• Cathy Marshall

Ring in the New Year with Verdi’a La Traviata.

Provocative and risqué, La Traviata was interested not in society’s shining facade, but its guilty secrets. Violetta, Verdi’s heroine, is a courtesan – a member of Paris’s “demi-monde” – the dark, dubious fringes of polite society.

Violetta will be played by Shannon Kessler Dooley. Known for her lyricism and expressiveness, Shannon Kessler Dooley’s most recent operatic credits include Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Wilmington; Cio Cio San, Madama Butterfly with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, First Coast Opera, and Erie Chamber Orchestra. Her long list of credits includes The Metropolitan Opera Erie Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theater of Connecticut, the Spoleto Festival USA, Pittsburgh Opera, Utah Opera and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.

Singing opposite Violetta’s is her lover, the young Alfredo Germont, who offers her a taste of freedom from this life. Alfredo first met Violetta when she was suffering badly from consumption, and on visiting her every day, his initial affection for her turned into love. He offers her the chance to escape this life and live with him.

Played by Jose Simerilla Romera, an award winner from the Chicago International Music Competition, the Camerata Bardi International Vocal Competition, the Jensen Foundation International Vocal Competition, the Opera Foundation, Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, Kyrenia Opera Vocal Competition, Vienna International Music Competition, Berliner International Music Competition, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the Tampa Bay Symphony Jack Heller Competition.

Coming between the two lovers is Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont. He asks Violetta to end the relationship and leave Alfredo, so that the Germont family’s honor might be restored and presenting Violetta with a dilemma. Singing the role of Germont is baritone Joshua Jeremiah, described as rich-voiced and hailed by Opera Today for his “warmly appealing, burnished baritone.” Additional engagements in the 2021-2022 season include his return to Opera Company of Middlebury as Dunois in The Maid of Orleans, his role and company debut as Donner in Das Rheingold with Nashville Opera, and Pooh-Bah in Not the Mikado, Intermountain Opera Bozeman’s new adaptation of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic.

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