Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), has announced veteran opera bass, Harry Dworchak of Cranford, New Jersey, returns to the stage to debut in the company’s premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He will perform the role of Maestro Spinelloccio.
Verismo Opera will present this comedic dark opera in conjunction with the company’s new production of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s tragic love story, I Pagliacci. The double bill will be performed on Sunday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.
“Verismo Opera is honored and humbled by Mr. Dworchak’s decision to sing the role of Maestro Spinelloccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi,” said Amara.
For 40 years, Dworchak has sung operas and concerts on the world’s greatest stages. In the New Jersey State Opera’s 1974 production of Puccini’s Turandot, he performed as Timor with Birgit Nilsson, Placido Domingo and Licia Albanese. Taking a curious pinnacle of the Italian bass repertory on November 4, 1986 at the New York City Opera, he sang one of the most challenging roles for a bass, Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele.
Dworchak made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1987 as Ferrando in Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore, retiring from the Met in 2002. He won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award and sang his first Wotans at the Stadttheater Augsgurg and debuted with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in the role of Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca.
For the last 30 years, he has taught vocal technique. “To sing one repertoire on the world’s stages is difficult enough, but for the last 25 years, I have been singing three repertoires,” said Dworchak.
Full Productions: Under Lucine Amara, one of the Metropolitan Opera’s luminary performers, Verismo Opera will present the one-act operas fully staged with a live orchestra. Stage Director and Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif directs the new productions. The program features the aria “O mio babbino caro”, one of the most popular arias in opera.
Internationally renowned Principal Conductor/Music Director Anthony Morss will conduct the performance of I Pagliacci and Mara Waldman will conduct Gianni Schicchi for the first time. The performances will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. A complete cast will perform in period costumes designed by Catherine Mirabella and Barbara Konig.
Tickets: Special discounts are available for children and senior citizens to see these performances. Children, ages 12 and under, are eligible to receive a $10 ticket to see Gianni Schicchi and I Pagliacci. Senior citizens, ages 65 and over, purchasing regular-priced tickets on non-sale dates are entitled to a 10% discount. For further information about the special discounted children’s or senior discount tickets, call (201) 227-1030 or toll free 1-888-PACSHOW.
Group discounts are available on $55 and $45 tickets only with a minimum purchase of ten tickets. Call Verismo Opera at 201-224-2809 for further information about the group discount rate. This rate is not available online.
Regularly priced tickets may be purchased at any time online at www.bergenpac.org, through the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.
Funding: The 2013 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include the Mary Casella Briggs Memorial Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund, Children’s Aid Foundation, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, Robert J. Campbell, MD and Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ.
The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been a part of the Garden State’s music scene since 1989. The opera company, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, is the only professional opera company in Bergen County. Under Artistic Director and Met Opera luminary Lucine Amara, the organization provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists and sponsors an annual vocal competition held in November with finals generally conducted at The Liederkrantz Foundation, drawing artists from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. The company also organizes opera workshops and offers affordable, highly professional operatic productions in the community.
Verismo Opera is recognized for providing up and coming performing artists with the training to attain a successful operatic career. Several singers, notably Richard Hobson, Frank Poretta, Emmanuel di Villarosa, James Valenti and Irina Rindzuner of the Metropolitan Opera, started their road to success by performing in its productions.
For more information about the opera company, visit its web site, www.njavo.org, join its Facebook page at http://bit.ly/9JXTP8, follow the company on Twitter @NJVerismoOpera or call (201) 886-0561.