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Piedmont Opera Announces Pivotal New Season

During the COVID-19 pandemic, concert halls and theaters have been closed to the public. Social distancing keeps us all at least six feet apart. This, however, is not enough to stop Piedmont Opera’s love and desire for live opera.

This season, Piedmont Opera and Mercedes Benz of Winston-Salem will infuse a world premiere, cast with local talent into its 43rd season. In March, the company will produce an opera composed by a female, a first in Piedmont Opera history. The company will feature small casts in operas that accommodate social distancing, even on stage. This season will feature productions live streamed to audiences around the world, live from the Steven Center of the UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC. This season will feature the creativity and resiliency of Piedmont Opera.

Echoes from Carolina is comprised of two, one act productions from two Carolina composers. The event will be live streamed on October 16 at 8 p.m. and October 18 at 2 p.m.

Act I: Slow Dusk by South Carolina’s Carlisle Floyd (Susannah, Of Mice and Men)
Slow Dusk is a simple, powerful story set in the sand hills of the Carolinas amidst poverty and low-keyed religious fanaticism.  The story unfolds around the tragedy of a May afternoon, which alters the course of a young girl’s life.

Act II: From The Appalachian Songbook by Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s Ken Frazelle with dance by Winston-Salem Festival Ballet
For over three decades, composer Kenneth Frazelle has explored the balladry of his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. Frazelle began by composing formal pieces based upon the Southern Appalachian folk music he had heard throughout his life. The tunes he chose were entrenched in Scottish-Irish traditions of his family, which had resided in Onslow County, North Carolina, for three centuries. Out of the desire to have audiences hear not only these compositions, but the original tunes as they were sung by his grandmother, grew the inspiration for a folksong books.

Frazelle’s settings display such a remarkable narrative arc, that it was only a matter of time before they leapt from the concert hall onto the stage. With these performances, we can for the first time hear AND see the stories Frazelle collected come to physical life. Appalachian Songbook is a piece for piano voice and dancers takes its premiere. Dancers will be provided by Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.

The second part of the season will be “Cinderella in the Salon.” This will be the first time the company has produced an opera by a female composer. This production is a salon operetta with dialogue in three acts by Pauline Viardot. It will be live streamed from Stevens Center March 19 at 8 p.m. and March 21 at 2 p.m.

For tickets or more information, visit or call 336.725.7101. Tickets to live stream are $20/$5 for students.


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