Opera Warhorses

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

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In Quest of “Figaro” Operas – February 2015 through February 2016

February 11th, 2015

The Los Angeles Opera’s current Figaro festival celebrates the most famous opera based on each of French dramatist Beaumarchais’ trilogy of revolutionary plays – Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”, Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and John Corigliano’s “Ghosts of Versailles” (the latter that incorporates the plot of the final drama in the trilogy, “The Guilty Mother”).

Although I am not scheduled to see another performance of “Ghosts” in the next year, I do plan to see two different productions of “Barber” and two additional productions of “Marriage of Figaro”, each listed below.


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

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.]

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at the San Diego Opera and Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Los Angeles Opera [See In Quest of the “Da Ponte” Mozart Operas – October 2014-March 2015.]

Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of Popular Verdi Operas – October 2014 to Summer 2015.]

Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” at the Washington National Opera, Handel’s “Semele” at the Seattle Opera, Berlioz’ “TheTrojans (Les Troyens) at the San Francisco Opera, and Vivaldi’s “Cato in Utica” at the Glimmerglass Festival [See In Quest of Less Well-Known Operas – February to August, 2015.]


The Barber of Seville – Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini); Los Angeles Opera, February 28, March 8(m), 11, 14, 19 and 22(m), 2015.

The Los Angeles Opera as part of its “Figaro Trilogy” is reviving its attractive Emilio Sagi production of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”, originally designed fror the Teatro Real in Madrid and last seen in Los Angeles in 2009.

[Below: Count Almaviva (Rene Barbera, right) conspires with Figaro (Rodion Pogossov, left): edited image based on a Craig T. Mathew photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]


The Figaro is Rodion Pogossov. Rene Barbera is the Almaviva, Alessandro Corbelli the Don Bartolo and Kristinn Sigmundsson, in a foray into the comic repertory, is the Don Basilio. The performances are the occasion for the Los Angeles debut of mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong.

[For my reviews of the double-cast performances of 2009 see: Florez and DiDonato Dominate Los Angeles Opera’s “Barbiere di Siviglia” – December 6, 2009 and Korchak, Coburn and Meachem Illuminate Alternate “Barber of Seville” Cast – Los Angeles Opera, December 5, 2009.]

[For my interview with Elizabeth DeShong, see: Rising Stars – An Interview with Elizabeth DeShong.]

[For my performance review, see: Review: Rossini Royalty Present Brilliant “Barber of Seville” – Los Angeles Opera, February 28, 2015.]


The Marriage of Figaro – Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart); San Francisco Opera, June 14(m), 18, 21(m), 24, 27, 29, July 3 and 5(m), 2015.

Houston Grand Opera Music Director and San Francisco Opera Principal Guest Conductor Patrick Summers conducts a cast led by Philippe Sly as Figaro, Luca Pisaroni and Nadine Sierra as the Count and Countess Almaviva and Lisette Oropesa as Susanna. Kate Lindsey is Cherubino for the first four performances, Angela Brower the last three. John Del Carlo, Catherine Cook and Greg Fedderly perform the three comprimario comic roles.

[Below: Nadine Sierra is the Countess in the June 2015 performances of “Le Nozze di Figaro”; resized image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francsico Opera.]


 Robin Guarino directs this revival of the familiar production.

[For my reviews of previous San Francisco Opera mountings of this production, see: Copley Directs, Luisotti Conducts, Sparkling “Nozze” Ensemble – San Francisco Opera, October 3, 2010 and  S. F. “Nozze di Figaro” – July 2, 2006.] 

[For my interview with Philippe Sly, see: Rising Stars: An Interview with Philippe Sly.]

[For my performance review, see: Review: San Francisco Opera’s Youthful Cast Excels in “Marriage of Figaro” – June 14, 2015.]


The Barber of Seville – Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini); San Francisco Opera, November 25, 29(m), December 1, 5 and 9, 2015.

Lucas Meachem is Figaro, Daniela Mack is Rosina and Rene Barbera Almaviva in this revival of the new 2013 Emilio Sagi production of “Barber”. They are joined by Alessandro Corbelli, Andrea Silvestrelli and Catherine Cook.

[Below: Lucas Meachem is Figaro in the Emilio Sagi production of “The Barber of Seville” for the San Francisco Opera; edited image of a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]


The sets are by Spanish designer Llorenc Corbella.  Gisuppe Finzi conducts.

[For my previous reviews of the production (several of whose stars participate in this revival), see: Lucas Meachem, Javier Camarena and Isabel Leonard Romp in Sagi’s Sprightly New “Barber of Seville” – San Francisco Opera, November 13, 2013 and Daniela Mack, Alek Shrader, Auden Iversen and Maurizio Muraro Sparkle in San Francisco Opera “Barber of Seville” – November 14, 2013.]

[For a recent relevant conversation, see: “Hey, Figaro!”: A Conversation with Baritone Lucas Meachem.]

[For my performance review, see: Lucas Meachem, René Barbera, Daniela Mack in a Beguiling “Barber of Seville” – San Francisco Opera, November 29, 2015.]


The Marriage of Figaro – Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart); Houston Grand Opera, January 22, 24(m), 30, February 3, 5 and 7(m), 2016.

Adam Plachetka is Figaro, Joshua Hopkins and Ailyn Perez are the Count and Countess Almaviva, Heidi Stober is Susanna and Lauren Snouffer Cherubino in a revival of Michael Grandage’s esteemed production, with sets and costumes by Christopher Orem.

[Below: Ailyn Perez as the Countess Almaviva; edited image, based on a Lynn Lane photograph, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.]


Harry Bicket conducts and Ian Rutherford directs the revival.

[For the performance review, see: Review: Boogie Nights at Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” – Houston Grand Opera, January 30, 2016.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations