By Richard Schultz, October 2016 Issue.
Arizona Opera | azopera.org
The Copper Queen
This workshop performance tells the gripping story of a haunting in the titular hotel, located in Arizona’s once-prominent mining town for both copper and “Bisbee-blue” turquoise. In 1910, Julia Lowell, a “lady of the evening,” uses Room 315 of the Copper Queen Hotel to service her clients. Following her untimely death, her spirit is unable to leave the room, and the legend of her ghostly exploits gains infamy. As the years pass, ghost hunters and supernatural enthusiasts clamor to stay for a night in Room 315, desperate for a glimpse of the infamous Julia. While the men who stay at the hotel experience little other than the faint scent of perfume or the echo of a lady’s sigh, women who stay in the room run into trouble.
Tucson: Nov. 19-20
When the water nymph Rusalka wants to be a part of our world, she sacrifices everything for the chance at true love. You think you know the story of this little mermaid, but the fairytale doesn’t break the surface. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s original story, Rusalka features dark forests, woodland sprites and the glorious aria, “Song To The Moon.” Sara Gartland returns to take the title role. This production is sung in Czech with English supertitles.
Tucson: Jan. 28-29
Phoenix: Feb. 3-5
With tender duets and the most breathtaking arias of all-time, Madama Butterfly encompasses a lifetime of hope, anticipation, betrayal and despair. Set in the idyllic village of Nagasaki, Japan, an innocent geisha’s love for an American naval officer leads to the ultimate heartbreak and tragedy. Considered Puccini’s greatest masterpiece, Madama Butterfly takes audiences to the pinnacles and depths of human emotion, rightfully securing its place in the heavens. This production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Riders of the Purple Sage
Tucson: Feb. 25-26
Phoenix: March 3-5
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage will be the first world premiere produced by Arizona Opera. Follow this Wild West adventure through the sweeping vistas and massive canyons of the Southwest, brought to life by the vibrant work of world-renowned Arizona artist, Ed Mell.
Tucson: April 1-2
Phoenix: April 7-9
Soaring arias and outlandish hijinks abound in this delightful version of tis classic story. Angelina is forced to serve her stepfather, Don Magnifico, and his two ridiculous daughters. With help from the prince’s tutor and a pair of beautiful bracelets, Angelina navigates the precarious court of Prince Ramiro, hoping to win his heart. Real-life sweethearts Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader bring this fun, vibrant fairytale to life. This production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Ballet Arizona | balletaz.org
La Bayadère 2016
Set against the rich backdrop of India, La Bayadère tells the heartbreaking tale of a temple dancer and a young warrior kept apart in life and united only in death. The lovers are wrenched apart by twists of fate and doomed by uncontrollable vengeance. With lavish set designs that conjure up exotic locales, this ballet will transport you to a world of noble warriors, cruel princesses and beautiful temple dancers.
Romeo & Juliet 2017
A romance that’s sure to set your heart astir, the most famous love story of all time is performed just in time for Valentine’s Day. Set in 16th century Verona, Romeo & Juliet chronicles Shakespeare’s tale of two passionate teenagers from great families on opposing sides of a bitter feud. With its sweepingly regal ballroom scenes, vivacious swordplay and poignant pas de deux, Ib Andersen’s production is a feast for the eyes and ears.
All Balanchine 2017
Prepare for a soaring evening of works by the father of American Ballet, George Balanchine, staged by Ib Andersen, one of a handful of artists worldwide authorized by The Balanchine Trust. In Western Symphony arranged by Hershey Kay, the folk music in this joyous ballet is based on traditional western songs. This large, ensemble work features cowboys and dance hall girls with the backdrop of an old-west saloon. Square Dance is a Ballet Arizona premiere that combines the spirit and verve of an American folk dance with the precision and techniques of classical ballet.
Phoenix Symphony | phoenixsymphony.org
Brahms’ Symphony No. 4
Guest conductor Matthias Bamert joins Phoenix Symphony and Chorus for an evening of Brahms and Stravinsky. Johannes Brahms’ monumental Symphony No. 4 engages the audience with its autumnal lyricism and soaring themes. The Phoenix Symphony Chorus performs in Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. The program opens with Tragic Overture, another dramatic work by Brahms, known for its dramatic trajectory and shattering close.
Bravo Broadway: Music of the Night
Sept. 30-Oct. 1
Tip your hat to Broadway as this popular program returns to Symphony Hall featuring music from The Phantom of the Opera. Under the baton of guest conductor, Robert Franz, Phoenix Symphony is joined by three world-class Broadway soloists to perform your favorite Broadway tunes from Les Misérables, West Side Story and more.
The Music of David Bowie
Celebrate the life and legacy of flamboyant rock legend David Bowie in a one of a kind tribute to his astounding career. Experience vocalist Tony Vincent and Phoenix Symphony, along with a full rock band for a musical odyssey that showcases the extraordinary range of Bowie’s musical career. This one-night only performance features Bowie’s mega hits, including “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “Heroes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame” and “China Girl.”
Star Wars: The Music
Phoenix Symphony brings another popular episode of Star Wars: The Music to Symphony Hall. As Rogue One takes on the universe this fall, put on your best Star Wars costume and come celebrate John Williams’ acclaimed music including the “Main Theme,” “Imperial March” and new music from Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Feb. 2: Camelback Bible Church
Feb. 4: Musical Instrument Museum Music Theater (2:00 p.m.)
Feb. 4: Central United Methodist (7:30 p.m.)
Concertmaster and Valley favorite Steven Moeckel leads a chamber ensemble comprises of musicians from Phoenix Symphony. The performance showcases the string section in two of the most adored pieces in the chamber repertoire – Dvorák’s Serenade for Strings and Vivaldi’s perennially popular The Four Seasons – in an intimate setting.
Music of the Rolling Stones
The final Legends Series concert features the music of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” with classic songs from the Rolling Stones like “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction),” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Start Me Up,” “Ruby Tuesday” and more sung by vocalist Brody Dolyniuk.
An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein
Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Theatre team up once again with the return of this popular collaboration, An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein. The timeless music of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is brought to life with the reprisal of this original semi-staged production, featuring hits from Cinderella, South Pacific, The King and I, The Sound of Music and much more.
Southwest Shakespeare | swshakespeare.org
The Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare’s dark story of religion, race and prejudice has caused controversy wherever it has been presented. Bassanio, a young man-about-town is determined to woo the wealthy heiress Portia, but in order to finance his quest, he needs 3,000 ducats. Enter Shylock. The scales of justice and the bonds of family, friendship and love are tested in a world of deception, faithlessness and treachery.
Much Ado About Nothing (in repertory with Hamlet)
One of the cleverest comedies The Bard ever penned, Much Ado features one of the most engaging and unlikely romantic couples in all of Shakespeare, Beatrice and Benedick. In all its intrigues, battles of wits, romance, buffoonery, and dramatic thrills, this romantic delight asks us to look beneath the surface of love to its true nature, past human frailty to humility and forgiveness.
Feb. 24-March 11
An intriguing portrait of British scientist Rosalind Franklin and her often overlooked role in the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. This complex tale by Anna Zeigler explores how Franklin, a smart, stubborn, and courageous woman, operated in a field dominated by men. A balance of the historical, romantic, and scientific, Photograph 51, in its Arizona premiere, is a touching human play of ideas and relationships.
Pride @ Prejudice
March 24-April 8
This classic novel by Jane Austen is adapted by Daniel Elihu Kramer in an Arizona premiere. In this romantic deconstruction of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice is playfully reinvented with modern-day characters stepping outside of Austen’s 19th century England to talk, google and tweet about the novel’s contents. Populated with many of the novel’s personalities, as well as Jane herself, this version is a fresh re-imagining of one of the world’s most popular love stories, delivered with humor, wit, and sass.
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