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Carol Castel returns to the Delaware Valley Opera

April 14, 2011

NARROWSBURG, NY — It’s been around for 25 years, and will celebrate the event with a new direction and a new director who is a former director.

The Delaware Valley Opera Company will welcome back Carol Castel as artistic director, bringing with her a raft of new ideas that will inject the old company with new life.

Kicking off this renewal, Castel has prepared three concerts this spring that will celebrate the people of the Delaware River valley who all came here from somewhere else.

“We’ll have two evenings of Spanish music and singing, two others of German songs and one evening of Russian songs,” Castel said. “We’re calling the events ‘Voices of the Valley’ with three cultures of the people who settled here.”

In the evening of the Spanish songs, Nico Castel, a long-time tenor and diction coach at the New York Metropolitan Opera and the husband of the director, will sing songs from Spain, Latin America and South America.

“What’s new about these efforts will be our plans to reach out to the various communities of the valley,” Castel said. “Up to now, DVO has performed mainly in Narrowsburg and not ventured out much further. We’ll be performing in various locations like Bethel Woods and venues in Pennsylvania.”

Another of the company’s plans is to perform in some of the local high schools that have excellent, high-quality performance facilities.

“We are going to initiate annual events for young singers and have some of these youths perform in our operas or concerts that we will be producing,” she said.

The company is also reviving the DVO Chorus, a grouping of singers distinct from the company that will hold its own concerts.

At the end of the season, the DVO will host a gala celebration in August, using many of the popular DVO performers from the past.

The company plans to perform the opera “Hansel and Gretel” at Bethel Woods at the beginning of the Harvest Festival at the music center.

Castel announced the two full-length operas that the company will mount during the summer. These are the operas “Eugene Onegin” by Peter Tchaikovsky and “The Elixir of Love” by Donizetti.

See the sidebar for the dates, times and places of the “Voices of the Valley” concerts.