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Bergen Performing Arts Center & Verismo Opera Announce Partnership

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, bergenPAC, and cast from La Traviata.  Photo Credit: Albion Fitzgerald
The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, bergenPAC, and cast from La Traviata. Photo Credit: Albion Fitzgerald

The Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) and the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announce Verismo Opera is the theatre’s House Opera Company.

Now in its 25th anniversary season, the only grand opera company in Bergen County produces professional productions twice a year, along with an international vocal competition, concerts, master classes, and workshops.  The new partnership will allow Verismo Opera to expand the number of production performances to three this year in Bergen County at bergenPAC and continue its mission of sharing grand, traditional opera with the community and introducing a new generation to this art form. 

Bergen Performing Arts Center Chairman Edmondo Schwartz stated,  “This partnership speaks so clearly to our goal of making opera relevant within our state at large and with the addition of Verismo Opera, we now have the resources to augment the programs taught at the Performing Arts School at bergenPAC.  An example of this was this year’s La Traviata production, which included the pre-professional students who trained at the performing arts school under the choreography of Roberta Mathes, artistic director at the Performing Arts School.”

As opera companies across the country fold and close their doors, including New York’s renowned City Opera, this partnership demonstrates bergenPAC’s devotion and commitment to opera and the performing arts by securing and expanding Verismo Opera’s future performances at the theatre.

Verismo Opera Artistic Director and Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara mentors rising stars, while introducing another generation to the wonders and opportunities this art form offers.  She is ecstatic at the prospect to increase the number of performances at bergenPAC per year.

“Verismo Opera is thrilled and proud to partner with bergenPAC.  This is a wonderful theatre with a venerable history that has been our home for several years.  For both Verismo Opera and bergenPAC, this joining is merely the icing on the musical cake.  We couldn't be more pleased and excited about our futures together.  Long live grand opera in Bergen County and the region,” said Amara, whose career spans over seven decades, including 800 plus performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

This partnership increases bergenPAC's status as a cultural hub for North Jersey and the surrounding area, while affirming its commitment to Verismo Opera's mission.  The April 6th performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata at bergenPAC was the first production implemented under this new partnership.  Verismo Opera opened its new season, Vive la France, with the fully staged, traditional production set in Paris and directed by Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif.

The Verismo Opera Chorus and a live orchestra performed under Associate Conductor Mara Waldman.  Dancers from the Performing Arts School also performed the gypsy scene in act three. 

The second production, Giacomo Puccini’s universally popular classic La Bohème, will be performed on October 19 and 26, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at bergenPAC.  The partnership with bergenPAC will allow Verismo Opera to reach a larger audience of opera enthusiasts and new ones.

For more information about Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, visit its web site, follow the company on Facebook or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera, or call (201) 886-0561.

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