Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tucson: Southern Arizona Opera Company presents "Chin, Chun, Chan."


New opera company launches with gala

12/15/2008 08:24 AM
Cathalena E. Burch, AZ Star


Linus Lerner apparently doesn’t have enough on his plate as artistic director of Reveille Men’s Chorus and music director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra. In January, he will launch The Southern Arizona Opera Company.

Lerner is artistic director of the upstart company, a semi-professional troupe that will mount concert and fully- and partially-staged productions of opera favorites and overlooked works that are rarely performed in Southern Arizona, Lerner said. The company’s emphasis will be twofold — to train young singers and to expose new audiences to the artform.

Lerner, a trained baritone, will join three other singers in the company’s introductory performance Thursday of Seymour Barab’s “Only A Miracle.” The performance at 7:30 p.m. at Church of the Painted Hills, 3295 W. Speedway, will include soprano Christi Amonson, tenor Adam Shelton and bass baritone Christopher Herrera. Pianist Marco Jiménez will accompany. The evening also will include holiday favorites.

Admission is by donation and proceeds will be used to fund future productions.

The company mounts its first production in January with the Mexican Zarzuela “Chin, Chun, Chan.” It will be a coproduction with the University of Arizona’s Ethnomusicology Department under the direction of Dr. Janet Sturman as part of the Second International Symposium on Latin American Music. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Stevie Ellen Dance Theater on the UA campus.



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