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Recital To Kick Off San Diego Opera 2014-15 Season

Ailyn Perez And Stephen Costello Perform 7 p.m. Friday At Balboa Theater

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando previews tonight's San Diego Opera recital.


After a tumultuous year and almost closing its doors, San Diego Opera is kicking off a new season with a recital at Balboa Theater Friday at 7 p.m.

San Diego Opera Chief Operating Officer Keith Fisher says the company is excited to be back downtown for a recital series and to be in a hall that acoustically lends itself to the voice.

“The size of the theater is perfect for a recital and the acoustic here is beautiful. It really is a wonderful sound, so we’re excited to be able to present an operatic voice in this space,” Fisher said. “It’s a really interesting program. I think that it’s audience friendly and that there’s a little bit for everybody and I think it’s a really nice way to open our season and to bring a new look to the opera as we emerge.”

The recital features Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello, San Diego Opera veterans, and is part of the reorganized San Diego Opera’s new approach to programming.

“Well it’s a smaller scale obviously because we don’t have sets and costumes and therefore we have less expense and overhead as it relates to chorus members and additional staff, but what’s also really important about the recital series is having that intimate connection with the artist in terms of being in a smaller space and having that one focus versus a grand opera on the grand stage,” Fisher said.

Perez and Costello will be performing everything from grand opera to Broadway musical duets, reflecting what they also did on their recent CD.

Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello perform West Side Story Duets

“Performing in a recital gives us a chance to switch characters, every piece you have to tell a new story,” Perez said. “In opera you have your chorus, your production, you have costumes and scenery. When you are in a recital it’s sort of like the naked version of it, you are down to the bare minimum and you tell a story and it’s intense.”

Her partner onstage and off agreed.

“I feel there is more of a variety on a recital or a concert as opposed to just an opera because when you are in an opera performance you’re watching a piece on stage done by one composer, and everything that’s in there is obviously in the style of the composer as opposed to a recital where you can do many different versions from many different people," Costello said. "Plus you have more connection with an audience in some aspects because the audience is right in front of you, you can see it, and you can almost come as close to the edge of the stage as possible because there is no pit. So you can really interact with the people in the front row and try to interact with the balcony, if you can see them, if it’s not too bright.”

Both performers were excited to be opening the opera’s 2014-15 season.

“We’re really thrilled that the community came together and decided for themselves that they wanted an opera company to be here to thrive in this community in this new vision it has for itself,” Perez added.

Perez and Costello will perform in a recital Friday at 7 p.m. at the Balboa Theater downtown.


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