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Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 2016 Season Features La Gioconda and Rigoletto

Love, seduction, jealousy, vengeance, and death all come together in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 2016 season presentations of grand, traditional opera at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC). During 2016, Verismo Opera, the house opera company of bergenPAC, will present Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda and Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. 

Verismo Opera begins the season in seventeenth century Venice, Italy with its debut of the plot-filled opera La Gioconda on Sunday, April 17. Based on Angelo, Tyrant of Padua by Victor Hugo, the story, replete with twists and turns, takes place during the rule of the doges. On October 23, the company presents Rigoletto, one of Verdi's greatest dramas of modern times.

The fully staged operas will be performed with the complete cast attired in period costume under the direction of General Manager and Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif. Principal Maestra Lucy Arner (photo) will debut with the company in La Gioconda leading the Verismo Opera Orchestra. The Verismo Opera Chorus under Chorus Director and Associate Conductor Mara Waldman will sing in Italian in La Gioconda. In October, the Verismo Opera Chorus will join the company again to perform in Rigoletto.

"These traditional operas present realism and remain true to the original with the music, grand sets, and beautiful costumes. Both operas will introduce another generation to the splendors of complete, professional productions," said Lucine Amara, Artistic Director, Verismo Opera.

Tickets are now on sale for La Gioconda and may be purchased online at or in person at bergenPAC’s box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey. For ticket information, call (201) 227-1030 or toll-free 1-888-PACSHOW. 

The theatre is handicapped accessible. Designated handicapped parking spaces are available. For information about bergenPAC's Accessibility Services, contact the theatre's Americans With Disabilities Coordinator at (201) 816-8160, extension 31.


The 2016 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera:
For 27 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

As the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company, Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the theatre and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Performance Photos 

1) TOP-Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto will unfold once again on the Verismo Opera stage on October 23, 2016.  Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto
2) New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera presents Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda on April 17, 2016.  Photo Credit: Giovanni Simone

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