By about now it would be time for opera-production No. 2 in Indianapolis Opera’s usual four-opera season. But this year, as a change of pace — and avoiding production costs to enhance IO’s budget health — Clowes Hall will instead be hosting a bounty of past IO singers presenting a potpourri of famous opera excerpts, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the pit and the IO Chorus on stage when called for.
Entitled OPERA CENTER STAGE, the program features male vocalists Robert Orth, Timothy Noble, Kevin Short and Gran Wilson, plus women Emily Golden, Sarah Paige Hagstrom and Laura Pedersen. Each singer will be featured in an aria or arias of his or her own. IO artistic director and conductor James Caraher will, as usual, be on the podium. Some of the operas to be represented include Aïda, Carmen, The Crucible, The Barber of Seville, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, The Marriage of Figaro, The Pearl Fishers and Werther. In addition, the ISO will play the ever-popular Overture to Rossini’s William Tell to begin the second half.
IO Executive Director John Pickett looks forward to “opening the eyes and ears of those wanting to experience opera for the first time. We know that if we get them in the door for OPERA CENTER STAGE we will win them back for The Daughter of the Regiment, the next fully staged production in March.”
Pickett won’t reveal all the surprises planned for the performance, but we may expect a projected video onto a large screen at the rear of the stage showing nationally and world renowned singers and divas. Pickett says the audience will experience “a highly-charged artistic ride.” Presentation times are, as usual, this Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. For general info, call 317-940-6444; for tickets call 317-283-3470. Tickets are $20-$110.