No one's irreplaceable, but Lee Kimball's retirement from OperaDelaware will leave a mini Grand Canyon in Delaware's performing arts. The hat rack in his office should be enshrined at the DE Museum of History. What role did he not play over these decades: Artistic Director, General Manager, Set Designer, Singer, Master Collaborator, Innovator, Adjunct Professor of the Performing Ats, wrangler, arbiter of aggrandized egos, diva diffuser.




 

No one's irreplaceable, but Lee Kimball's retirement from OperaDelaware will leave a mini Grand Canyon in Delaware's performing arts. The hat rack in his office should be enshrined at the DE Museum of History. What role did he not play over these decades: Artistic Director, General Manager, Set Designer, Singer, Master Collaborator, Innovator, Adjunct Professor of the Performing Ats, wrangler, arbiter of aggrandized egos, diva diffuser.

With every task Lee was unflappable, respectful, kind and the quintessence of class;

He has directed over seventy productions, among them Turandot, Aida, Little Women, The Flying Dutchman, The Magic Flute, La bohème, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, the world premiere of A Wrinkle in Time (Libby Larsen), and The Hobbit.  This spring he will direct a world premiere opera at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and three of his productions at Temple University have won national awards for best college production from the National Opera Association.

Lee has a masters in architecture from Penn. He received critical acclaim for his innovative sets for the world premiere of Billy and Zelda among others.

Also a tenor and a student of the late Todd Duncan – yes, the ORIGINAL Porgy in 1935! He has taught acting for singers at the University of the Arts and the University of Delaware.  He also teaches a course in introduction to the performing arts for Wilmington University, and has served as an on-site reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts.

One of his most successful innovations has been the The Studio Series at OperaDelaware Studios on the Riverfront.

Think a Best of Broadway but with show stopping opera ditties. This month 4 professional singers will entertain with selections from opera's Fab Four: Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and Wagner. It's an elegant night. Guests are seated at tables demurely sipping chardonnay, discoursing bon mots and feeling quite aristocratic while hearing these soaring arias, duets and quartets.

The singers:

Newark native Gary Seydell. A March 2011 article in The St. Louis Dispatch described tenor Gary Seydell singing the role of Turridu, as “captivating; his voice pierced each note and rang with brilliant vibrato.”He has performed in regional opera houses throughout the United States and Italy.

Delawarean Margaret Thompson has performed opposite Plácido Domingo and an impressive list of heavy hitters at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Real de Madrid, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Volksoper Wien, Spoleto Festival and New York City Opera. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center among others

Adrienne Danrich’s voice has been described as “Fresh liquid silver” (now there's an image!) and “meltingly tender in its high floating vulnerability”. She made her San Francisco Opera stage debut as Micaela in Bizet’s Carmenafter having covered in two of the companies’ prior seasons as Elizabeth in the French version of Verdi’s Don Carlosand Liù in Puccini’sTurandot. She has performed songs from Porgy & Bess with the San Francisco Symphony.

U of D grad Jeffrey Chapman, baritone, has appeared with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, OperaDelaware, the Florida State Opera, Opera a la Carte, the Repertory Opera Company of Los Angeles, Center City Opera Theater, Choral Arts Philadelphia, the Westfield Symphony, the Gulf Coast Symphony, and the Tallahassee Symphony, among others.

March 23,24 and 25. OperaDE.org 800.37.GRAND You won't want to miss Porgy & Bess in May!