Variety is the spice of life and it will also distinguish the coming Kentucky Opera season. Besides the blockbuster Broadway musical, Miss Saigon, there is the perennial favorite, Carmen, with the vivacious Adria Firestone in her signature role in what promises to be a memorable performance. Peter Riberi, who co-starred with her in last year's Cavaleria Rusticana, returns as Don Jose. Dan Narducci will re-enact the part of Escamillo, the ladies' favorite bull fighter. Lexington's gift to the Metropolitan Opera, Gregory Turay, will also be in the cast.
The Christmas season will be heralded by six performances of Hansel and Gretel. These presentations of Humperdinck's operatic version of the ancient fairy tale are a special treat for family audiences.
A few years ago, Kentucky Opera offered 20th century composer Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring to delighted audiences. This season, this favorite will return with a talented cast. It is entertaining and sometimes humorous to watch the one-time mother's boy enter the larger and adult world.
But perhaps we have saved the best wine for last. Three performances of Verdi's Don Carlo are set for November. It will be the first time this classic rendering of Schiller's drama has been offered by our local opera company. It should be another triumph for Thompson Smillie, his staff and cast. The latter will include two favorites from last year's productions, Mary Ann Telese and Steve Lusmann.
You can order your tickets by phone -- 584-4500 -- or write the Kentucky Center for the Arts. It should be a terrific season so don't delay and we will see you there!