2012 DFO Summer OperaFest

The 2012 Summer OperaFest was created as a fresh, new approach to our seasonal programming and it is the first opera festival of its kind in our region. It includes an unprecedented variety of accessible, low-cost, audience-friendly events designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests.  If you haven’t tried opera in an relaxed, friendly atmosphere, then this is an excellent way to give it a try! 

                                                2012 DFO Summer OperaFest
August 9-19

Opera on the Lake                             OperaFest in Cabaret
August 9 at 4pm                                   Nokomis Restaurant,5593 North Shore Drive
Features fine wine, light buffet and up-close performances from the festival artists.

OperaFest Gala Opening Night          A Night at the Opera
August 16 at 7:30pm                            Marshall Fregeau Auditorium, 1215 Rice Lake Rd
Our Gala Opening Night presents leading operatic artists from around the country to create a night of unforgettable operatic scenes and highlights.  Our wonderful singers will thrill you with the greatest arias, duets, and scenes ever written from Aida, Faust, Rigoletto, the Pearl  Fishers, Die Meistersiger, Der Rosenkavalter, La Boheme, Carmen and many others. This will be a thrilling “Night at the Opera” that you will never forget! Guest artists will include Kirk Dougherty, Branch Fields, Nathan Herfindahl, Timothy James, Linh Kaufmann, Victoria Vargas, Amy Wolf, and others.

OperaFest at the Movies                  Opera Film Festival
August 17-19                                       Zinema2 Theater, 222 E. Superior Street

Opening Night Screening Party        August 17 at 6pm
Pre-screening lecture, prizes, complimentary wine and buffet dinner, and film

Opera Film Festival Screenings include: visit for dates and times.
Amadeus  by  Milos Forman
                             A Night at the Opera  featuring  the Marx Bros. 
                               The Magic Flute  directed  by Ingmar Bergman
               La Traviata  starring  Placido Domingo and  directed  by Franco Zefferrelli
                      Maria Callas : Her Life and Times  produced  by Tony Palmer

OperaFest in Recital                         In Love With Song
August 18 1pm & 4pm                         DuluthCongregational Church, 3833 E. Superior Street
Due Vocal Recitals with guest artists:
                          Kirk Dougherty, tenor and Amy Wolf, soprano  at  1pm
                   Branch Fields, bass-baritone and Linh Kaufmann, soprano  at  4pm

OperaFest in Concert                        Opera’s Greatest Hits
August 18 at 5pm                                       Bayfront Festival Park
Our main concert event for “Art in Bayfront Park”. The DFO soloists join withi SONOMENTO, the premier chorus from Macphail Center for Music in Minneapolis to regale you with the greatest choral moments in Opera.

OperaFest in Concert                        Serenade in the Park
August 19 at 3pm                                       Bayfront Festival Park
Join six talented DFO soloists for an afternoon of inspiring music in song to close the “Art in Bayfront Park” Festival.


2012 Season Events

Summer Opera Festival

August-September, 2012 

For more information call 218.728.8949 (please leave message

OPERAFEST Film Festival            Zinema 2 Movie Theater               August 17 – 19

Opening Night Party Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 pm with pre-screening lecture, movie, prizes, wine and buffet  dinner.  Admission: $30 per person.

Opera Film Festival screenings will include:
          Amadeus by Milos Forman   
           A Night at the Opera starring the Marx Bros.
           The Magic Flute directed by Ingmar Bergman 
           La Traviata starring Placido Domingo and directed by Franco Zefirrelli 
           Maria Callas: Her life and times produced by Tony Palmer
General Admission to Films:    $10 or $14 with wine or beer included.

Purchase tickets at Zinema 2 Box office at 218-722-7300 after July 1.  Purchase an OperaFest Film Pass (good for all film screenings plus Opening Night Party): $65

SONGFEST VOCAL SERIES                Duluth Congregational Church     August 17 and 18, TBA
Vocal recitalswith your favorite DFO singers.  Programs to be announced.
Tickets are suggested donation: $15 (at the door only)            

OPERA’S GREATEST HITS                 Bayfront Festival Park                   August 19 at 3:00 pm
Grand Finale Concert for “Art in Bayfront Park.”
Great Moments from the Grand Operas featuring your favorite DFO singing stars.

Admission: $25 for pre-sale online or $35 on day of performance
Purchase tickets through (available now).

OPERA ON THE LAKE                       Nokomis Restaurant                  September TBA
Features fine wine, light buffet and performances from the cast of La tragedie de Carmen. Admission: $40. Includes wine, food and entertainment. Purchase tickets through Nokomis Restaurant at 218.525.2286 (after August 1)

DFO & Emerging Pictures present “Opera in Cinema” at Zinema 2

Il Trittico by Puccini from Royal Opera in London Feb. 19 & 21


February  21st      7:00pm
Puccini’s    Il Trittico
from the Royal Opera House

Zinema 2
222 E Superior Street, Duluth MN

 The Zinema is proud to partner with Emerging Pictures to bring you Opera in Cinema.

Tickets are $20 a person and we will be offering season passes good for one show a month from January to June for only $100.

Puccini;s Il Trittico, a gem-box collection of three brief operas, runs the gamut from heartwrenching drama to madcap farce. The tragic Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica are followed by the charming Gianni Schicchi, best known for its resplendent soprano aria, “O bio babbino caro.” Lucio Gallo, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Anja Harteros, Anna Larsson and Ekaterina Siurina are featured throughout this very special evening from the Royal Opera House.

Conductor-  Antonio Pappano
Stage Director – Richard Jones
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Set designs – Ultz
Costume designs – Nicky Gillibrand
Lighting design-  D M Wood

Set designs – Miriam Buether
Lighting design – D M Wood

Set designs – John Macfarlane
Lighting design –  Mimi Jordan Sherin

Michele –  Lucio Gallo
Luigi – Enrico Fissore
Giorgetta Eva-Maria Westbroek

Suor Angelica – Anja Harteros
La Zia Principessa – Anna Larsson
La Badessa-  Irina Mishura

Gianni Schicchi – Lucio Gallo
Lauretta – Ekaterina Siurina
Rinuccio – Francesco Demuro

Opera Cabaret VIII


Duluth Festival Opera continues its long tradition of popular fundraisers with another festive evening of beautiful singing, classic dining, live auction and reverie. This year’s Cabaret will be a ‘Stylish-Irish’ theme – romantic, historic and green! Opera Cabaret VIII will highlight a salute to the “Great American Opera Singers of the Past”, as we honor the contributions of American operatic superstars, including Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Richard Tucker, Robert Merrill and others. And, our talented Cabaret Singers will pay tribute to the musical legacy of Ireland with a medley of your favorite songs from the Emerald Isle.

Our evening of entertainment will also include an Opera Trivia Quiz with prizes and an opportunity for spectacular ‘experiences’ from our live auction, including a week-long romantic vacation getaway to Maui!  You won’t want to miss this great night of fun to help sustain the DFO’s outstanding programs.

Comprising our superb group of Cabaret singers will be last year’s leading soprano from Pocahontas, lyric soprano Linh Kauffman; UMD graduate and Met Opera baritone, Nathan Herfindahl; beautiful mezzo-soprano, Sidney Walker; and new tenor sensation and rising Twin Cities artist, Timothy James. They will raise the rafters with famous selections from Tosca, La traviata, Barber of Seville, Lakme, Rigoletto, The Pearl Fishers, Giulio Cesare and more.

Come to the Cabaret to support the Duluth Festival Opera by attending this evening of beautiful music with fine food and live auction.

Images from Pocahontas a Woman of Two Worlds

November 12, 2011 Opera Cabaret to be re-scheduled for early 2012.

The DFO Board of Directors has re-scheduled our upcoming November 12, 2011 Opera Cabaret fundraiser for an early 2012 date to be announced.

The new date for Opera Cabaret VIII will be determined in the next few weeks. Please check back with us at 218-728-8949 or online to confirm the new date.

Thank you for your continued support of the DFO and our programs!

Tickets to Pocahontas now available online!

Tickets to Pocahontas are now available online by clicking HERE, and the DFO would like to invite you to all of our events this fall:

Opera on the Lake – September 14, 4:00 pm
Nokomis Restaurant and Bar

Meet the Composer Luncheon – September 16, 12:00 pm
Kitchi Gammi Club

Pocahontas: a Woman of Two Worlds – September 22, 7:30 pm
Marshall School Fregeau Auditorium

For more information on any of these events and tickets to Opera on the Lake and the Meet the Composer Luncheon, please call the Duluth Festival Opera office at 218-728-8949. Reserved tickets to Pocahontas can now be purchased through BrownPaperTickets by clicking HERE.

“I am Anne Frank” at Teatro Zuccone July 21-24


“a moving, poignant, and in every sense tasteful piece of musical theatre … beautiful, flawless … this is what theatre is all about.”

The Duluth Festival Opera presents Nautilus Music-Theater’s Ivey award-winning production of “I Am Anne Frank” at Duluth’s Teatro Zuccone for a four-night run in July.

Created by Michael Cohen and Enid Futterman, this innovative music drama is a musical adaption of Anne Frank’s famous diary, written by a young girl standing tip-toe on the edge of her future during a time of hatred and intolerance.

The play combines spoken excerpts from Anne’s diary with songs that reveal the power of her inner life. Fully faithful to its source material, Anne’s famous chronicle of two Jewish families secreted in a cramped garret in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation is still as suspenseful and moving as ever. Her writing is propelled by an undying faith in the goodness of people.

This heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story stirs our deepest emotions as it insists upon honoring the endurance of the human spirit. Vanessa Gamble portrays Anne Frank in a heartfelt, touching performance that has enthralled critics and audiences.

 I am Anne Frank is a 90-minute musical drama, not recommended for young children under 10 years old. 
Dates: July 21-23 at 7:30 PM  &   July 24 at 2:00 PM
Where:  Teatro Zuccone  -222 East Superior Street – DowntownDuluth
Tickets:   $16 per adult and youth under 18 are free
Purchase:  online at or call the box office at 218-336-1414

Nautilus’ production premiered in 2006, earned rave reviews and won a coveted Ivey award, which noted that “the impressive artistic contributions of the talented cast, combined with the matchless vision of the directors, made I Am Anne Frank a stunning collaboration of fine acting, sharp stage direction, effective lighting, and gorgeous music—a wonderful blend of music and acting, and an innovative way of telling an important story.”

AUDITIONS FOR OPERA SINGERS – Pocahontas- Woman of Two Worlds

Duluth Festival Opera will be auditioning professional singer-actors with experience in opera and legitimate musical theatre for leading and supporting roles in its upcoming September 2011 production of a contemporary opera entitled Pocahontas – Woman of Two Worlds, byMinnesota composer Linda Tutas Haugen. Artistic Director Craig Fields and composer Linda Haugen will be hearing local and regional singers for immediate casting in this opera/music-theatre piece that will be performed in English.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The company is actively seeking *Native American singers when possible for specific leading and supporting roles denoted below.

Production Timeline Production rehearsals will begin around September 8, 2011 with performances on September 22, 25, 29, 30 and Oct. 1.

Roles and Voice Types Open for Casting
*Pocahontas                       Lyric soprano (high C); age range 25-35

*Young Pocahontas         Lyric-coloratura soprano (high C); age range 18-30
                                                  (must be petite and appear child-like)

John Smith                           Lyric tenor (high A); age range 30-40

John Rolfe                             Baritone (high G); age 30-40

*Powatan                               Bass-baritone (high F); age range 35-50

*Uttamatomakin                Baritone (high F#); age range 30-50

*Pocahontas’ Mother       Mezzo-soprano (high A); age range 35-50

Lady Sizemore                    Mezzo or Soprano (high F); age range 25-35


  1. Please be prepared to sing three contrasting arias, including at least one selection in English.
  2. Please prepare a one-minute dramatic monologue from any theatre piece.
  3. Please bring a copy of your resume and headshot with you.

Accompanist An experienced pianist will be available for a nominal fee or you may bring your own accompanist. The pianist’s fees are $25 inMinneapolisor $15 inDuluth.

Regional Audition Dates and Locations
IN DULUTH               Friday, May 20 from 4-8 pm at the Duluth Congregational Church, 2833 E. Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55812.

IN MINNEAPOLIS    Friday, June 3 from 4-7 pm at First Unitarian Society ofMinneapolis,  900 Mount Curve Ave.,Minneapolis,MN55403.

How to Apply for an Audition

  1. Email your bio, resume, recent recording (mp3 or video files) and headshot to by May 10 for Duluth and May 15 for Minneapolis.
  2. Or mail hard copies of these materials to the DFO,222 E. Superior Street, Suite 320,Duluth,MN55802 by the dates shown above.
  3. Pay a $15.00 audition processing fee online at by clicking the DONATE button and using Pay Pal or a credit card, or send your check to Attention: Auditions at DFO, 222 E. Superior Street, Suite 320, Duluth, MN 55802.
  4. In your materials, please include:
  • Your complete contact information, including phone and email.
  • Which audition date/location you prefer.
  • Which role(s) you are interested in.
  • If you wish to use our staff pianists, we will provide their contact information to you.
  1. After reviewing your materials, you will be contacted by email for an audition time if you are selected for a live audition.
  2. Singers will be selected for a live audition based on the quality of their résumé and recordings.
  3. New York-based, managed singers may qualify for casting without a live audition inMinneapolis.
  4. For logistical questions, please email Tina at or call her at 218-428-6845.

Vino with Verdi at Valentini’s Vicinio Lago, May 1st

Join the Duluth Festival Opera for
Vino With Verdi
An evening to remember at
Valentini’s Vicino Lago
1400 London Road, Duluth

Sunday, May 1, 2011
4:30 – 7:00pm

A glorious evening of Italian Cuisine with Italian Opera!
Featuring a full-course Italian dinner to satisfy your culinary tastes along with world-class operatic voices performing Verdi’s most memorable music.

The Artists
Kirsten Hoiseth & Amy Wolf, sopranos
Jonathan Burton, tenor & Nathan Herfindahl, baritone
Barbara Brooks, pianist

Dinner, Wine and Performance: $70 per person
Cash bar is available. Seating is limited.
RSVP by Friday, April 22nd
Or email:

See the Vino with Verdi tab for information about the April 30 event in Chisholm, MN at Valentini’s Supper club.  New this year!