MIAMI (AP) — A new opera based on the acclaimed Italian novel “The Leopard” makes its world debut in South Florida.
Based on the 1958 novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the opera premieres March 5-6 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, south Miami. The music was written by Michael Dellaira with the book by JD McClatchy. The show is performed by students and faculty members of the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
“Opera is a complicated medium, with many moving parts, all delicately interconnected, and for the characters to come to life on stage, it takes an extraordinary coordination of talent and experience from large numbers of people,” he said. said Dellaira. “Fortunately for me, all that talent and experience is here at the Frost School.”
University of Miami students perform with faculty members including baritone Kim Josephson, mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon, tenor Frank Ragsdale and bass-baritone Kevin Short.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this world premiere and thrilled to perform with the amazing students of Frost Opera Theater and Maestro Gerard Schwarz and the Frost Symphony Orchestra,” Josephson said.
The production is led by musical director Alan Johnson and director Jeffrey Buchman.
“The Leopard”, or “Il Gattopardo” in Italian, is set in Sicily in 1860. The story follows Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, also known as the Leopard. Corbera, a member of an impoverished, almost obsolete Sicilian aristocracy, faces a society in turmoil. He is forced to choose between decadence and progress, as well as between the fall of the nobility and the future of his family.
The novel set sales records in Italy after its release and won the Strega Prize, which is Italy’s highest honor for fiction. Director Luchino Visconti adapted the book into a 1963 film starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon.