Wichita Grand Opera Announces 2017-18 Season

August 7, 2017

Monday, August 7 2017 12:00 PM


News Release
For Immediate Release
July 26, 2017

Parvan Bakardiev, Artistic DirectorWichitaGrandOpera.orgMargaret Ann Pent, Founding Advisor

Century II Performing Arts Center, 225 W. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202
Contact: Tony Applegate | Tel: (316) 262-8054 | Email: tapplegate@wichitagrandopera.org
Wichita Grand Opera Announces 2017-18 Season
September 10, 2017 – May 31, 2018
          (WICHITA – July 26, 2017) – Wichita Grand Opera’s Artistic Director Parvan Bakardiev is proud to announce its 2017-18 Season, spanning from September 10th, 2017 to May 31st, 2018 filled with two Grand Operas that rank in the most beloved, requested, and most often performed; a classic fairy tale famously brought to life by Disney, LIVE on stage with true Russian grace and beauty in Prokofiev’s beloved ballet, an exclusive Gala Christmas Concert, bringing home a Wichita superstar; and featuring WGO’s premier social event of the season; an outdoor concert on the lake at Bradley Fair, and a pre-season concert of Rossini’s splendid mass.

Operas are often filled with love, loss, and sacrifice, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Sept. 30) and Verdi’s La Traviata (Apr. 7) do not disappoint. Two of the most often requested and performed of the Grand Operas, audiences will be in store for something amazing.

However, Wichita Grand Opera cannot rest on its laurels of being innovative, by continuing the tradition of bringing true Russian ballet to Wichita as the Russian National Ballet Theatre dances Prokofiev’s classic, Cinderella (Apr. 29). In addition, we will be mixing in something new as we bring home Wichita’s own Chris Mann for an exclusive Christmas concert: “Chris Mann: Home for Christmas,” (Dec. 9) featuring WGO’s Chorus, Orchestra, and Children’s Chorus, with world renowned Maestro Steven Mercurio conducting.

Continuing with the traditions set forth throughout the seasons, the 2017-18 Season will include the Annual Opera Ball, with a roarin’ 20’s theme (May 5); a return visit to the Lake at Bradley Fair with POPera: Simply Irresistible – Opera on the Lake (May 31); and a Pre-Season concert featuring international superstars and returning favorites with Rossini’s mass, “Stabat Mater.” (Sept. 10)

Tickets and Season Subscriptions are available by calling the WGO Box Office (located on the 2nd floor of the Century II Concert Hall, House Right) at (316) 262-8054, online by visiting selectaseat.com, or by stopping by the Box Office for personal service.

Season Subscriptions are currently available for renewal, but will be available to the General Public as of August 1st. Subscription Plans range in price from $272 for all four subscription-eligible productions to $67, for only two. Productions available for Season Subscriptions are Madama Butterfly; Chris Mann: Home for Christmas; La Traviata; and Cinderella. Single tickets are available as of August 21st, with prices ranging from $85 to $37, with Senior, Student, Corporate, and Group discounts available.

2017-2018 Season Schedule

Stabat Mater (Pre-Season Special Event)Sept. 10, 3pmHoly Cross Lutheran Church
Madama Butterfly (Opening Night New Production)Sept. 30, 7pmCentury II
Chris Mann: Home for Christmas (Gala Concert)Dec. 9, 7pmCentury II
La Traviata (A New WGO Production)April 7, 7pmCentury II
Cinderella (performed by the Russian National Ballet)April 29, 3pmCentury II
The Annual Opera Ball (WGO’s Premier Social Event)May 5, 6pmMarkARTS
POPera: Simply Irresistible (WGO’s Opera on the Lake)May 31, 7pmBradley Fair

Rossini’s Stabat Mater
Special Pre-Season Event
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 3:00pm, Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Following capacity crowds for Britten’s Noah’s Flood and the July 2nd Patriotic Concert, WGO returns to Holy Cross Lutheran Church one last time as part of the church’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, bringing Gioacchino Rossini’s beloved mass, Stabat Mater. “I am delighted to produce Stabat Mater for the second time, following my production of this masterwork in San Antonio,” said Parvan Bakardiev, WGO Artistic Director. “Holy Cross is probably the finest venue in Wichita for concert performances, due to the ambiance and acoustics.”

After completing his monumental William Tell, Rossini simply stopped composing at the age of 37. After a few years, he was approached to write Stabat Mater, now performed globally.

Written for four soloists, chorus, and orchestra, combining a heartfelt solemnity and devotion that only Rossini could create. Starring in this glorious piece are Korean diva, soprano Yunnie Park, following brilliant performances in Puccini’s Turandot in 2015 and Verdi’s Rigoletto in 2016; rising American tenor Kirk Dougherty, following rave reviews in his WGO debut last season with Puccini’s La Bohème; WGO alum, mezzo-soprano Suzanne Hendrix, winner of the prestigious George London award; and world-renowned bass-baritone Alan Held returns to the WGO following his debut in the 10th Anniversary Gala Concert. WGO Principal Guest Conductor, Maestro Martin Mazik will conduct. Tickets for Stabat Mater are $35 for General admission and are available by calling the WGO Box Office at (316) 262-8054, or at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church offices at (316) 684-5201.

Martin Mazik
Yunnie Park
Kirk Dougherty
Suzanne Hendrix
Alan Held

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
A New WGO Production
Saturday, September 30, 2017, 7pm – Century II Concert Hall

Back by popular demand of Wichita Grand Opera audiences following a 2016 audience survey, WGO kicks off its 2017-18 Season with Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” the moving tale, set in turn-of-the-century Japan, that tells of an innocent young girl who falls in love with an American sailor, but their impulsive marriage leads to tragic consequences.

Korean soprano Yunnie Park and American tenor Kirk Dougherty star as Butterfly and Lt. Pinkerton, as WGO Principal Guest Conductor, Maestro Martin Mazik conducts one of Puccini’s most ravishing scores, following a triumphant tour in Spain, Russia, Slovakia, Germany, and Vienna. WGO protégé, stage director Shayna Leahy, returns to direct Madama Butterfly for the second time, after directing many of WGO’s most successful productions, including TurandotThe Pirates of Penzance, and Il Trovatore, among others.

Chris Mann: Home for Christmas
A Gala Christmas Concert
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 7:00pm – Century II Concert Hall

Wichita native Chris Mann – who rose to fame as Christina Aguilera’s finalist on NBC’s The Voice and just completed a 700+ performance national tour as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s personal choice to don the iconic mask of the title role in The Phantom of the Opera – comes home for an exclusive Christmas gala with the WGO chorus, orchestra, and children’s chorus.

This gala will follow in the footsteps of WGO’s second inaugural event, the Placido Domingo Christmas Gala, featuring beloved Christmas classics, some pop sensations, and even a little splash of the iconic role that made him a household name. Chris Mann: Home for Christmas will be conducted by internationally-renowned Maestro Steven Mercurio, returning to the WGO after conducting three of WGO’s most memorable performances: Bizet’s Carmen(2010), the 10th Anniversary Gala Concert (2011), and Il Trovatore (2012). Maestro Mercurio has conducted for such artists as The Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Sting and the Royal Philharmonic, Andrea Bocelli, and many of the Christmas specials of David Foster.

Maestro Mercurio’s career has taken him to some of the world’s greatest opera houses, including Teatro dell’Opera, Roma; Teatro Filarmonico, Verona; Teatro Regio, Torino; Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels; San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, and Florida Grand Opera, among others.

Verdi’s La Traviata
A New WGO Production
Saturday, April 7, 2018, 7:00pm – Century II Concert Hall

When a promising young man falls for a woman with a shady past, his family is outraged. She finally decides to sacrifice her happiness to save his reputation and pushes him away. Eventually, he realizes what happened and returns to her side for a bittersweet reunion in one of Verdi’s most popular – and heartbreaking – operas.

La Traviata has been the inspiration for best-selling novels; television dramas; and some of Hollywood’s greatest films, including the classic Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Following the tremendous success of Rigoletto in 2016, stage director Robert Stivanello returns to WGO to direct this magical opera. Stivanello brings with him some of the most visually stunning sets for La Traviata (and Madama Butterfly earlier in the season). His “soft good” drop sets, relatively unheard of in the United States today, are direct from Milan, Italy, and the famed Sormani Studios, designed by Ercole Sormani himself. The cast for this breath-taking production will be announced shortly, pending international visa approval.

Prokofiev’s Cinderella
performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 7:00pm – Century II Concert Hall

Fairy godmothers, ugly stepsisters, and the iconic glass slippers come to life on stage in Prokofiev’s magical interpretation of what is said to be the quintessential Disney classic, Cinderella. The Russian National Ballet Theatre’s company of 50 world-class dancers, renowned globally, comes to Wichita direct from Moscow.

France’s CULTURE magazine wrote of the RNBT, “An evening of glorious theatre. The sets and costumes were dazzling in their color and style. From the moment the curtain rose to audible gasps of delight until the final ovation, the Russian National Ballet Theatre had their audience spellbound.”

Inspiration for this production and the original choreography comes from famed ballet dancer and director Rostislav Zakharov, twice awarded the USSR state prize, and designated the USSR Peoples’ Artist in 1969.

One of the most beloved ballets of all time paired with the grace and beauty that only true Russian Ballet can deliver; this is a perfect night out for the whole family.

The Opera Ball
WGO’s Premier Social Event of the Season
Saturday, May 5, 2018, 6:00pm, MarkARTS

WGO’s premiere social event of the year marks a debut for Wichita Grand Opera, and ushers in a new era, at the new home of MarkARTS’ gleaming new facility at 13th and Rock. Come spend an evening with Wichita’s movers and shakers, Roarin’ 20s style, as you enjoy great music, cocktails, dancing, and luxury live and silent auctions in support of Wichita Grand Opera.

A tradition of the WGO Opera Ball has been our Guests of Honor. Throughout the seasons, such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Samuel Ramey, General Richard Myers, Joyce Di Donato, Miss USA Katie Stam 2009 and most recently, Wichita’s own “Phantom,” Chris Mann have been guests of honor at the Opera Ball.

This year will be no different, so stay tuned for who the Guest of Honor might be for 2018. Strap on your dancing shoes and prepare to see and be seen, as you greet old friends and meet new ones. Reservations for this lavish evening are $200 per person, or a group of ten for $1,500, a portion of which is tax deductible.

POPera: Simply Irresistible – Opera on the Lake
Thursday, May 31, 2018, 7:00pm, Bradley Fair

Bradley Fair, the leading shopping center in Wichita, once again hosts WGO’s annual gift to the community, Opera on the Lake. This year’s theme is “POPera: Simply Irresistible.” Bring a chair or blanket for a night of pop and operatic favorites in the tradition of WGO’s concert performances with Celtic Woman, Josh Groban, Placido Domingo, and the 10th Anniversary Gala with Samuel Ramey, Joyce DiDonato, and Alan Held. However Opera on the Lake comes with a twist: a gala with stars in the sky and stars on the stage with the picturesque backdrop of the Lake and Island of Bradley Fair; an event and setting like nowhere else in the nation.

“POPera” will be a free to the public event, so feel free to bring a lawn chair or blanket and prepare for a wonderful evening under the Kansas sky. A limited number of Reserved Seating tickets are available for $35 each, which include a provided chair. Or, if you prefer to be wined and dined, the VIP Dinner and Performance Package is available, including a three-course dinner with exclusive seating for dinner and the performance on the patio at Newport Grill, all for $150 per person or a table of eight for $1,000, a portion of which is tax deductible.

Subscribe Now
By calling (316) 262-8054 and choose your favorite seats!

With Season Subscriptions going on sale to the General Public on August 1st, early subscribers get the best seats for Wichita Grand Opera’s 2017-18 Season:

Season Subscriptions:BestBetterGood
     Plan A • a savings of 20%$272$186$118
     Plan B • a savings of 15%$216$147$93
     Plan C • a savings of 10%$154$104$67
Single Tickets:BestBetterGoodStudent
     Regular Priced Tickets$85$58$37$20
     Groupsof 10 or moresaves 15%$72$49$31N/A
     Senior60 or oversaves 10%$77$52$33N/A
     Studentswith Valid IDsaves 10%$77$52$33N/A
     Stabat Mater General Admission Tickets$35N/AN/AN/A
Corporate discounts, as well as our Day at the Opera educational program for students are also available. There will be a pre-performance opera talk 10 minutes prior to each production.

To Attend the 2018 WGO Opera Ball, tickets are:

Individual Tickets are $200 per person or a Table of TEN is $1,500
(a portion of which is tax deductible)

With a limited number of Reserved Seats or the VIP Dinner and Performance Package available,
tickets for “POPera: Simply Irresistible – Opera on the Lake” at Bradley Fair are:

$35 for Reserved Seating Tickets
Individual VIP Dinner and Performance Packages are $150 per person or
Table of EIGHT for the VIP Dinner and Performance Package is $1,000
(a portion of the VIP Dinner and Performance Package is tax deductible)

To purchase tickets for WGO Season, the 2018 Opera Ball, or Opera on the Lake,
call the Wichita Grand Opera Box Office at (316) 262-8054 or go online at www.selectaseat.com.

For more information, visit www.WichitaGrandOpera.org.

Follow the WGO on: