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HAGERSTOWN, MD. - Spanish heat and gypsy passion will be brought to the stage of the historic Maryland Theatre when the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the Hub Opera Ensemble present Georges Bizet’s groundbreaking opera, "Carmen." The semi-staged production will be held at 8 p.m.on Saturday, Feb. 13, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at the Maryland Theatre, 27 S Potomac St, Hagerstown, Md. The opera will be sung in French with English titles.

"Carmen" is the tale of Don José, a naive soldier, who falls in love with a fiery gypsy, Carmen, only to be rebuffed because of Carmen’s love for the glamorous toreador, Escamillo. In one of the most popular and frequently-performed operas in the world, the emotions and suffering of Bizet’s characters are musically represented by the rousing Habanera, the seductive Seguidilla, and the famous Toreador Song.

Performing the title role will be soprano Francesca Aguado with Nicholas Simpson, tenor, as Don José; and Luke Scott, baritone, as Escamillo. Other cast members include Colleen Daly (Michaela), Stacey Stofferahn (Frasquita), Elizabeth Mondrago (Mercedes), Tad Czyzewski (Remendado), and Justin Wilson (Dancario).

Television and radio personality Robert Aubry Davis will serve as narrator. Davis, a native Washingtonian and an active member of the area’s cultural community, is the creator and host of “Millennium of Music,” a program dedicated to music from the thousand years before Bach. The program is carried by more than 100 public radio stations nationwide. He has been host and moderator of WETA-TV’s Emmy Award-winning weekly arts discussion program, “Around the Town,” since its inception in 1986. Davis can also be heard on Vox, XM Satellite Radio’s opera and classical vocal music channel.

Founded in 2010, the Hub Opera Ensemble is devoted to bringing quality, professional opera to communities where the art form is not yet represented. In partnership with Hagerstown Community College, Hub productions feature orchestral accompaniment with fully-produced operas, and a mid-season night of concert opera that features some of the finest young singers performing today.

All ticket holders are encouraged to attend the prelude, which takes place one hour before each Masterwork’s concert. MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze and the guest artists share information on featured composers and their works that will enhance concert-goers enjoyment and appreciation of the concert.

Tickets range in price from $10 to $65 and may be purchased online at www.marylandsymphony.org, by phone at 301-797-4000, or in person at the MSO office at 30 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, Md. Office hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. MSO will provide free Masterworks concert tickets to students in grades 1-12. College students are eligible for $5 student rush tickets with school IDs.

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