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Opera Theater of Connecticut to perform on Sanibel

By Staff | Mar 6, 2009

Opera is one of the most important art forms. It should be listened to and appreciated by everyone.

-Luciano Pavarotti

Anyone hoping to appreciate some opera will have the chance at the Sanibel Music Festival on Saturday, March 21 when the Opera Theater of Connecticut is slated to perform. The performance will be at the Sanibel United Congregational Church of Christ at 8 p.m.

The company is returning after decades of popularity and success on Sanibel. Artist director Alan Mann said that an enthusiastic audience and a top notch crew of performers makes for a great show.

“We have a wonderful audience of people who truly appreciate what we bring down,” Mann said.

Coming to Sanibel serves several purposes for the company, first and foremost to deliver a 400-year-old art form to the community and to present up and coming performers.

“Our mission is to present young singers on the cusp of their careers,” Mann said.

Many young singers that come to Sanibel later become internationally renowned performers, Mann said.

This year, Mann said the program will be different from last year. Instead of singers performing arias and duets they will be doing scenes form several five major operas, including “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Die Fledermaus”. He said six artists will be coming to perform, including returning singers Rachel Watkins, a soprano and tenor David Ossenfort.

“It’s actually going to be like a full presentation,” Mann said.

Opera which depicts drama, comedy and the drama of the human condition has survived for centuries because of its timeless themes of betrayal, love and loss.

“There’s always something you can relate to in opera,” Mann said.

Mann said opera has had a resurgence over the past few years as people get more comfortable with feelings.

“It’s highly emotional,” Mann said. “We’ve become almost embarrassed by emotion.”

Opera singer Victor Khodadad, 41, said he delights in bringing emotion and passion to the audience. He is especially elated to have use of the Sanibel United Church where the atmosphere is more intimate.

“It’s wonderful to have them (audience) up close,” he said. “They can see the facial expressions.”

Khodadad is an rising star who is working towards having an international career. The buttery soft tenor started his performing career as an actor but after being cast as Jesus in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar nearly eight years ago he switched gears.

For those going to an opera for their first time, Mann said their performance at Sanibel will be a good one to catch. Since some of the performances are in English and the scenes themselves are visual and tell the story aside from the words, the opera performances will be easier to follow.

“This is actually the ideal way to get introduced to opera,” Mann said.

Khodadad said the variety will also keep the attendees interest.

“They’re going to be getting a taste of so many different styles,” he said.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 239-336-7999.