Friday, 22 May 2020

The Toledo Opera Association residencies for 2020 -'21

The Toledo Opera Association has selected and announced the final line up of its resident artists for the 2020-21 season this week. Four talented young performers were selected from 173 applicants in a rigorous audition process.  The four will serve as touring artists for the Opera On Wheels program which travels extensively through the area visiting local educational institutions and bringing live opera to the furthest reaches of our area. Annually the program touches 22,000 students from Findlay to Ann Arbor and Sandusky to Archbold.  This season, the traveling production will be a newly created children’s opera, which sources its music from Mozart’s operas Cosi fan Tutte and The Marriage of Figaro. Joshua Borths of Capital University is adapting the scores and writing the libretto.  James M. Norman, TO’s Director of Artistic Administration and Production and Artistic Director of the Opera On Wheels program will direct the production.  The selected theme for the outreach is anti-bullying, friendship, and examining the way children behave toward each other — using art to model proper life skills for successful social interactions.  Although the Opera on Wheels program was sidelined this spring in response to the coronavirus guidelines for education, the hope is to re-launch the program in mid-October with touring through mid-November, and a spring tour commencing in mid-April through May of 2021.  The Resident Artists will also sing smaller roles in the TO’s mainstage productions of Aida, The Merry Widow, and The Grand Tour which are slated for this season.  The artists selected include soprano Grace Wipfli, mezzo-soprano Olivia Johnson, and baritone Andrew Payne. Pianist Emily Morin will serve as music director and pianist for the ensemble for a second year with the program.

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