In Friday’s (8/28) Orlando Sentinel, Elizabeth Maupin reports, “The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will bring live opera back to Orlando this season with concert versions of Carmen and Porgy and Bess—and will offer more than $100,000 in tickets to patrons who paid for Orlando Opera subscriptions and could not get their money back. The two concerts are meant to help fill the void created when the 51-year-old Orlando Opera Company went bankrupt in April. Budgeted at $560,000, the two productions will be paid for by a combination of ticket sales and major gifts, including $190,000 from United Arts of Central Florida and $150,000 from the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation. … The Philharmonic has set aside $104,000 of the budget for the two shows to provide free tickets to subscribers to the Orlando Opera’s now-canceled 2009-2010 season. Those subscribers will be mailed information on how to get their free tickets, and will be invited to a ‘sneak peek’ Sept. 23, when the orchestra plans to announce principal singers and further funding sources. … The productions will be presented as ‘semistaged concert operas.’ The orchestra will sit onstage with the singers, not in the pit, and the chorus will stand on risers behind the orchestra. The aim is to emphasize the music rather than movement, costumes or sets.”

Posted August 28, 2009