News & Insights

Kerr Russell supports, attorneys and guests attend Opera MODO's La Cenerentola (Cinderella), May 24-27

May 24, 2018

The arts are such an important part of what makes a community, and, in the Motor City, we have a long and impressive history of innovative and entrepreneurial creators who carve their own unique artistic paths. One of the most recent additions to Detroit's performance community is Opera MODO (founded in 2011).

Kerr Russell sponsored their most recent production, a modern adaptation of Rossini's La Cenerentola (Cinderella). As part of our sponsorship, Kerr Russell was invited to attend the production's final dress rehearsal - images above. Joanne Geha Swanson, Stephen Reaume, Ashley Racette, and Roy Sexton attended from the firm. Guests of the firm also included representatives for St. Joseph Mercy Health System, TiVo, Four Star Greenhouse, General Motors, and Leadership Detroit.

Sexton reviewed the production on his blog and for Encore Michigan - excerpt: "As you can imagine, the costuming is smart, yet economical. Not a prop nor a sight gag are wasted, and, every moment adds up to crystalline narrative coherence. I’m not an opera person (I’m sure the MODO folks are tired of hearing that), which is what makes what they do SO brilliant, creating accessible yet sophisticated entree to one of the most beautiful art forms."

Collaborating with local performers and businesses in Detroit, Opera MODO offers an intimate experience to engage audiences through storytelling, musical integrity and innovative process. They support the future of opera by giving young, non-managed, professional singers an opportunity to gain experience. They present opera in an intimate setting allowing the audience to engage with the performers. They specialize in setting standard repertoire in new and imaginative settings, bringing new life to our favorite stories. Their team strives to balance inspiration from the composer through collaborative storytelling to enhance the experience for the audience and performers. 

La Cenerentola (Cinderella), is being performed May 24-27, at The Fortress of Fun, Detroit, MI. Kerr Russell is proud to be a sponsor. La Cenerentola promises be a one-of-a-kind, immersive event. Retelling this classic fairy tale as a modern reflection on the relationship between art and artifice is designer/director Moníka Essen, who will create new works of art for the set, props and costumes for this production. To give the story a truly modern voice, they will present this Italian opera using a hilarious new English translation, created especially for this unique production. In addition, Opera MODO’s free smartphone app will provide cast and crew biographies, a synopsis, and live scene updates to audience members. Local singers, musicians, cast and crew will collaborate to tell this timeless story, complete with chamber orchestra, a chorus of cater-waiters serving custom-made cocktails, and one fierce gender-bending fairy godmother.

May 24-26, 7:30 pm; May 27, 2 pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

We are also proud to report that Christina Swanson, daughter of Kerr Russell member Joanne Swanson, is a key player in MODO's leadership team and a frequent performer with the group. It is a great thrill for us to see Kerr Russell's legacy of commitment to Detroit continue with the next generation. Christina is a Detroit based soprano and a passionate advocate for innovation in arts and culture. She is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance, where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with a Minor in French and Francophone Studies. In addition to performing, she specialized in translating 17th century French opera, completing the first full English translation of Lully's Proserpine. Christina is an avid performer throughout the Detroit area, in addition to maintaining private voice studios in Detroit, Royal Oak, and Grosse Pointe. She has been seen on a variety of Detroit stages, including Spread Art, The Ghost Bar, and The Detroit New Works Festival. She is so thrilled to be part of a pioneering organization such as Opera MODO, breathing life into opera as well as our city.

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