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November 23, 2010

American Opera Theatre cancels December productions in Baltimore

Timothy Nelson, founding artistic director of the innovative American Opera Theatre, sent word from Amsterdam, where he currently lives, concerning two productions that were to open at Baltimore's Theatre Project next week -- a pared down version of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" and a staged realisation of Messiaen's song cycle "Harawi":

It is with sadness that I announce the cancellation of AOT's upcoming productions, "Butterfly" and "Harawi". Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances these performances are no longer possible. All those who purchased tickets will receive a full refund. If you have any questions about this please phone 410-752-8558 or email

No word yet on the remainder of the company's Baltimore season. On the calendar in February is a dual bill at the Theatre Project in collaboration with the Handel Choir of Baltimore -- a staged version of Melissa Dunphy's "Gonzales Cantata" from 2008, with a text from the congressional testimony of the Bush Administration's Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales; and a production of Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas." Later in the season, a production of Weill's "Lost in the Stars" is also scheduled.

Posted by Tim Smith at 9:10 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes, Opera


Thanks so much for posting this news, however bad. We wish all the best to AOT and hope they pull through. I hope this doesn't portend worse, but I've been unable to click past their home page lately:

I had the same problem with the Web site. I hope to have more information about all this next week when Mr. Nelson is back in the States. TS>/i>

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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