Arts & Culture News
Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is coming to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for performances with internationally acclaimed tenor, James Valenti.
Valenti debuts at Lyric Opera of Chicago in Puccini’s "Madama Butterfly"

Story Posted:10/12/2013

Internationally acclaimed tenor, James Valenti will be making his theatrical debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago located at 20 N. Wacker Drive as he takes on the role of Lt. Pinkerton in Puccini’s “Mad -ama Butterfly” on October 15, 18, 23, 26 and 30. Valenti has been praised by critics for having a voice of Italianate luster and is continually compared to some of the greatest tenors of the post-World War II era. The sought after 6’5” tenor has built a global reputation for his elegant musicianship, commanding stage presence, ardent vocal style and Hollywood good looks.  “I am absolutely thrilled to make my debut at one of the most celebrated and historical opera houses in the United States,” says Valenti. “My debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is something that is very important to me and is a huge milestone in my career. I look forward to working with an extremely talented cast and getting to know the city of Chicago.” As a precursor to the Lyric Opera’s upcoming 2013/2014 seasons, Valenti participated in the “Stars of the Lyric Opera” concert in Millennium Park on September 7 where he wowed the audience with several numbers from his upcoming production. He received sterling reviews from critics and the Chicago Classical Review described him as a “sonorous and powerful Pinkerton” and his performance “proved to be the evening’s most affecting highlight.” The New Jersey native made his professional debut at age 25 at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma where he played Rodolfo in the Franco Zeffirelli production of “La Bohème.” Since his debut, he has scored one triumphal role after another and has had the opportunity to perform in many of the most celebrated citadels of opera in the world, including Teatro alla Scala Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House London, Opera National de Paris, Sydney Opera House, Opera House Munich, Salzburg Festival, Deutsche Opera Berlin, San Francisco Opera and Opernhaus Zürich. He has showcased his vocal ability and acting versatility in a variety of roles such as Alfredo Germont in “La Traviata,” Duke of Mantua in “Rigoletto,” Lt. Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly,” Maurizio in “Adriana Lecouvreur,” Edgardo in “Lucia di Lammermoor,” Werther in “Werther,” Roméo in “Roméo et Juliette” and Doctor Faust in “Faust.” Valenti has also had the pleasure of working alongside some of the greatest opera voices and maestros in the industry, including Anna Netrebko, Angela Gheorghiu, Dimitri Hvorostovsky, Thomas Hampson, Simon Keenlyside, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, Maestro Antonio Pappano, Maestro Daniele Gatti and Maestro Carlo Rizzi to name a few. Valenti has received a number of accolades in his young career including the New York City Opera’s Outstanding Debut Artist Award in 2008, the Maria Callas Debut Artist Award in 2009 and the Richard Tucker Award in 2010. Valenti is a celebrity ambassador for Children International and also gives of his time and funds to many organizations close to his heart such as UNICEF, Greenpeace, PBS and NPR. Valenti recently took on the challenging title role in Verdi’s “Don Carlos” at the Caramoor Festival in July, which The New York Times noted his “dark-centered, expressive tenor.” Currently, Valenti is expanding his musical repertoire and preparing for a number of exciting roles. In March of 2014, he will be making his debut as Italian film star, Rudolph Valentino in the new biographical opera, “Dream of Valentino.” He is also scheduled to perform as Cavaradossi in “Tosca,” Don Jose in “Carmen.” He will make his triumphant return to the Metropolitan Opera as he performs in “Madama Butterfly” in April 2014. For more information and tickets visit the Lyric Opera of Chicago website: http://www.lyricopera.org/.


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