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Toledo Opera presents Mozart’s greatest masterpiece

• Jan 15, 2017 at 6:00 AM

TOLEDO — Toledo Opera will present Mozart’s supreme masterpiece “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Valentine Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 12.

This production continues the story begun with the company’s October 2016 performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and sets the second of the French playwright Beaumarchais’ three “Figaro” plays. A romantic comedy of errors created in an inspired collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, Figaro powerfully demonstrates Mozart’s genius for creating music of both beautiful refinement and deep emotional intensity. The opera has delighted and warmed the hearts of audiences around the world with its message of the transcendent power of love since its premiere in Vienna in 1786. Toledo Opera’s performances will make for a romantic treat without equal, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The production will be directed by Garnett Bruce, in his Toledo Opera debut. Mr. Bruce has a rich body of work at opera companies across the country including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, and serves on the faculties of both the Peabody Conservatory and the Aspen Music Festival. Soprano Laquita Mitchell and bass-baritone Darren K. Stokes will return to Toledo as Countess Almaviva and Figaro, respectively, after their acclaimed company debuts in last season’s production of Porgy and Bess. James Meena will conduct the impressive cast and the Toledo Opera Chorus, with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in the pit.

Toledo Opera is offering several opportunities to encounter both Mozart’s opera and the production’s guest artists in advance of the performances. A reception at The Truth Gallery (1811 Adams St.) on Friday, January 27 from 6 to 8 pm, with light refreshments and wine, will provide all who attend an opportunity to meet guest artists Laquita Mitchell and Darren K. Stokes. Toledo Opera Associate Conductor Sara Jobin will host a talk titled “Barber Gets Married: Love Laws in Opera,” with a wine reception to follow ($10) on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm in the Secor Gallery at Registry Bistro (425 Jefferson Ave.). Lectures on the opera, given by Bowling Green State University musicologist Dr. Eftychia Papanikolaou, will also be available to all ticket holders one hour prior to each performance in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre.

The Marriage of Figaro is sponsored by Owens Corning and Welltower, with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council.

Tickets are now on sale, range in price from $40 to $70, and can be purchased by calling the Toledo Opera box office at 419-255-7464 or visiting www.toledoopera.org.

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