From an Opera Carolina press release issued August 23, 2010:
Opera Carolina joins the ranks of world-class opera companies with the national broadcast of its 2008 production of Faust on NPR World of Opera from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 11. Charlotte area listeners will be able to hear the broadcast on WDAV Classical Public Radio (89.9FM) or online at wdav.org.
As the only classical performing arts organization in the southeast to be featured on the acclaimed nationally syndicated program NPR World of Opera, Opera Carolina takes its place among the most prestigious international opera houses, including La Scala, Vienna State Opera, and Covent Garden. Other U.S. opera companies, which have been featured on the program, include Washington National Opera and Houston Grand Opera.
Opera Carolina’s stellar reputation extends far beyond its Charlotte roots. The company is highly regarded among the national arts community for world-class productions, earning Opera Carolina continued attention from NPR World of Opera. The most recent broadcast was Opera Carolina’s 2006 production of Margaret Garner by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and composer Richard Danielpour, which will be re-broadcast in November.
NPR World of Opera is produced by WDAV Classical Public Radio. The national broadcast of this production of Opera Carolina’s Faust is sponsored by the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.
About Faust – The Production and Cast
This lush drama by Gounod is surely the most popular musical representation of the immortal story of Faust, who confronts the hellish consequences of his own weakness when the devil makes him an offer he can’t refuse — but probably should have.
The cast includes Metropolitan Opera soprano Maureen O’Flynn (Marguerite); Metropolitan Opera tenor James Valenti (Faust); The Paris Opera’s Chester Patton (Mephistopheles); plus American artists Corey McKern (Valentin) and Diane McEwen-Martin (Siébel); and Charlotteans Jeremy Collier ( Wagner); Kim Blanchard (Marthe), the Opera Carolina Chorus and the Charlotte Symphony are under the direction of James Meena, conductor.
Peter Perrett, Classic Voice of North Carolina, noted, “Tenor James Valenti was an elegant and seductive Faust, with a lovely voice and a great tessitura, handling with ease the high C and the end of the beautiful aira. Maureen O’Flynn, making her Opera Carolina debut as the “chaste and pure” Marguerite, looked and acted the part and sounded angelic.”
About Opera Carolina
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, today Opera Carolina is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.3 million for the fiscal year 2009. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region’s diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.
Opera Carolina is supported by individuals and corporations throughout the region. Opera Carolina is also supported, in part, with operating support from the Arts & Science Council. Additional support is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.