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Yale Opera presents an exciting new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni Feb. 11 through 13

January 25, 2011

Stage director Sam Helfrich makes his Yale Opera debut

Working model of set. Photo by Andrew Cavanaugh Holland.

The Yale School of Music and Yale Opera will present Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni February 11 through 13 at New Haven’s historic Shubert Theater. Performances take place at 8 pm February 11 and 12, and at 2 pm February 13.

With stage director Sam Helfrich at the helm, the creative team features original set design by Andrew Holland, costume design by Kaye Voyce, and lighting design by William Warfel. Giuseppe Grazioli, who enjoys an international career and has worked with Yale Opera numerous times, will conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale.

Helfrich, making his Yale Opera debut, is “delighted to be working with Yale Opera’s talented young singers on Don Giovanni, perhaps Mozart’s greatest opera.”

“The designers and I have created an entirely new production for Yale Opera, drawing inspiration from the Spanish origins of the Don Juan story in order to create a theatrical event rooted in classic images and, at the same time, hip, youthful, and which should strike a chord with smart modern audiences.”
– stage director Sam Helfrich

The opera will be performed in the original Italian with projected English translations. The principal singers are students in the prestigious Yale Opera program, which is directed by Doris Yarick Cross. The alternating casts will be announced online by the end of January.

Tickets to Don Giovanni are $19–$41, $13 for students. Senior and group discounts are available. Tickets are available from the Shubert Theater box office at 247 College Street, by phone at 203 562-5666, or online at www.shubert.com. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

A scene from Yale Opera’s performance of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Shubert in February 2010.

About the Creative Team

DORIS YARICK CROSS, artistic director
Doris Yarick Cross, soprano, has appeared with most of the major opera companies in the United States, including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and New York City Opera, as well as companies in Europe, Australia, and Canada. She spent sixteen years in Germany where she sang leading roles in major opera houses. She has sung with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Quebec, Toronto, San Francisco, and the New York Philharmonic. She is well-known as a recitalist and has appeared in hundreds of concerts across the country. She has served on the faculty of the University of Texas and was head of the voice department at the University of Connecticut prior to coming to the Yale School of Music in 1983.

Maestro Giuseppe Grazioli returns to Yale Opera, where he has previously conducted productions of Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has also led students from Yale Opera in concert performances of Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Trouble in Tahiti, Orphée aux enfers, Kiss Me Kate, and others with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Maestro Grazioli was invited to the Teatro alla Scala in 2001 to conduct the closing concert before the theater’s renovation and then to conduct the world premiere of Vita. Other engagements in Italy include Orphée aux enfers and Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Regio and Il gatto con gli Stivali at Rome’s Opera Theater. His frequent appearances in France include multiple productions with Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Étienne, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra de Lyon, and Opéra de Marseille. He has conducted Lucia di Lammermoor and Les pêcheurs de perles with Washington National Opera. Among his many recordings are rarities of the twentieth century by de Falla, Martinu, Bax, Bartók, Nino Rota, and more with Orchestra Verdi.

SAM HELFRICH, stage director
This production marks Sam Helfrich’s debut with Yale Opera. Mr. Helfrich has directed theater and opera at companies including Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Boston, Portland Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera, among others. Recent productions include The Turn of the Screw at Boston Lyric Opera, Philip Glass’ Orphée at Portland Opera and Glimmerglass, Louise and Amistad at Spoleto Festival USA, Der Freischutz, Semele, and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at Opera Boston, Aida at Opera Omaha, and Don Giovanni and Agrippina with Boston Baroque. Upcoming projects include Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent, a coproduction with Center for Contemporary Opera in New York and the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary, and a trilogy of Philip Glass/Jean Cocteau operas at Spoleto Festival USA. Other projects include an off-Broadway production of Stephen Belber’s Tape, as well as the libretto for Dial M for Murder, the opera, in collaboration with composer Joe Simeone. Sam Helfrich holds a BA and an MFA from Columbia University.