Summer Opera near Asheville by Brevard Music Center


The Brevard Music Center (BMC), a summer festival and institute near Asheville, opens the 2011 season of its Janiec Opera Company with a production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, with evening performances on July 7 and 10 and a matinee on July 9. This season, for the first time, BMC opera performances will take place in the Porter Center at Brevard College. Curtain times are 7:30 PM for evening shows and 2 PM for matinees.

BMC will produce five titles in 2011: Verdi’s La Traviata (in Italian, July 7, 9, 10); Brecht & Weill’s The Threepenny Opera (in English, July 14, 15, 16); Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (in German, July 21, 23, 24); Handel’s Alcina (in Italian, July 28, 29, 30); and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (in Italian, August 4, 5, 6). Supertitles are provided for all productions.

La Traviata, Hansel and Gretel, and L’Elisir d’Amore are mainstage productions and take place in the Scott Concert Hall in the Porter Center at Brevard College. The Threepenny Opera and Alcina take place in the intimate Morrison Playhouse at the Porter Center. The three mainstage productions and Alcina are performed with orchestra.

For more than forty years BMC produced opera in the Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA), an open-sided building that is also the regular venue for BMC’s orchestras and other large ensembles. In order to incorporate new lighting and other technologies, in 2011 BMC will present its opera productions indoors, in the Porter Center at Brevard College. “There are many challenges to producing opera in the open air,” says Bruce Murray, BMC’s Dean and Artistic Administrator. “For example, it stays light in the summer until nine o’clock.

Moving indoors gives us a whole new spectrum of theatrical lighting, and patrons will be able to hear our singers without any amplification,” Murray says. He also notes that having an indoor venue allows BMC to offer opera matinees for the first time.

Tickets are available at the box office, by phone or mail, and online at www.brevardmusic.org. The box office is located in the foyer
of Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium on the Brevard Music Center campus, phone (828) 862-2105 or toll-free (888) 384-8682. A satellite box office at the Porter Center is open on performance days three hours before curtain. Parking is free.

The Janiec Opera Company is named for former BMC Artistic Director Henry Janiec, who brought opera to the Music Center in the 1960s. Each season nearly 40 student singers from around the country come to Brevard to participate in the program, which provides a full range of instruction in the discipline of opera. Four to six fully staged productions are presented to the public each year. Noted stage director David Gately has been Director of the Janiec Opera Company since 2007.

Opera is one of five programs at the Brevard Music Center, which celebrates its 75th anniversary season in 2011. More than 400 elite students enroll each summer to work with an artist faculty of 65 professional musicians, all led by Artistic Director Keith Lockhart. In 2011 BMC will present more the 80 public concerts.

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