Love, lust, passion, drama! This Valentine’s Day weekend, experience the compelling emotional pathos, the soul-stirring music, and high-end, luxurious scene of Maryland Opera’s “Passion at the Pendry: French Fantasies,” performed on Friday, February 14th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 3 pm in the Sagamore, Pendry Baltimore hotel’s gorgeous and historic ballroom.

The program celebrates the romance of French grand opera and includes fully-staged and costumed scenes from Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Massenet’s Manon, and many more. These compelling scenes are sung in their original French with projected surtitles.

“Passion at the Pendry: French Fantasies” is directed by James (“Jim”) Harp, Maryland Opera’s artistic director. Mr. Harp has been perhaps the most influential producer and promoter of opera in the greater-Baltimore region during his career that spans nearly four decades. His experience includes leadership roles with Baltimore Opera Company, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Lyric Opera Baltimore. As well, he is the former music director and current accompanist for the Baltimore Men’s Chorus.

“I’m particularly excited about this program because the music is just gorgeous, and we have such a talented and dedicated cast who brings these phenomenal scenes to life,” says Harp. “If you’re already an opera devotee, this program promises all of the drama plus the soaring, lyrical melodies that you’ve come to love about this high art form. If you’re curious about opera but not sure if you’ll enjoy it, this program provides the perfect opportunity to give it a try. These scenes are the very best highlights of French grand opera.”

This elegant gathering promises to be one of Baltimore’s most sophisticated cultural events of the social season. The Pendry – Fell’s Point’s premier luxury hotel – has quite literally rolled out the red carpet to welcome Maryland Opera’s patrons. (Have you seen the Pendry’s Hollywood royalty-worthy red-carpeted grand staircase leading to the ballroom? You’re guaranteed to have a better selfie than any of your Instagram followers!) The Pendry also encourages you to amp up your romance by making a night or weekend of this event. Visit its award-winning Rec Pier Chop House for an Italian feast prix-fixe dinner or take advantage of the open wine and beer bar for an affordable additional fee. Or treat yourself to a getaway in a suite that overlooks Baltimore’s Harbor. Tickets are $50 and available at MarylandOpera.org/performances.

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