Kristin Chenoweth Goes Back To Her Opera Roots

NEW YORK (October 20, 2006) --Kristin Chenoweth is going back to her roots as an opera singer.

The Tony winner will give a solo concert at the Metropolitan Opera on Jan. 19 and make her formal Met debut as Samira in John Corigliano’s “The Ghosts of Versailles” in March 2010.

“I kind of trained that way and now I actually get to do it,” she said Thursday. “I’m just happy to get back to how I was.”

Chenoweth, 38, won a “most talented up-and-coming singer” award and a scholarship in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions as a lyric coloratura but turned down the scholarship for her first off-Broadway role.

She won a Tony in 1999 for her portrayal of Sally in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”’ and was nominated for a Tony two years ago for Glinda in “Wicked.”

Chenoweth returns to Broadway as Eve in “The Apple Tree,” scheduled to open Dec. 14.

Her concert will include both opera arias and her familiar Broadway repertoire, and she’ll be backed by dancers and a 12-piece orchestra.

The role of Samira was originated by Marilyn Horne in December 1991. Angela Gheorghiu is scheduled to perform Marie Antoinette, originally sung by Teresa Stratas.

“Although Kristin is a Broadway star, she was first trained as an opera singer,” Met general manager Peter Gelb said. “John Corigliano was so taken with the idea of casting Kristin as Samira in `Ghosts’ that he is rewriting the role to fit Kristin’s beautiful lyric soprano voice.”

Chenowethwas on “The West Wing.” Now, she’s featured in the new movie, “Running with Scissors,” in a surprising role opposite Annette Bening.

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