In its fifth season, Gulfshore Opera will employ an assortment of rising stars and veteran professional opera singers to perform throughout high season. The company will tour the region with a variety of concerts appealing to many tastes and easy on the budget. Signature events include the “Opera Meets Broadway Gala,” on March 2, 2019, starring Broadway leading baritone Norm Lewis, and the season finale, a fully staged production of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” March 30- April 4, 2019.
A touring production of “Don Pasquale” opens January 31 at the Rose History Auditorium on Marco Island. It is a comic opera about a stuffy old rich guy whose only heir is his rather deadbeat nephew. He threatens to disinherit his nephew for trying to marry an “unsuitable.” Pasquale then decides to find a proper wife for himself and produce his own heirs!
Veteran bass Tony Dillon joins Gulfshore Opera in the title role of Don Pasquale. A versatile artist, his repertoire ranges from the most dramatic to the highest comedy roles. Mr. Dillon has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times as, “Delightful…stentorian and richly textured.” Well known for his interpretation of Benoit and Alcindoro in “La Boheme,” Mr. Dillon has played these roles for Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Austin Lyric Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Kentucky Opera. Recent engagements include Bartolo in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Indianapolis Opera, Benoit and Alcindoro in “La Boheme” with Tulsa Opera, and Don Magnifico in “La Cenerentola” with Orlando Opera. Upcoming engagements include Benoit and Alcindoro in “La Boheme” with Florida Grand Opera and Bartolo in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Sugar Creek Opera.
Gulfshore Opera returns for the Fourth Taste of Opera February 9, beautifully hosted by our beloved Chair Stephanie Schwetz who is a long time resident of Marco Island. The event will take place at the Hideaway Beach Club and features GO’s Professional Artists in Residence performing musical interludes of famous Italian melodies. It will be woven into a delicious “Vintner – Style” dinner, featuring Hideaway’s Chef Bill Drake’s signature dishes and selected wines with an Italian touch.
Featured artists this season include some of the best up and coming talent in New York:
Soprano Camille Ortiz is an accomplished international solo artist in both opera and concert. She appeared as Gilda in “Rigoletto” and Christine in “The Phantom Gala” with Gulfshore Opera last season and returns to the company as Norina in “Don Pasquale” in January. This summer she performed Schubert’s Mass in G-Major in Leipzig and Vivaldi’s Gloria in Syros, Greece with the Festival of the Aegean. The 2018-2019 season sees a return to San Francisco for the Mozart Magnified series with Philharmonic Baroque Orchestra and a Houston debut as Poppaea in Handel’s “Agrippina” with Ars Lyrica Houston. Ms. Ortiz made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2014 and recently completed her doctoral degree in voice performance and pedagogy from University of North Texas.
Peter Lake, tenor lead for “Don Pasquale,” hailed as, “…relatable, earnest, and his voice carries a lush, warm timbre.” Peter Lake is an internationally performing tenor who in the summer of 2018 made his role debut as Faust in Natchez Festival of Music’s production of “Faust” and sang Pang in Mississippi Opera’s “Turandot.” Peter will return to Natchez this summer to make is role debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Bohème.” This past August he performed with the Savannah Voice Festival in multiple concerts and covered Alfredo while singing Gastone in Savannah Opera’s “La Traviata.” Last March he was invited to perform as a soloist in the Sherrill Milnes Gala Honoring Denyce Graves. He will be returning to the Savannah Voice Festival this summer to perform in their production of “Forever Plaid.” This past fall Peter wrote and starred in a one-man cabaret celebrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra which he premiered with Mississippi Opera. He will go on to perform this show with multiple companies throughout the year. Other notable roles for Peter include: Count Almaviva in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia,” The Duke in “Rigoletto,” Paris in “La Belle Hélène,” Camille in “Die Lustige Witwe,” Ferrando in “Così fan tutte,” and Don José in “Carmen.”
Paul La Rosa, baritone lead for “Don Pasquale,” “La Traviata” and various concerts continues to gain recognition on the strengths of his vocal appeal and charismatic stage presence. He performs with many of America’s top opera companies, including Lyric Opera of Chicago (Cascada in “The Merry Widow,” Jud Fry in “Oklahoma!”), Chicago Opera Theater (Boris in Shostakovitch’s “Moscow, Cheryomushki”), Los Angeles Opera (First Mate in “Billy Budd”), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Falke in “Die Fledermaus”), and Central City Opera (Jud Fry in “Oklahoma!”). As Enrique in the world premiere production of “El Pasado Nunca se Termina” by Martinez, he appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago and made his company debuts with both San Diego Opera and Houston Grand Opera.
Mr. La Rosa enjoyed a long association with the late Lorin Maazel, and was a frequent guest artist at Maestro Maazel’s Castleton Festival. Concert appearances with Maestro Maazel include baritone soloist in Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. Mr. La Rosa earned both his Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. He participated in apprentice programs with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glimmerglass and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.
For more information visit www.gulfshoreopera.org or call 239-529-3925.