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Category: Plaza Live Theatre

Live Opera At The Plaza Live

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Opening Night Post-performance Q&A With Members Of The Cast

(October 5, 2016, Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, the first operetta in the Opera Series on October 13, 14, and 16. Bernstein’s zany operetta takes Candide on a comic adventure around the world. Performances will be at The Plaza Live Theater, 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando, Florida.

From the team that brought you last season’s hit production of The Magic Flute, join Maestro Eric Jacobsen and a stellar cast for Bernstein’s operetta, a fully-costumed production sung in English with supertitles. Voltaire’s biting satire of innocence and optimism with Leonard Bernstein’s witty, TONY-award winning score, Candide is the story a young man (Candide) who sets off with his friends to find the true meaning of life. Their exploits along the way, including separation, war, mistaken identity, kidnapping, murder, and a shipwreck, cause them all to question their philosophy that “all is for the best.” In the end, optimism remains, but good sense prevails.

“In this production, Voltaire’s best of all possible worlds becomes the greatest show on Earth, and a modern circus provides a new context in which to explore the humor in violence, the hope in tragedy, our fantasies and our fear” said Alison Moritz, Stage Director.

Music Director Eric Jacobsen and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Alison Moritz as Stage Director, John Heginbotham as Choreographer, featuring Miles Mykkanen as Candide, Evan Jones as Pangloss, Sharleen Joynt as Cuégonde, Alex Mansoori as Vanderdendur and Samantha Barnes Daniel as Paquette.

Single tickets are also available online at, by calling (407) 770-0071, or in person at the Box Office, located at The Plaza Live (425 N. Bumby Avenue, Orlando). The Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Ticket prices subject to change.)



Eric Jacobsen is hailed by The New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist and has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative projects. Following an international search, Eric Jacobsen was appointed Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2015-2016 Season.

Alison Moritz recent productions have been lauded as “about as gorgeous and accessible as any opera anywhere” (The Commercial Appeal), and her work has been praised for its “incredible economy of resources, lean production design, and eye for jest and banter” by The Orlando Examiner.

John Heginbotham is originally from Anchorage, Alaska, JOHN HEGINBOTHAM is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and teacher. He graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993 with a BFA in Dance, and was awarded the Martha Hill Prize for Sustained Achievement in Dance.

Miles Mykkanen has garnered recognition on the world’s concert and operatic stages for his “focused, full-voiced tenor” (The New York Times). Of his performances in Eugene Onegin at the Juilliard School, Opera News wrote, “Mykkanen was a knockout as Lensky. The lyric intensity of his singing made each moment count, and the duel- scene aria was a stretch of sheer vocal gold.

Evan Jones is originally from Buffalo, NY, baritone and has enjoyed a diverse performing career in opera, musical theater, concert, and recital. Mr. Jones currently serves on the voice faculty at Florida State University.

Sharleen Joynt “Coloratura soprano Sharleen Joynt has been praised for her “silvery, sparkling, substantial and resonant soprano” [Die Deutsche Bühne], her “scintillating high range, reminiscent of the most beautiful moments of Mady Mesplé” [Opernwelt], and “an artistic command that leaves the listener breathless” [Deutschland Radio].”



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Chris Barton, new Executive Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Chris Barton, new Executive Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

(June, 3, 2016, Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has named Christopher Barton as its new executive director. In his role, Barton will provide leadership and vision to meet the orchestra’s mission to foster and promote symphonic music through excellence in performance, education, and cultural leadership. “After a national search, we are thrilled to welcome Chris to the Orlando Philharmonic family,” shared Michael Elsberry, President of the Philharmonic Board of Directors. He added, “The entire Board is excited to work with Chris and we know his leadership, new ideas, and great energy will help drive the orchestra to great heights.”


Barton succeeds former Executive Director David Schillhammer, who recently stepped down after more than 15 years with the Philharmonic. He will lead the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in partnership with Music Director Eric Jacobsen, who has just completed his first season with the orchestra. “I’m so excited that the Orlando Philharmonic has such a strong leader, thinker, and bright star to help steer the ship into the future,” said Jacobsen. “Chris is a stand out in the field of arts management. He is business-minded and artistically driven. He is a perfect fit for our entrepreneurial and collaborative style and I can’t wait to get to work with him.”


Barton comes to Orlando from Flagstaff, Arizona where he has served as the executive director of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra since 2014. He previously worked for the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.


He received a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC and a Bachelor of Music Industry Studies from the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in his native state of North Carolina.


“I am thrilled to be joining the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as its next executive director and at this exciting time for the organization,” said Barton. “The Philharmonic has incredible momentum and creative potential right now. With Eric Jacobsen as music director, a permanent home at The Plaza Live, and the support of a dynamic and growing community, this orchestra can accomplish anything. I look forward to working with Eric and the musicians, board, staff, and volunteers to advance the artistic and financial success of the organization in the service of great music and the community of Central Florida.”

Chris, his wife Angela, and their two children will arrive in Orlando in late July.



Cristina Venturini

Cell: (239) 293-2589

Office: (407) 896-6700

Party at The Plaza 2015

June 22, 2015

The Plaza Live Theatre came alive last Saturday night with the sights and sounds of the Orlando Philharmonic’s 2nd annual Party at the Plaza. The event included eight live musical performances and eight food stations, and brought in more than 400 guests.

Entertainment for the night was headlined by the Orlando Transit Authority, performing the top hits of the iconic band Chicago, accompanied by members of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. The party continued off stage with music ranging from the salsa sounds of Latin Wave Band to the Hamrick jazz duo, with the talents of Duo Sole and many other artists performing for the crowd in the Plaza Live lobby.

During the event, the Plaza Live Theatre Lobby was transformed into a showcase for Orlando’s local charm. The party’s prize drawings featured local distilleries such as Winter Park Brewery. Tickets and passes to local theatres like the Enzian, Mad Cow, and Winter Park Playhouse were among the most coveted prizes, as were memberships to the Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of Art, and many more. Local donations accounted for roughly 86% of all prizes.

Throughout the evening, Orlando restaurants provided a spectrum of flavors for  partygoers’ palates. The spread included the city’s own Arthur’s Catering, Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Cuisiniers, Downtown Credo, Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, and Wondermade. Houlihan’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus were among national brands to donate toward the event.

Though renovations were well underway in much of the building, the Plaza Live Theatre was full of music, dancing, food and fun for guests at the second annual Party at The Plaza. With the administrative offices and rehearsal hall renovations expected to be complete by 2016, the third annual event is sure to be an even bigger production.

Sarah Overton, Orlando Philharmonic Development Intern

Update: Plaza Live Theatre Stage 1 Renovations

Jim Macon Construction is hard at work with the first stage of renovations to the orchestra’s new home at the The Plaza Live Theatre. Progress has been made in the rehearsal hall, leveling the floor and building an acoustic wall between the rehearsal area and the large adjacent theater. Prep work has started for the expansion the administrative offices & back-of-house facilities. The first stage of renovations are expected to be complete by end of summer 2015.


Orlando Philharmonic Begins Plaza Live Renovations

(Orlando, FL – January 28, 2015)

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This week, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it is beginning its first stage of renovations to The Plaza Live Theatre (425 N. Bumby Ave, Orlando), the building that will become the orchestra’s future home.

At a kick-off celebration Tuesday night, David Schillhammer announced the orchestra has already raised $3,492,546 toward renovations to the building. This is part of $8.25 million raised toward the Philharmonic’s “20/20 Vision” campaign — a 5-year, $20 million capital campaign announced in the orchestra’s 2012-2013, 20th anniversary season to raise $6 million for the endowment, $8 million for general operations and $6 million toward the Plaza Live renovations. In addition, $2,026,990 has been contributed in-kind to the renovation.

The first stage of renovations, a 6-month project estimated at $2.5 million, will transform the smaller of the building’s two existing theaters into an acoustically sound rehearsal hall and multi-use performance space. The orchestra is also expanding the building to include a new box office, administrative offices, dressing rooms and sheet music library. The Plaza Live will remain open for events throughout the renovations, and the Philharmonic plans to move its operations into The Plaza Live later this year.

Schillhammer says renovations to the building’s lobby, exterior and main theater will come next.

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Focus Series Attendance Doubles at The Plaza Live

The Philharmonic’s Focus Series has been an audience favorite for years, with each program in the series  focusing on chamber orchestra music of a particular composer, time period, genre or theme. Previously held at Orlando Shakespeare’s 324-seat Margeson Theater, the programs give patrons an intimate concert going experience, with many seats just feet away from the musicians. In past seasons, these concerts regularly sold out on subscription. This year, in order to share the music with even more patrons, the Philharmonic moved the Focus Series to the Plaza Live Theatre, with outstanding results. On December 15,  Music Director Finalist Eric Jacobsen conducted the second concert in the 2014-2015 series—featuring concertmaster Rimma Bergeron Langlois performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons—for a record-breaking audience of nearly 650, breaking all previous Focus Series attendance records. Single tickets sales totaled 382—more than could fit in the previous venue.

“We couldn’t be more pleased by the turnout,” said Executive Director David Schillhammer. “ The Plaza has allowed us to maintain the intimacy of these concerts, while doubling our capacity. We look forward to providing live music to even more people in the community as we begin renovations to The Plaza Live Theater this spring.”

The Orlando Philharmonic purchased The Plaza Live Theatre in August 2013. Renovations slated for the spring include administrative offices, a backstage extension, and renovations to the smaller of two theaters, which will become the orchestra’s primary rehearsal space. The Plaza Live will continue to present a variety of shows during and after the renovations.

Executive David Schillhammer on The Plaza Live project

Orlando Philharmonic Executive Director David Schillhammer introduces the orchestra’s plans for the Plaza Live in downtown Orlando, a building that will be renovated to become the Philharmonic’s new home, while continuing to operate as one of Central Florida’s favorite live music venues.

“Party at the Plaza” raises over $70K for Orlando Philharmonic & The Plaza Live

Over 400 guests attended the event on January 25, which featured 5 stages of music, 8 food vendors and a silent auction.

Photos from the event: Photos by Brion Price Photography

(February 5, 2014, Orlando, FL) – On Saturday, January 25, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and The Plaza Live hosted “Party at the Plaza,” a fundraiser at The Plaza Live Theatre (425 N. Bumby Ave, Orlando), featuring 5 stages of live music. Over 400 people were in attendance, and the event netted over $70,000, more than any of the orchestra’s past three galas. Money raised will help fund the orchestra’s general operations in 2013-2014, which includes continued operation of the Plaza Live Theatre. This was the first year the event was held.

David Schillhammer, the Philharmonic’s Executive Director, said the orchestra wanted to do something different than their typical “gala” this year.

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