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A&E Source: Verismo soprano tackles dual productions Last Updated on 2017-03-21 01:35:12 Erina Newkirk is one of the featured performers in Rigoletto and Werther by the Verismo Opera Company. By Richard Freedman, Vallejo Times-Herald Those who think Fred Withrop doesn’t enjoy a challenge certainly don’t know Fred Withrop. While some would consider producing a successful opera company in Vallejo difficult enough, Withrop’s taken it a step further — two productions. Overlapping. First, there’s Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, opening Feb. 25 and running through March 24 at the Bay Area Stage Theater. Then there’s Werther by Jules Massenet, running March 3 through March 26 at the same venue. Fortunately, via the wonders of multiple casting, Withrop whips his wizardry, turning possible chaos into a couple of coordinated creations. “Werther is an opera I hold dear,” Withrop said. “This particular opera works well with... More »
Norma Review in the Benicia Herald by Elizabeth Warnimont Last Updated on 2017-03-19 18:04:43 The Benicia Herald Review by Elizabeth Warnimont Special to The Herald Verismo Opera Company’s mission is to bring affordable opera into communities that might not otherwise be exposed to the genre. The company has met with considerable success since its founding in 1982, building a team of artists, establishing compatible venues, and broadening its audience base. That success continued in the company’s 2011 season with Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma,” the tragic story of a Druid high priestess who falls in love with a Roman soldier, which wrapped up its run Friday at the Mira Theatre in Vallejo. An encore showing will be performed in Vacaville on Sept. 11. Frederick Winthrop, co-founder of Verismo and director-conductor of “Norma,” said one key to the company’s success thus far has been the selection of “war horses,” operas... More »
Bravo Verismo Opera, Newspaper Article from the Times Herald Last Updated on 2017-03-19 18:04:12 Bravo Verisimo Opera Published By Times Herald Posted: 11/09/2011 01:01:17 AM PST     I recently attended a performance of the opera Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner at the Bay Terrace Theater (also known as Mira Theater) 51 Daniels St. at Wilson Street, in Vallejo. I thought that the performance by the 15 singers, along with extremely professional orchestra of about a dozen musicians was terrific. All the singers had wonderful, strong, voices and told the story about the golden treasure very effectively. The costumes were lots of fun and colorful and played well against the fairly neutral background of the set. They did wonders with the small venue and made opera very accessible due to the very modest price of tickets -- $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. So, opera lovers, check it out the next time a performance by Verisimo Opera comes around in Vallejo. Sandra... More »
Madama Butterfly Writeup Mercury News Last Updated on 2017-03-19 18:03:20 Pacifica Times Website By Jean Bartlett Pacifica Tribune correspondent Posted:   07/31/2012 05:01:03 PM PDT Updated:   07/31/2012 05:01:03 PM PDT Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., Verismo Opera Company is arriving on the stage of Pacifica Performances to present one of the greatest opera tragedies of all time, "Madama Butterfly." Adapted from the book by John L. Long, (drama by David Belasco, Italian libretto by L. Illica and G. Giacosa, English version by R. H. Elkin), and with music by Giacomo Puccini, Madama Butterfly takes place in late 19th century in a lovely Japanese villa on the outskirts of Nagasaki. It is here that the young Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San, known as Madama Butterfly, falls in love with U.S. Navy Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton. Their meeting, arranged by the local marriage broker, Goro, is a real dream of happiness for Cio-Cio-San, for she... More »