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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

IU Opera and Ballet Theater announces 2012-13 season

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April 10, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three new productions and a collection of classics, including a reprise of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," will take the stage at Bloomington's Musical Arts Center during the 2012-13 Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater season.

The six operas and three ballets, representing the 64th season of the world's leading collegiate opera and ballet company, will be artistically led by IU Jacobs School of Music faculty and a number of guest artists.

The fall semester opens in September with a reprise of W.A. Mozart's "Don Giovanni." After successes with "Lucia di Lammermoor" and last season's "Albert Herring," guest stage director James Marvel returns to IU Opera to helm this production with Jacobs faculty conductor Arthur Fagen. Sets and costumes were designed by retired faculty member C. David Higgins.

Fresh off the 2011-12 season's "Der Rosenkavalier," professor and stage director Vincent Liotta will once again collaborate with guest designers William Forrester and Linda Pisano, head of the Costume Design Program at the IU Department of Theatre and Drama -- this time on a new production of Franz Lehár's "The Merry Widow." Guest Dale Rieling will take the podium for this lush Viennese operetta.

Jules Massenet's "Cendrillon (Cinderella)" will bring IU Opera's fall semester to a close, led by Belgian stage director Albert-Andre Lheureux in his American debut. Fellow countryman Ronald Zollman will conduct, with fairytale sets and costumes by Higgins.

Spring semester commences with a new production of George Frideric Handel's comedic "Xerxes," presented by IU for the first time. Guest stage director Tom Diamond and conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who teamed for 2009's "Giulio Cesare," will join internationally renowned American designer Robert Perdziola in his IU Opera Theater debut.

Then the Jacobs School will present another first, with its inaugural production of a Philip Glass opera -- "Akhnaten" -- under the baton of Fagen and stage directed by Candace Evans, who debuted at IU with this season's "Candide." Pisano will design the costumes for this story based on the life and religious convictions of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, the opera season draws to a close with his popular comedy "Falstaff." Jacobs' own Liotta will stage direct, while conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos returns and retired professor Robert O'Hearn provides set and costume designs.

IU Ballet Theater, directed by Ballet Department Chair Michael Vernon, will open its new season in September with "Light and Shade," the 2012 fall ballet.

The program will include "Sweet Fields," choreographed by Twyla Tharp and set to early American shape note and Shaker hymns; "Eight Easy Pieces" and "Eight More" with choreography by Peter Martins and music by Igor Stravinsky; and "Appalachian Spring," with choreography by Martha Graham and music by Aaron Copland.

IU's annual holiday production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" returns in November, with choreography by Vernon and set and costume designs by Higgins.

The spring ballet will offer three popular ballets by two master choreographers in "Old World, New World."

The eclectic performances will include "Bournonville Suite," with choreography by August Bournonville and music by Edvard Helsted, V.C. Holm, Herman Severin Loevenskjold, H.C. Lumbye and H.S. Paulli; "The Four Temperaments," featuring choreography by George Balanchine and music by Paul Hindemith; and "Western Symphony," with choreography by Balanchine set to traditional American melodies orchestrated by Hershy Kay.

Subscriptions are now on sale at the Musical Arts Center box office, open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (812-855-7433), or through

Single tickets will go on sale to the general public Aug. 27. Single tickets to "The Nutcracker" will go on sale Oct. 22.



All performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Musical Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Please note unique performance dates and times for "The Merry Widow" and "Cendrillon."

"Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sept. 14-15, 21-22
Conductor: Arthur Fagen
Stage director: James Marvel
Set and costume designer: C. David Higgins

"The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar (new production)
7 p.m. Oct. 18; 8 p.m. Oct. 19-20; 2 p.m. Oct. 21
Conductor: Dale Rieling
Stage director: Vincent Liotta
Set designer: William Forrester
Costume designer: Linda Pisano

"Cendrillon (Cinderella)" by Jules Massenet
7 p.m. Nov. 8; 8 p.m. Nov. 9-10; 2 p.m. Nov. 11
Conductor: Ronald Zollman
Stage director: Albert-Andre Lheureux
Set and costume designer: C. David Higgins

"Xerxes" by George Frideric Handel (new production)
Feb. 1-2, 8-9
Conductor: Gary Thor Wedow
Stage director: Tom Diamond
Set and costume designer: Robert Perdziola

"Akhnaten" by Philip Glass (new production)
Feb. 22-23, March 1-2
Conductor: Arthur Fagen
Stage director: Candace Evans
Costume designer: Linda Pisano

"Falstaff" by Giuseppe Verdi
April 5-6, 12-13
Conductor: Constantine Kitsopoulos
Stage director: Vincent Liotta
Set and costume designer: Robert O'Hearn


"Light and Shade: Fall Ballet"
8 p.m. Sept. 28-29
"Sweet Fields" -- Choreography by Twyla Tharp. Set to early American shape note and Shaker hymns.
"Eight Easy Pieces" -- Choreography by Peter Martins. Music by Igor Stravinsky.
"Eight More" -- Choreography by Peter Martins. Music by Igor Stravinsky.
"Appalachian Spring" -- Choreography by Martha Graham. Music by Aaron Copland.

"The Nutcracker" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
8 p.m. Nov. 30; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 1; 2 p.m. Dec. 2
Conductor: Andrea Quinn
Choreographer: Michael Vernon
Set and costume designer: C. David Higgins

"Old World New World: Spring Ballet"
8 p.m. March 22; 2 and 8 p.m. March 23
"Bournonville Suite" -- Choreography by August Bournonville. Music by Helsted, Holm, Loevenskjold, Lumbye and Paulli.
"The Four Temperaments" -- Choreography by George Balanchine. Music by Paul Hindemith.
"Western Symphony" -- Choreography by George Balanchine. Traditional American melodies orchestrated by Hershy Kay.

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