Opera Festival Under Way
If you’re wondering what happened to the Chinese acrobats stranded in the United States after their booking agent went belly up, wonder no more. They’ve come West and will be doing their tumbling in Fort Worth.
The entertainers will be performing with the Fort Worth Opera on Saturday as part of the company’s second annual opera festival. The opera in which the acrobats will be featured is Turandot, Puccini’s last spectacular piece and one of four works that will be performed throughout the festival’s month-long run. The others are: Donizetti’s coloratura showcase Lucia di Lammermoor, Carlisle Floyd’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Dust-Bowl novel Of Mice and Men, and Peter Eötvös’ 2004 adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning stage drama from the 1980s, Angels in America. Other than Angels, which plays at Scott Theater, all performances will be at Bass Performance Hall.
Turandot features soprano Carter Scott in the title role of the mythical Chinese princess who will marry only a prince who can answer three riddles – suitors who fail are beheaded. Dongwon Shin will be heard as Calaf, a prince who woos her, and will tackle “Nessun Dorma,” the heroic-tenor aria that became the late Luciano Pavarotti’s signature encore. Soprano Elizabeth Futral, who has sung the title role of the hapless Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera, will be heard here in three performances, with tenor Stephen Costello as her lover, Edgardo, a role he sang earlier this season at the Met.
Rounding out the festival will be Of Mice and Men, with Anthony Dean Griffey starring as the slow-witted Lennie Small, a role he reportedly “owns.” Griffey received sensational reviews for his turn as the title character in Peter Grimes at the Met earlier this season.
Angels in America debuted last week at the W. E. Scott Theatre in the Fort Worth Community Arts Center as part of More Life: The Art and Science of AIDS, a community-wide HIV/AIDS outreach and awareness campaign initiated by several AIDS outreach centers in Fort Worth earlier this year. (Read a review of Angels on pg. 21.) The production will be reprised in June. – Leonard Eureka
Fort Worth Opera Festival at 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets range from $19-145. Call 817-731-0726.