Interview with Opera Orlando Performers
Interview with Opera Orlando. I couldn’t begin to tell you the amount of talent and skill these wonderful performers have. Park Ave Magazine had the amazing opportunity to get up and personal with the performers and talented directors of upcoming show La Traviata.
About La Traviata
Director Grant Priesser is turning this tragic tale into a modern-day spectacular. Taking place in New York, this love story starts off with a girl just wanting to feel loved. But after her harsh diagnosis, she gives up all hope until that one real dream guy shows her the real meaning and feeling of love and acceptance.
Violette – Cecilia Violetta López
From Cecilia Violetta López performance as Adina in The Elixir of Love with Virginia Opera, The Virginian- Pilot hailed, “Cecilia Violetta López is showing local audiences why Opera News named her one of its ’25 Rising Stars.’ In the lead role of Adina, she hit the highest notes with ringing clarity, performed the vocal runs with precision and grace and showed a particular charm and humanity in the softest passages and lowest ranges.
”In her recent performance as Marguerite in Faust with Opera Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald claimed…Lopez sang Marguerite’s seduction, madness and salvation with an other worldly wisdom and artistry.”
Despite the halting effects of COVID-19 in the opera industry, Ms. López’ 2020-2021 has included both virtual and live recitals with Opera Idaho, Opera Las Vegas, Austin Opera, Opera Southwest, Chatter ABQ, and Madison Opera. Ms. López made her company debut with Pacific Symphony as Violetta in their 90 minute version of La traviata.
Ms. López will also be the featured soprano soloist in the world premier of Mi Camino, a virtual project with Opera Cultura. Cecilia will also return to Opera Colorado as a soprano soloist in Canciones de NutraSweet Tierras: a live, outdoor performance.
American tenor Victor Robertson is the one person ever to make is Metropolitan Opera debut, Broadway debut, and Kennedy Center debut all in the same season. His recent successes include the role of Rinaldo Armida in Virginia in 2019, a role he previously sang in the UK’s prestigious Garsington Opera Festival. Victor made his Metropolitan Opera debut in their new 2018 production of Merry Widow as Raoul, and in the same year.
His Broadway debut in its longest running show, Phantom of the Opera. Current and future engagements include Remendado Carmen at Cincinnati Opera, Alfredo La Traviata and two titles by Anthony Davis: Central Park 5 and The Life and Times of Malcolm X at Portland Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre. Victor sang his signature role, Count Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia, at Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Manitoba Opera, Portland Opera, Arizona Opera,
Director Grant Priesser
Grant Preisser takes on the role of artistic director for Opera Orlando this season having served as creative director for the past three years. Outside of supervising production and marketing efforts for the company, in the 2019-20 season Grant provided scenic design for The Marriage of Figaro, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and The Daughter of the Regiment.
He also directed and designed the Florida premiere of All is Calm. In addition to his position with Opera Orlando, Grant enjoys a diverse career of directing and designing across the country, working with Urban Arias, Opera in the Heights, and Savannah Voice Festival among others. Most recently, Grant returned to the University of Michigan as guest faculty, directing and designing their production of Die Fledermaus and directing Serradella’s La Susanna in partnership with the University’s Early Music Ensemble.
Stephanie Rhodes Russel-Conductor
Stephanie Rhodes Russel is currently in her first season as Conducting Fellow with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and appears regularly with the ensemble leading education, family, and community concerts while serving as cover conductor for the symphonic subscription series. She is the recipient of a 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, designed to aid outstanding young conductors in developing their talents and careers.
A renowned opera collaborator and pianist, this spring Ms. Rhodes Russell returns to the Dallas Opera to conduct Bizet’s Dr. Miracle, a concert of opera excerpts at the NorthPark Center, and the highly anticipated “Lawrence Brownlee: Songs for Dallas” concert in the AT&T Performing Arts Center. She has served on the music staff of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, The Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, and
“The musical aspect of the production was excellent…with a wonderful orchestra led by Stephanie Rhodes Russell.” University of Michigan, ALCINA
Washington National Opera, amongst others, and her extensive operatic experience in the roles of assistant conductor, prompter, chorus master, rehearsal pianist, and diction coach, brings a comprehensive understanding to her work.
Opera Orlando on the Main stage celebrates an opera great: Giuseppe Verdi. The Company returns to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to present two of his operatic masterpieces, La Traviata and Rigoletto, along with the world premiere of The Secret River based on the book by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It promises to be another exciting season of original productions featuring outstanding voices, stunning visuals, and incredible music.
With safety as its first priority in the presentation of its 2021-22 season, Opera Orlando continues its consultation with health partners and Dr. Phillips Center to implement an appropriate and comprehensive plan with the goal of continuing to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19.
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