ShareThis Page

Opera Theater's performance-filled Summerfest has international flair

| Saturday, March 15, 2014, 6:09 p.m.
'A Little Night Music' from the 2013 Opera Theater SummerFest
Patti Brahim
'A Little Night Music' from the 2013 Opera Theater SummerFest
Jonathan Eaton, artistic director of Opera Theater.
John Bauerlein
Jonathan Eaton, artistic director of Opera Theater. John Bauerlein
A scene from Opera Theater's 'The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' with Kaitlyn Very and Daniel Arnaldos.
Amy Crawford
A scene from Opera Theater's 'The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' with Kaitlyn Very and Daniel Arnaldos.
Marianne Cornetti
Marianne Cornetti

The third season of Opera Theater's Summerfest, which runs July 10 to 27 in Oakland, will offer four staged works, including a childrens opera along with vocal recitals, happy hours, late-night cabarets and other special events.

Nearly all performances will take place at the Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., which has upgraded the air conditioning, seating comfort and acoustics.

The 2014 season will see an increased role for international singers — from nine countries this year. Summerfest launched a European vocal competition this fall in Verviers, Belgium, the winners of which will join the winners of the Summerfest's resident artists to perform and understudy at this year's festival.

Opera Theater is looking to begin a European Summerfest as early as 2015. After rehearsals and performances in Pittsburgh, the shows would be repeated in Verviers.

This year's festival begins July 10 with a recital by international opera star and Cabot, Butler County, nativeMarianne Cornetti. She also will give a masterclass July 15.

The three mainstage productions will be performed in English with orchestral accompaniment in the 400-seat Art Deco Theater.

“The Merry Widow,” July 11, 19 and 27, was composer Franz Lehar's breakthrough hit. The romantic comedy, filled with lush melodies, is about a rich widow in a small, poor country and the efforts to find the right man for her, in order to keep her money from emigrating.

The hit musical “The Fantasticks,” July 12, 13, 17, 25 and 26, will be the company's annual venture in American musical theater. The show opens with its biggest hit number, “Try to Remember.” The original Broadway production ran 42 years and more than 17,000 performances.

Summerfest will observe the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss with a production of “Ariadne auf Naxos,” July 18, 20 and 26, as well as devoting one of the vocal recitals to his music.

“The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by American composer Lucas Foss is the childrens opera, being performed late mornings on July 12, 19 and 26. It is based on Mark Twain's short story set in the 19th century during the gold rush.

Summerfest also will present a July 22 workshop of an eco-opera in progress based on the work of environmentalist Rachel Carson by composer Gilda Lyons and librettist Tammy Ryan.

Vocal recitals begin July 13 with countertenor Andrey Nemzer, who won the Mildred Miller competition before becoming one of the winners of the 2012 Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions.

The other vocal recitals will feature Summerfest's resident artists on July 16; the winners of the Europe Summerfest competition, July 19; a tribute to Metropolitan opera star and Opera Theater founder Mildred Miller, July 23; and the Strauss recital, July 24.

Subscriptions are $47.50 to $142 for two mainstage productions and $67.50 to $202.50 for the three mainstage productions. Single tickets to the mainstage operas and Cornetti's recital are $25 to $75. Admission to the childrens opera is $5 and $10. Most other single tickets are $25.

Deluxe packages are called “Passports;” the Gold is $550 and includes admission to everything including dinners, receptions and free parking; the Silver is $325 and incudes everything except Cornetti's recital. For Cornetti's July 10 performance, a pre-concert opening night dinner is $60 and the opening night post-concert reception is available to all audience members at $35.

Details: 412-621-1499 or

Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.