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The Soprano: Opera Singer Julia Migenes to perform at Juniata

(Posted March 13, 2006)

Julia Migenes

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Julia Migenes, whose singing career has taken her from opera stages to the Broadway stage and to film soundstages, will perform her one-woman show "Diva on the Verge" at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m.. Thursday, March 23 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Artist Series, please call (814) 641-3605. General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

"It's a very unstuffy way of introducing the world of opera to an audience," says Migenes of her acclaimed show. "By the end of the evening there have been enough laughs that the audience feels ready to go to the opera."

Migenes is most celebrated for her varied opera performances on stage and on film. Outside the world of opera, she is perhaps best known for playing the title role in the filmed version of "Carmen," the Bizet opera directed by Francesco Rosi and co-starring Placido Domingo.

She started her performing career as a child soloist with Leonard Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts." From that promising start, she turned to musical theatre by capturing a part in the original stage production of "Fiddler on the Roof," where she performed with Zero Mostel and Bette Midler. She also played Maria in a theatre revival of "West Side Story."

She always gravitated to opera, perhaps as a result of being cast as a young child in a production of "Madame Butterfly." After her Broadway experience, Migenes decided to pursue opera full-time and received a contract with the New York Metropolitan Opera. She went on stage as a substitute in the opera "Wozzek," and received cheers and multiple encores from the audience. Her performance was noticed by international director Maurice Bejart, who cast the young singer in his Geneva production of "Salome."

During her run as Salome, director Rosi cast her as Carmen. The subsequent film received good reviews and Migenes received a Grammy Award for the film soundtrack. She also has acted in such films as "Mack the Knife," "Berlin Blues," "La Voix Humaine" and "Les Freres Krays."

Her recording career also is extensive and her most recent albums include "Lulu," (1998) " Man of La Mancha" (1996), "Smile" (1995) and "Vienna," a 1993 album that qualified as a gold record.

Migenes has been touring and performing with her show "Diva on the Verge" since 1998. The show mixes opera, with Migenes' natural wit and humor. She has toured this show through France and Spain. She has made numerous guest appearances on talk shows including "The Tonight Show" and "60 Minutes."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.