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Townsend Opera rolls into 2015 with Streetcar
Baritone Dan Kempson rehearses for his performance as Stanley Kowalski in Townsend Operas A Streetcar Named Desire. - photo by Photo Contributed

The operatic version of Tennessee Williams’ classic play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” will open the Townsend Opera’s 2015 season, with a renowned director at the helm.

Brad Dalton will direct the company’s January 2015 production of André Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Dalton most recently directed the same production at Los Angeles Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Carnegie Hall.

“I am proud to welcome Brad to our community to direct the company premiere of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” said Matthew Buckman, the general and artistic director of Townsend Opera. “He is widely recognized in the industry as the preeminent director of Streetcar, and has built his career around his work with this opera.  He will be a wonderful resource for our company, and our community will be treated to a wonderful experience with this work that only Brad can provide.  We are truly fortunate to have an artist like Brad working in our community.”

Previn’s version infuses a jazz score to Williams’ Pulitzer Prize winning play, which tells the story of the cultural clash between Blanche DuBois, a Southern Belle with a past she is desperate to hide away and forget, and that of her brutish brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. The play was made into a movie featuring Marlon Brando and his iconic bellow of “Stella.”

Taking on the iconic roles of Blanche and Stanley are Carrie Hennessey and Dan Kempson. Hennessey, a soprano, earned a nomination in 2010 for Best Leading Actress in a Musical from the Bay Area Broadway World Awards. Kempson, a baritone, is a 2015 Grammy Award nominee for the title role in “L’orestie d’Eschyle.”

The opera is sung in English.

The show will debut at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Gallo Center for the Arts, with an additional performance set for 2 p.m. Jan. 25. Tickets range from $10 to $68. Tickets may be purchased online at Gallo, by calling 338-2100, or at the Gallo Center ticket office, 1000 I Street in downtown Modesto.