Jul 112018

Zachary Lenox

Kari Burgess

David Gustafson

Tim McCoy

LINCOLN CITY – This summer, the Lincoln City Cultural Center and Cascadia Chamber Opera are working together to produce the world premiere of an original chamber opera by an Oregon composer. The first-ever staging of “Tango of the White Gardenia,” with music by Ethan Gans-Morse and libretto by Tiziana DellaRovere, is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

To prepare for the premiere, the Cultural Center has named CCO its 2018 Ensemble in Residence and will host a series of performance and educational events in conjunction with the debut of “Tango of the White Gardenia.”

The first of these events is “A Night at the Opera,” a showcase event set for 7 pm on Monday, July 16, at the LCCC. The artists of the Cascadia Chamber Opera (formerly known as Cascadia Concert Opera) will perform arias, duets, trios and favorite scenes from the canon – some of the most beautiful music ever composed. The program will include pieces by Rogers and Hammerstein as well as Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Puccini, Bizet, Sondheim and Bernstein.

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The featured artists will include Kari Burgess (soprano), Chun-Ting Chao (soprano), David Gustafson (tenor), Tim McCoy (tenor), Zachary Lenox (bass/baritone) and Nathalie Fortin (piano). Admission is by donation, with all proceeds going toward the September production.

After the July 16 showcase, the “Tango of the White Gardenia” events will continue through October. The remainder of the schedule is as follows:
Saturday, Aug 4 – A benefit house concert, featuring vocalists and selections from “Tango of the White Gardenia” at the home of Rudy and Marilyn Salci. Reservations are required. Time TBA. To receive an invitation and further information, call Niki Price at 541-994-9994.
Saturday Aug. 18 at 11 am – An educational and press preview event with the composer, Ethan Gans-Morse and librettist Tiziana DellaRovere, as well as staff and performers from the CCO.
Sept. 3-7 – Tech week for the cast and crew, with rehearsals held at the LCCC and lodging sponsored by local hotels and individuals. Start times and public sessions will vary.
Sept. 8 and 9 – World premiere performances of “Tango of the White Gardenia” at the LCCC, 7 pm each night.
Thursday, October 11, time TBA during school hours – Live visual art/musical performance at Taft 7-12, featuring the ensemble and music from “Tango of the White Gardenia”
Saturday, Oct. 13, 7 pm – Live visual art/musical performance at the LCCC ensemble and music from “Tango of the White Gardenia”

Oregon composer Ethan Gans-Morse and librettist Tiziana DellaRovere are fresh from the success of “The Canticle of the Black Madonna” in 2014. The Oregonian hailed “Canticle,” which chronicles a soldier’s journey from the desolation of war to the healing embrace of love, “a huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate.” Oregon ArtsWatch hailed the work as “one of the most exciting developments of the arts season.” 
“Tango of the White Gardenia” is an original opera in English, commissioned by the nonprofit Cascadia Chamber Opera in honor of its 10th season. It is a contemporary story that explores themes of enduring love and staying true to one’s heart, told through the riveting music and dance of the Argentine tango. With fun winks and nods to the commedia dell’arte style of centuries past, “Tango of the White Gardenia” tells its tale with humor and emotional depth.
The staged production planned for the LCCC will feature six vocalists, with parts mirrored by six tango dancers from Ballet Fantastique of Eugene, along with a four-piece ensemble. The tango, according to the CCO, “becomes a metaphor for life and a perfect canvas for the expression of deep passion, deep connections, strident conflicts, and powerful reconciliation, all in operatic proportions.”
The current “Tango of the White Gardenia” cast and crew is as follows:
Director: Karen Esquivel
Conductors: Gustavo Castro and Vincent D. Ceneno
Vocalists: David Gustafson, Karen Esquivel, Zachary Lenox, Kari Burgess, Steven Evans-Renteria, Timothy McCoy, Hannah Penn and Mackenzie Rogers.
Musicians: Nathalie Fortin, Andrew Pham, Sergei Teleshev, Sean Peterson and Yvonne Hsueh
CCO Music Director: Vincent Centeno
Artistic Director: Bereniece Jones-Centeno

For more information, call the LCCC at 541-994-9994.

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