Astoria Performing Arts and Portland Summerfest join forces to bring to Astoria a performance of Donizetti's opera, "L'elisir d'amore," at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Liberty Theater.

The production is the creation of Artistic Director Ruth Dobson, returning to Astoria for her third consecutive summer. This performance features lyric tenor Mark Panuccio. Panuccio's previous performance of arias from "La Traviata" at the Liberty Theater revealed his talent for stirring performances, which he has continued in a national career.

Also returning are coloratura soprano Natalie Gunn and baritone Stacey Murdock. Gunn was a member of the cast of "Too Many Sopranos," performed in July. Murdock has recently returned from New York and will make his regular season debut with the Portland Opera in 2006 as Junius in "The Rape of Lucretia."

Completing the cast are Carolyn Coefield and David Babinet. Coefield has sung the roles of Countess in "Figaro" and Pamina in "Zauberflate," and was a soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mozart's Requiem. Baritone Babinet is rapidly becoming a sought-after baritone across the United States, known for his polished singing and charismatic presence. Also look for a special appearance by local members of the Astoria Marching Band.

"L'elisir" is one of four Donizetti operas found in standard repertory today, and is considered one of the best examples of Italian opera comica and features one of the most famous tenor arias of all time.

Ticket prices for Saturday's performance range from $12.50 to $25 and can be purchased in advance by calling Tickets West at (800) 992-8499 or on the Internet at Remaining tickets will be sold at the Liberty Theater prior to the performance, beginning at 5 p.m.


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