The Opera Company of Middlebury to launch season in June with ‘Macbeth’

MIDDLEBURY — The Opera Company of Middlebury will open its 13th season with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth,” June 3-11.
“With two of the most challenging roles in opera, you can’t even consider ‘Macbeth’ unless you have two absolutely riveting singer-actors,” said Douglas Anderson, artistic director of OCM. “We have them in Rochelle Bard, who sang a searing Violetta in our production of ‘La Traviata’ two years ago, and Joshua Jeremiah, who starred as Athanael in our production of ‘Thaïs.’”
The second production of the season will be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic “The Magic Flute,” in a staged concert performance in October. This production will be especially adapted for families and sung in English, and will be crafted with the aid of area grade school students.
“Macbeth” premiered in Florence in 1847 and arrived in New York 11 years later. Though one of Verdi’s earliest works, it has a passionate, melodic score and an unrelieved intensity, and has lately been rediscovered as one of his masterworks.
OCM’s professional singers are cast from a lengthy audition process in New York and Vermont. Rounding out the cast of “Macbeth” are Rubin Casas, who will sing the bass role of Banquo, and tenor Alok Kumar, last season’s triumphant Calàf, who will sing Macduff. Tenor Yi Li will perform Malcolm.
Maestro Emmanuel Plasson will lead the OCM orchestra.
In October, OCM will mount a special reduced version of “The Magic Flute” in English (with supertitles, as in all OCM operas). “We’re copying the Met in presenting this work in a shorter version that will appeal to families. ‘The Magic Flute’ has a wild theatricality and a lot of comedy, the perfect intro opera for young people. But there is much to appeal to adults as well, especially that famous score,” says Anderson. “I can listen to the score 100 times and find something fresh in it every time.” OCM is seeking funding for a special performance just for students.
On Sunday, May 22, the community will have a chance to meet the remarkable “Macbeth” cast at the annual “Meet the Singers” recital and reception at 5 p.m. at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society. Each cast member of “Macbeth” will sing a favorite song or aria. The CVUUS is located at 2 Duane Court just off Water Street, south of Cross Street. Tickets are $35, which includes a complimentary ticket to the Young Artists Recital, Tuesday evening, June 7.
A free reception will follow the opening-night performance on June 3. Complimentary champagne will be served and the audience will have an opportunity to meet the cast. “Macbeth” will continue in performance Sunday, June 5, with a 2 p.m. matinee, and June 9 and 11 at 8 p.m. in the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. Tickets are $55-$75.
A special June 10 performance will feature the talented young singers covering the major roles. Tickets for this piano-only performance will be $30.
An informative talk on the opera will be presented an hour before each performance at Memorial Baptist Church, across from Town Hall Theater on South Pleasant Street.
Tickets for “Meet the Singers” and “Macbeth” go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, March 1. OCM members may reserve their seats beginning Feb. 23. Tickets may be purchased at, over the phone at 802-382-9222 or in person at the Town Hall Theater Box Office (daily except Sunday, noon-5 p.m.). OCM performances routinely sell out, so advance tickets are recommended.
For more information about the 2016 season, visit For information about becoming an OCM member, see OCM’s website or email membership chair Joann Langrock at [email protected].

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