Out and About: Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Performs Madama Butterfly Opera April 3, 2013

Butterfly and Pinkerton
Butterfly and Pinkerton

The Orlando Philharmonic‘s production of the classic Pucinni opera Madama Butterfly will be performed for audiences this weekend on April 5 & 7, but CitySurfing Orlando was invited to attend the final dress rehearsal last night at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center.

The story follows Cio-Cio-San (aka Madama Butterfly), a beautiful young geisha, who sacrifices her family, her religion, and even her life, for new husband, American naval officer Lieutenant Pinkerton.

WIth minimal sets, including a virtual backdrop, this production of the opera was very well done. The cast and the orchestra also put in excellent performances.

I must mention strong vocals from leads Shu-Ying Li as Butterfly and Brian Jagde as Pinkerton, really made this production a joy to listen to. In fact, Jagde completely stood out for me with his amazing vocals.

And if the Italian lyrics were hard to follow, one only had to look to the top of the stage for an electronic translation to English of everything that was sung. A very nice touch to make the opera more accessible to the audience.

My photographer and I really enjoyed this production of Madama Butterfly, and I would suggest checking out one of the two performances this weekend.

Here are some additional pictures from the sneak preview:

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Orlando Philharmonic Presents Puccini’s Madama Butterfly April 5 & 7, 2013

orlphil-madamabutterflyThe Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will be presenting Puccini’s Madama Butterfly onstage at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center on April 5 and 7, 2013.

When it does, it will take a new approach to its staged opera productions by adding virtual sets. Instead of creating real scenery and backdrops, they will use projected images to help tell the story.

“Projected images help us expand beyond the limitations of hard scenery,” said Robert Swedberg, stage director for this production. “They allow the inclusion of visual themes and visions that would otherwise not be possible.”

The cast includes Shu-Ying Li as Cio-Cio-San, Brian Jagde as Lieutenant Pinkerton, Thomas Potter as Sharpless, and Mika Shigematsu as Suzuki. The graphic projections and sets will be designed by scenic designer Lisa Buck, and the chorus will be directed by Robin Stamper of Florida Opera Theatre.

Written by Giacomo Puccini and premiered in 1904, the story of Madama Butterfly follows Cio-Cio-San, a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion, and ultimately her life for an American naval officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton, who takes her as his bride for convenience, with no intention of bringing her home to America. The original opera later inspired the Broadway musical, Miss Saigon.

Conducted by Christopher Wilkins, performances will take place on Friday, April 5 at 8pm and Sunday, April 7 at 2pm.

Tickets are $22-$82, and available at 407-770-0071 or OrlandoPhil.org/Opera. The Orlando Philharmonic’s 2012-2013 opera series is sponsored by United Arts of Central Florida, Darden Restaurants and The Bryce L. West Foundation.

Orlando Philharmonic Presents Two Young Composers Events for Free March 16 – 17, 2013

This month, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Young Composers Challenge will launch their 9th annual nationwide composition challenge for students ages 13 to 18.

orlandophil-youngcompThe challenge kicks off March 16, with the Young Composer’s Workshop. This free workshop will be held from 9am to 5:30pm at the UCF Center for Emerging Media (500 W. Livingston St in Orlando). During it, attendees will learn the priciples of composition, orchestration, music notation, scoring software and MIDI technology.

Orlando Philharmonic musicians will be on hand to provide demonstrations of each orchestral instrument, as well as provide tips for writing for these instruments.

During the event, the attendees may also write and enter a composition into the competition, but it is not necessary to do so just to attend.

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