Piedmont Opera opened its 38th season with Rigoletto, starring UNCSA graduate Tenor René Barbera. Barbera has swiftly established himself as one of today’s most exciting young artists. Rene makes his long anticipated New York and Metropolitan Opera stage debut, under the baton of Maestro James Levine in October, 2016. The Winston-Salem Journal raved, “Under the deft musical direction of Piedmont Opera’s General Director James Allbritten, the musicians and singers gave performances that ranged from beautifully balanced to thrillingly passionate. Nothing less.” Voix des Arts said, “In filling the ranks of supporting characters, Piedmont Opera’s production tapped North Carolina’s bounteous lodes of native and adopted vocal talent. Fellows of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts made especially strong showings.” Opera Lively concluded. “This was easily the best singing I’ve ever heard on the Piedmont Opera stage (not a small accomplishment since the company is consistently good in their casting).