Opera based on the Italian novel The Leopard makes its Florida debut

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In this photo provided to EastWest Media in February 2022, members of the Frost Opera Theater cast rehearse at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music for the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s new opera The Leopard. Based on the 1958 novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the opera will premiere on March 5th and 6th at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, south of Miami. (Gonzalo Mejia/EastWest Media via AP)

AP

A new opera based on the acclaimed Italian novel The Leopard has its world premiere in South Florida.

Based on the 1958 novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the opera will premiere on March 5th and 6th at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, south of Miami. The music was written by Michael Dellaira with the libretto by JD McClatchy. The show will be performed by students and faculty members from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

“Opera is an intricate medium with many moving parts, all delicately connected, and for the characters to come to life on stage requires an extraordinary coordination of the talent and experience of a large number of people,” Dellaira told Me find all that talent and experience right here at Frost School.”

Performing with the University of Miami students are faculty members including baritone Kim Josephson, mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon, tenor Frank Ragsdale and bass-baritone Kevin Short.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this world premiere and look forward to performing with the extraordinary students at Frost Opera Theater and Maestro Gerard Schwarz and the Frost Symphony Orchestra,” said Josephson.

The production is directed by music director Alan Johnson and stage director Jeffrey Buchman.

“The Leopard” or “Il Gattopardo” in Italian is set in Sicily in 1860. The story is about Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina, also known as the Leopard. Corbera, a member of an impoverished, almost obsolete Sicilian aristocracy, faces a society in turmoil and must choose between decay and progress, between the downfall of the nobility and the future of his family.

The novel set sales records in Italy after its publication and won the Strega Prize, Italy’s highest award for fiction. Director Luchino Visconti adapted the book into a film in 1963 starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon.

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