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Opera Saratoga 2020 Summer Festival: The Pirates of Penzance

June 19, 2020 @ 7:30 PM - July 4, 2020 @ 9:30 PM

Saratoga Springs, NY – Opera Saratoga announced today the three operas that will be featured at the center of the company’s 2020 Summer Festival, to be presented at The Spa Little Theatre in Spa State Park, from June 20th through July 5th, 2020.

The 2020 Summer Festival will feature new productions of two audience favorites, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, alongside the New York premiere of a riveting new opera by Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch, Sky on Swings, which received its critically acclaimed world premiere in 2018.

The Festival will also feature multiple concerts and public master classes highlighting the exceptional members of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program, under the direction of Laurie Rogers, who celebrates her tenth anniversary as the program’s director in 2020. These additional events will culminate in a complete performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, conducted by Maestra Rogers, on the final day of the Festival, July 5, 2020.

“The 2020 Summer Festival continues Opera Saratoga’s commitment to present masterworks from the operatic canon, works that introduce family audiences to the excitement of lyric theater, and important contemporary works,” said Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson. “We also remain committed to showcasing leading international artists alongside the next generation of gifted emerging artists. At Opera Saratoga, audiences have the opportunity to hear truly exceptional singing and theatrically compelling productions in an intimate space that creates a truly visceral experience. There are few theaters in the world where you enjoy this caliber of performance as up-close-and-personal as you can at Opera Saratoga.”

Gilbert and Sullivan’s beloved operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, returns to Opera Saratoga in a new, action-packed, dance-filled production for the entire family. Young pirate-in-training Frederic can’t wait for his 21st birthday, the day his erroneous pirate apprenticeship ends….or does it? Born in a Leap Year, Frederic discovers he must remain with the raucous band and delay a future with the lovely Mabel who promises to wait for him, much to the chagrin of her father, the Major General. Bound by his own sense of duty and loyalty to the Pirate King, will Frederic be forced to sail away into the sunset alone or fly high on the seas of love? The most famous patter song in all of opera, “I am the very model of a modern Major General…” is but one of the memorable melodies in this tuneful, swashbuckling farce. Directed and choreographed by Eve Summer, a distinguished alumna of Opera Saratoga’s Directing Fellowship Program, this new production will showcase members of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program. The production will be conducted by Brian DeMaris in his company debut. Previously director of opera and musical theatre at Ithaca College and Music Director of Mill City Summer Opera, Maestro DeMaris currently serves as Artistic Director of Music Theatre and Opera at Arizona State University and Principal Conductor of the Anchorage Opera in Alaska.
“Long before the satirical comedy of late night television, Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas were the hottest send-ups of current events and political obsessions,” said Edelson. “While The Pirates of Penzance is absurd, hilarious, and entertaining for audiences of all ages, it is also brilliant parody – proving that the lines between opera and popular culture are not necessarily that far apart. Over the years, The Pirates of Penzance has been featured in a Tony Award winning production on Broadway, in film, and on the opera house stage. With incredibly witty lyrics, not so scary pirates, a damsel who refuses to be in distress, and a score that parodies composers from Verdi to Mozart to Gounod, it truly has something to offer every member of the audience.”

Complete casting, additional concerts, symposia and public master classes for the 2020 Summer Festival will be announced in the coming months.

Subscriptions will go on sale October 1, 2019. Along with Choose Your Own Subscription Packages, two Getaway Weekends in late June and early July – during which it will be possible to see all three Festival productions – will be available as subscriptions with discounted accommodations available for out of town visitors.

Single Tickets will go on sale February 15, 2020.

For more information, please visit www.operasaratoga.org

Opera Tickets: $125 / $100 / $75 / $50
Subscriptions: Discount Packages Available

Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan; Libretto by Sir W.S. Gilbert

Performance Dates:
Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, June 21, 2020 @ 2pm
Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 2pm
Saturday, July 4, 2020 @ 2pm
Conductor: Brian DeMaris (debut)
Director and Choreographer: Eve Summer
Featuring: Opera Saratoga Festival Artists

SKY ON SWINGS (2018) – New York Premiere
Music by Lembit Beecher; Libretto by Hannah Moscovitch

Performance Dates:
Saturday, June 20, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, June 27, 2020 @ 2pm
Thursday, July 2, 2020 @ 7:30pm

Conductor: Emily Senturia (debut)
Director: Lawrence Edelson
Featuring: Susanne Mentzer (debut) and Marietta Simpson (debut)

Music by Giacomo Puccini; Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

Performance Dates:
Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, June 28, 2020 @ 2pm
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 @ 7:30pm
Friday, July 3, 2020 @ 2pm

Conductor: Dean Williamson (debut)
Director: Izumi Ashizawa (debut)
Featuring: Kelebogile Besong (debut)

Opera Saratoga, formerly known as Lake George Opera, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. Opera Saratoga serves the communities of Saratoga Springs, the Lower Adirondack and New York State Capital areas by providing access to world-class opera through the production of an annual Summer Festival, as well as year-round activities including extensive educational programs, mentorship of emerging operatic artists, and unique opportunities for the public to experience opera in both our home theater and non-traditional venues that leverage and embrace the unique cultural, historic, and natural resources of the area. To date, the company has performed 104 different fully staged works by 65 different composers, including 42 works by American composers and 14 premiere productions. In 2014, the Board of Directors appointed Lawrence Edelson Opera Saratoga’s Artistic and General Director. Edelson’s leadership has marked a new chapter in the company’s history, with increased emphasis on community partnerships throughout the year, diversification of the company’s repertoire, and a reaffirmed commitment to both the presentation of American opera and the mentorship of emerging artists as core activities in the company’s programs each season. The 2020 Summer Festival marks the sixth season under his leadership. For more information, visit www.operasaratoga.org.


June 19, 2020 @ 7:30 PM
July 4, 2020 @ 9:30 PM


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