Announcing 2019/20 season of three operas

Spokane – Inland Northwest Opera (INO) is pleased to announce a new season offering a variety of programming and venues to bring the art form to life in our region. INO is proud to bring Metropolitan Opera soprano, Elizabeth Caballero to star as Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly. Since 2013, Caballero has performed in three roles at The MET and will return again this fall as Mimi for La bohème, after last season’s critical acclaim. The role of Lieutenant Pinkerton will feature Chad Shelton, tenor, who appeared in the 2018/19 MET season as Roderigo in Verdi’s Otello and Sandra Piques Eddy as Suzuki, a regular with the MET. They will take the stage in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly for INO at Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on September 20 and 22.

Formerly “Opera Coeur d’Alene,” the organization has transformed into a new identity as INO to serve a broader audience who may experience offerings in both Washington and Idaho.

“This year we will feature Madame Butterfly to honor the Japanese legacy of our region. This 1904 opera emerged as a powerful message on racial bias and it remains relevant today.” said Dawn Wolski, General Director. “We also seek to build a connection among people of all ages and backgrounds, expanding opera outside the theater as well as inside.”

The season kicks off with Seymour Barab’s, The Toy Shop, directed by Maria Caprile. This charming fable offers a tale about a toymaker and two of his mechanical dolls who wish they were real, while a troublesome magician wishes to steal them from the shop. With songs including “If Only I Could Cry, How Happy I Would Be” and “Love is the Key,” they uncover the magic of life. Casting includes opera students from the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University. These free community performances are May 19th – 4:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church and May 21 – 1pm at the public library in Coeur d’Alene and June 1, 2019 – 3:00 pm at West Central Community Center in Spokane. Performances are also planned for students during May 20-June 6, 2019 at 21 schools in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.

“We are often bringing the first opera experience to children who witness the power of the human voice and important character skills portrayed such as empathy, acceptance and love,” stated Katrina Zepeda, Opera-tunities Program Director.

Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte, will be featured for the annual Opera on the Lake sunset cruise on Sunday, July 14 – 7:30 pm. This light, romantic comedy puts true love to the test when two military officers challenge their fiancées’ loyalty with two supposed new suitors. The cast will include local talent: Heather Parker as Despina, Derrick Parker as Don Alfonso, and Max Mendez as Guglielmo; Tim Augustin, a regular with Washington National Opera, as Ferrando; Tess Altiveros, returning from 2018 and a regular with Seattle Opera, as Fiordiligi; and Hannah Penn, a Portland Opera regular, as Dorabella. Così fan tutte, (All Women do it) is sung in English with English dialogue. Tickets $50-$75.

Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, where a young Japanese maiden, whose pride and honor are wounded by an American naval officer, leaves a searing impression full of heartbreak and tragedy. The production will be directed by Fenlon Lamb, who will bring an innovative set design constructed from paper as co-creator of Papermoon Opera Productions. Conceived to bring a dramatic stage effect for smaller opera organizations, the Papermoon team will orchestrate a virtually all-paper set with unique lighting and projections. The technique has been used for Carmen with Annapolis Opera and North Carolina Opera in 2019. Conductor Dean Williamson, who is entering his fourth season as Music Director of the Nashville Opera, returns to INO where he received his opera conducting debut. Elizabeth Caballero last appeared in Spokane in as Musetta in La bohème in 2015 and as a 2017 soloist in Spokane Symphony’s Verdi’s Requiem. Sandra Piques Eddy appeared in Spokane as the title for Carmen in 2017. Madame Butterfly is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets $23-$90.

In honor of the upcoming production, East meets West on the banks of Hayden Lake for the annual fundraiser “A Black Orchid Affair.” With Asian-fusion fare and wine selected by Hayden Lake Country Club’s acclaimed Chef Brett, works by Puccini and more will be performed by internationally acclaimed talent, Madison Leonard, soprano and Shea Owens, baritone. Individual tickets $110 / Table $750.

Subscription packages with savings up to 15% are available. Individual tickets for the Opera on the Lake start June 22. Individual for Madame Butterfly go on sale July 1. More information at inlandnwopera.com