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Atlanta Opera

Courtesy of Americolor Opera Alliance

Three brothers, all born of different mothers, find themselves all living under their father's roof. Truths about past affairs surface and the tension builds. This is the way "House of Brothers," the latest production by The Americolor Opera Alliance, begins.

Fay Fox

Eric Einhorn is well-versed in the art of outdoor opera. He’s the general and artistic director of On Site Opera, a New York City-based company specializing in on-site, immersive opera performances. He is in town to direct a co-production with the Atlanta Opera of an early Mozart work, “The Secret Gardener.”

The Atlanta Opera and On Site Opera produced the opera in New York, and each new location provides new challenges, he said in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Rafterman Photography

The Atlanta Opera's production of "Don Pasquale" sets the comic opera gem in the golden era of Hollywood. The title character, played by Burak Bilgili, is an aging silent film star at the sunset of his career.

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Rafterman Photography

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Teri Darnell

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Stacey Bode

Think of something you could do in 24 hours. You could bake a few pies or read a Harry Potter novel. You could drive to Santa Fe … but could you write an opera?

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That challenge is on for composers and writers alike this weekend as the Atlanta Opera puts up its seventh annual 24 Hour Opera Project. This year, they’ve added a wild card to the mix and partnered with Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. 

Jeff Roffman for The Atlanta Opera

The Atlanta Opera is near the end of their wildly successful, sold-out run of Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, "Maria de Buenos Aires," on stage at Le Maison Rouge in Paris on Ponce. The company's General and Artistic Director, Tomer Zvulun, is largely responsible for such productions, and he says the upcoming Atlanta Opera season continues to represent their strategic direction.

In an interview on “City Lights” (posted above), Lois Reitzes spoke with Zvulun about how the 2017-2018 season represents his vision for Atlanta’s major opera company. 

Credit Atlanta Opera

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

City Lights: Gaby Moreno; 'Silent Night'; And More

Nov 2, 2016
Musician Gaby Moreno poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":


Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gabbie Watts / WABE

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Opera Dives Into Ottoman Empire With Mozart

Sep 20, 2016
Courtesy of the Atlanta Opera

The Atlanta Opera is heading into the heart of the Ottoman Empire with Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio.”

Opera singer Ben Bliss plays the tenor role of Belmonte. The young, Spanish nobleman heads off to the Empire to rescue his betrothed Konstanze, who has been abducted by pirates and is being held by the Pasha.

A singspiel, the opera includes moments of dialogue. This was also one of Mozart’s first big successes as a composer, even though King Joseph II famously said the opera had “too many notes.”

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here

Jeff Roffman / The Atlanta Opera

Verona's star-crossed lovers return to Atlanta this weekend in Charles Gounod's opera "Romeo and Juliet."

William Shakespeare's tragic tale of love and lust is endlessly adaptable, so what makes Gounod's interpretation unique? The Atlanta Opera's general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun, in conversation with Lois Reitzes, says that Gounod takes a story that is remembered for its intimate chamber scenes and "unapologetically, shamelessly, takes this story and expands it to a grand opera – an extravagant, grand opera."

Frank Dicksee / Wikimedia

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Ken Howard / Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" ranks among the most riotous of comic operas, a genre that reminds die-hard opera fans and newcomers alike that not all operatic stories involve untimely deaths and forbidden passions. That does not mean that a lighthearted work, like "The Pirates of Penzance," is lightweight material.

Angie Garrett /

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Jay Janner / AP Photo/

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Michal Daniel for Minnesota Opera

The opera scene in Atlanta is evolving, growing and blossoming. That's largely thanks to one company, the Atlanta Opera, and their general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun.

When he took over the troupe in 2013, Zvulun told Lois Reitzes that his mantra has been to "increase the artistic risk and lower the financial risk." That meant pairing familiar opera favorites with new, visually-stunning interpretations. 

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox / TM & © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Opera

From songs about bringing an iPod into combat to the opening words of “I never talk about this with anybody,” composer David T. Little’s opera “Soldier Songs” captures a soldier’s experience.

The opera will have its Southeast premiere in Atlanta this week as part of the Atlanta Opera’s Discoveries series.

“It tells a very powerful story of what it means to be a soldier: training for it, surviving it and then going back to society,” said Tomer Zvulun, the Atlanta Opera's general and artistic director.

Richard Crean


Over the next week, there's a great story unfolding at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


He's a writer who has to burn his own books for heat. She's delicate, like a flower, sensitive and beautiful. Their friends are a laugh a minute, other than the not-so-infrequent lovers' quarrel.


They’re the lead characters in Puccini's “La Bohème," regarded as one of the most romantic works ever put to stage.


John WIllhoff

There’s a lot going on around Atlanta this weekend, including the Southeast’s first stage production of "Calendar Girls" and a new season with the Atlanta Opera.

To learn more, host Amy Kiley recently spoke with Kimberly Harbrecht of Public Broadcasting Atlanta's arts and entertainment web site, Atlanta PlanIt.  They began by talking about the Monster Drawing Rally at the High Museum.

Art & Clarity

 To this day, Verdi, Wagner and Mozart are titanic figures in opera. Also, the English language is conspicuously rare. Several American opera companies are looking to change that with commissions of new work.

Since 2000, Jake Heggie has been opera's golden boy. His first opera, "Dead Man Walking," premiered at the San Francisco Opera and has been performed more than 40 times worldwide. His most recent work, "Moby-Dick," premiered in Dallas with rave reviews and standing ovations.

John Moore will perform as Count Almaviva in Atlanta Opera's ''The Marriage of Figaro,'' starting this Saturday.
Richard Blinkoff

This weekend, the Atlanta Opera begins a four-performance run of Mozart's wildly popular opera, "The Marriage of Figaro." Mozart with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte adapted the opera from Pierre de Beaumarchais' play of the same name.

It is one of the most-performed operas of all time perhaps because of its relatability. Essentially, it's about a bunch of people with relationship problems. 

At least, that is the argument of baritone John Moore, who will perform as the infamous seducer Count Almaviva.

Claire McAdams

Though it’s a comic opera based on sexual harassment, a rather unsavory premise, Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro" is one of the most popular and most performed operas of all time.

The Atlanta Opera brings it to the Cobb Energy Center starting this weekend. It welcomes talent, old and new. Lauren Snouffer will perform as Susanna, the first time she has performed this role.

A graduate of Rice University and Julliard, Snouffer also just graduated from the prestigious studio program at Houston Grand Opera.

Atlanta Opera Brings New Interpretations, Technology To Stage

Jan 16, 2015
Atlanta Opera

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Opera is one of these major organizations. The Opera was founded in 1979, and it produces main stage opera productions and arts education programs.

Six Years Of City Cafe

Jan 9, 2015
cake at Death Cafe Atlanta
Kate Sweeney / WABE

City Cafe began on Feb. 2, 2009 with a few jaunty notes and host John Lemley welcoming listeners to the noon hour for a mix of classical music and stories and interviews which took a look at the artistic and cultural life of Atlanta. 

The Cafe is closing for good on Jan. 9, and we are taking this week to look back at our favorite stories. All of us on the City Cafe staff would like to thank you for listening.

Read more about the changes coming to WABE here.

Still from Lorin Maazel's 2014 Castleton Festival production of "Madama Butterfly." Directed by Tomer Zvulun, set design by Erhard Rom, lighting by Robert Wierzel.
Ray Boc / Castleton Festival

Perhaps no one is more enthusiastic about the Atlanta Opera’s new season than Tomer Zvulun. And rightfully so — it’s his first planned season as the company’s General and Artistic Director. Zvulun’s planned three new productions for this Atlanta Opera Season — "Madama Butterfly," "Rigoletto," and a contemporary opera, "Three Decembers." Mozart's classic "The Marriage of Figaro" rounds out the 2014-2015 season. Lois Reitzes spoke with Mr. Zvulun and asked how he chose these particular operas:

Walter Huff and Lois Reitzes in WABE's Studio 4
Erin Wright / WABE

The Atlanta Opera kicks off their new season this weekend, but they're not opening with an opera. The company's Chorus Master — Walter Huff — celebrates 25 years with the Atlanta Opera this year, and what better way to celebrate than in song? WABE's Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Mr. Huff for a little reflection, and a toast to another 25 years.