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2023-24 Season

The Theme and Feel of the Season

The 2023-24 season of The Opera Atelier celebrates the contributions of Spanish and Spanish American artists to the Belcanto Style through three major opera productions. The season, encompassing opera and multidisciplinary projects, will pay special homage to the García musical family and their circle, including but not limited to, Rossini, and Mercedes Jaruco. The general feel of the season will be lighthearted, concentrating on comic operas, in contrast to the dramatic and high-brow "opera seria", especially at times like these when the audience needs to smile and laugh again.


Frau Haydn in Trouble is a fictional comic opera loosely based on the life of Mrs. Haydn, against the backdrop of the classist society of Imperial Vienna, and in contrast to her husband’s fame. The structure of the title carries a reference to highbrow works such as Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis and the like. In my mind, it also carries a reference to Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti. References or not, by centering on the much-maligned Frau Haydn, in a humorous vein, the opera will bring to the fore the indignities and horror stories that made up the lives of the members of the lower classes- court musicians included, while poking fun at society, and especially the so-called nobility.

The opera takes a kind hearted look at the central character, a woman ahead of her times, full of contradictions, striving to make her mark amid an oppressive society. Frau Haydn tries her best but can not seem to get a break.  Her timing is off; her ideas are too wild for the times.  Always a day late and a dollar short, Frau Haydn makes the right move at the wrong time, ending up in utter frustration-totally misunderstood. But in spite of all her foibles, we empathize with her. She ends up being a likable antihero, because in a way she reminds us of our own shortcomings.

~The Major Productions

The Opera Atelier will celebrate comic operas. The first work will be Frau Haynd in Trouble.


The second operatic production, "Voyage to Cuba", will be an original multidisciplinary project based on Mercedes Jaruco’s Parisian circle, and her homonymous book. Cuban-born Mercedes Jaruco, Countess Merlin, became known as the "Queen of Parisian salons". Her drawing room attracted a veritable who is who. It was said that no one could triumph in Paris without triumphing first in Madae Merlin’s salon. An accomplished writer and singer of note, she befriended and promoted Malibran. After the singer's untimely death, she wrote her biography.


The third major production will be Donizetti's masterpiece Don Pasquale, one of the most developed examples of the opera buffa in the belcanto style. The production will feature Maestro Jorge Arcila, artistic director of The Opera Atelier, in the title role. The season venues will include the Manuel Artime, Miracle, and Goodlet Theatres, as well as the Coral Gables Museum and the Sala Santa Cecilia.


~ Other Multidisciplinary Projects:


As in prior years, this series of projects and educational activities will run parallel to TOA’s major productions. This year's emphasis will be on the Garcia Family and its role in the development of the belcanto style.


Art Salon Reenactments: The art salon, an intimate format for stimulating conversation, and intellectual and artistic exchange, flourished in Europe and the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Nowhere were soirées more exciting than in the 1830s-1840s Paris, where the public witnessed the feverish creativity of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, and Chopin, amidst the proliferation of elegant salons. The Opera Atelier will continue to celebrate this format with recreations of soirées such as the Liszt vs. Thalberg pianistic duel, or theatrical recreations, such as A Night in Paris with Chopin and Malibran, a soiree circa 1840 based on contemporary historical sources, accented by period dress, with musical and literary selections after an original script by The Opera Atelier. Clash of Titans is the recreation of the Liszt-Thalberg pianistic duel. Another multidisciplinary project, "The Valkyrie of the Piano", was a play based on the life and times of the great Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño. One of these or a project of a similar format will be presented this upcoming season.


Additional activities will include concerts at smaller venues such as Sala Santa Cecilia, Steinway Piano Gallery, and the Coral Gables Museum, to celebrate important times of the year, such as Hispanic Heritage, and Black History Month. These recitals have been planned as a series to be repeated each year with different musical selections and performers. The concerts will be:


-Art Songs of Latin America/ October 2023

-Liturgical Music Concert/ November 2023

-Music of Afro-Caribbean/ African American Composers/ February 2024

-Women's History Month/ March 2024


Lectures and lecture-recitals will include a series at Sala Santa Cecilia, located at The Opera Atelier's Manuel Artime Community Center, the Steinway Piano Gallery, the Miami-Dade Public Library, and other intimate venues, presenting relevant information and live demonstrations related to the season, as well as other topics such as musical interpretation and the art of great performers (with The Opera Atelier and guest lecturer-performers).


Outreach performances will include free Miami-Dade Public Library programs, local schools including BridgePrep Public Charter School, as well as senior residences in communities such as Little Havana, Hialeah, and West Miami. Other community and mental health organizations, such as First JPA Behavior Management Clinic will be reached.


Key artistic personnel includes Artistic Director Jorge Arcila, Music Director Daniel Daroca, stage director and production director Xiomara Ponce, and virtual scenographer Jacqueline Solorzano.

Educational milestones: the seventh edition of The Opera Atelier’s signature programs Opera Adventures, and MOZ-Art Program. The latter will include the production of a children version of Frau Haydn in Trouble.TOA celebrates the achievements of our talented students now attending


Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and UM Frost School, while younger ones are

attending New World School of the Arts, Miami Arts, Zelda Glazer, and other local performing and magnet schools.


We take this opportunity to thank the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs, the Florida

Division of Arts and Culture, and the City of Coral Gables for their support of this season in which the artists, and the audience come together once more to inspire each other.


See you at the opera!


Daniel Daroca

Musical Director

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  • A Piano All Her Own
    A Piano All Her Own
    Sat, May 04
    Coral Gables Congregational
    May 04, 2024, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Coral Gables Congregational, 3010 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, USA
    May 04, 2024, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Coral Gables Congregational, 3010 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, USA
    Discover seldom performed gems of the classical piano repertory by women composers Francesca Caccini, Elisabetta da Gambarini, and Clara Wieck, among others.

The 23-24 performance season of The Opera Atelier will center around the belcanto style and comic operas. 

The major productions will be Frau Haydn in Trouble by D.E. Daroca;

the world premiere of the opera Voyage to Cuba, and Donizetti’s masterpiece Don

Pasquale, starring The Opera Atelier’s Jorge Arcila as Don Pasquale, Giselle Elgarresta as Norina and Carlos Jimeno as Dr. Malatesta.

Recitals, lecture-recitals, and salon

reenactments will complement the productions.

2023 Performance

  • Spain, My Love; Cuba, My Love

  • Frau Haydn in Trouble *opera premiere*

  • The Valkyrie of the Piano 

  • Words and Music: Women composers

  • Máquinas del Recuerdo

  • A piano All Her Own

  • Rendezvous with Malibran

  • A Room of One’s Own

  • Tribute to Ida Haendel

  • Noche en los Jardines de España

2022 Performance

  • Love Vistas: Opera and Song in the Gables

  • Gottschalk and Friends

  • Miami Transfer , Coral Gables.

  • Miami Transfer, Tenerife Spain

  • The Valkyrie of the Piano

  • Miami Transfer

  • The Valkyrie of the Piano

  • Recital Series

2021 Performance

Upcoming season 24-25

"Spain, My Love", the next season of The Opera Atelier, is a heartfelt homage to the exuberance of Spanish culture and the creativity of Spanish artists. Rooted in the rich traditions of Spain, this season aims to reconnect audiences with the essence of Spanish heritage, and to explore the relationship of Giacomo Rossini, Mercedes Jaruco, and the Garcia family of musicians, instrumental in development of belcanto. Some of the productions will be: "Spain, My Love": An opera, zarzuela, and ballet production that showcases the heritage of Spain, in collaboration with the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida;"The Embrace": A contemporary dance performance inspired by the evocative paintings of Edward Hopper. Featuring renowned Spanish artists Carmen Werner and Leyson Ponce, this collaboration with Provisional Dance, Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música, and the Spanish Ministry of Culture, offers a unique fusion of visual and performing arts."Frau Haydn in Trouble", an original opera buffa shedding light on lesser-known aspects of the life of renowned composer Franz Joseph Haydn and his wife, with libretto and music by Daniel Daroca, will be presented in a fuller version, while L’Isola Disabitata, an opera by Garcia will continue the homage to the great tenor and composer and will complete the season.

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