National Opera Company To Open First Performance In AJF Opera Theater

A Devil Of A Deal
Free Admission To The Fletcher Opera Theater

“… when a performance of The Rake’s Progress brings strong acting and fine singing together, it coalesces into an evening of powerful musical theater.”– Arthur Lazere

The devil will be asking the price of a soul at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater this weekend, but the general public can witness the transaction for free.

The National Opera Company will stage Igor Stravinsky’s moralistic tale of Tom Rakewell’s deal with the devil and ultimate descent into madness. Stravinsky’s only full-scale opera, completed in 1971, “The Rake’s Progress” follows a eccentric cast of characters such as a brothel owner named Mother Goose. Acclaimed U.S. poet W.H. Auden helped write the libretto.

Thursday night will be a historic evening for the National Opera Company. Not only will the company perform its premiere performance in the Fletcher Opera Theater, the production will be the largest technical undertaking ever by the NOC. Six sets designed by William C. Rogers will take advantage of the capabilities of the new theater. Don Wilder, director of the NOC for 26 seasons before his retirement three years ago, will step up to the podium once more to conduct the work.

This will be the first performance ever of Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” in the Triangle. Members of the North Carolina Symphony will fill the orchestra pit to capacity; the score calls for 35 players. The eight NOC players will take the stage, along with singers from Raleigh Oratorio’s Chamber Choir in the chorus.

NOC Performance
“The Rake’s Progress”

Fletcher Opera Theater, BTI Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Raleigh

Thurs – Sat, May 3-5 at 8:00pm & Sun, May 6 at 3:00pm

Free admission; reservations required. Call 890-6083 for tickets.

This will be the last performance ever of the NOC with the moniker National Opera Company. The organization will become part of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute this fall as part of its merger with the N.C. School of the Arts. The new institute will, however, still stage two productions in Raleigh each year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

The NOC will perform Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” in the Fletcher Opera Theater of the BTI Performing Arts Center in downtown Raleigh on Thursday – Saturday, May 3 – 5 at 8:00pm and on Sunday, May 6 at 3:00pm. All performances are free, but reservations are required. Call 890-6083 for tickets.

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