Friday, March 26, 2010

Help Figaro Get Married!

I’m always excited when Jason Hardy comes to sing with us because I sang in choir with him when we were both undergrads at Emory University, so it feels like a class reunion. He’s exactly the same guy now that he was back then – talented, handsome, fun, and so, so nice. He’s got a great work ethic, too, which is another reason we love having him here (and possibly the reason he’s an opera singer and I just sell the tickets, but let’s not make this all about me).

Jason had a few really rough years. He stood by the side of his wife, Bevelyn, as she fought with cancer, and he took sole custody of her son, Lucas, and their daughter, Sabrina, after her death in 2007. He stayed as upbeat and friendly as he could during that time, but I could see and feel the spark missing from his eyes.

Well, guess what? Jason’s engaged!!! He proposed onstage, in full Figaro costume, to singer Carrie Kahl (whom the complicit director had sneakily hired as a last-minute replacement for the role of Barbarina), and let me tell you, his spark is back! He stopped by today to say hello, and he is obviously a man who is giddy in love.

The only problem? With both of them working as professional singers and raising two children, there has been no time or money to plan a wedding. Well, Jason, The Atlanta Opera wants to help! We’re asking all of our staff, singers, patrons, and fans to vote for you in Crate & Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest!

Go here to read Jason and Carrie’s story and to place your vote for this couple, who made it through a Puccini-style romantic tragedy to find a happy ending worthy of Mozart.

(Guest blogger Lindsay Smith works in The Atlanta Opera’s Ticketing Services office.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Getting to Know Soprano Nicole Cabell

Looking forward to our production of The Magic Flute, we're getting very excited about all the singers who will be new to The Atlanta Opera stage, including soprano Nicole Cabell. Nicole, our Pamina in Flute, quickly gained fame after winning the 2005 BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and has been rising in the world of opera ever since.

Check out this video on her debut album:

Also, read up on Nicole Cabell in this great Met interview to find out how she approaches the character of Pamina and which profession she wanted to pursue when she was a teenager!

If you want a chance to catch Nicole before The Magic Flute, she'll be singing at the Savannah Music Festival on Monday, March 29 at 6:15 p.m. at Telfair Academy. More information is available here.

For info on Nicole's recordings and other videos, visit her website.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pre-Performance Entertainment

If you attended one of our performances of Aida, you no doubt noticed the great student musicians who played in the lobby beforehand.

For our opening night performance on Saturday, February 27, we were joined by a woodwind quintet made up of players from the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Especially popular were the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, which played before last Friday's performance:

At Sunday's matinee, we enjoyed hearing a string quartet from the Cobb Youth Symphony Orchestra.

We want to thank all of these talented students for giving their time to entertain us before our Aida performances!