Ladies First, Then A Mozart-Salieri Duel in KOA's Upcoming Season

Louisville's leading ladies highlight the Kentucky Opera's 1991-92 season, with Marilyn Taylor taking the title role in My Fair Lady, Edith Davis singing in the top spot in Tosca, and Marilyn Mims taking the lead role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Perhaps due the trio's distinguished abilities, and also the tried and true popularity of the new season's lineup, subscription renewals have been flooding into the KOA, according to the KOA's newsletter.

The decidedly enthusiastic response of the audience to these three divas' past KOA performances nearly guarantees the success of the upcoming season. In particular, Mims thrilled Louisville opera-goers with her excellent handling of Violetta in the KOA's 1989-90 production of La Traviata. Mims will handle the role of Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. In addition to the excitement surrounding these three productions and their popular female stars, the 1991-92 season offers an intriguing double bill.

The third production of the new season will feature two one-act operas, one from Mozart and one from Mozart's supposed rival, Salieri. The back-to-back performances will enable opera-goers to compare the mastery of Mozart against a contemporary's work. Public interest in the purported Salieri-Mozart rivalry was created by the movie "Amadeus," in which Salieri's character hounded Mozart throughout Mozart's life, and perhaps ultimately caused the master's death. While most historians label such claims as entertaining fiction, the two musicians did indeed compose in the same period, and the new season's double bill gives Mozart fans a chance to put him in context. The KOA is presently auditioning singers for the performances.

The KOA's first musical comedy, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady," will be performed October 18, 19, 20 and 22 in the Kentucky Center for the Arts' Whitney Hall. Puccini's drama "Tosca" will be in Whitney Hall January 17, 19 and 21. The Mozart-Salieri double bill will be performed in the more intimate Bomhard Theater on February 26, 27, 28 and 29. The season closes with Lucia di Lammermoor, May 16, 19 and 21 in Whitney Hall.

For subscription information, call Teresa Kinney at (502) 584-4500.