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Michigan Opera Theatre and Macomb Center for the Performing Arts preview ground-breaking partnership -- 2015 co-production of opera, Frida

– Tuesday, August 26, 2014 12:00PM

Michigan Opera Theatre announced that DTE Energy Foundation is the title sponsor for its March 2015 co-production with the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts of the opera Frida. The Foundation’s support is enabling MOT’s first main stage opera production outside the Detroit Opera House, bringing  world-class opera experiences directly to audiences in Macomb and Oakland counties for the first time. 

“With this presenting sponsorship, the DTE Energy Foundation is able to provide a great opportunity to share Frida’s story through the beautiful storytelling art of opera,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, vice president of Public Affairs for DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Through these performances, communities of young and old - from wealthy communities to challenging ones - will hear about the life of this great Latina artist, her struggles, and her triumphs through her art.”

This co-production marks the beginning of an annual collaboration between MOT and Macomb Center, which is a community enrichment program of Macomb Community College.  The opera will open with performances on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Macomb Center.  First State Bank, headquartered in St. Clair Shores, is sponsoring a pre-opening Gala before the Saturday performance and After Glows following both performances at the Macomb Center. 

“Macomb Community College’s new partnership with MOT is a unique opportunity to amplify the impact of one of our region’s cultural treasures,” said Dr. James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College.  “Collaboration is a key facet of Macomb’s philosophy in realizing our mission of education, enrichment and economic development, and we value the chance to provide this special cultural experience to our community members.” 

Subsequent performances of Frida are scheduled for the Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield March 21-22, 2015, made possible by the generosity of the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, and the Detroit Institute of Art’s Detroit Film Theatre, March 28, 2015. This series of performances is also supported by a grant from Karen and Rick Williams.  

“Community engagement is a principal theme for Michigan Opera Theatre. Through the opera, Frida, three new partnerships reflect a new era for artistic collaboration in Southeastern Michigan,” said Wayne S. Brown, MOT’s president and CEO.  

The opera is one of a series of regional events scheduled to complement the DIA’s special exhibition, “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit,” March 12 – July 12, 2015.  Macomb College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center, which is adjacent to the Macomb Center and provides multi-faceted programs to explore the influences and experiences that shape our community’s heritage through presentations, activities and exhibits, will also be featuring Rivera and Kahlo in its program series February 28 – May 9, 2015, “101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan.”  

At a special preview held today, Columbian soprano Catalina Cuervo, who will sing the title role of Frida Kahlo in all performances, sang an excerpt from the opera.  It was announced that Mexican-born bass-baritone Ricardo Herrera, who was present at the preview, will sing the role of Diego in all performances.   Representatives of the community partners involved in the collaboration also shared perspective on the project.  In addition to Nelson, Jacobs and Brown, speakers included Juan Manuel Solana Morales, Detroit’s Consul of Mexico; Dr. David DiChiera, founder and artistic director of MOT; Annmarie Erickson, chief operating officer, DIA; and Christine Guarino, director of cultural affairs and community engagement, Macomb Community College.  


About the Opera

Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida focuses completely on the tumultuous life of its title character Frida Kahlo. At the age of 18, Kahlo was on a bus that collided with a trolley car, causing her injuries that would lead to a lifetime of medical procedures and pain, and would inspire her to create some of the most compelling paintings of the 21st century. Kahlo’s marriage to famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, the artist who created Detroit Industry for the DIA, was a source of both inspiration and heartache. The opera celebrates Kahlo’s vivacious spirit, talent, sexuality, and fragility in scenes filled with wide-ranging music as complex and colorful as Kahlo’s artwork.

Tickets to all performances are available for purchase at the Michigan Opera Theatre box office by phone at (313) 237-SING, or online at Tickets to the performances at the Macomb Center are available by calling (586) 286-2222 or at  

About Michigan Opera Theatre 

Michigan Opera Theatre ( is one of the nation’s most vibrant regional opera companies. The company’s mission is to serve as a major cultural resource to the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. MOT is committed to presenting opera and dance of the highest artistic caliber, and making MOT works accessible to all segments of the population.  

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 annually.  The college’s mission encompasses education, enrichment and economic development.  The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts ( is a community enrichment program of the college dedicated to providing a diverse range of cultural experiences, and to inspire and encourage artistic expression through education, performance and volunteer opportunities.

Media Contacts: Jillian Zylinski, Michigan Opera Theatre, 313.237.3403, jzylinski@motopera; James Melton, Macomb Community College, 586.445.7271,