Charlotte, N.C., (Jan. 16, 2015) – Tenor Carl Tanner, veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, will replace Marcello Giordani as Calàf in the upcoming Opera Carolina production of Turandot. Metropolitan Opera star Giordani was forced to withdraw from the production for health reasons.

The American tenor is well-versed in Puccini, having previously performed the role of Calàf, as well as in Tosca, Il Tabarro, Manon Lescaut and more. His repertoire also includes Radames in Verdi’s Aida (which he sang three weeks ago at the Metropolitan Opera), Otello in Verdi’s opera of the same name and Tristan in Wagner’s Tristan un Isolde.

Tanner’s own life story is like something from an opera. He was a star wrestler and football player in Arlington, Va., who went on to become a truck driver and bounty hunter before becoming an opera singer. Michael Keaton is considering making a movie based on Tanner’s life.  Click here for his complete bio.

He joins a stellar cast that includes Canadian-American Soprano Othalie Graham in the title role. Charlotte audiences enthusiastically embraced Graham when she performed here in Aida in 2013. Click her for her complete bio.

The cast also includes Russian-American soprano Dina Kuznetsova (Liù), who performed with Opera Carolina in Eugene Onegin in 2012 and Kevin Langan (Timur), who was the last protégé of legendary opera producer and promoter, Walter Legge. Click here for her complete bio.

"We’re sorry that Marcello is unable to be with us – and wish him a speedy recovery – but we are honored to welcome Carl to this outstanding cast,” said James Meena, General Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Carolina. “He is an extraordinary talent, and we couldn’t be more excited about bringing him back to Charlotte.” Tanner performed the roles of Don Jose in Carmen and the title role of Otello in Opera Carolina’s 2009-10 season.

Turandot continues Opera Carolina’s seven-year Puccini cycle. Performances are scheduled for Jan. 24 and 29 and Feb. 1 at the Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Maestro Meena will conduct the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

Turandot will be performed in Italian with English supertitles. For ticket information, call 704.372.1000 or visit www.operacarolina.org. A 25 percent discount is available for season ticket holders, and a 50 percent discount is available for youth up to age 16, $10 Student Rush tickets and various group discounts are available for all shows. 

About Turandot  
Foolishly believing she can escape love’s grasp, the ruthless Princess Turandot rules Beijing's Imperial Palace with bloody terror. Puccini’s Turandot premiered at La Scala, Milan in 1926 – one year and five months after the composer’s death.

Act I takes place in Beijing in “legendary times.” An edict is issued: “Any prince seeking to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. If he fails, he will die.” Prince Calàf determines he will win her as his bride.  

In Act II, Calàf answers all three riddles correctly, and Turandot must honor her vow and marry her besotted suitor.

Act III contains the famous aria, Nessun Dorma (“No one may sleep”), in which Calàf muses on the joy the morning will bring. Turandot confronts Calàf, who takes her in his arms, forcing her to kiss him. Knowing passion for the first time, the formerly cold-hearted princess weeps.

About the 2014/15 Opera Season
The first opera of the 66th season was Verdi’s biblical Opera, Nabucco. The season will conclude with Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor on April 11, 16 and 19, 2015 and features three of the opera world’s most exciting rising stars: Yun Hyung, Metropolitan Opera baritone; soprano Kathryn Lewek; and tenor Zach Borichevsky.

About Opera Carolina
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, today Opera Carolina is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of more than $3 million for the fiscal year 2015. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region’s diverse community through the presentation of Opera, Operetta and Education and Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina has a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported by individuals and corporations throughout the region. Opera Carolina is also supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.