World Premiere of Hershey Felder, PUCCINI to Benefit the Center

By DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, March 2, 2021 News & Announcements

[About a 7 MIN read]

Performance features opera stars Nathan Gunn, Gianna Corbisiero, Charles Castronovo, and Ekaterina Siurina

Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence, and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, announce the world premiere livestream of Hershey Felder, PUCCINIa new film written by and starring virtuoso pianist/performer Hershey Felder and also featuring international opera stars, baritone Nathan Gunn, soprano Gianna Corbisiero, tenor Charles Castronovo, and soprano Ekaterina Siurina. Hershey Felder, PUCCINI livestreams at 8:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 14, 2021. On-demand access is available through March 21. 

Tickets on sale exclusively through DPAC are $55 per household. Through this collaboration, the Center will receive 50 percent of the ticket revenue they generate. The goal is to reach area audiences who have followed Mr. Gunn’s career through his many local appearances, including several on the Center’s Presenting Series. As for how tickets sold through DPAC will help locally, Executive Director Ted Barron said, “Proceeds from this event will benefit the Center’s efforts to support the University’s ongoing response to the global pandemic.” The Center closed to the public one year ago and remains closed this academic year.

Hershey Felder, PUCCINI is the story of a young musician in love with the world of opera, particularly Giacomo PUCCINI’s masterworks, La bohèmeTosca, and Madama Butterfly. When the young musician meets the musical master himself through a series of unusual circumstances, revealed secrets send him soaring. 
 
Felder’s arts broadcasting company, Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence, produces high-quality streaming arts programming for international audiences, both for the period while theatres remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This sumptuously filmed production provides home audiences with a front-row seat as Felder presents another masterwork, this time delving into PUCCINI’s life and music. 
 
Filmed and performed on location in Lucca, Italy, in the home where Giacomo PUCCINI was born, Hershey Felder, PUCCINI promises to be an exceptional event. Gunn, Corbisiero, and Castronovo perform many of the beloved arias from PUCCINI’s La bohème, ToscaMadama Butterfly, and Turandot.
 
Since the start of the pandemic, Felder’s livestreams have generated over $2 million in sales. Felder has donated 80% of these proceeds to international theaters, arts organizations, schools, artists, and publications that the worldwide health crisis has financially impacted. 
Hershey Felder, PUCCINI is directed by Felder & Stefano Decarli, with associate direction by Trevor Hay. Production design is by Hershey Felder. Film production and live editing are by the DeCarli Live film company. Live broadcast and sound design production are by Erik Carstensen. Line producer is Annette Nixon. Meghan Maiya is the Director of Development and Research. Costumes and hair are by Camilla Saccardi.

Biographies

Hershey Felder (Writer & Performer). Named to Time Magazine’s 2016 Top 10 Plays and Musicals, Hershey Felder has played over 6,000 performances of his self-created solo productions at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres, consistently breaking box office records. American Theatre Magazine has said, “Hershey Felder is in a category all his own.” His shows include George Gershwin Alone (Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, West End’s Duchess Theatre); Monsieur ChopinBeethoven; Maestro (Leonard Bernstein); Franz Liszt in MusikLincoln: An American StoryHershey Felder as Irving BerlinOur Great Tchaikovsky; and A Paris Love Story. His compositions and recordings include Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and OrchestraFairytale, a musicalLes Anges de Paris, Suite for Violin and PianoSong SettingsSaltimbanques for Piano and OrchestraEtudes Thematiques for Piano; and An American Story for Actor and Orchestra. Hershey is the adaptor, director, and designer for the internationally performed play-with-music The Pianist of Willesden Lane with Steinway artist Mona Golabek; producer and designer for the musical Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, directed by Taylor Hackford; and writer and director for Flying Solo, featuring opera legend Nathan Gunn. Hershey has operated a full-service production company since 2001, and in 2020 created a new brand, Live from Florence, that operates a “theatre-at-home broadcast company” based in Florence, Italy. Previous broadcasts have included Hershey Felder as Irving BerlinHershey Felder, BeethovenHershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone; Hershey Felder as Claude Debussy in A Paris Love StoryHershey Felder, TchaikovskyHershey Felder as Sholem Aleichem in Before Fiddler; Hershey Felder, Backstory – The Story Behind the Creation of Berlin, Gershwin & Bernstein; and Cooking French in Florence with Jeff Thickman & Hershey Felder. The Hershey Felder Presents – Live from Florence 2020-21 Season of broadcasts will also include Hershey Felder as Sergei Rachmaninoff in Anna & Sergei. Hershey has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

Nathan Gunn

Nathan Gunn has performed many of opera and musical theatre’s most significant roles on the world’s most prestigious stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera in London, Paris Opéra, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Theater an der Wien Vienna, Teatro Real Madrid, and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Brussels. He has been seen and heard on television, radio, video, and live simulcast performances, including the first-ever Met: Live in HD broadcast (The Magic Flute), in which he sang Papageno, one of his signature roles. Nathan has reinterpreted other classic roles such as Billy Budd, Figaro, and Don Giovanni, garnering awards including the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording (Billy Budd) and the Metropolitan Opera’s first-ever Beverly Sills Award. Gunn has also been widely acclaimed for his ability to cross over into musical theatre, including performances with the New York Philharmonic in Carousel and Camelot, the televised celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday, and collaborations with musical theatre stars including Mandy Patinkin, Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, and Kristin Chenoweth. Gunn’s one-man autobiographical show Flying Solo, produced and written by Hershey Felder, has been lauded as a “riveting autobiographical musical [that] is a stunner both with its touching, relatable, family-centric narrative and Gunn’s entertaining, charismatic performing style.” (Broadway World).

Gianna Corbisiero

Declared “luminous” by Opera NewsGianna Corbisiero has performed the title roles in ToscaLa bohèmeLa traviataPagliacciSuor AngelicaGianni SchicchiLe nozze di FigaroDon GiovanniThe Magic FluteCarmenIl barbiere di Siviglia, and Falstaff at major opera houses throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, under the baton of conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, and Charles Dutoit. She has performed with Bryn Terfel, Renee Fleming, and Marcelo Alvarez. For Bravo Canada, she recorded episodes of television’s “Opera Easy,” performing excerpts from La bohème, La traviata, Tosca, and Norma, and made her cinema debut singing “O mio babbino caro” in the film Elephant Song, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Corbisiero’s many honors and awards include a special prize from the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition, Top Prize in the Canadian Music Competition, and First Prize from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation.

Charles Castronovo

Charles Castronovo has been acclaimed internationally as one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation. Castronovo has sung at most of the world’s leading opera houses, including San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera. Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie Brussels, and many others. He starred in the title role of Daniel Catan’s Il Postino opposite Placido Domingo in the work’s world premiere in Los Angeles, as well as in Paris and Santiago. His repertoire spans from the great Mozart tenor roles in Don GiovanniCosí fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte to Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore and Alfredo in La traviata. In recent seasons, Castronovo won wide acclaim for his performances as the title role in Faust, Romeo in Roméo et Juliette, the Duke in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, and Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress

Ekaterina Siurina

Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina was born in Ekaterinburg and completed her studies at the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts in Moscow. During her studies, Ms. Siurina became a soloist with the Municipal Moscow Theatre, Novaja Opera. After garnering honors at the 2000 International Elena Obrazova competition for singers of Chamber Art in Moscow, and the 2002 Opera competition in St. Petersburg, Ms. Siurina later was awarded a winner at the Rimski-Korsakov competition in St. Petersburg.