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As Westchester County's premiere source for opera, Taconic Opera continues to forge ahead when other arts organizations are struggling. When asked how they are navigating these difficult times, General Director Dan Montez answers, "We make sure all the money goes to the artists, where it belongs. Many of us who administrate the arts have taken the hit so the artists don't have to." This philosophy has helped the company continue to grow while others are closing their doors.
Taconic Opera continues to make bold moves. In order to build crossover audiences from the classical arts community, it has presented an annual choral oratorio with its professional leading opera stars, chorus and full orchestra. This not only introduces the choral community to the opera community, it also exposes fans of opera to the choral masterworks. Montez explains, "Everybody wins. More people attend opera and choral events as a result. It also gives local singers an opportunity to investigate both styles of singing and become better singers as a result." And Taconic Opera presents large grand operas, generally reserved for monolithic opera houses, in a more intimate setting. For example, Taconic Opera has presented Aida, Manon Lescaut and Macbeth.
This year, the company opens its season in October with Verdi's masterwork Nabucco, the story of the Jewish Babylonian captivity in 586 BCE. It features the famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, "Va pensiero," and arguably the most difficult singing in the world by a lead soprano. In addition to its regular performances at the Yorktown Stage, an additional performance will be held at the Pepsico Theatre at SUNY-Purchase. The following March, the company presents its premiere of Donizetti 's comic masterpiece Don Pasquale, the story of an old buffoon who needs to be taught a lesson about women. Finally, in June 2012, the company presents a master choral work by Rossini, the composer of the Barber of Seville, entitled Petite Messe Solennelle, a work full of both controversy and excitement that is neither petite nor solemn.
Performances dates, company information, and online ticket ordering can be found at their website www.taconicopera.org or by calling their new toll-free number, 1-(855) 88-OPERA (67372).
Angela Usobiaga handles publicity for Taconic Opera.