Indiana University

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Last modified: Monday, March 5, 2007

College premiere of "A Wedding" marks season of firsts for IU Opera and Ballet Theater

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March 5, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater, which has staged a number of world premiere performances in recent years, will add to its list of firsts during its 2007-2008 season, announced today (March 5).

The upcoming season at the IU Jacobs School of Music features the nation's first collegiate performance (Feb. 1-2, 8-9) of the opera A Wedding by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom, who has commissioned IU Opera Theater for two previous collegiate premieres. IU Opera Theater delivered critically acclaimed productions of McTeague and A View from the Bridge in 1996 and 2005, respectively.

The season also includes a tribute to Russian dance legend Vaslav Nijinsky as part of the annual fall ballet (Oct. 5-6), a new production of Puccini's opera La Boheme (Nov. 9-10, 16-17), which will be overseen by acclaimed stage director Tito Capobianco and designed by IU's C. David Higgins, and an opera-themed spring ballet (March 21-22) featuring a performance of Rossini Overtures with new choreography by Distinguished Professor and ballet icon Violette Verdy.

The new ballet performances reflect the mission of Michael Vernon, newly appointed chair of the IU Jacobs School's Ballet Department. Vernon, who joined the school in the fall of 2006, has been charged with carrying on the longstanding tradition of excellence in ballet at IU, while also taking it in challenging new directions. Not coincidentally, the London-trained dancer has designed a program for the fall ballet around influential works by several of the world's most visionary choreographers: Nijinsky, Isadora Duncan and Michael Fokine.

IU Opera and Ballet Theater continues to lead the nation in the number of collegiate productions it produces. Its season -- including seven fully staged operas and three ballets each year -- is traditionally marked by new performances along with perennial favorites. True to form, the 2007-2008 season will also feature opera performances of Verdi's Rigoletto (Sept. 21-22, 28-29), Floyd's Susannah (Oct. 19-20, 26-27), Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (Feb. 22-23, 29 and March 1) and Les contes d'Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach (April 4-5, 11-12), as well as the annual Nutcracker Ballet (Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2).

All performances are held at IU's Musical Arts Center, which boasts a stage second in size only to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and features technical capabilities that are among the best in the nation.

This facility, along with the talented performers, scholars and music educators who constitute the IU Jacobs School of Music, has made IU Opera and Ballet Theater a leading destination for new performances. Last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Ned Rorem selected IU Opera for the launching of his new opera Our Town, based on the timeless American play by Thornton Wilder. Sergei Prokofiev's full-length ballet Cinderella made its debut on the grand stage in 2005.

Bolcom, who won the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1988, will return to Bloomington for the third time with A Wedding, based on Robert Altman's 1978 film about a high society wedding. First staged at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2004, it will open the spring portion of the IU Opera and Ballet Theater season.

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Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater 2007-2008 Season

IU Opera Theater 2007-2008 Season

Rigoletto , by Giuseppe Verdi
(Sung in Italian with English supertitles)
Sept. 21-22, 28-29, 2007
Conductor: Stephen Lord
Stage Director: Vincent Liotta
Designer: Max Röthlisberger and C. David Higgins

Susannah , by Carlisle Floyd
(Sung in English with English supertitles)
Oct. 19-20, 26-27, 2007

La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini -- New Production
(Sung in Italian with English supertitles)
Nov. 9-10, 16-17, 2007

A Wedding , by William Bolcom -- Collegiate Premiere
(Sung in English with English supertitles)
Feb. 1-2, 8-9, 2008

Le Nozze di Figaro , by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Sung in Italian with English supertitles)
Feb. 22-23, 29-March 1, 2008

Les contes d'Hoffmann , by Jacques Offenbach
(Sung in French with English supertitles)
April 4-5, 11-12, 2008

IU Ballet Theater 2007-2008 Season

Perspectives 1900s
Fall Ballet
Oct. 5-6, 2007, at 8:00 p.m.

The Nutcracker , by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at 8:00 p.m..; Dec. 1-2 at 3:00 p.m.

A Night at the Opera (at the Ballet)
Spring Ballet
March 21-22, 2008, at 8:00 p.m.

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