Former Met Star Founds Opera Company in Phoenix
By Vivien Schweitzer
La Bohème will be the inaugural production of the new Phoenix Metropolitan Opera, founded last year by former (New York) Metropolitan Opera mezzo Gail Dubinbaum and her husband, conductor John Massaro.
"I have an enormous passion to bring opera of an international level here to Phoenix. I know the audience that exists here and the talent that exists here. And it is absolutely possible," Dubinbaum told The Business Journal of Phoenix.
La Bohème will be presented on December 21 and 23 at the Orpheum Theatre, which is to be the new opera company's home. Casting will be announced later.
Massaro and Dubinbaum's venture is a registered nonprofit, according to the Business Journal and is the Phoenix region's second opera company. Arizona Opera, which was founded more than 30 years ago, serves both Phoenix and Tucson.
According to Phoenix Arts Commission executive director Phil Jones, there is room for two opera companies in the area. She told the Journal, "All of these groups have loyal audience followings, and on any given evening you have multiple cultural options," adding that a number of orchestral, ballet and theatrical companies currently coexist successfully alongside each other.
Dubinbaum specialized in Mozart and Rossini coloratura roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Israel Opera and L’Opéra de Montreal. She has run a private vocal studio in Phoenix for the past decade.
Massaro has conducted opera, orchestral and choral music throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. He made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Mozart Requiem In 2005. He worked extensively with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, with whom he coached in opera and art song repertoire.
Visit www.phoenixmetropolitanopera.org for more information.
Send questions and comments to the Webmaster