Today I was working on a project for my favorite local opera company , Peach State, when I had to wait outside of the rehearsal hall before entering. The glorious singing of Cio- Cio San and Lt. Pinkerton’s duet “Vogliatemi bene," where she pleads with him to love her just a little, came through the closed doors. I was so excited to hear it performed so gloriously, as it will make my urging you not to miss this weekend’s performance by Peach State Opera of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly more pressing. Scheduled for 8pm in the Cole Auditorium of Georgia Perimeter College , Clarkston, GA , this heart-wrenching story of Puccini’s beautiful geisha girl and her American naval lieutenant never grows old. The unwavering love of the young Japanese bride as she waits for the return of her husband, the clash of cultures and faiths, and the ultimate betrayal and tragic ending inspires some of opera’s most powerful and beautiful music.
Singing Cio-Cio San will be Tamara Watson Harper, the director of most of Peach State's productions. In Butterfly she is both the starring in the lead role and directing. Highly-regarded as a performer and much sought-after as a stage director, Dr. Tamara Watson Harper has held faculty positions at Angelo State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Perimeter College, and Reinhardt University, where she will be Associate Professor of Voice and Opera beginning in Fall 2012. A lyric soprano, she has performed the title roles in Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE, Massenet's CENDRILLON and Poulenc’s LES MAMELLES DE TIRÉSIAS, Anna I in THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS by Kurt Weill, Gretel in HANSEL UND GRETEL and Elle in LA VOIX HUMAINE, as well as making numerous concert appearances throughout the United States. Recent directing credits include Peach State Opera’s CARMEN AND FRIENDS and ELIXIR OF LOVE, assistant director for Atlanta Opera’s recent production of LA BOHEME and, in her cinema debut, she staged the opera vignettes seen in Tyler Perry’s FOR COLORED GIRLS. University directing credits include productions of THE MAGIC FLUTE, COSÌ FAN TUTTE, LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, L’ELISIR D’AMORE, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, HMS PINAFORE, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, and THE DESERT SONG. She has served, in addition, as musical director/conductor for productions of CABARET and THE FANTASTICKS, and as choreographer for numerous others. She has been assistant director in two, important summer-abroad music festivals in Italy: Oberlin in Italy (Urbania) and, under the auspices of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, at the Opera Festival of Lucca. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree at the Ohio State University, she earned the first of two graduate degrees at the Boston Conservatory of Music (Master of Music), followed by the School of Music at Florida State University, where she received her doctorate. Additional vocal studies were at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and at the Opera Festival of Lucca. She makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Steven, and their son, Dean.
Don't let the opportunity to see a fully staged production of this beloved favorite in your own area pass you by. The Cole auditorium has ample free parking and should be packed for this performance. You can go to www.peachstateopera .org to purchase tickets with the following price categories.
General Admission Jan 11, 2013 $22.00
Senior Admission Jan 11, 2013 $20.00
Students Jan 11, 2013 $10.00
GPC Students/Faculty Staff, Alumni Jan 11, 2013 $5.00
Groups of 10 or more Jan 11, 2013 $10.00
See you at the opera!