Michigan Opera Theatre's "Cavalleria rusticana" at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre is a big deal on several levels this weekend.
It not only opens the MOT's 2021-22 season on Saturday, June 12, but is also the first major show in any of the metro area's amphitheaers since the COVID-19 pandemic. And it features a historic first collaboration between the MOT and the DSO, whose Music Director Jader Bignamini will conduct the company's orchestra and chorus.
"I think of it as a really great overture for the season ahead, and we're all eager for this opportunity to be together, live, in a large group," says MOT Artistic Director Yuval Sharon, who staged last October's "Twilight Gods" in the Detroit Opera House parking lot downtown.
"I think the piece and the event both really speak to everything we've been missing with live performance."
MOT is presenting "Cavalleria rusticana" — a one-act opera by Pietro Mascagni premiered in 1890 — in a concert setting rather than a fully staged production, with an audience limited to about 1,000, but Sharon is confident the love triangle tale will still have resonance, as well as "melodies you can hum for weeks." New Associate Artistic Director Christine Goerke, who stars as Santuzza, feels the same.
"The fact that we do not have sets does not take away from the storytelling," she explains. "I thought specifically this piece would be a great presentation for the first time back. It kind of grabs you and is just the right length (70 minutes) to get everybody back in the spirit.
"It's going to be incredibly emotional being in front of people again."
Michigan Opera Theatre's "Cavalleria rusticana in Concert" takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 12, in the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets $49 and up. Tickets for the original May 15 date will be honored. 313Presents.com or MOTopera.org.
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