Life Set to Music 11

Opera Carolina’s Upcoming 68th Season

Opera Carolina’s new season will bring a promising mix of repertoire, with three different operas to be staged at Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The season will open October 22, 2016 with Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” It will continue with Verdi’s “La Traviata” and end with Puccini’s “The Girl of the West.”

Composer James Meena invites both avid opera lovers and those who have never been to see a performance. Meena says, “The season has something for everyone. We have two well-known operas, The Barber of Seville (Comedy), La Traviata (one of the most beloved tragedies in Opera) and we have The Girl in the West, which has never been performed in Charlotte. We always try to give the audience balance by giving them something familiar and something that is new and different. That’s important to what we do because we have a very diverse constituency.”

This year’s theme is, “Life Set to Music.” All of the pieces demonstrate opera’s timelessness and authenticity. Meena says,

“When we looked at these stories, we realized, as often happens in opera, we are talking about situations that are very real.”

It takes months for Opera Carolina’s Marketing and Creative team to come up with the theme and repertoire but all of the seasons have the same goal, to connect the Charlotte community to art. Meena said, “For most people, Opera is something that is foreign and not something they do on a daily basis. There are a lot of stereotypes of the overweight singer screaming in a foreign language over an orchestra still, so we try to come up with thematic ideas that connect people to what we do.”

Diversity also plays a big part in helping Opera Carolina connect to the community. “If you look at the members of the principal cast of these shows it is very diverse from a cultural standpoint.

“We have a very diverse city and we want the artists onstage to reflect this diversity so young people, especially, can see that there are artists that look like them. That is something that we do in order to inspire and connect,”

explains Meena.

Meena and everyone at Opera Carolina are ready to kickoff the 2016-2017 season. Meena states, “I am really excited about this season. It is going to be beautiful from the standpoint of production and artistry and it is going to be important as we continue building relationships with our diverse community.”

Tickets will go on sale August 1. For more information visit: OperaCarolina.org.