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'DON GIOVANNI' IS FIRST PRODUCTION
IN UK OPERA SEASON

By Ralph Derickson

 

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Kentucky opera lovers are in for a bonus this year, becuase internationally respected baritone Sherrill Milnes will serve as artistic adviser.

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Sept. 24, 2001 (Lexington, Ky.) -- "Don Giovanni," Mozart's opera based on the life of the legendary philanderer Don Juan, kicks off the University of Kentucky's 2001 opera season with performances set for 8 p.m. Oct. 11, 18, and 20 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Lexington Opera House.

Everett McCorvey, director of the UK's Opera Theater, said Kentucky opera lovers are in for a bonus this year because the internationally respected baritone Sherrill Milnes will serve as artistic adviser for "Don Giovanni."

"This will be a special treat for opera fans and UK music students who will participate in master classes with Milnes," McCorvey said. "Mr. Milnes has played the part of Don Giovanni more times than any other actor in the world making him truly an expert of the role."

Milnes, who grew up on a dairy farm in Downers Grove, Ill., has performed in opera houses all over the world and is a "superstar" in every sense, McCorvey added. He is particularly well know for his performances in Verdi's works and was launched to stardom in a riveting performance as Miller in Verdi's "Luisa Miller."

The cast of Don Giovanni will include both local and national emerging stars, McCorvey commented. Norman Reinhardt, a native of North Carolina, who was the 2000 district winner of the New York Metropolitan Opera District Auditions held at UK and who also came in second in the regional auditions in Indianapolis, will play the part of Don Ottavio. Reinhardt, a tenor, was a student at Asbury College during the Met auditions and is now a music student at UK pursuing a master's in vocal performance as a student of Professor Stephen King.

"Mr. Reinhardt is certainly on the singers-to-watch list at the Metropolitan Opera, McCorvey added.

Mark A. Huseth, a UK doctoral student under the tutelage of Professor Gail Robinson, will play the role of Don Giovanni in UK's performances. Huseth is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Last year, he was seen as Dr. Malatesta in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Don Pasquale." Another recent engagement for Huseth included the role of John Brooke in Little women with the Civic Opera of Kansas.

UK students play all of the characters in "Don Giovanni. The list of characters includes Patricia Andress, a soprano from Nashville, Tenn., and another of Robinson's doctoral students who will play the part of Zerlina; Jennifer Coleman, a soprano doctoral student and native of Napa Valley, Calif., who will play Elvira; Corey S. Crider, a baritone from Marion, Ky., who is also a master's student, who will play the role of Leporello; Reshma Shetty, a soprano master's student from London, England, who has sung a diverse repertoire of musical theater and operatic roles ranging from Laurie Moss in Copland's "The Tender Land" to Andrea in "Once on this Island," will play the character Zerlina; Edward White Jr., of Alabama, a doctoral student who will play Masetto, and n Hope Koehler, also of Nashville, a soprano doctoral student who is on the music faculty at Transylvania University, will play Donna Anna.

Tickets for the "Don Giovanni" performances, including a first-time opera season subscription ticket package, are available by calling the Ticket Office in the UK Singletary Center for the Arts, (859) 257-4929. Ticket prices range from $15 to $18 for reserve seating, $10 for students, two tickets for $25 for UK staff and faculty. A $50 VIP ticket for the Oct. 11 performance includes admission to a post-performance reception with the cast and Mr. Milnes. Additionally "Class-Pass" tickets are available to UK students for $8 each. For students to receive Class-Pass tickets, a professor must fax a class list to (859) 323-9991 and write "Class-Pass Giovanni tickets" on the fax. Class-Pass tickets are available with advanced purchase only.


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