Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Piedmont Opera was the only North Carolina opera company to produce live opera during the 2020-2021 pandemic. “Our motto became, where’s there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Piedmont Opera’s General Manager and Artistic Director, James Allbritten. That mantra has carried the company through challenging circumstances and into an exciting 44th 2021 season.
This fall, Piedmont Opera will return to the stage with two Puccini one-act operas that examine life through laughter and through tears. The double-bill Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi will open, in-person, on October 15, 17, and 19, 2021, at the Stevens Center of the UNCSA. On March 18, 20, and 22, 2022, the company will present the great American musical Ragtime. This musical tells the story of three families at the turn of the 20th Century in pursuit of their American dream. Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, and based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, Ragtime is the winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Jackie Alexander, Artistic Director of The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep), will direct.
The fall operas contrast the hope and pathos of Suor Angelica with the rollicking comedy, Gianni Schicchi. Directed by award-winning director Steven LaCosse, Suor Angelica is a tale of loss and repentance. Puccini composed the heart-wrenching story of a young lady who is sent to a convent as punishment for having a child out of wedlock. Suor Angelica is a powerful drama, made even more moving by Puccini’s music, which frames the young heroine’s tragic destiny. By contrast, the brisk and lively music of Gianni Schicchi, Puccini’s only comedy, perfectly matches the opera’s intriguing plot. Greedy members of a family are trying to gain control of the estate of a dying relative and Gianni Schicchi is brought to help secure the inheritance. He, however, has a plan of his own and turns the con on the family. The most popular of Puccini’s three one-act operas, which together are known as Il Trittico (The Triptych), Gianni Schicchi features the famous aria “O mio babbino caro” (My Dear Father).
Ragtime weaves three distinctly American tales together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician. Each are united by their courage, compassion, and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom, and prejudice, hope and despair... and what it means to live in America.
Season tickets are available on August 2, 2021, at PiedmontOpera.org or by calling 336.725.7101. Single tickets for the Puccini operas will go on sale September 15, 2021. Single tickets for Ragtime will go on sale October 18, 2021.
Piedmont Opera * 636 Holly Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 * 336.725.7101