I have now added the Lyric Opera Baltimore to the listing in the sidebar and on the Seasons listing page at the suggestion of a reader. The Lyric Opera Baltimore has experienced some financial difficulties and a short break in staging opera performances. However, the Lyric plans performances of two very popular operas this season, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, aka The Barber of Seville by Giacomo Rossini and Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod. I have only seen a video performance of the Barber, but that starred Kathleen Battle, who owns my favorite all-time soprano voice. The opera has the lively music of Rossini and features several immediately recognizable arias. This is a comedy that is fun for kids as well as adults. The Lyric performances feature a stellar young performer cast, exciting actually. For the Barber, Steven LaBrie plays Figaro; he was a winner of the George London Foundation Prize in February. He has also been featured among the sexiest baritone hunks at the opera blog, Barihunks. Tenor Alek Shrader will sing the role of Almavira; he has performed at the Met. Emily Fons, who plays Rosina, recently played Ruby in the Sante Fe Opera world premiere of the new opera Cold Mountain – you will hear more from me about Cold Mountain. Rounding out the main players is Steve Condy who plays Dr. Bartolo. He has played that role in quite a few major opera houses in the U.S. It is always fun to see what upcoming new players/singers will bring to their roles. As a side note, the conductor will be Sara Jobin, the first female conductor to take the pit at the Modell-Lyric. Tickets are still available.
Romeo and Juliette will likewise feature an impressive young cast. I have seen several versions of Shakespeare’s play, but only listened to the opera on cd. Gounod composes beautiful music and this also features well known arias. One interesting side note is that it is a co-production of Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids. Tenor Jonathon Boyd will play Romeo; he has played a wide range of roles in opera houses across the U.S. and Europe. Juliette will be played by Sarah Joy Miller who stirred interest with her performance in the New York City Opera production of Anna Nicole. An article (http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/artsmash/bal-details-filled-in-for-the-2015-2016-opera-season-at-the-modell-lyric-20150715-story.html) in the Baltimore Sun describing the Lyric’s season said that special package prices were available to folks under 30, and if you fall in that demographic, it is worth checking with the box office.