Opera Warhorses

An appreciation and analysis of the 'Standard Repertory' of opera

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Coast to Coast Selections of Donizetti Operas – Mid-October 2013 to Mid-March 2014

October 17th, 2013

In previous posts in the Quests and Anticipations series, I have separated the operas of Donizetti from those of two composers often associated with him, Rossini and Bellini, arguing, mostly recently at Coast to Coast Selections of Donizetti and Early Verdi Opera Performances that he more logically should be considered with the early works of Verdi, a close friend and contemporary.

My series of Donizetti quests dates back over six years and includes my features entitled Donizetti and Early Verdi in the American West, January-June, 2012In Quest of Donizetti – A 2009-10 UpdateIn Quest of Donizetti – A Fall 2008 UpdateIn Quest of Donizetti – A 2008-09 Itinerary; and In Quest of Donizetti – A 2007-08 Itinerary.

As of this date, recommended productions have not yet opened or still have additional perfromances in their runs. This includes from In Quest of Rossini and Bellini – September 2013 to February 2014, performances of Bellini’s “Norma” at the New York Metropolitan Opera and of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” at the San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

This includes from Fall Bets for Verdi Year – Coast to Coast performances of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” at the Washington National Opera, “Falstaff” at the San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera and “Aida” at the Houston Grand Opera.

This includes from Fall Bets for Wagner Year – Coast to Coast performances of Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” at the San Francisco Opera and Arizona Opera and of “Parsifal” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

It is my plan to attend and review the majority of the highlighted performances. Time and travel considerations will prevent me from attending all of them, but I recommend that opera goers with the opportunity to see any of the performances on thiese lists, do so.



Daughter of the Regiment – La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti), Seattle Opera, October 19, 20(m), 23, 26, 30, November 1 and 2, 2013.

Sarah Coburn [Rising Stars: An Interview with Sarah Coburn] stars as Marie, who has grown up with the 21st Regiment and Lawrence Brownlee [Rossini Royalty – An Interview with Lawrence Brownlee] as her lover Tonio, who joins the  unit to be sure to be near her.

This resurgence Donizetti’s French comic opera in wolrd opera’s houses was the result of the popularization by Luciano Pavarotti of the role of Tonio and particularly the High C-studded succession of arias called O, mes amis. But every part of the opera is melodious and funny.

[Below: Tonio (Lawrence Brownlee, right) expresses his love for Marie (Sarah Coburn, left); edited image, based on an Elize Bakketun photograph, courtesy of the Seattle Opera.]

Brownlee-Coburn Fille

Joining Coburn and Brownlee (and an Andrew Stenson as an alternate Tonio)  are Alexander Hajek as Sergeant Sulpice, Joyce Castle as the Marquise, and Peter Kazaras as the Duchesse. Karl Marx Reyes is the Hortensius.

For my reviews of Emilio Sagi’s appealing production elsewhere, see: Vargicova, Costello, Podles and Burdette Romp in Hilarious, Beautifully Sung “Fille du Regiment” – San Diego Opera, January 26, 2013 and Claycomb, Podles, Banks Shine in Houston “Fille du Regiment” – November 3, 2007.


The Elixir of Love – L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti), New York Metropolitan Opera, January 9, 13, 17i, 21, 25(m), 29 and February 1, 2014.

The Met revives the Bartlett Sher production of Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love” for Anna Netrebko as Adina and Ramon Vargas as Nemorino. The sets are by Michael Yeargan, the costumes by Catherine Zuber.

[Below: Nemorino (Matthew Polenzani, right) expresses his love to Adina (Anna Netrebko, left); resized image for the Metropolitan Opera.]


Nicola Alaimo is Belcore, Erwin Schrott is Dr Dulcamara. Maurizio Benini conducts.

[For a review of a performance with Ramon Vargas as Nemorino, see: Vargas Shines Bright in Stellar S. F. “L’Elisir d’Amore” – November 9, 2008.]


The Elixir of Love – L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti), San Diego Opera, February 15, 18, 21 and 23(m)

The Stephen Lawless production created for the Los Angeles Opera and the opera company of Geneva, Switzerland will be seen at the San Diego Opera, starring lyric tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino and Tatiana Lisnic as Adina. Malcolm Mackenzie is Belcore; John Del Carlo is Doctor Dulcamara. Karen Kamensek conducts.

[Below: Giuseppe Filianoti as Nemorino; edited image of a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Diego Opera.]


[For my perfromance review, see: Giuseppe Filianoti Leads Strong Cast for “The Elixir of Love” – San Diego Opera, February 15, 2014.]


Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Los Angeles Opera, March 15, 20, 23(m), 26, 29, and April 6(m), 2014.

Elkanah Pulitzer will make her Los Angeles Opera mainstage debut with a new production of “Lucia di Lammermoor” in Albina Shagimuratova is Lucia and Saimir Pirgu [Rising Stars: An Interview with Saimir Pirgu] is her lover, Edgardo.

Stephen Powell (Enrico) and James Creswell (Normanno) are the other principals. James Conlon will conduct.

[Below: Albina Shagimuratova; edited image of a copyrighted Robert Millard photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]

'Lucia'_OT#1 _ March 9, 2014

The new production will make use of the projection equipment purchased for the Los Angeles Opera’s Achim Freyer production of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelungs”, with projections designed by Wendell K. Harrington.

The scenic design is by Carolina Angulo, the costumes created by Christine Cook.

[For my performance review, see: A Passion-filled “Lucia” from Albina Shagimuratova and Saimir Pirgu – Los Angeles Opera, March 15, 2014.]


Tags: Quests and Anticipations