Picture this … a calm summer night where you just sit outside and listen to sweet music. The Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) will bring this slice of Americana to you. From July 21-23 it will put on outdoor performances with selections from opera and Broadway.
The series will start at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial on Tuesday, July 21 with a free concert. The kickoff show will start at 7:00 pm and feature artists from the MOT’s Department of Community Programs and soprano Angela Theis.
The performance at the Detroit Zoo on Wednesday, July 22 at 7:00 pm will act as a preview for the MOT’s 2015-16 season. Five artists will perform highlights from La Bohem, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and other classic music theatre songs. This look into what is to come from MOT is free to zoo members and no more than the cost of admission to anyone else.
The Thursday, July 23 show in Detroit’s Grand Circus Park is part of Quicken Loan’s Summer in the Park and will be a reprisal of the previous night performance. It is free and begins at 7:00 pm.
Soprano Jennifer Rowley, soprano Angela Theis, tenor Aaron Blake, and baritone Ray Diaz, accompanied by Jean Schneider, MOT’s resident accompanist will make up the Detroit Zoo and Grand Circus Park performers. All of them are notable MOT artists.
As Musetta in La Bohem, Rowley made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in March 2014. Of that breakout performance the New York Times said she, “made a splash (…) maneuvering flirtatiously through the crowds and singing with a vibrant, agile voice.” Before her time with the Metropolitan Opera, she was with MOT as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.
Theis sang the roles of Marzelline in Fidelio and High Priestess in Aida in the MOT’s 2013 season. Her history also includes studying under Bonney at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and receiving the Audience Choice Award and second prize in the 2013 AIMS Meistersinger Competition.
Here is quick look at her performance as Marzelline in Fidelio.
“An imperturbably elegant master of grace and élan…” are words used by Opera News to describe Ray Diaz’s, the former autoworker from Long Island, New York, Don Giovanni. He was also an award winner in the Heinz Rehfuss Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, the Sullivan Foundation, and the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, and was selected as a regional finalist of the Met Opera competition in New Jersey.
The Los Angeles Tomes called Blake a “vocal powerhouse.” This title was given to him because of his role as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He is also an interpreter of the composer’s roles. His debut was in Lehar’s The Merry Widow opposite Deborah Voigt in MOT’s last season and he debuted the role of Leicester in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda opposite Angela Meade at the Astor Music Festival in June. He will debut the role of Curley in Floyd’s Of Mice and Men at the Phoenicia Festival in August.
Here is the schedule for Opera Outdoors
Grosse Pointe War Memorial Tuesday, July 21 – 7:00 pm
Detroit Zoo Wednesday, July 22 – 7:00 pm
Grand Circus Park Thursday, July 23 – 7:00 pm