|A.J. Fletcher’s Opera Legacy To Continue With Institute’s Premiere Performance
For its premiere performance, the directors of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute have chosen a form of opera set to highlight the magnificent voices of the inaugural Fletcher Scholars, six singers chosen from over 150 who auditioned across the country. Vincenzo Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda will come to life on stage in both Winston-Salem and Raleigh in the early days of February, beginning a new era in A.J. Fletcher’s dream to bring opera to the masses.
Beatrice di Tenda
The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the N.C. School of the Arts
Jan 30 & Feb 1, 2002
NCSA Stevens Center
Feb 8 & 10, 2002
A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater, BTI Center for the Performing Arts
Bellini wrote Beatrice di Tenda in the bel canto style, bel canto being a form of opera that focuses the beauty of the music rather the mechanics of realistic drama. However, critics believe that this particular opera sparks with high drama, using the beauty of the music to heighten the tragedy.
“First produced in 1833, just two years before Bellini’s untimely death at age 33, Beatrice di Tenda is a tale of political aspiration, misplaced love, treachery and tragedy,” said A.J. Fletcher Foundation Executive Director Tom McGuire. “With its haunting melodies and emotional story, it has been described as a jewel of the bel canto repertoire.”
Music Director James Allbritten and Stage Director Will Graham chose Beatrice di Tenda to accent the strengths of the Fletcher Scholars.
“The emphasis is on beautiful singing and the lead characters have opportunities to showcase the range of their talent in single arias that move from the lovely and the lyrical to the fast-paced and flashy,” wrote Winston-Salem freelance writer Janet Fox.
Performances of Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda will be held in Winston-Salem and the Stevens Center and then in Raleigh at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the BTI Center for the Performing Arts. The Raleigh performances will be on Friday, Feb. 8 at 8:00pm and Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2:00pm. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $21 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 919-834-4000 or the BTI Box Office at 919-831-6060. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com.
The National Opera Company merged with the North Carolina School of the Arts to form the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute in September 2000. With a $10 million endowment from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and funds from the School, the Institute expands upon Fletcher’s dream to make opera available to school children in rural areas and to provide experience and training for young singers. The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute will ensure that his legacy will always continue.