Wichita Grand Opera’s Magnificent Seventh Season

September 15, 2008

Monday, September 15 2008 11:00 PM

(WICHITA, KS – September 16, 2008) – “It is only fitting, as we approach the opening of our seventh season, to treat our audience to seven magnificent productions,” says General Director Parvan Bakardiev.  “This is our most extensive season yet, and I anticipate the 2008-2009 season will be an even greater success than last season.  This season’s seven productions feature a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and romance; there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.”


Gilbert & Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore – November 1 & 2, 2008


Jose Porcel’s Flamenco Español – November 16, 2008


Prokofiev’s Cinderella –January 20, 2009


Verdi’s Aida – February 4, 2009


Bizet’s Pearl Fishers – February 14 & 15, 2009


Tchaikovsky’s SwanLake – March 22, 2009


Rossini’s Barber of Seville – April 25 & 26, 2009


Season Subscriptions and Single Tickets On Sale Now

Season Subscriptions offer the most affordable way to enjoy WGO’s performances, saving up to 20% off the regular ticket price.  There are four plans from which to choose:

Season Subscriptions:Best BetterGood
Plan A – Save 20% – All 7 Productions$476$325$196
Plan B – Save 17% – Choose 6 Productions$423$289$174
Plan C – Save 14% – Choose 5 Productions$366$249$151
Plan D – Save 11% – Choose 4 Productions$303$207$125



Single tickets may be purchased with a 10% Early Bird discount between September 16 and October 15, 2008 for $76.50, $52.20, and $31.50.  Starting October 16, 2008 single tickets will be available at the regular prices of $85, $58, and $35.

To purchase tickets call Wichita Grand Opera Box Office.

316.262.8054 or online at www.selectaseat.com


Wichita Grand Opera’s 2008-2009 Season begins this November with H.M.S. Pinafore, a tale of love versus high society when a plucky British sailor falls in love with his Captain’s daughter. John Stephens, Metropolitan Opera Bass and director, leads a cast full of brilliant comedic singers in what was the first of Gilbert & Sullivan’s many international sensations.  Internationally renowned Maestro Louis Salemno,who has enjoyed a distinguished conducting career at great opera houses including La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceo, and the Houston Grand Opera, will be making his debut with WGO.

Later in November, Wichita Grand Opera presents Flamenco Español, a company of musicians, dancers, and singers starring Spain’s most brilliant dancer, José Porcel, critically acclaimed throughout the world as the leading authority in the art of Flamenco.  The performance combines the passion of dance, the power of voice, and the pulse of music in a sensual experience that will leave the audience breathless.

Ballet returns to WGO’s stage in the tradition of great opera houses worldwide.  Moscow’s Russian National Ballet Theatre, directed by legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Radchenko, will bring Prokofiev’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale Cinderella to life in January 2009.  The radiant Marianna Chemalina, Russia’s leading Prima Ballerina, will portray the role of Cinderella, combining her exceptional sense of musicality with deep rooted traditions of Russian Ballet.  The whole family will enjoy the grace and beauty of this superb Russian classical ballet company.

February 2009 begins as the grandest of all Grand Operas, Aida, takes the audience back in time to the era of pyramids and Pharaohs.  This riveting love story of Radames, Commander of the Egyptian army, and Aida, a captured Ethiopian princess, features some of Verdi’s greatest melodies.  Olga Chernisheva, featured soprano of Russia’s Bolshoi Opera, headlines the international cast in the title role.  Opposite her, in the demanding role of Radames, is Viorel Saplacan, principal tenor of the Romanian National Opera.  Electrifying German Maestro Ekhart Wycik, principal conductor of the Dortmund Opera, will lead the cast of over 150 singers, dancers, and musicians.

Celebrate the day of love, Valentine’s Day, with a spellbinding new production of Bizet’s most often requested yet least often performed opera, The Pearl Fishers, featuring some of Bizet’s most memorable arias and duets.  Set on the exotic shores of Sri Lanka, WGO sails across the Indian Ocean for this searing romance.  Soprano Larisa Yudina, superstar of Russia’s Mariinsky Opera, returns to the WGO in the principal role of Leila, the priestess who threatens an entire village when love compels her to break her sacred vows.  Opposite her as Nadir is Latin-American tenor Genaro Mendez, who most recently appeared with WGO as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet.  Zurga, the village chieftain, will be sung by Resident Artist William Browning, and Nourabad, the High Priest, will be sung by Young Artist Scott Conner.  Diane Gans serves as choreographer as Herbert Kellner, renowned for his productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Los Angeles Opera, among others, directs his debut production with Wichita Grand Opera.

Wichita Grand Opera welcomes spring as the Moiseev Russian Classical Ballet returns to Wichita to perform Tchaikovsky’s most famous and most beloved ballet, Swan Lake.  Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse, can only be freed from the spell by true love.  The company of more than 80 dancers personifies the grandeur and scope that no other company hopes to match. Led by General Director Vladimir Moiseev, Honored Artist of Russia and acclaimed soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet, the Moiseev Russian Classical Ballet will offer the audience a flawless afternoon of magnificent ballet.

The 2008-2009 season concludes with Rossini’s hilarious masterpiece, The Barber of Seville.  Even Bugs Bunny enjoyed this tale of the enamored young Count Almaviva who, with assistance from the town’s mischievous barber, Figaro, woos the beautiful Rosina right under the nose of her guardian, Dr. Bartolo.  International superstar and Kansas native Joyce DiDonato, recognized as one of the world’s most outstanding Rosinas, brings her signature role to life in her Wichita debut.  Impeccable Italian bass Stefano de Peppo will co-star as Dr. Bartolo. Rising star William Browning sings the title role of Figaro, following his triumphant success as Valentin in last season’s Faust.  The charismatic Patrick Greene will sing the role of Count Almaviva, and Scott Conner, a star in the making, will sing the role of Basilio.  Martin Mazik, principal conductor of the Slovakian National Opera, returns to Wichita once more to lead the performances.