SEATTLE – Seattleites, you’ve been warned: There’s a cheeky bad boy causing a ruckus this summer, and he’s headed straight for McCaw Hall!
Seattle Opera presents The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory—a brand-new production that packs the punch of a Broadway musical with a nod to the humor and visual style of Monty Python.
This Rossini comedy takes place in a medieval French village—while the men are off fighting the Crusades, the ladies are easily enticed by the notoriously naughty Count Ory.
Australian Stage Director Lindy Hume and Production Designer Dan Potra have let their imaginations run wild, creating a mashup of medieval France and psychedelic ‘70s flower power.
“It’s the perfect summer opera; let your hair down and have some fun,” said Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang. “While the composer was Italian, Le Comte Ory was written in French—which seems like a natural fit given the delightful and risqué humor.”
Conducted by Maestro Giacomo Sagripanti (La Cenerentola, 2013), the show is complete with whimsical animation, vivid colors, and fun choreography.
The Ory experience begins with walking through the doors of McCaw Hall, where patrons can enjoy a mashup of live jazz and opera.
Dressed as nuns, members of “The Bad Habits” band will offer Rossini-inspired tunes to set the mood for the wild romp.
In the onstage tale, there’s no end to the schemes Ory and his merry-making minions will try when it comes to earning a lady’s affection.
First, the Count attempts to encourage relaxed morals by disguising himself as the village love guru.
But when that fails, he and his men pass themselves off as nuns and inveigle themselves into the home (and later, bedroom!) of the beautiful Countess Adèle.
In the truly ridiculous love trio that concludes the opera, Ory’s androgynous page, Isolier, comes between his master and his lady love.
Through the stylings of Barry Banks and Lawrence Brownlee, Seattle Opera brings the title character to life.
Brownlee, a GRAMMY-Award nominee whose voice has been called an “instrument of great beauty and expression” (NPR), was celebrated for ushering in “a new golden age in high male voices” (The New York Times).
Making his company debut is Banks, a British artist at the top of the opera world who possesses the “same combination of tonal sweetness and pinging clarity that made Pavarotti famous” (The Telegraph).
Viewers will be treated to two Seattle Opera favorites when Sarah Coburn, most recently seen at McCaw Hall as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (2014), sings Countess Adèle opposite Brownlee.
Singing opposite Banks is Lauren Snouffer, a rising star who makes her company debut as the Countess in what will be the first of two engagements at Seattle Opera this season.
Other singers making debuts at McCaw Hall include Hannah Hipp and Stephanie Lauricella in the trouser role of teenage Isolier, as well as Rodion Pogossov and Will Liverman as Raimbaud. Ory also sees the return of Patrick Carfizzi (The Tutor), Maria Zifchak (Ragonde), Jennifer Bromagen (Alice), and Eric Neuville (Young Nobleman).
The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory premieres Saturday, August 6, and runs through Saturday, August 20.
Tickets are available online at seattleopera.org or by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619.
Tickets may also be purchased at the box office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Ticket prices start at $25.
Groups save 15 percent: 206.676.5588 or email@example.com. Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619.
Online orders: seattleopera.org.
In July, Seattle Opera offers free public-preview talks on Count Ory at libraries throughout the Puget Sound.
For a full list, go to seattleopera.org/calendar.
Gabrielle Nomura Gainor
Media Relations Manager
The Wicked Adventures of Count Ory (Le comte Ory)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Eugène Scribe & Charles Gaspard Delestre-Poirson
In French with English captions
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
Performances: August 6, 7m, 10, 13, 17, 19, 20, 2016
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes with 1 intermission
Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., matinee at 2:00 p.m.
Premiere: August 20, 1828 at the Paris Opéra
Seattle Opera Premiere
Count Ory: Lawrence Brownlee (Aug. 6, 13, 17 & 20) / Barry Banks* (Aug. 7m, 10 & 19)
Countess Adele: Sarah Coburn (Aug. 6, 13, 17 & 20) / Lauren Snouffer* (Aug. 7m, 10 & 19)
Isolier: Hanna Hipp* (Aug. 6, 13, 17 & 20) / Stephanie Lauricella* (Aug. 7m, 10 & 19)
Raimbaud: Rodon Pogossov* (Aug. 6, 13, 17 & 20) / Will Liverman* (Aug. 7m, 10 & 19)
Tutor: Patrick Carfizzi
Ragonde: Maria Zifchak
Conductor: Giacomo Sagripanti
Director: Lindy Hume*
Set & Costumes: Dan Potra*
Lighting Design: Duane Schuler
Choreographer: Daniel Pelzig
Hair & Makeup Design: Joyce Degenfelder
* Company Debut
Production Sponsor: Marks Family Foundation
Dan Potra sponsored by: Eric Hawley and Gwen Lowery
2016/17 Season Sponsor:
Seattle Opera Guild
In memory of Marian E. Lackovich and Captain Louis J. Lackovich
About Seattle Opera
Seattle Opera is a leading opera company, recognized both in the United States and around the world.
The company is committed to advancing the cultural life in the Pacific Northwest with performances of the highest caliber, and through innovative education and community programs that take opera far beyond the McCaw Hall stage.
Each year, more than 95,000 people attend Seattle Opera performances and the company’s programs serve more than 400,000 people of all ages (including school performances, radio broadcasts and community engagement initiatives).
Seattle Opera is especially known for its acclaimed works in the Richard Wagner canon, and has created an “international attraction” in its presentation of Wagner’s epic Ring, according to The New York Times. Connect with Seattle Opera on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and through the Seattle Opera channel on Classical King FM. 98.1.
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