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‘Butterfly’ waiting in wings at Florida Opera Festival

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Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2014 at 07:46 AM

Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and the blockbuster musical “The Phantom of the Opera” will usher in Florida Opera Festival’s 20th anniversary season, Opera Tampa announced.

The upcoming season will include Opera Tampa New Voices in Concert, featuring four up-and-coming opera singers.

“The 2014-15 season will be as entertaining, compelling and stimulating as any season we’ve ever presented,” Straz Center President Judy Lisi says in a written announcement. “It’s a season that our impassioned and sophisticated opera-going audiences here in the Tampa Bay area are sure to embrace.”

In his third season as artistic director and conductor, maestro Daniel Lipton, who will lead all of the performances, calls it a standout season.

“Next season we’ll present two of the greatest and most popular operas ever written,” Lipton says in the announcement. “‘Rigoletto’ is Verdi’s twisted tale of lust, desire, love and deceit, while Pucinni’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ is extravagant, colorful and unabashedly emotional — and together they make for a stunning season of accessible, yet grand, opera.”

Verdi’s famous tale of court jester “Rigoletto,” his naive daughter and a sex-addled duke comes to the stage Feb. 13 and 15.

“Madama Butterfly,” on March 13 and 15, is set in turn-of-the-century Japan and tells the story of an American naval officer and his naive Japanese wife.

On Jan. 11, the Opera Tampa New Voices in Concert will spotlight four young artists culled from the national and international ranks of emerging opera singers.

Rounding out the season will be a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” a tale about a disfigured genius and his beloved protegé, Dec. 17 through Jan. 4. “The Phantom of the Opera” is not part of the opera season ticket pricing.

For information about the Florida Opera Festival and purchasing season tickets, call the Straz Center ticket office at (813) 229-7827 or see www. operatampa.org.

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