Michigan Opera Theatre will present three outdoor performances of selections from opera and Broadway, July 21-23, 2015. The series kicks off with a free performance from artists of MOT’s Department of Community Programs and soprano Angela Theis, at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial on Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. The next evening, Wednesday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m., five artists will perform a sneak preview of MOT’s 2015-16 opera season at the Detroit Zoo, offering highlights from Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and a selection of classic musical theatre songs. Admission is free for Zoo members, and the cost of general admission for nonmembers. The same performance will be reprised the following evening, free of charge and open to the public, for Quicken Loans’ Summer in the Park on Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m. in Detroit’s Grand Circus Park.
Grosse Pointe War Memorial
Tuesday, July 21 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 22 – 6:30 p.m.
Grand Circus Park
Thursday, July 23 – 7 p.m.
The Detroit Zoo and Grand Circus Park events include a notable ensemble of MOT artists – soprano Jennifer Rowley, soprano Angela Theis, tenor Aaron Blake, and baritone Ray Diaz, accompanied by Jean Schneider, MOT’s resident accompanist.
All performances are open to the public and do not require reservations.
Ms. Rowley received great acclaim for her triumphant debut with the Metropolitan Opera in March 2014 as Musetta in La Boheme. The New York Times raved that she “made a splash […] maneuvering flirtatiously through the crowds and singing with a vibrant, agile voice.” She most recently performed on the MOT stage as Donna Anna in the company’s 2010 production of Don Giovanni.
Ms. Theis was chosen as a fellow to study under Barbara Bonney at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and was the recipient of both the Audience Choice Award and 2nd Prize in the 2013 AIMS Meistersinger Competition. In MOT’s 2013 season, she sang the roles of Marzelline in Fidelio and High Priestess in Aida.
Mr. Blake was touted as “A vocal powerhouse” by the Los Angeles Times, for his portrayal of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and is becoming known as a vibrant interpreter of many of the composer’s roles. In 2014-15, Blake debuted the role of Camille opposite Deborah Voigt in MOT’s production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow in April, and 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.
Mr. Diaz is native Long Islander and former autoworker known for his warm, dark tone and commanding stage presence. Opera News referred to his Don Giovanni as “an imperturbably elegant master of grace and élan…” Mr. Diaz has been selected as 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.