GENERAL DIRECTOR MATTHEW BUCKMAN ANNOUNCES
FRESNO GRAND OPERA 2016/17 SEASON REPERTOIRE AND INITIATIVES
COMPANY ANNOUNCES TWO-YEAR PROGRAMMING ARC
FEATURING FOUR COMPANY PREMIERES
THE POPULAR VAN NESS SERIES HAS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE GOSPEL MUSIC
MUSIC & VERSE SERIES CONTINUES THE EXPLORATION OF POETRY AND MUSIC
Fresno, California – April 8, 2016
Fresno Grand Opera General Director Matthew Buckman today announces the Company’s 2016/17 season repertoire and initiatives, featuring two main stage operas, a new Cabaret Series, an expansion of the popular Van Ness Series, a continued exploration of the connections between poetry and music with the Music & Verse Series, and a season-opening gala. With a continued emphasis on regular opportunities to engage with opera as an art form, the 2016/17 season features one performance event every month of the season.
With a continued passion for telling timeless stories with transcendent music, the 2016/17 season marks the beginning of a unique two-year programming arc that joins together the glorious tradition of opera with amazing stories about the Central Valley. FGO will present three traditional operas by renowned composers in the next two seasons that collectively tell the story of the people in our community, how our community became what it is today, and the important role that agriculture has, and continues, to play in our community.
General Director Matthew Buckman said: “I am very excited to announce this two-year programmatic journey. This is a rare opportunity for opera to intersect with our community in many different ways, and we look forward to celebrating our community through artistic experiences. The three works about the Central Valley are all very traditional operas filled with the beautiful music we expect from the art form, with stories that impact our lives still today, and all four main stage works over the next two years have never been performed by Fresno Grand Opera.”
In January 2017, FGO will present Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Ned Rorem’s elegant opera Our Town, based on the famous Thornton Wilder play, which accentuates the little things in every day life that define the American experience in small towns across the country. In May 2017, the company will present Carlisle Floyd’s opera Of Mice and Men, based on the celebrated novel by Pulitzer and Nobel-Prize winning author John Steinbeck, which tells the dramatic story of the life of migrant workers who helped to make the Central Valley the agricultural hub of the world in the early 20th century. In January 2018, FGO will present the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, based on the John Steinbeck novel about the mass migration that shaped the Central Valley as we know it today. Each performance will include day-long exhibitions celebrating the history of Fresno and exploring the role that agriculture has played in our community’s development.
The two-year programming arc will come full circle by celebrating the long history of opera by traveling back in time for a very traditional performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in May 2018. With this exciting performance, FGO will recreate the experience of going to a world premiere of an opera in Mozart’s time, complete with a candlelit theatre, period costumes for performer and audience alike, and extended intermissions for eating and drinking with friends. For traditional opera lovers, this will be a rare opportunity to experience opera the way it was when the great works were written.
Subscriptions are now on sale. Single tickets will go on sale July 5, 2016.