Opera Warhorses

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

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In Quest of Operatic Comedy – July 2016 – August 2017

July 11th, 2016

The following four operas are comedies that I am scheduled to review between now and Summer 2017:


The Thieving Magpie – La Gazza Ladra (Rossini) Glimmerglass Festival, July 16, 25(m), 29, August 7(m), 12, 16(m), 20 and 25, 2016

Rachele Gilmore is Ninetta and Michele Angelini is Giannetto in the Glimmerglass Festival production of Rossini’s comic opera “La Gazza Ladra”, translated as “The Thieving Magpie”. Musa Ngqungwana is Gottardo and Dale Travis is Fernando Villanelle.

[Below: Rachele Gilmore is Ninetta; edited image, based on a Dario Acosta photograph, courtesy of Rachele Gilmore.]


Glimmerglass Young Artists sing the other roles – Allegra De Vita (Pippo), Brad Raymond (Isaaco and Antonio), Leah Hawkins (Lucia), Calvin Griffith (Fabrizio Vingradito) and dancer Meg Gillentine (The Magpie). Joseph Colaneri conducts; Peter Kazaras directs. The sets and costumes are by Myung Hee Cho. [For my interview with the Ninetta, see Rising Stars – An Interview with Rachele Gilmore]. For my review of a previous performance in which Gilmore and Angelini starred see: “Sonnambula” Reawakened: Rachele Gilmore’s, Michele Angelini’s Artistry, Vocal Fireworks Enliven Bellini’s Masterpiece – Florida Grand Opera, February 9, 2013.]


Don Pasquale (Donizetti) San Francisco Opera, September 28, October 2(m), 4, 7, 12 and 15, 2016.

Maurizio Muraro returns to the San Francisco Opera in the title role of Don Pasquale, in Laurent Pelly’s wacky production of Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”, a co-production with the Santa Fe Opera and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. Heidi Stober is Norina. Tenor Lawrence Brownlee makes his San Francisco Opera debut as Ernesto.

[Below: Adina (here, Shelley Jackson, left, at base of house) takes an interest in the nocturnal habits of Ernesto (here, Alek Shtrader, right, on ladder); edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]


Lucas Meachem shares the role of Doctor Malatesta with Edward Nelson (the latter who sings the performances of October 4 and 7). Giuseppe Finzi conducts.

For my review of the production at its debut at the Santa Fe Opera, see: Review: Ovations for Laurent Pelly’s Daffy “Don Pasquale” – Santa Fe Opera, June 28, 2014.


The Elixir of Love – L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti) Houston Grand Opera, October 21, 23(m), 26, 29 and November 4, 2016

Dmitri Pittas is Nemorino and Nicole Heaston is Adina in a Daniel Slater production of Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” with sets and costumes designed by Robert Innes Hopkins.

[Below: the 2001 Opera North production of Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’Amore”; edited image, based on a Robert Workman photograph for Opera North.]


Patrick Carfizzi is Doctor Dulcamara. Michael Sumuel is Belcore. The conductor is Jane Glover.


Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss), Santa Fe Opera, June 30, July 5, 8, 14, August 1, 7, 14, 19 and 26, 2017

Devon Guthrie debuts as Rosalinde and Kurt Streit is Eisenstein in a new Ned Canty production of Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”. Dmitri Pittas is Alfred, Joshua Hopkins is Dr Falke and Susan Graham is Prince Orlofsky. Kevin Burdette is Frosch the jailer.

[Below: Eisenstein (Kurt Streit, right) listens to a proposal from Doctor Falke (Markus Eiche, left) on a 2012 Vienna State Opera production; edited image, based on a Michael Pöhn photograph for the Vienna State Opera.]


Allen Moyer is the scenic designer, with Zack Brown the costume designer.


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

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Butterfly” in the American Southwest – October 2015 to December 2016.]

Barber’s “Vanessa” at the Santa Fe Opera and Ward’s “The Crucible” at the Glimmerglass Festival. [See In Quest of American Operas – October 2015 through August 2016.]

Richard Strauss’ “Capriccio” at the Santa Fe Opera and Janacek’s “The Makropoulos Case” at the San Francisco Opera and . [See In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016.]

Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” at the Glimmerglass Festival, Sheng’s “Dream of the Red Chamber” at the San Francisco Opera and Heggie’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Repertory-Expanding Operas – April-December, 2016.]

Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Glimmerglass Festival and Verdi’s “Aida” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Live Performances of Popular Operas – May-November, 2016.]

Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Santa Fe Opera and Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Less-Often Performed Core Repertory Operas – June-September, 2016.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations