by Nick Smith
There’s a change of chanteuse at the Dock Street opening gala.
Coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, one of France’s leading opera singers, was set to appear at the much-anticipated event. But she’s canceled all engagements due to illness, so another internationally renowned performer will take her place. Dessay was also scheduled to star in Hamlet at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. At the Dock Street, she was slated to sing a selection of arias including La Traviata’s “Sempre Libera.”
Denyce Graves, a celebrated mezzo-soprano, will appear at the event in Dessay’s stead. Long-time Spoletians will remember her as Giulietta in the 1991 version of Les contes d’Hoffman. She’s a worthy replacement, with high critical acclaim across four continents.
Other musicians appearing at the event include violinist Geoff Nuttall, performing with other well-known chamber artists Caroline Blackwell, Pedja Muzijevic, and Christopher Costanza. Singers from Flora, an Opera will give a brief preview of the 2010 Spoleto production. Heather Gillespie will perform DuBose Heyward’s prologue to The Recruiting Officer. Gillespie’s last Dock Street appearance was in Mamba’s Daughters, also by Heyward, in 1999.
The gala will be preceded by a champagne reception, and followed by a formal dinner served in the theater.
Dock Street Reopening Gala. April 1, 7 p.m. $250-$1,000. (843) 579-3100