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Progressive Ideas Contribute to Syracuse Opera's Success
Collaborations with Everson Museum of Art and Syracuse University mark 2009-10 season

March 9, 2010

A challenging upstate New York economy has made for strategic partnerships between Syracuse Opera and other local nonprofits, including the Everson Museum of Art (Everson) and Syracuse University (SU). For the 2009-2010 season, thoughtful collaborations and effective use of progressive staging techniques have resulted in commercial and critical successes for the company's productions of La Bohème and The Flying Dutchman.

For La Bohème, Syracuse Opera partnered with the Everson before and during its show, Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection.
  • July featured a celebration of Syracuse Opera's 35th anniversary at the Everson. On display was Mimì's costume for La Bohème designed by Rose Brown of Utah Opera to emulate the dress in Renoir's La Parisienne.
  • Sales from Syracuse Opera's production of La Bohème in October surpassed budget by 124%, with performances bySara Jakubiak (Mimì), Brian Jagde (Rodolfo), Kate Mangiameli (Musetta), and Timothy Kuhn (Marcello) well received by the critics.
  • In November, L'heure exquise was presented by Syracuse Opera at the Everson as a vocal program designed to highlight paintings in the Turner to Cézanne exhibition. Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah and baritone Chad Sloan were accompanied by Director of Music Douglas Kinney Frost at the piano.

Collaboration with SU resulted in innovative projection and lighting techniques to complement the musical artistry of Syracuse Opera's multimedia concert production of The Flying Dutchman.

  • Exceptional performances were delivered by Greer Grimsley (Dutchman), Lori Phillips (Senta), Allan Glassman (Erik), and Peter Strummer (Daland). An expanded Syracuse Opera Chorus and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra complemented the principal artists, all under the direction of Maestro Douglas Kinney Frost.
  • Wagner's score was divided into 14 sections with students from SU's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) assigned the task of creating a video to reflect the emotions and action of his or her component. The students worked under the direction of COLAB, an interdisciplinary initiative based in VPA that helps organizations solve real-world challenges. The final product was developed by Lighting & Video System Designer Barry Steele and projected on to sail-like screens created by Scenic Designer Peter Harrison.
  • Again, sales exceeded budget expectations, this time by 101%.

"Syracuse Opera is fortunate to be able to partner with organizations that share a commitment to new, forward-thinking ways for achieving excellence in the arts," says General & Artistic Director Catherine Wolff. "Our artistic successes this season have been enhanced through these relationships."

About Syracuse Opera

Celebrating its 35th year, Syracuse Opera enriches the lives of the people of upstate New York through locally produced opera, the one all-inclusive art form that celebrates the beauty of the human singing voice energized through the spectacle of live theater. Offering three mainstage productions each season and year-round community performances and education programs, Syracuse Opera is a professional company reaching over 60,000 people each year. For more information, please visit www.SyracuseOpera.com or call (315) 475-5915.

Michael A. Connor
Director of Advancement