opera

Florentine Opera Company

Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera is the city’s oldest fully professional performing arts organization. It started as the Italian Opera Chorus in 1933 and became the Florentine Opera Company in 1950.

Bonnie North

When we think of modern opera, often names such as Puccini, Wagner and Mozart come to mind. But opera, the way we know it, can trace its lineage back to 17th century Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi.

Among Monteverdi's most famous works are L'Orfeo and the Florentine Opera's newest production, The Coronation of Poppea. The opera will be at Vogel Hall this weekend and next.

Jason Joyce

The Florentine Opera presents Viva Opera! March 16 and 18 at the Marcus Center's Uihlein Hall. It's an evening of some of opera's greatest hits, featuring music from Madama Butterfly, Nabucco, Carmen, La Bohème, and The Pearl Fishers, among others.

Bonnie North

Music historians generally agree that Western opera began around the turn of the 17th Century in Europe. However, the modern repertoire generally ignores the first 150 years in favor of the works of the mid 19th Century to early 20th Century. Works from composers like Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner get the majority of attention.

Kathy Wittman

The Florentine Opera kicks off its fall season in a decidedly lighthearted mood. Franz Lehár’s operetta, The Merry Widow, premiered in Vienna in 1905 and has been wildly popular on stages across the world since then. The story concerns a wealthy widow, a series of misunderstandings between her and a long lost love, and attempts to hang onto her money by marrying her to the “right” man.

Kathy Wittman

This weekend, the Florentine Opera closes out its 2016-2017 season with one of the most beloved operas of all-time, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. It’s one of the prime examples of the Bel Canto, or "beautiful singing", style of opera. And like many the operatic comedies of the day, it’s full of farce, quick changes, funny props, and slapstick.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre

Productions by the Milwaukee Opera Theatre are always a little offbeat and a lot of fun. But their staging of The Mikado makes those standards seem a bit modest. The show, a reprise of their 2015 production, opens Friday evening and features some instruments Gilbert and Sullivan may not have imagined when they composed the operetta.

Skylight Music Theatre

While most of us might be familiar with the Disney version of Beauty & the Beast, the opera of the same name is an entirely different spectacle. Based on the original, darker fairy tale, Skylight Music Theatre's staging of the 18th century light opera is a unique reimagining - featuring dance and larger than life puppetry.

Flortentine Opera Company

Mozart’s Don Giovanni - the Don Juan story - is one of the great operas in the Western canon. Many music historians consider it to be one of the greatest operas of all time. Glorious music, an intricate plot and a very satisfying ending have attracted audiences since its premiere in 1787.

Mark Frohna

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton often get much of the credit for the women’s suffragist movement in this country in the 19th Century. And while they are due all the credit they get, there’s a name that is not as well-known and whose efforts have been minimized, often intentionally.

Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, in 1872, decades before women could vote in this country. She also started numerous successful business and was involved in some of the biggest scandals of the day. 

Photo by Stephanie Berger / sistercarrie.com

Theodore Dreiser was one of America’s great novelists in the early part of the 2oth century. His books reflected a changing America as the country and the world became a less rural and more urban place.

Among the themes he explored was the changing role of women, far before the modern feminist movement. Sister Carrie is an early Dreiser novel and follows Carrie from rural Wisconsin to Chicago as she seeks to make a new life.

Kaleigh Gamache

Auditions. They are a necessary evil in the performing arts. Even in amateur productions, there are almost always too many people for not enough parts. So actors, dancers and singers quickly learn they have about three minutes on stage to make the director or casting agent choose them over the many others also auditioning.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre decided to commission a piece about that experience and the result is Thank You. NEXT? A Reality Opera.

Decca/Timothy White

Thursday night, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will be joined by one of the finest American singers performing today. Soprano Renee Fleming has graced stages around the world to rapturous praise – from the Metropolitan Opera to the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show. She sings opera repertoire, of course, but she also sings jazz and indie, including a 2010 album of covers of songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Band of Horses.

Kathy Wittman / Florentine Opera

Imagine high society in late 19th century Vienna, with hijinks and masked balls, mysterious Russian royalty, glittering costumes and some glorious singing.

Jill Anna Ponasik

Milwaukee Opera Theater's new show, Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Death of Isabelle Eberhardt, is a multimedia chamber opera, guaranteed to be a unique theater experience.

Eberhardt was a 19th century Swiss explorer, who fell in love with the Sahara desert and traveled alone through Northern Africa. The show is based on her diaries, which were published decades after her death. 

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