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North Carolina Symphony Hosts “A Night at the Opera” | Apr 30 – May 1

Two celebrated vocalist talents join Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony for a powerful finale to the 2009-2010 Raleigh Classical season, “A Night at the Opera.” Phyllis Pancella and Stephen Powell headline a program that offers a select entry into twelve of the finest operas and musicals ever written.

The concert takes place at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh’s Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Friday and Saturday, April 30 – May 1. Both concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.

While the evening features works by the four unqualified giants of grand opera—Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Wagner—the concert is no old-fashioned survey of operatic highlights. Selections from Bizet’s incomparable comic opera Carmen are presented alongside favorites by Saint-Saëns, Delius, Strauss, Rossini and a modern-day master, Steven Sondheim.

Sweeney Todd is “a striking, compelling masterpiece, musically and theatrically,” says Llewellyn, who is especially excited for the evening’s vocal performances.

A virtuoso mezzo-soprano who has garnered critical acclaim for her superlative musicianship, Phyllis Pancella has appeared internationally with the Teatro San Carlo, English National Opera and New Israeli Opera. Her numerous standout performances in the United States include collaborations with operas in San Francisco, Houston, Florida and Boston.

“She is a dramatic vocal talent,” say Llewellyn, “which I think is crying out for this kind of larger-than-life role. I’ve worked with her on the opera stage and in the concert hall, and I don’t know any better stage animals than Phyllis Pancella.”

The conductor has no shortage of compliments for Stephen Powell as well. A prolific American baritone, he has performed with the San Francisco, New York City, Washington, Arizona and Hawaii operas, as well as appearances with the Atlanta and Philadelphia symphonies, among others.

“He is one of my favorite bass/baritones living and working today,” Llewellyn says. “He is at the top of his career.”

Regular tickets to this Classical Series performance in Raleigh range from $30 to $45. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601.

For tickets and more information, visit the North Carolina Symphony Web site at ncsymphony.org or call 919.733.2750.

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