Tale of Cuban poet among the offerings in FGO’s 2016-17 season

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Florida Grand Opera has announced the schedule for its 2016-17 season, Lawrence A. Johnson reports for South Florida Classical Review.

The season will open November 12 with Bizet’s ever-popular Carmen. Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Oneginwill follow on January 28, 2017

The most unusual offering in next season’s lineup will be Before Night Falls by composer Jorge Martin, which opens March 18. Part of the company’s “Made in Miami” initiative, the opera tells the story of the gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, who was persecuted under the Castro regime and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980 Mariel boatlift, before eventually succumbing to AIDS.

The story of Arenas’s life was made into a 2000 film starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp. Martin’s opera was premiered by Fort Worth Opera in 2005. This FGO production will be the first performance of a new version in Spanish and English.

The season will end in crossover fashion with Stephen Sondheim’s quasi-operatic Broadway musical Sweeney Todd, about the murderous barber of Fleet Street, which opens April 29.

All casting is to be announced. All productions except Before Night Falls will also be performed at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale as well as the Arsht Center in Miami. fgo.org; 800-741-1010.

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