. To order online, visit Ticket Omaha. To order by phone, call 402-345-0606.

Monday | Oct 21, 2013

Twelve Days of Carmen–Day One

Welcome to the “Twelve Days of Carmen”! This is a series of blog articles, based on videos shot at the Strauss Performing Art Center in community partnership between Opera Omaha and University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Communication Fine Arts and Media, CFAM.

We begin the 12 Days with the music of Carmen.

A few words from Conductor, Hal France about the process so far:

We’ve been cooking up some opera. Tonight, the company of Carmen will meet one more time in the Opera Omaha rehearsal space with our marvelous Director/Chef, Lillian Groag. The room will be packed with performers and the production team that will put this “baby” in the oven; the Orpheum Theater. It’s been an outstanding three weeks with everybody working together to bring out the many flavors of the story. Last night, the Omaha Symphony joined the mix. They bring Bizet’s brilliant orchestrations to life, a key ingredient in this opera recipe. But, the proof’s in the pudding! Don’t miss your opportunity to see all of this hard work come together on stage November 1 and 3.

And now, a few words from Opera Omaha on how to buy tickets. Visit Ticket Omaha online or call 402-345-0606 to purchase by phone.

Thursday | Oct 17, 2013

Meet the Artist–Jonathan Burton

Tenor Jonathan Burton faces a daunting task as he fills the role of Don José in our production of Carmen. He is required to be dashing with a bad boy undertone while convincing us that he loves (or at least lusts after) the title character. Mr. Burton’s acting is wonderful and, like all opera singers, he does this while singing beautifully. He performs feats of voice that don’t seem humanly possible until you see and hear them in person.

Don’t miss your chance to see Tenor Jonathan Burton’s Don Jose during Opera Omaha’s production of Carmen in Omaha’s beautiful Orpheum Theater on November 1 and 3. Click here to buy tickets online or call 402-345-0606 to purchase by phone. Join us! You’ll regret missing this one.

More information about Opera Omaha’s production of Carmen is available by clicking here.

The biography below and photo above are from Mr. Burton’s website and are available through his artist management company, Mirshak Artists Management.

JONATHAN BURTON, TENOR

Young American tenor Jonathan Burton has been praised for having “thrilling power and beauty” (Baltimore Sun) and for being “the real find in this production…an engaging all-around singer with a powerful, full-bodied sound.” (Opera News) During the 2012-2013 season Mr. Burton can be heard as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Kentucky Opera, Calaf in Turandot with Sarasota Opera and Rodolfo in La bohème with the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman where he “was charming as Rodolfo. His voice was strong and passionate, and as Rodolfo he was smitten and sweet.” (Times of Oman) Upcoming seasons include roles with the Castleton Festival and Dayton Opera, among others. Engagements for the tenor during the 2011-2012 season included Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera on the James and with Shreveport Opera, and Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera New Jersey and the Utah Festival Opera where The Deseret News reported “Burton’s tenor dynamics throughout the production are particularly noteworthy. He sings to be felt. Burton and Hanson could both give lessons on singing with passion and heart and not just to hit the right notes.” With Lyric Opera of Virginia he sang Don Jose in Carmen and with the Castleton Festival he portrayed Rodolfo in their production of La bohème. Recent engagements for this Ohio native include Cavaradossi in Tosca with Annapolis Opera and Opera on the James, Don José in Carmen with Central City Opera and Opera Omaha, Rodolfo in La bohème with Palm Beach Opera, Canio in Pagliacci with Annapolis Opera, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Phoenix Opera. In addition, he has performed numerous supporting roles with Florida Grand Opera, Opera Omaha, and Palm Beach Opera. On the concert stage he has been engaged by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra to sing Rene Clausen’s A New Creation, the Lexington Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Southern Ohio Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem. His formative years included engagements with the Southern Ohio Light Opera Company where he performed over twenty leading roles with the company, including Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Camille in The Merry Widow, and Caliph in Kismet. Mr. Burton studied at Westminster Choir College and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and was a member of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program.

On the concert stage he has been engaged by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra to sing Rene Clausen’s A New Creation, the Lexington Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Southern Ohio Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem.

His formative years included engagements with the Southern Ohio Light Opera Company where he performed over twenty leading roles with the company, including Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Camille in The Merry Widow, and Caliph in Kismet.

Mr. Burton studied at Westminster Choir College as well as the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and was a member of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program.

 

Monday | Oct 14, 2013

Meet the Artist–Leann Sandel-Pantaleo

In our most recent blog article, we described the title character in Carmen as “murderous” and “lustful”. Who is the woman singing that part on stage for Opera Omaha this November? The kind, vivacious mezzo-soprano, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo. She is, although not murderous in real life, capable and convincing on stage. The singer’s biography and a link to her website is below. Enjoy!

Don’t miss your chance to see Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo on stage in Omaha’s Orpheum Theater on November 1 or 3. Tickets are selling fast! To buy tickets, click here or call 402-345-0606 today.

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo   Biography provided by Fletcher Artists Management

Following recent performances of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Leann Sandel-Pantaleo was praised by the Portland Press Herald with the exclamation that “she has a glorious voice…. and she took fire.”

This season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago to cover Jezibaba in Rusalka, and joins both Opera Omaha and Tulsa Opera as the title role in Carmen.

During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo joined theLyric Opera of Chicago, to cover the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, and returned to Teatro alla Scala and the Berlin Staatsoper as Siegrune in Die Walküre, and to North Carolina Opera, as Amneris in Aida. She also sang Siegrune at the BBC Proms in London.

The mezzo-soprano’s 2011-2012 season began with the title role in Carmen with North Carolina Opera, and continued with Verdi’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and a return to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden for further performances of Siegrune.

Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo began the 2010-2011 season covering the title role in Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and later debuted at Teatro alla Scala and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden as Siegrune in Die Walküre.

In the summer of 2010, she bowed as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Chautauqua Opera. In the 2009-10 season, she returned to the title role of Carmen with Utah Opera, and sang her first performances of Bluebeard’s Castle with Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi under the baton of Oleg Caetani.

In the 2008-09 season, Ms. Sandel-Pantaleo made debuts at Houston Grand Opera as Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict followed by Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and San Francisco Opera as Flora in La traviata. She also sang further performances of the title role in Carmen with Hawaii Opera Theater and returned to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise Siegrune in Die Walküre.

Other recent performances to her credit include Amneris in Aida with both Portland Opera and El Paso Opera, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana with PORT Opera, and the title role of Carmen with Chautauqua Opera. She has joined the Metropolitan Opera for previous performances of Siegrune in Die Walküre and Flora in La traviata as well as numerous other productions including Die Ägyptische Helena, Luisa Miller, Manon, and Parsifal.

On the concert stage, she has recently joined the Brooklyn Philharmonic for Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and has appeared as soloist at other symphony orchestras including those of Indianapolis, Alabama, Erie, Pacific, Nevada, La Jolla, Evansville, San Diego, Westchester, and Lafayette.

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