PASA presents performance by opera Coloratura Soprano

Elizabeth Futral to perform recital and

chamber music accompanied by symphony orchestra. ---

LAFAYETTE - Elizabeth Futral will perform a wide-ranging program of recital and chamber music, accompaniment provided by Geraldine Hubbell and members of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, on Friday, January 20, 2012, 7:30 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

The evening’s repertoire is to include works by Händel, Bach, Fauré, Chausson and selections from Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice, André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Verdi’s “La Traviata.” This performance is sponsored in part by Cox Communications, Wingate by Wyndham and Café Vermilionville, along with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Our program was carefully developed through discussions with Elizabeth, Geraldine Hubbell, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra concert master, Lauren Baker, UL’s Director of Opera, Shawn Roy, amongst other followers of opera,” said PASA Executive Director Shanna Higginbotham. “We also wanted to collaborate with and showcase some of our area’s talented musicians, who will perform alongside Futral in the program’s ensemble pieces.”

The program includes Händel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” (Samson) for quartet and trumpet, “How Beautiful Are the Feet” (Messiah) for quartet and Bach’s “Sei Lob/Alleluia” (Cantata 51) for quartet and trumpet. Included French compositions are “N’est-ce pas,” “Le plus doux chemin” and “Apres un reve” (Fauré); “Le colibiri” (Chausson), “Shepherd on the Rock” (Schubert), with piano and clarinet, and “Sempre libera” from La Traviata will close the first half of the program.

Selections of some of Elizabeth’s most important roles are packed into the second half of the program, featuring Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah,” Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Orpheus and Euridice,” André Previn’s “A Street Car Named Desire” and Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Accompanying Futral is Geraldine Hubbell, pianist who has a long-established and wide-reaching reputation as a great teacher, performer and accompanist as well as Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s Lauren Baker and Joel Martinez (violins), Emil Ivanov (viola), and Emma Guidry (cello), Andrea Loewy (flute), Brian Shaw (trumpet) and Antonio Tanase (clarinet).

Elizabeth Futral enjoys a world-wide reputation as an extraordinary singer and actress, and is a favorite of opera-goers around the globe, having embraced a diverse repertoire that includes Vivaldi, Händel, Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Glass and Previn.

In the fall of 2005 Futral performed Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Orpheus and Euridice” as part of Great Performers at Lincoln Center. That season also included Adina in “L’elisir d’amore” for Washington National Opera and Violetta in “La Traviata” for Los Angeles Opera. Other highlights of past seasons include “La Traviata” with Berlin State Opera; “Rigoletto” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Elvira in “I Puritani” with the Baltimore Opera; the title role in “Daphne” with the New York City Opera; Sophie in “Der Rosenkavalier” with Los Angeles Opera; touring to Japan with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” conducted by Zubin Mehta; the “Brahms Requiem” and “Krenek’s Die Nachtigall” with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas; “Lucia di Lammermoor” with Dallas Opera conducted by Richard Bonynge, and with Teatro Municipal in “Santiago;” and Curley’s wife in “Of Mice and Men” with Houston Grand Opera. Recitals have included visits to Chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Los Alamos, New Mexico and Philadelphia.

She scored major triumphs when she performed at the San Francisco Opera, creating the role of Stella in the world premiere of Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” (along-side Renee Fleming), and with her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Cleopatra in Händel’s “Giulio Cesare.” She has appeared at the world’s great opera houses in roles such as Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” Juliette in Goudnod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” the title role in Delibes’s “Lakmé,” Nanetta in Verdi’s “Falstaff,” Mélisande in Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande,” Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata” and the title role in Moore’s “The Ballad of Baby Doe.”

She has a long and close association with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she has performed both Gianetta and Adina in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” and both Barbarina and Susanna in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro.” Revisiting the role of Nedda in “I Pagliacci,” Elizabeth made her debut with New Zealand Opera in August and September of 2011. In November, 2011, she returned to the role of Violetta in “La Traviata” for Lyric Opera Baltimore’s first season with her husband Steven White conducting. Elizabeth was heard at Carnegie Hall November 30 and December 1, 2011 where she performed music of Kaija Saariaho with the Avanti Chamber Group. After her recital for PASA in January, she will sing her first Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte for Washington National Opera.

Ms. Futral’s extensive discography includes “Meyerbeer L’Etoile du nord” for Marco Polo, Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les sortileges,” conducted by Maestro Previn for Deutsche Grammophon and Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox for Euphorbia Records. Rossini’s “Otello” and Pacini’s “Carlo di Borgogna” for Opera Rara, “Lucia di Lammermoor” for Chandos as part of their “Opera in English” series and Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges,” conducted by Previn for Deutsche Grammophon.

North Carolina born and Louisiana reared, Futral is a graduate of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, where strong emphasis is placed on acting and her dramatic ability was on display on opening night. Undoubtedly helped by the fact that she is young enough, beautiful enough and slender enough to look the part of Violetta, Futral created a believable illusion of the dying consumptive courtesan.

In addition to the concert on January 20, Elizabeth will lead a master class at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, in the Ducrest Auditorium of Angelle Hall on the campus of the University Louisiana Lafayette. The master class will include performances by university students, who will receive coaching from Futral. The master class is open to the public.

“A master class is an excellent way for artists to perfect their craft and is also a valuable learning opportunity for those who simply love music,” said Higginbotham. “We hope to see high school choral students, people who sing in church choirs, community choruses and people who just love to sing at this event.”

Patrons are invited to attend a creative conversation with Shawn Roy, director of opera and musical theatre studies, at 6:30 p.m. within the Heymann Center’s mezzanine prior to Futral’s performance.

Tickets to the Elizabeth Futral performance are available through the Heymann Center Box Office or www.ticketmaster.com. Single tickets to this performance, and all others included in PASA’s Spring 2012 series, begin at $28. UL students and faculty receive 50% off, with a valid UL ID, while additional discounts are available for those attending in groups of ten or more. All promotional purchases are available through the Heymann Box Office only.

Founded in 1988, the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana is a non-profit organization that presents live entertainment at the Heymann Performing Arts Center and other local venues, creates in-school arts activities and offers daytime performances for students and initiates outreach programs such as PASA PLUS and Play It Again, Lafayette. PASA presents annual performances of opera, dance, drama and a variety of musical acts.

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