Monday, August 29, 2011

Kristine McIntyre's take on CARMEN

Kristine McIntyre will return to Kentucky Opera to direct the Brown-Forman 2011/12 Season opener - CARMEN  (CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA & I PAGLIACCI 2010  |  WERTHER 2008). With Maestro Joseph Mechavich the duo will be reinventing this classic tragedy for Kentucky Opera audiences.
In this video, McIntyre discusses some of the significant differences from Kentucky Opera's production in comparison to what has been performed for the last century.

Kentucky Opera will open CARMEN on Friday, September 23 at 8pm with a matinee performance on Sunday, September 25 at 2pm. 
Due to popular demand a third performance of CARMEN will take place on Friday, September 30 at 8pm.
Tickets for this not to be missed show, are now available by calling 502.584.7777 or online here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Message From David Roth

With the announcement of the Louisville Orchesta’s cancelation of their September and October concerts, Kentucky Opera has been notified as well by management that the organization is not able to perform services for Kentucky Opera during those months. In spite of this setback in the negotiations between management and musicians of the Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Opera would like to assure all patrons that there will be a live orchestra for the upcoming performances of Carmen, which opens the Brown-Forman 2011/12 Season on September 23 & 25.

General Director David Roth says. “Kentucky Opera is reaching out directly to officials of the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637. We hope to quickly secure an agreement with them for contracting local members of the union to perform Carmen in September. While we regret the very difficult situation with the Louisville Orchestra, we have an absolute commitment to our patrons who passionately believe in the power of the live performance.” To fulfill the promise Kentucky Opera has made to these patrons during this period, it will work with the AFM Local 11-637 to secure the necessary musicians for each opera until a resolution is found and the Louisville Orchestra can resume its season.


Entering its 59th season of production, Kentucky Opera was founded in 1952 and designated the State Opera of Kentucky in 1982. The mission of Kentucky Opera is to entertain and educate a broad, diverse audience by producing opera of the highest quality.

The Brown-Forman 2011/12 Kentucky Opera Season
September 23, 25 & 30, 2011
November 18 & 20, 2011
February 17 & 19, 2012

Friday, August 12, 2011

Interview with Heather Phillips

Heather Phillips was a Kentucky Opera studio artist in 2008 & 2009.  In our Brown-Forman 2011/12 Kentucky Opera Season, Heather Phillips will be one of the mainstage artists - MicaĆ«la in CARMEN.   
Recently Shane Shapps of 520 East Brands had a chat with Heather about Opera, Louisville and everything inbetween.

When did you know Opera was your future?

“Probably when I first saw my first opera at the age of about 13. My Mother and I went to see Puccini's Madame Butterfly at Cleveland Opera and I was blown away. Even though our seats were in the "nose-bleed" section of the balcony of the theatre and I couldn't really see a lot of detail of what was going on onstage...I was so deeply affected by the power of the voices, the orchestra and the music. From then on, I was instantly hooked on Opera and had to find out more about it.”

How long have you been studying/practicing Opera?

“A little over 10 years now. I started private voice lessons when I was about 15 or 16 years old and after high school studied for 6 years at the Conservatory in Cincinnati, where I earned my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Vocal Performance. After that, I apprenticed with the Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City as well as other summer programs in between. I still however, and always will, consider myself a student of’s an art form with a rich history that is over 400 years old. There is always something new to learn. That's what makes it so intriguing to me.”

What's the greatest city you've been to? 
“Well in my travels thus far, I have visited a fair amount of the bigger or what you might call ‘grand’ cities. I lived in NYC for little while, and I recently visited Paris, which I loved, just last year. However the best city I've been to has to be Lucca, Italy. It’s a wonderful "little" city in Tuscany just an hour or so away from Pisa. It’s the birthplace of the famous opera composer Giacomo Puccini, and I spent a summer there studying Italian and singing in an opera production. To me, from the food and wine, to the history and culture and atmosphere of the was heaven on earth.” 
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Heather Phillips with Jake Heggie in
Kentucky Opera's Composer Workshop 2009
 Wow. Those are some amazing cities. You are a very lucky person. What makes you look forward to returning to Louisville? 
“Definitely the people at Kentucky Opera - they were a real support system for me while I was a studio artist, right out of college. But I'm not only looking forward to seeing the people that work for the company, but the audience members and supporters of the Opera that are a part of the community of Louisville - a very social and fun-loving group.
What's your favorite part of the city? 
I really enjoyed the Riverfront and the park near the river and near the "Belle of Louisville.” That area is great for an afternoon run. But I also liked the restaurants and shops on Bardstown road.

What's your favorite local restaurant in Louisville? 

“Proof on Main was a great place for its atmosphere and great food. The other artists from the company and I would go there a lot after performances.”
Watch these videos to hear Heather sing Poulenc

 and Mozart 

And on this very blog where she is Learning to fly for Kentucky Opera's Hansel & Gretel.
Here she is as one of the daugthers in Kentucky Opera's Pirates of Penzance. (green dress with the orange feather)

We are always glad to see our Studio Artists succeed, watch this shining star soar!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mo.Joe interviews Michael Mayes

In our OVATIONS! Magazine, Maestro Joseph Mechavich interviews Michael Mayes who will be returning to Kentucky Opera to perform the role of Escamillo in the opening production CARMEN (September 23 & 25). Mayes was here last season to play Silvio in I PAGLIACCI.

The OVATIONS! Magazine is sent to subscribers to prepare them for the upcoming opera. It includes information on the composer, the opera, the characters, the setting - basically any information that we can get. In our CARMEN issue, not only does the Maestro interview cast members the stage director, Kristine McIntyre has her "Director's Corner" to discuss her side of the stage.

The OVATIONS! will be hitting mailboxes next week! (If you don't get one, think about subscribing. 502-584-4500

Here is a bit of the Mo.Joe's interview with Michael Mayes.

MO.JOE: Where do you call home?

M.Mayes: Ft. Worth, Texas, aka The Panther City

MO.JOE: Who has had the biggest influence in your career and why?

M.Mayes: It's hard to really pick one person~ so I'll have to spread the love around a little bit. My agent, Ana de Archuleta has been an incredible friend, promoter, and advisor to me for my entire professional life... Ana took a chance on me back when I was a virtual nobody~ she saw in me something that I couldn't see myself, and over the years, together we've developed a career that hasn't followed the traditional track to notoriety~ but one borne of hard-scrabble determination, fierce loyalty, and an unwillingness to abandon course when things got lean. Ana is a true American success story and my admiration for her increases with every passing year.  (More here in the CARMEN issue of OVATIONS!) 
MO.JOE: What is your one guilty pleasure?

M.Mayes: Sour Patch Kids candy; I can't walk into a movie theatre without loading up~ it's a childhood habit that has never truly been quashed.

MO.JOE: What music is on your ipod or MP3 player?

M.Mayes: Right now I am listening to a band called the Fleet Foxes based in Seattle. They're a kind of baroque folky band that's super mellow. My staples are Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Metallica, Iron and Wine, Hank Williams, Amber Digby and Midnight Flyer, Loretta Lynn etc... I think I was born in the wrong decade.
Stay tuned for more interviews from Mo.Joe here on the blog. Check out Mo.Joe's latest video on what's so special about CARMEN here.