Opera Warhorses

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

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In Quest of Donizetti and Early Verdi – March 2015 through August 2015.

February 20th, 2015

As noted in other postings in this “Quests and Anticipations” series, I prefer to segment the operas of the most famous early and mid-19th century Italian composers in a non-traditional way: (1) those of Rossini and Bellini, (2) those of Donizetti and early Verdi (i.e, those of the tw0 decades between Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” and Verdi’s “Stiffelio”), and those of the mature Verdi (i.e.,”Rigoletto” and his later works.) For futher discussion of this categorization, see: Gaetano Donizetti: European Romanticism and The Pathway to Verdi

Below is a list of performances of operas Gaetano Donizetti and early operas of Giuseppe Verdi that will be performed between March 2015 and April 2016.

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from February 2015 through March 2016:

Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” at the Washington National Opera, Wagner’s “Die Walkure” at the Houston Grand Opera, Richard Strauss’ “Salome” at the Santa Fe Opera and Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Operas by Wagner and Richard Strauss: March-November, 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 “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’ “The Trojans (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.]

Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” at the Los Angeles Opera and the San Francisco Opera and Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the San Francisco Opera and the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of “Figaro” Operas – February 2015 through February 2016.]



Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), New Orleans Opera, March 13 and 15(m), 2015.

The New Orleans Opera presents two performances of the Donizetti opera most associated with the glamorous coloratura divas of the past 18 decades.

After a successful year in Europe, Texas-born lyric-coloratura soprano Laura Claycomb returns to the United States to perform this iconic role.

[Below: henchmen try to restrain Edgardo (William Burden, in blue shirt, second from left) as Alisa (Lisa LaFleur, center, in maid’s attire) attempts to assist Lucia (Laura Claycomb, on floor) who has painted in the 2015 New Orleans Opera production of “Lucia di Lammermoor” edited image of a Tom Crosscup photograph, courtesy of the New Orleans Opera. ]


William Burden is her lover Edgardo, Michael Chioldi her brother Enrico and Jordan Bisch her clergyman Raimondo.

[My interviews and conversations with Laura Claycomb can be accessed from A Conversation with Lyric Coloratura Soprano Laura Claycomb, Part 3, my interview with William Burden at American Orpheus: An Interview with William Burden.]

For my performance review, see: Review: New Orleans Opera’s Spectacular “Lucia di Lammermoor” with Laura Claycomb, William Burden – March 15, 2015.


La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti) Santa Fe Opera, July 3, 8, 11, 17, 24, August 3, 8, 12, 20, 26 and 29, 2015.

Santa Fe Opera, which ignored most of the French repertory during its first half century has been making amends with belated Santa Fe Opera premieres of Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann”, Gounod’s “Faust” and Bizet’s “The Pearlfishers”.

The 2015 season opens with the latest Santa Fe Opera discovery, its first ever performances of Donizetti’s “Fille du Regiment”.

[Below: Tonio (Alek Shrader, left) declares his love for Marie (Anna Christy, right, seated); edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]


Lyric coloratura Anna Christy assumes the title role, Alek Shrader is Tonio, Kevin Burdette is Sergeant Sulpice, and Phyllis Pancella is the Marquise of Birkenfeld. Judith Christin, who is renowned for her character roles, is the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Speranza Scapucci conducts.

Director Ned Canty, whose last adventure at the Santa Fe Opera was a hilarious production of Menotti’s “The Last Savage” is reunited with Christy and Burdette, two of the Menotti productions headliners. The sets are by Allen Moyer.

[For my interviews with Alek Shrader and Kevin Burdette, see, respectively: Rising Stars – An Interview with Alek Shrader and Buff Buffo: An Interview with Kevin Burdette.]

For my performance review, see: Review: Christy, Shrader, Burdette, Pancella Romp in Hilarious “Daughter of the Regiment” – Santa Fe Opera, July 3, 2015


Macbeth (Verdi) Glimmerglass Festival, July 11, 17, 21(m), 26(m), 31, August 8, 13, 15(m), 17(m) and 22, 2015.

Two Glimmerglass Festival favorites, baritone Eric Owens and soprano Melody Moore play the Scottish Couple in Verdi’s masterful opera based on the Scottish Play. Basso Solomon Howard is Banquo.

[Below: Lady Macbeth (Melody Moore, left) attempts to shore up the courage of Macbeth (Eric Owens, right); edited image of a production photograph, courtesy of the Glimmerglass Festival.]


Anne Bogart directs with sets by James Schuette. Joseph Colaneri conducts.

[For my performance reviews see: Review: Gripping Portraits by Eric Owens, Melody Moore in Anne Bogart’s Staging of Verdi’s “Macbeth” – Glimmerglass Festival, July 17, 2015 and A Second Look: Verdi’s “Macbeth” at the Glimmerglass Festival – July 21, 2015.]


Nabucco (Verdi) Seattle Opera, August 8, 9(m), 12, 14, 15, 19 and 22, 2015. 

At Seattle Opera, several roles are often double-cast, as is the case with its production of “Nabucco” Gordon Hawkins shares the lead role with Weston Hurt. Mary Elizabeth Williams and Raffaela Angelotti share the role of Abigaille. as do Christian Van Horn and Andreas Bauer the role of the Hebrew priest Zaccaria.

[Below: Mary Elizabeth Williams as Abigaille, guarded by her soldiers; edited image, based on a Philip Newton photograph for Seattle Opera.]


Jamie Barton and Russell Thomas are respectively cast as Fenena and Ismaele for all performances. Francois Racine is director. Robert Schaub created the sets. Carlos Montanero conducts.

[For my performance review, see Review: Mary Elizabeth Williams’ Beautifully Sung Abigaille, Deep Casting Enrich New “Nabucco” – Seattle Opera, August 8, 2015 and Review: Hurt, Bauer, Angeletti, Barton, Thomas in “Nabucco” – Seattle Opera, August 9, 2015.]



See previous web-posts in this series in Coast to Coast Selections of Donizetti and Early Verdi Opera Performances and Donizetti and Early Verdi in the American West, January-June, 2012

For additional web-posts in this series, see: In 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.

Tags: Quests and Anticipations