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American Premier of AZA’IO an Italian Fantasy Opera

Area children perform in an opera shedding light on empathy and environmental responsibility

PHILADELPHIA, October 18, 2016//- Sixteen area children ages 8-17 will stage the American Premier of AZA’IO, an Italian Fantasy Opera inspired by the work of William Shakespeare. International Opera Theater and The String Theory Schools of Philadelphia collaborate to ignite educational and real world opportunities for professional level performers from private, charter, and publics schools throughout Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Performances will be held on October 24 at 7:30PM & October 25 at 3PM at String Theory Theater, 1600 Vine St. Philadelphia, PA For tickets: http://sts.ticketleap.com/azaio/

Sofia Kalinda is no novice when it comes to opera. The 12 year-old performer’s impressive credentials include performances of Carmen and Nabucco with Opera Philadelphia at the Academy of Music and she just getting started. With her new role as Rosalind, Sofia can’t help but laud, “Opera sets are the most fantastic and dramatic. I love performing in operas. I enjoy how it’s different from musical theater. I learn so much through theater. I didn’t know about Shakespeare’s child characters and think its really awesome to have sets made from recycled things.” Nine year-old Massimo Alleva from Philadelphia said although he usually listens to pop music he now sees opera as exciting as he can see characters come to life in the land of AZA’IO. The story is sometime in the near future. The bridge to AZA’IO, the land of imagination, has crumbled from disuse. The children of Shakespeare’s writings come alive in AZA’IO. Here the Fates from “Macbeth” create a storm which elicits The Mariner (antihero from Coleridge’s poem) to AZA’IO. The Mariner is to be given one last chance to save himself from eternal life in death, and free himself from the eternal recounting of his heartless killing of an albatross. But, first he must fulfill a prophecy: acquire the ring of Marina and convince both her and the son of a king to sacrifice their lives. With this accomplished he will be set free from his curse and be able to die in peace. The desperate Mariner will tell his tale for what he hopes will be the last time, but suddenly, he is met with a revelation – one that will change his life and the life of the children in AZA’IO, as well as those in the real world, forever.

Cast: SPIRIT OF AZAIO: Rebecca Corosanite; LUCIUS: from “Titus Andronicus”: Elijah Morman; FATES from “Macbeth”: ATROPOS: Danielle Romano; LACHESIS: Lia Della Porta; CLOTHO: Victoria Baccini; MAMILLIUS from “The Winter’s Tale”: Jeffrey Jabbour; OPHELIA from “Hamlet”: Mia Castro-Diephouse; ARTHUR from “King John”: James Jabbour; MARINA from “Pericles”: Mavis Simpson-Ernst; THE MARINER from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge: Jason Switzer; ARIEL from “The Tempest”: Anja Castro-Diephouse; PEASEBLOSSOM from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Giuliana Alleva; MOTH from “Love’s Labour’s Lost”: Massimo Alleva; JOAN of Arc from “Henry VI”: Helena McShane; ROSALIND from “As You Like It”: Sofia Kalinda; ANNE from “The Merry Wives of Windsor”: Ava Holtzman; VIOLA from “Twelfth Night”: Kate Nadauld; HAMNET: Shakespeare’s only son who died at age 11; William Inforzato


International Opera Theater (IOT) is a non-profit organization based both in Philadelphia and Italy. Founded in 2003 by Karen Lauria Saillant, the company is dedicated to the transformative power of spontaneity driven art, specifically in opera, taking into consideration in its approach the fundamentals of commedia dell’arte and the principles of complexity, swarm and emergence theories. As concentric ambassador to Italy and the US, IOT is the only company in the world to annually create new Italian operas, drawing from American and Italian heritages to create contemporary world premiere operas that link the Italian lyric tradition with the innovative spirit of modern America.

It is the mission of all String Theory Schools: To Educate each student according to age and development so that learning and growth are united. To Integrate the developing mind and body of the student with academics and the performing arts and sciences. To Ensure each student’s excellence in core and academic skills. To Awaken and preserve the spirit of our students through the visual and digital arts, vocal arts, instrumental music, creative writing, classical ballet, foreign language, innovations in the field of science, all intertwined with technology, and; To Nourish this spirit and curiosity so that students continue to flourish long after the end of formal training.



Eloisa De Jesus
Phone: 856 305 0042

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Local students from private and public schools came together Sunday for an opera where most of the actors are children, but the message is for everybody.

Sixteen grade and high schoolers took to the stage for Azia’io — an Italian Fantasy Opera inspired by the work of William Shakespeare that dealt with empathy and environmental responsibility…

Original Article

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