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Opera Roanoke Starts 47th Season with the Greatest Hits

Opera Gems: A Gala Celebration Concert | Sept 16 | Jefferson Center 

Opera Roanoke will celebrate the opening of its 47th season with a concert of opera’s greatest hits on September 16 at the Jefferson Center. With tunes from standard operas like Carmen and La Boheme to lesser-known gems like Eugene Onegin and Luisa Miller, this concert is packed with something for the diehard opera fan to the opera newcomer alike.

“By making it a celebration of opera’s greatest hits, we are encouraging people to come out and hear all that this vast art form has to offer,” said Brooke Tolley, General Director.  There will be many recognizable melodies and even a few hidden gems – all packed with the passion and drama that opera is known for. The company is encouraging patrons to get dressed up and make a night of it by hosting a mixer at 6pm ahead of the main event, which includes snacks, drinks, and entertainment by Opera Roanoke’s Young Artists in Fostek Hall at the Jefferson Center.

Returning to the Opera Roanoke stage for the first time since 2016 is Hollins University graduate and now Full-Time Chorus Member of the Metropolitan Opera, Helena Brown. Ms. Brown’s artistic accomplishments since her time at the university have taken her around the world.  Ms. Brown was recently heard at her alma mater for the inauguration of Hollins University’s new president, Mary Dana Hinton, in April 2022.

Joining Ms. Brown are three nationally recognized soloists; Suzanne Kantorski from Vermont, Isaac Hurtado from Utah, and Kevin Thompson from Vienna, Virginia, who made his debut at Opera Roanoke’s May 2022 performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Soloists will be joined by a full orchestra and the Opera Roanoke Chorus, led by Metropolitan Opera conductor, Steven White, who calls Copper Hill in Floyd County his home.

Opera Gems is also the official kick-off for Opera Roanoke’s new Free Community Ticket Program.  Sponsored by Carilion Clinic, this program is a partnership between Opera Roanoke and the area’s health and human service organizations that provides free tickets to individuals and groups in the region with little or no access to expendable income. “We have already seen a strong interest from our partners in this program and our goal is to offer ‘no strings attached’ access to those who will benefit the most from attending arts performances,” said Tolley.

More information on the Opera Gems performance and the Free Community Ticket Program can be found at operaroanoke.org or by calling (540) 982-2742. Opera Gems Tickets: $20-$120 | Sept 16 | 8pm | Jefferson Center Shaftman Hall. Pre-Concert Mixer Tickets: $40 (includes snacks and drinks) | Sept 16 | 6pm | Jefferson Center Fostek Hall

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