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A Night at the New Opera

Cleveland's latest troupe scores with sex and brevity.

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Opera Cleveland launches tonight with a performance of Richard Strauss’ Salome. Two groups -- Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland -- merged last year to form the brand-new company. Now, the city’s musical-drama needs can be fulfilled by one troupe that’s capable of exploring both grand and light opera! “This company is filled with consummate professionals,” says Executive Director Jeff Sodowsky.

Salome certainly grabs audiences’ attention. The century-old opera merges groundbreaking music and an Oscar Wilde play about the world’s first dysfunctional family. King Herod heads a clan that includes wife Herodias and their sexpot daughter, Salome. “It’s not a piece a lot of people would choose to do first,” admits Sodowsky. Still, Salome is a great introduction to the genre. Its colorful score, gripping plot, and seductive visual elements will look somewhat familiar to modern viewers. Plus, it’s only 90 minutes. “Salome is a little like one-stop shopping,” says Sodowsky. “It allows people to experience a broad range of operatic possibilities. It’s perfect for the MTV generation.”
Fri., April 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 22, 2 p.m.; Sat., April 28, 8 p.m.

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