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Opera at Florham to Stage La Traviata at Dryfuss Theatre June 5 at 3:00pm

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Jessica Rose Cambio
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Karole Lewis
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The Opera at Florham will complete its 2010-2011 season with a production of the famed La Traviata in the newly renovated and handicapped-accessible Dreyfuss Theater at the College at Florham of Fairleigh Dickinson University on June 5 at 3 p.m. in Madison, NJ. Tickets are $45 and $35.  Call 973-443-8620 to reserve tickets.

The Opera, in three acts, will be sung in Italian with English subtitle and will include beautiful singing, costumes and scenery. Running a little over two hours, it will feature a reduced orchestra conducted by Robert W. Butts, Artistic and Music Director of the Opera at Florham and The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey.  Karole Lewis of Summit, NJ directs the cast in a heartrending presentation of one of Verdi’s most popular operas.

The production will feature top-flight talent with soprano Jessica Rose Cambio as Violetta, tenor Luigi Boccia as Alfredo, and baritone Jonathan Beyer as Germont, Alfredo’s father. Cambio and Boccia are resident artists with the residents Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, which has a long history of cultivating singers who go on to star in Metropolitan Opera. In the last calendar year alone, Cambio has earned prestigious First Place Awards from three different New York City music foundations: Puccini, Gari, and Gerda Lissner. Boccia has gained recognition in numerous competitions in past few years, perhaps most notably winning First Prize in the Gerda Lissner Competition in 2008. Beyer was the First Prize Winner in the 2011 George London Foundation and will be appearing in leading roles in several operas this year.

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Cambio, also a recent First Place Winner of the Concorso Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana (As.Li.Co), previously portrayed Violetta in La Traviata with the Pine Mountain Music Festival. The Italian-American has performed around the world: St. Petersberg, Russia; Tel Aviv, Israel; Canada; and in Europe.

Boccia was a finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition earlier this year, won Third prize, Giulio Gari Competition (2008), and First Place in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition (2008 and 2009). He will be performing as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in the 2011 AVA productions.

Beyer, currently with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, has performed with several opera companies including Pittsburgh Opera, Dallas Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Austin Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Hong Kong Opera. His roles have range widely: Marcello in La Boheme, Germont in La Traviata, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Papageno in Die Zauberflote, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze Di Figaro, Belcore in L'elisir D'Amore and Richard Nixon in Nixon in China.

La Traviata is the story of Violetta, who, knowing she is dying, reluctantly falls in love with her admirer Alfredo. They move out of Paris to the country and live happily, until Alfredo learns Violetta is selling off her property to finance their living arrangements.  After Alfredo leaves their home to return to Paris and make money to support them, his father Germont arrives and convinces Violetta to leave Alfredo for what Germont sees as the good of his family. Later, some time after Alfredo has a confrontation with Violetta’s new lover, Germont feels guilty and tells his son what he has done. Alfredo reaches Violetta on her death bed, and the two reconcile before she dies.

Ticketholders are also entitled to a free operalogue held in Hartman Lounge in Hennessey Hall (The Mansion) on Sunday May 22 at 3 p.m., where they can learn about the opera, its composer, Giuseppe Verdi, and its history. An experienced lecturer on opera, Richard Kopp, Ph.D, who taught as a professor at the university for nearly 40 years and served as the first Vice-Chair of the Opera at Florham, will lead the discussion.

The College at Florham is located at 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ, 07940.

For more information, call The Opera at Florham office, 973-443-8620.

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