Posted by admin on May 5, 2012


On Saturday, May 19th, Triangle Opera Studios travels to Fayetteville to offer an evening of opera hits with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Fouad Fakhouri. The concert is slated for 7:30 Saturday evening in the Seabrook Auditorium on the campus of Fayetteville State University.

The concert will feature the founder and General Manager of TOS, Christine Weidinger, who starred in most of the world's major opera houses, including the Met, La Scala, the Liceo in Barcelona, the Opera of Marseille and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She will be joined by Wilmington tenor Michael Rallis, her partner in many concerts across the country and around the world. Sopranos Jodi Lewis, Sarah Ittoop and Marie Miller will also offer their considerable talents and skills to the evening.

The TOS ensemble will be joined by baritone Bill McMurray, a Fayetteville native who has appeared in opera companies all across the county. A veteran of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Opera in the Neighborhoods”, he has been heard locally singing with the Opera Company of North Carolina in Raleigh and the Longleaf Opera in Chapel Hill.

Operatic "chestnuts" will abound! Ms. Weidinger will sing the beautiful “Un bel di” from Madame Butterfly and Dr. Rallis will thrill with the ever-popular tenor favorite “Nessun dorma” from Turandot. The exciting young dramatic soprano, Jodi Lewis, will offer a powerful rendition of Tosca’s lament “Vissi d’arte.” Sarah Ittoop, a lovely lyric soprano, will sing Puccini’s most beloved soprano melody, “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi.

All of those are Puccini favorites; but the evening will include spectacular music from other composers, as well. Mr. McMurray will offer the fiendishly difficult and very charming “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville – that’s the famous “Figaro” aria. He and a sultry, seductive Marie Miller will provide two popular selections from Bizet’s Carmen - he, the aria of the Toreador and she, the “Habanera”. Ms. Weidinger and Dr. Rallis will join forces to sing the exciting finale to Giordano’s Andrea Chenier – “Vicino a te”. And Mesdames Lewis, Ittoop and Miller will sing one of the most beautiful ensembles for female voices ever composed, the final trio from Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier.

The evening will end with a musical toast to the king of wines, Champagne - the act two finale of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus offered by the entire ensemble.

The concert will be hosted by the affable Ken Smith, co-founder of Triangle Opera Studios. Smith has staged both of the TOS productions to date – Don Giovanni and the double bill of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci. The former radio personality has served as host and narrator for several concerts and special events for the Opera Company of North Carolina and has appeared frequently with the Fayetteville Symphony as narrator for Peter and the Wolf and Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait. He will explain what each selection is about, what is happening in the opera and exactly what the artists are singing.

For more information about the concert and for ticket orders contact the Fayetteville Symphony at: telephone: (910) 433-4690; fax: (888)-290-3744; or email: