Florida Grand Opera (FGO) recently announced a 2021-22 season featuring a mix of classical favorites and 21st-century works performed at the Arsht and Broward Centers, as well as new venues in both counties.
In addition to a return to live performances following the COVID-19 shutdown, FGO will celebrate its 80th anniversary with the four-opera line-up.
General Director Susan T. Danis said, “The celebration of an 80th anniversary season is an accomplishment for any company, and in this case, an opportunity for South Florida and the opera industry to celebrate the history of our company.”
She noted that FGO (then the Greater Miami Opera) presented its first performance of Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” on Valentine’s Day 1942 at the Miami Senior High School Auditorium. The company has since gone on to present the finest opera singers from around the world in productions representing the work of more than 60 composers.
This fall, FGO opens with a series of jazz, spiritual and Motown-themed concerts in Fort Lauderdale, Nov. 18, and at historic Sandrell Rivers Theater in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, Nov. 19. The opera artists will collaborate with Fort Lauderdale’s award-winning Dillard High School Jazz Band. Other concert dates are March 18 – 19 and April 8 and 30.
FGO kicks off its regular season with Andre Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” January 22 – February 5, 2022 at the Arsht and Broward Centers. Based on Tennessee Williams’ play, the opera follows the downward spiral of former southern belle Blanche Dubois, who after having experienced a series of personal losses, leaves behind her wealth and privilege and moves into a run-down apartment with her sister and brother-in-law.
The season continues at the Arsht and Broward Centers, March 12 – April 2, with a staple of the operatic repertoire, Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” a timeless story of betrayal, dashed dreams, and mistaken identity.
FGO heads north to the Lauderhill Center for the Performing Arts for the third opera of the season, “Fellow Travelers,” April 23 - 28. Based on the best-selling novel by Thomas Mallon, the opera by Gregory Spears is both a story of the heart and a taut political thriller. Set against a backdrop of 1950s paranoia in Washington, D.C., “Fellow Travelers” follows the lives of an aspiring young journalist and handsome State Department official who are swept into a passionate love affair, just as Senator McCarthy begins his hunt for “sexual subversives” in the government.
FGO concludes the season at the Scottish Rite Temple in Miami’s Lummus Park historic district, with Handel’s early opera, “Agrippina,” May 14 – 19. Filled with devious plots, love affairs and obsession with power, “Agrippina” is on par with any of today’s popular telenovelas. Christine Lyons stars and former FGO studio artist and countertenor Key’mon Murrah sings the role of Roman soldier Ottone.
Rounding out the season is the return of FGO’s popular zarzuela concerts at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Allapattah, Feb. 11 and April 27. Zarzuela is a form of folk operetta that emerged in Spain and is still popular in Spanish-speaking countries.
Season subscriptions are now available at FGO.org. Individual concert and opera tickets will go on sale on Oct. 4.