Inland Northwest Opera to perform ‘The Toy Shop,’ ‘Così fan tutte’ ‘Madame Butterfly’ as part of 2019-20 season

April 21, 2019 GMT

Inland Northwest Opera, formerly Opera Coeur d’Alene, has announced its 2019-20 season, and patrons can look forward to big operas and even bigger guest artists.

The season kicks off with performances of Seymour Barb’s “The Toy Shop,” directed by Maria Caprile and starring soprano Madelein Bowman as Pauline, tenor Dylan Aguayo as Paul, baritone Braden House as Toymaker and bass Edmund Brown as Aaron Blunder.

“The Toy Shop” tells the tale of a toymaker and two of his mechanical dolls, who wish they were real. All the while, a troublesome magician plots to steal the dolls from the shop.

“The Toy Shop” features songs including “If Only I Could Cry, How Happy I Would Be” and “Love is the Key,” and the cast includes opera students from the University of Idaho and Eastern Washington University.

Performances are 4 p.m. May 19 at the First Presbyterian Church, 318 S. Cedar St., 1 p.m. May 21 at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., Coeur d’Alene, and 3 p.m. June 1 at West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St. These performances are free.

Inland Northwest Opera will also perform “The Toy Shop” for students at 21 schools in northern Idaho and eastern Washington from May 20 through June 6.

“We are often bringing the first opera experience to children who witness the power of the human voice and important character skills portrayed such as empathy, acceptance and love,” Katrina Zepeda, director of INO’s Opera-tunities program, said in a press release.

The season continues with a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte (All Women Do It)” during the organization’s annual Opera on the Lake sunset cruise, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. July 14.

A romantic comedy, “Cosi fan tutte” features two military officers putting their love to the test as they challenge their fiancees’ loyalty with two new suitors.

The cast includes several local singers, including Heather Parker as Despina, Derrick Parker as Don Alfonso and Max Mendez as Guglielmo.

“Cosi fan tutte” also features Tim Augustin, a regular performer with Washington National Opera, as Ferrando, Seattle Opera regular Tess Altiveros, who performed with the INO in 2018, as Fiordiligi, and Hannah Penn, a Portland Opera regular, as Dorabella.

This show is sung in English and includes English dialogue. Tickets are $50-$75.

The season will close with Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” which tells the story of a young Japanese maiden who, after an American naval officer wounds her pride and honor, deals with heartbreak and tragedy.

This production features the talents of Metropolitan Opera soprano Elizabeth Caballero as Cio-Cio San, tenor Chad Shelton, who appeared in the Met’s 2018-19 season as Roderigo in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Otello,” as Lieutenant Pinkerton, and Sandra Piques Eddy, a Met regular, as Suzuki.

Caballero appeared in Spokane in 2015 as Musetta in “La bohème” and in 2017 as a soloist in Spokane Symphony’s Verdi’s Requiem.

Piques Eddy performed in Spokane in 2017 as the title role in “Carmen.”

Director Fenlon Lamb, co-creator of Papermoon Opera Productions, brings with her an all-paper set with lighting and projections.

Dean Williamson, currently music director of the Nashville Opera, returns to INO, where he received his opera conducting debut, for this performance.

Performances are Sept. 20 and 22 at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

“Madame Butterfly” is sung in Italian with English supertitles. Tickets are $23-$90.

To get patrons in the “Madame Butterfly” spirit, on Aug. 18, INO will host its annual gala fundraiser, “A Black Orchid Affair,” at Hayden Lake Country Club, 2362 E. Bozanta Dr., Hayden Lake, Idaho.

This black tie optional event features soprano Madison Leonard and baritone Shea Owens, performances of works by Puccini, DJ Daniel Connely, Asian-fusion food and wine selected by the country club’s chef, and live and silent auctions.

Tickets are $110 or $750 for a table of eight.

Subscription packages with savings up to 15% are available. Individual tickets for Opera on the Lake are available beginning June 22, and individual tickets for “Madame Butterfly” are available beginning July 1. For more information, visit www.inlandnwopera.com.