Opera Warhorses

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

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Anticipated Operatic “Double Bills” in Santa Fe and Los Angeles – July-November, 2014

June 24th, 2014

This feature highlights selected performances of operas at the 2014 Santa Fe Opera Summer Festival and in Los Angeles that I am scheduled to review.

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from July, 2014 through February, 2015.

These are Bizet’s “Carmen” in Santa Fe and Verdi’s “La Traviata” in Los Angeles [See Popular Opera Offerings in Southwestern Vacation Destinations – March-September, 2014]; 

Beethoven’s “Fidelio” in Santa Fe and Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York [See Selected French and German Opera Offerings Coast to Coast April-August, 2014];

Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” in Santa Fe and Bellini’s “Norma” and Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” in San Francisco [See “Bel Canto” Italian Works in Toronto and the American Southwest – April-October, 2014];

Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” and Picker’s “An American Tragedy” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York, Floyd’s “Susannah” at the San Francisco Opera, and Corigliani’s “The Ghosts of  Versailles” at the Los Angeles Opera [See In Quest of Opera Company Performances of American Works – July 2014 to February 2015.].

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York, Puccini’s “Tosca” and “La Boheme” at the San Francisco Opera and Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the San Diego Opera [See A Selection of Popular Puccini Opera Performances – July 2014-January 2015.]

 

The Impresario (Mozart), Santa Fe Opera, July 19, 23, August 1, 7 and 15, 2014.

British Director Michael Gieleta has created a double bill in which Mozart’s “Die Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario)” is utilized as a comic account of the preparations for a one-act Stravinsky opera that follows.

[Below: The Impresario (Anthony Michaels-Moore, center) is surrounded by Vlada (Brenda Rae, left) and Adellina (Erin Morley, right; edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.][

IMPRESARIO RAE MICHAELS-MOORE MORLEY

Dating from 1786, the same year as Mozart wrote “The Marriage of Figaro” its overture and brilliant arias clearly presage Mozart’s enduring hit. British dramatist Ranjit Bolt, OBE, has translated the late 18th century German libretto into topical 21st century English.

British baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore is the Impresario, whose character is assisted by Kevin Burdette [see Buff Buffo: An Interview with Kevin Burdette] as Herr von der Puff. Appearing as the rival prima donnas are Erin Morley (Adelina) and Brenda Rae (Mme Vladimirescu).

Also in the cast is Bruce Sledge (Mon Vladirmiresc), Meredith Arwady (Frau Krone) and Bradley Smosk (Herr Eiler). The scenic design is by James Macnamara, the costumes are by Fabio Toblini and the projection design is by Andrzej Goulding. Sean Curran is choreographer. Kenneth Montgomery conducts.

[For my performance review, see:  Review: A Hilarious “Impresario” Creates a “Rossignol” Land of Enchantment – Santa Fe Opera, August 1, 2014.]

 

Le Rossignol (Stravinsky), Santa Fe Opera, July 19, 23, August 1, 7 and 15, 2014.

The opera that Anthony Michaels-Moore’s Impresario is mounting is Stravinsky’s 1908 highly symbolic opera “Le Rossignol (The Nightingale)”. Unperformed until 1914, when the true life Impresario Diaghilev produced it in conjunction with the world premiere of Stravinsky’s great ballet “Le Sacre du Printemps”.

[Below: Te Emeror of China (Anthony Michaels-Moore, center, standing) listens to the Nightingale (Erin Morley, right, above the Emperor’s soldier); edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa  Fe Opera.]

ROSSINGOL EMPEROR

Each of the cast members of “The Impresario” returns in Rossignol roles: Erin Morley, the Nightingale; Brenda Rae, the Cook; Anthony Michaels-Moore, the Emperor; Kevin Burdette, the Chamberlain; Bruce Sledge, the Fisherman; Bradley Smoak, Bonze.

As in “The Impresario”, the scenic design is by James Macnamara, the costumes are by Fabio Toblini and the projection design is by Andrzej Goulding. Sean Curran is choreographer. Kenneth Montgomery conducts.

[For my performance review, see:  Review: A Hilarious “Impresario” Creates a “Rossignol” Land of Enchantment – Santa Fe Opera, August 1, 2014.]

 

Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Los Angeles Opera, October 25, November 2, 6, 9, 12 and 15, 2014. 

The Los Angeles Opera imports the Frankfurt Opera production of Purcell’s 17th century opera that recounts the classical story of the Trojans’ escape to Carthage after the Fall of Troy.

The production is  by Australian-born director Barrie Kosky, the creative force behind last season’s “Magic Flute” in Los Angeles [Outrageously Inventive, Unceasingly Entertaining – Kosky/Andrade /Barritt’s Silent Movie “Magic Flute” Wows L. A. – Los Angeles Opera, November 23, 2013].

Irish mezzo-soprano and baroque specialist Paula Murrihy, who performed the role at the production’s Frankfurt Opera premiere,  is Dido.

The Aeneas is American baritone Liam Bonner, who recently sang the title role in a later British operatic masterpiece [See Superbly Cast and Conducted, the Los Angeles Opera’s “Billy Budd” is a Theatrical Triumph – February 22, 2014.]

The other cast members are Ukrainian soprano Kateryna Kasper, American counter-tenor John Holiday as the Sorceress, Virginia counter-tenor G. Thomas Allen as the First Witch, Michigan tenor Darryl Taylor is the Second Witch, Missouri tenor Brenton Ryan is the Sailor and Spirit.

[Below: Dido (Paula Murrihy, left) consorts with Aeneas (Liam Bonner, right); resized image, based on a Craig Mathews photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]

DIDO BONNER MURRIHY (400)

Between the double bill’s premiere in Frankfurt and its scheduled appearance in Los Angeles, it was part of the Edinburgh Festival.

The opera, about the doomed relationship between the Carthagenian Queen and the Trojan warrior, is by Henry Purcell,  the most revered of composers of British operas in the 150 years before the advent of Benjamin Britten.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Barrie Kosky’s Spirited “Dido and Aeneas” Arrives at Los Angeles Opera – October 25, 2014.]

 

Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartok), Los Angeles Opera, October 25, November 2, 6, 9, 12 and 15, 2014. 

British bass-baritone Robert Hayward is Bluebeard and German mezzo-soprano Claudia Mahnke is Judith in a production of Bela Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” in the Barrie Kosky production first seen at the Frankfurt Opera.

[Below: The five principals of “Bluebeard’s Castle” join gads, resized image of a Craig Mathews photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]

BLUEBEARD 5 IN GEYSER RING (425)

Bartok’s opera, based on Perrault’s 17th century fairy tale, will be presented in its original Hungarian. Like “Dido and Aeneas” it is about a doomed relationship, but the Bluebeard libretto is enriched by the impact of psychiatry and symbolism on the arts of pre-World War I Europe.

Steven Sloane is Conductor. Katrin Lea Tag is the Scenery and Costume Designer.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Béla Bartók’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” at Los Angeles Opera – October 25, 2014.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations