Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Composer Workshop with Ben Moore

Ben Moore working with Kentucky Opera Studio Artist, Sarah Klopfenstein with the role of Tamara in Enemies, a Love Story at UofL's Comstock Hall

Ben Moore arrived in our fair city on Saturday (between La Traviata performances) and started working immediately. Only being here for a week, he has a lot of ground to cover in a little bit of time. He will be working with students from the University of Louisville School of Music, the Academy of Music at St. Francis in the Fields along with Kentucky Opera Studio Artists to refine elements of a new opera he is working on, Enemies, a Love Story.

He was able to share a bit of time for WUOL's Daniel Gilliam, listen to the entire conversation here.

This Saturday, October 3,2009 at 8pm, the workshop will present their efforts at UofL School of Music Comstock Hall. Mr. Moore will narrate through the story line of Enemies, a Love Story, while the workshop participants will perform excerpts from the opera. The event is FREE and open to the public.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thanks for the Comments

We have had many great responses to the La Traviata weekend. People have been posting on the Kentucky Opera Facebook Fan Page, on my page, on twitter... No one has really commented on the blog, so I thought I would share some comments from the other social media sites here:

The Kentucky Opera's, La Triviata, was spectacular! It looked as if every seat was filled at the Brown Theatre. Perfect event!
I have always enjoyed broadway but this was my first opera and it was truly an amazing experience. The ambience at the Brown theater is breathtaking and the setting intimate, just the way I had envisioned opera to be! Bravo

It was fabulous! I really like the new venue. there's so much more emotion when you're close enough to read the expressions on the performer's faces. So many people focus on the music alone, forgetting that opera is truly a visual art as well. Elizabeth Frutal was flawless and Sébastien Guèze is asexpressive with his face as he is with his voice. Donnie Ray Albert owned the stage when he was on it, too. It was lovely seeing some familiar faces from the UK Opera Theatre as well. I look forward to seeing more of Sarah Klopfenstein and Eric Brown this season.


everyone should see it !!!!


Wasn't she great? The whole production was to die for!


What a thoroughly delightful evening!!! Everyone involved with this production should be very proud.


Bleeping spectacular production. Four stars on all fronts--singing, sets, costumes...and what's not to love about Traviata?

Commented on YOUTUBE (Sebastian's performance at the Patron’s Circle party)

Raythespian I was there for Sebastien's American debut!! Never before have I seen all of Alfredo's requirements fulfilled by one tenor...youthful good looks, lustrous voice, dramatic intelligence, and the acting ability to convey every nuance with clarity and impact. Next, Rodolfo in Austin!!

Twitter responses

· Had a wonderful night at the opera! Verdi certainly knew what he was doing when he wrote "La Traviata"11:35 PM Sep 25th from TweetDeck

· It was fantastic! Everything about it was wonderful! Violetta was AMAZING! Her name is Elizabeth Futral11:34 PM Sep 25th from TweetDeck

· I'm heading to the KOA (Kentucky Opera Association) production of La Traviata tonight!3:42 PM Sep 25th from TweetDeck

_SanDiegoOpera Soprano Elizabeth Futral is hooked on La traviata. She better be! Sings it with us in 2010.

Brannon rocked today in La Traviata! Oh, I do love the opera! about 17 hours ago from Twit

continuing our unintentional sampling of the arts, just saw the opera La Traviata performed at the brown theatre.

Watching La Traviata! #fb

It's "La Traviata" time at Kentucky Opera, with no less than Elizabeth Futral singing Violetta.

Another "Traviata" is history. And Violetta is still dead.

Will you be at La Traviata?

Tonight is @kentuckyopera's first performance of the season. We hope to see you at La Traviata!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What did you think?

Were you amoung our full house last night for Kentucky Opera's grand gala opening of the 2009 Brown-Forman Fall Season of La Traviata?

Tell us what you thought? Did you enjoy the Gala atmosphere?
Did you enjoy the intimacy and opulance of the Brown Theatre?
Were you mesmirized by the new sound of the expanded orchestra pit?
Did you fall in love with the voice of Metropolitan Opera star, Elizabeth Futral?
Did you get to meet Sébastien Guèze at the cast party following the show?

Tell us everything, we want to hear your review! Post your reviews in the comment area and thanks for joining us!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tonight's the Night!

Tonight, Friday, September 25, 2009 the Brown Theatre will be transformed into a grand opera house when Kentucky Opera opens the 2009 Brown-Forman Fall Season with La Traviata.

We have extremely limited seating for this evening as the Grand Gala has everyone all excited (and rightly so) but there are great seats still available for Sunday, September 27 at 2pm. Call for tickets 502.584.7777 before they're gone!

Here are some pictures from the Final Dress Rehearsal by O'Neil Arnold.

Some photos may reveal specific plot elements of the story.

Kentucky Opera Chorus looks and sounds amazing on the stage of the Brown Theatre. This is the party that opens act I and these are the people that helped make it look so good:

Stage Director: James Marvel
Set Design : Edwardo Sicango
Costume Design: John Lehmeyer
Lighting Design: Jeff Bruckerhoff
Wig & Make-Up Design: Sue Stitko Shaefer
Choreographer: Diana Dinicola

Metropolitan Opera star, Elizabeth Futral stars at Violetta, and Sébastien Guèze makes his U.S. Debut as Alfredo.Sempre libera degg'io at the end of Act I

Donny Ray Albert as Garmond in Act II.

Sébastien Guèze Act II scene 2

Flamenco Louisville dances in the end of Act II

*Unfortunately, she dies at the end...

There are more pictures on our Facebook Fan page.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Load In

This is the Traviata set, strewn in the alley behind the Brown Theatre. How exciting!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dearest Opera Lovers,

Another season is upon us! It is such a delight to be involved in a vibrant community of Opera enthusiasts waiting patiently for the curtain to rise once more and reveal passion, artistry, mastery in the art of great singing (thank you Fadel!!), dramatic plots, breathtaking music, drama, comedy and my list can go on and on…because Opera is a golden junction, a whirlwind of fusion where fine arts from singing to dancing, from costume design to stage design, from theatre to intricate lighting come together to create a spectacle, an art form, a divine intervention in the hearts of an audience that can do nothing less but weep uncontrollably when such a stimulant for the senses appears before them in flesh and blood.

Some of you reading this piece are probably already in tears laughing at my over-the-top, extremely emotional, maybe even ridiculous rumblings. My intent, however, is not to be eloquent or dazzle you with my use of the English language; I will leave that to English scholars and respected art critics in our community who make a living from their writings. In my poor writing form, I merely try to convey my inner exuberance, utterly frantic emotional state and deep love for our Kentucky Opera and the upcoming Brown-Forman 2009 Fall Season. Isn’t after all love supposedly a state of emotional distress, one of madness, lunacy if you would like? I would not be true to my feelings if I provided you with a well polished piece while trying to express how much love and anticipation I harbor inside me (to the point of madness) as we move day after day, hour after hour towards the opening night gala…it would not be a true Opera lover’s piece; it would just be another page among the many that get published every minute of every day.

Thus, my dearest Opera loving consumers, I will keep this short! I do not even need to go into detail about the phenomenal performers that are going to parade through our elegant, vibrant Brown Theater stage providing us with sensations beyond our wildest dreams or even try to persuade you of the amazing scores and productions that have been chosen for this season. You have your own notions and appreciation of this company’s superhuman efforts to provide us with the best Opera in the region. Your heart and ears will solidify what you already know about this company; whatever it does, it does it right, to the maximum, with elegance, style, knowledge and with US, the Opera audience always in mind. Never lose sight of this because then you will lose sight of how much toil and tears go into the grandeur and beauty the rest of us enjoy. Our Kentucky Opera is a beacon of artistic excellence, uprising star promotion and constantly pushing its audience to new pathways, to new roads of operatic discovery (DO NOT MISS “OF MICE AND MEN”; you will miss more than just an Opera).

So, join me, Christos “The Wagnerian” Dimitriadis in another season of emotional, musical, and vocal growth through the nostalgically beautiful walls of the Brown Theater as we celebrate our own Kentucky Opera. I would also like to invite you to our Guild of Kentucky Opera events and membership. Be among Opera lovers who enjoy more than a performance at the theater; be among Opera lovers who without Opera will breathe no more. To all of you VIVA VOCE!! VIVA BROWN THEATER!! VIVA BROWN-FORMAN 2009 FALL SEASON!! VIVA KENTUCKY OPERA!!

Christos “The Wagnerian” Dimitriadis

Monday, September 14, 2009

Introducing Sébastien Guèze

Monday evening, Gill Holland hosted Kentucky Opera's Patrons' Circle party at the Green Building.

One of the highlights of the evening was the introduction of Sébastien Guèze who will make his U.S. premiere when he sings the role of Alfredo in Kentucky Opera's upcoming production of La Traviata. He charmed the crowd with his amazing voice and dashing good looks.

Here is a sample, as he sings "De' miei bollenti spiriti."

There are still select seats available for the Friday, September 25 Grand Gala opening of La Traviata but they are going fast. Call the Opera (our online forms are not working at the moment) 502-584-4500.

In attendance were arts leaders from the entire city including Robert Birman, CEO of the Louisville Orchestra; Jennifer Bielstein from Actors Theatre; Dwight Hutton and Bruce Simpson from the Louisville Ballet and Barbara Sexton Smith from the Fund for the Arts to name a few. We were also pleased with a number of season sponsors who were able to join us such as Edward O'Brien from Atlas Brown and Jim Allen from Hilliard Lyons. Kentucky Opera board member, Matt Hammel from Brown-Forman was able to stop in for a little bit as well.

It was a lovely evening, and there were more performances captured on video that I will post eventually. We must share this amazing talent!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Did you miss it??

In case you have missed any of the auxiliary events surrounding Kentucky Opera's LA TRAVIATA there is still time!!! Don't miss any of these great opportunities to learn about the talented cast, the gorgeous production and the amazing spectacle that is grand opera!

Sights & Sounds at the Speed:
Speed Museum Auditorium, 2035 South Third Street
Sunday, September 13 at 1:30pm
The Bad Girls of Art and Opera

Lunch & Listen:
Metro TV (Insight Channel 25)
Sunday, September 13 at 9pm

Lunchtime Arias
Vincenzo's Italian Restaraunt, 150 South Fifth Street
Tuesday, September 15 at 12pm
$20 RSVP by calling Tracy Terry at 502.561.7935

Art of Great Singing
Classical 90.5 FM WUOL
Sunday, September 20 & 27 at 8pm

If you haven't gotten your tickets for the Brown-Forman 2009 Fall Season Opening Night Gala on Friday, September 25... first, shame... second, you had better do so soon, as I just overheard we may sell out! 502.584.7777 or

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Art Of Great Singing

On Labor Day, while many were out grilling or running down 3rd Street with the Mayor, Kentucky Opera had the great pleasure to co-host a special in studio interview for the Art Of Great Singing with Elizabeth Futral. The show's host, Fadel Friedlander, came in from Oberlin Ohio to conduct the interview at the WUOL Studios.

Here is a segment of the interview in video, where Elizabeth discusses how she started with the role of Violetta and how she interprets this heroine.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cast Staff Lunch

Traviata artists have arrived!! Friday afternoon everyone came together (cast, staff, production...) and had lunch. It is a casual easy way for the cast to meet or be reunitied.
David Roth makes introductions.

Old friends hugged and chatted, those new to the company shook hands and met who will become old friends by the month's end.

One such new comer, is Sébastien Guèze who is making his US Debut as Alfredo. We were concerned he would need a translator, but his English is good. Hear it for yourself by listening to Lunch & Listen on WUOL on Wednesday, September 9 at 12 pm.

The cast/staff lunch is also an opportunity to highlight elements of the production that may be of interest. James Marvel, the stage director gave a little background on the set and costumes. He was at ease and able to get everyone comfortable with his wit and relaxed manner.

(I'm just learning how to edit these videos, so I will add more when I figure it all out)

Things are getting excited around the opera. Be sure to you our email list for all the updates so you don't miss a thing. Join Our Mailing List!