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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

IU Opera and Ballet Theater 2013-14 season travels around the globe

April 10, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A world premiere, an additional new production, an updated production and a tribute to one of the Jacobs School of Music's most distinguished faculty members await explorers of all kinds at Bloomington's Musical Arts Center during the 2013-14 Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater season.

Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" will close the season in April 2014.

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The six operas and three ballets, representing the 65th season of the world's leading collegiate opera and ballet company, will be artistically led by IU Jacobs School faculty and a number of guest artists.

Dubbed "9 Stops: 1 Incredible Journey," the excursion begins in September with Mozart's comedic "Le Nozze di Figaro." After his success with IU Opera's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" in 2008, guest stage director Chris Alexander returns to oversee this production with Jacobs faculty conductor Arthur Fagen. Sets and costumes were designed by retired faculty member Robert O'Hearn.

Back for her third year in a row -- after 2012's "Candide" and this year's "Akhnaten" -- guest Candace Evans will stage direct Massenet's tragic "Werther." Guest Ronald Zollman will return to the podium for this work last done by IU Opera Theater in 1975. Set and costume designs come from Allen Moyer and Jessica Jahn, respectively, for the 2012 Minnesota Opera version.

An updated production of Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" -- based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm -- will end the fall junket. Led by Jacobs professors Vincent Liotta as stage director and Fagen as music director, set and costume designs are by the late Max Rothlisberger, venerable Jacobs faculty member for many years.

The spring leg of the journey commences with the world premiere of "The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh" by Jacobs faculty composer P.Q. Phan. Set in 10th-century Vietnam, the premiere will be stage directed by Liotta, who also did the honors for the work's July 2011 workshop performances.

Under the baton of David Effron, chair of the Jacobs Orchestral Conducting Department, Linda Pisano will return with her costume designs and IU Opera newcomer Erhard Rom will contribute the set designs for this story based on an ancient Vietnamese folk tale.

Gilbert and Sullivan's immensely popular "H.M.S. Pinafore" sets sail next, helmed by Michael Shell, guest stage director, and Constantine Kitsopoulos, frequent guest conductor. Retired professor C. David Higgins provides set and costume designs.

Giuseppe Verdi's sumptuous "La Traviata," one of the most beloved opera getaways of all time, will bring the season to a close in April 2014. This Pisano-costumed favorite will be conducted by Joseph Rescigno, with the stage director and set designer to be announced at a later date.

IU Ballet Theater, guided by Ballet Department Chair Michael Vernon, will offer three sophisticated choreographic destinations.

"Classical Europe: Celebrating Violette" will pay tribute to IU Distinguished Professor Violette Verdy.

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The fall "Classical Europe: Celebrating Violette" is a tribute to IU Distinguished Professor Violette Verdy, a premier ballerina of the 20th century and a principal dancer with New York City Ballet for almost 20 years.

The program will include "Divertimento No. 15," choreographed by George Balanchine and set to music by W.A. Mozart; "Variations for Eight," with choreography by Verdy and music by Johannes Brahms; and "Grosse Fuge," choreographed by Hans van Manen to music by Ludwig van Beethoven.

IU's annual holiday production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" returns in December, with choreography by Vernon, and lush set and costume designs by Higgins. The production will mark conductor Philip Ellis' IU Ballet Theater debut.

Choreographies from three master choreographers will be featured in the spring ballet, "East by Northeast."

Opening the program will be one of the most celebrated excerpts in all of classical ballet, "La Bayadère, Act III" ("The Kingdom of the Shades"), with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Ludwig Minkus.

Paul Taylor's "Airs," set to music by George Frideric Handel, and Balanchine's "Bourrée Fantasque," with music by Emmanuel Chabrier, complete the season's ballet expedition.

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 the IU Opera and Ballet Theater website.

Single tickets go on sale to the general public Aug. 30. Single tickets to "The Nutcracker" go on sale to non-subscribers Nov. 4.



All performances begin at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Please note unique performance dates and times for "Hansel and Gretel."

"Le Nozze di Figaro" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sept. 20-21, 27-28
Conductor: Arthur Fagen
Stage director: Christopher Alexander
Set and costume designer: Robert O'Hearn

"Werther" by Jules Massenet
Oct. 25-26, Nov. 1-2
Conductor: Ronald Zollman
Stage director: Candace Evans
Set designer: Allen Moyer
Costume designer: Jessica Jahn

"Hansel and Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck (updated production)
8 p.m. Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 22; 7 p.m. Nov. 21
Conductor: Arthur Fagen
Stage director: Vincent Liotta
Set and costume designer: Max Rothlisberger

"The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh" by P.Q. Phan (world premiere)
Feb. 7-8, 14-15
Conductor: David Effron
Stage director: Vincent Liotta
Set designer: Erhard Rom
Costume designer: Linda Pisano

"H.M.S. Pinafore" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Feb. 28, March 1, 7, 8
Conductor: Constantine Kitsopoulos
Stage director: Michael Shell
Set and costume designer: C. David Higgins

"La Traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi (new production)
April 11-12, 18-19
Conductor: Joseph Rescigno
Stage director: TBD
Set designer: TBD
Costume designer: Linda Pisano


"Classical Europe: Celebrating Violette -- Fall Ballet"
8 p.m. Oct. 4-5
"Divertimento No. 15" -- Choreography by George Balanchine, music by W.A. Mozart.
"Variations for Eight" -- Choreography by Violette Verdy, music by Johannes Brahms.
"Grosse Fuge" -- Choreography by Hans van Manen, music by Ludwig van Beethoven.

"The Nutcracker" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
8 p.m. Dec. 6-7; 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8
Conductor: Philip Ellis
Choreographer: Michael Vernon
Set and costume designer: C. David Higgins

"East by Northeast -- Spring Ballet"
8 p.m. March 28; 2 and 8 p.m. March 29
"La Bayadère, Act III" ("The Kingdom of the Shades") -- Choreography by Marius Petipa, music by Ludwig Minkus.
"Airs" -- Choreography by Paul Taylor, music by George Frideric Handel.
"Bourrée Fantasque" -- Choreography by George Balanchine, music by Emmanuel Chabrier.