Opera Warhorses

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

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In Quest of American Operas and Musicals – July to December, 2017

April 2nd, 2017

 I am scheduled to review the following American musical works between now and December, 2017 – an opera and a classic Broadway musical from the first half of the 20th century and two new American operas:


Porgy and Bess (George Gershwin), Glimmerglass Festival, July 7, 13, 18(m), 22(m), 27, 29(m), 31(m), August 5, 7(m), 13(m), 17, 19 and 21(m), 2017

Musa Ngqungwana is Porgy and Talise Trevigne is Bess in Glimmerglass Festival’s new Francesca Zambello production of George Gershwin’s (and DuBose Heyward’s) “Porgy and Bess”. Norman Garrett is Crown and Frederick Ballentine is Sportin’ Life.

[Below: Musa Ngqungwana as Porgy and Talise Trevigne as Bess in the Glimmerglass Festival Francesca Zambello production of George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”; edited image of a Karli Cadel photograph, courtesy of the Glimmerglass Festival.]

Maestro John DeMain conducts. The sets are by Peter Davison and Associate Set Designer Charles Quiggin. Paul Tazewell is Costume Designer and Loren Shaw the Associate Costume Designer. Eric Sean Fogel is choreographer.

[For my interview with Musa Ngqungwana, see Rising Stars – An Interview with Musa Ngqungwana.]


Oklahoma (Rodgers and Hammerstein), Glimmerglass Festival, July 8, 14, 21, 23(m), 25(m), 30(m), August 3, 5(m), 8(m), 11, 14(m), 20(m) and 22(m), 2017.

Vanessa Becerra is Laurey and Jarrett Ott is Curly in Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”. Judith Skinner is Aunt Eller and Michael Hewitt is Jud Fry.

[Below: Baritone Jarrett Ott; edited image of a publicity photograph, from www.jarrettott.com.]

James Lowe conducts, Molly Smith directs. The sets are by Eugene Lee, the costumes by Ilona Somogyi. The choreographer is Parker Esse.


The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Bates), Santa Fe Opera, July 22, 26, August 4, 10, 15 and 25, 2017.

Santa Fe Opera is the site of the world premiere of a Mason Bates opera about entrepreneur Steve Jobs, with a libretto by Mark Campbell. Edward Parks sings the role of Steve Jobs. Garrett Sorensen is Woz. Sasha Cooke is Laurene Powell Jobs and Kelly Marksgraf is Paul Jobs.

[Composer Mason Bates; edited image of a publicity photograph, from masonbates.com.]

Kevin Newbury directs. Maestro Michael Christie conducts all performances except that of August 25, which Robert Tweten conducts.


The Girls of the Golden West (Adams), San Francisco Opera, November 21, 24, 26(m), 29, December 2, 5, 7 and 10(m), 2017.

San Francisco Opera hosts the world premiere of a new collaboration between composer John Adams and director Peter Sellars (who is also the librettist for “Girls”). The opera is the occasion of the San Francisco Opera debuts of Julia Bullock as Dame Shirley, Davone Tines as Ned Peters and Ryan McKinny as Clarence King.

J’Nai Bridges is Josefa Segovia, Paul Appleby is Joe Cannon, Hye Jung Lee is Ah Sing, Elliot Madore is Ramon and Lorena Feijoo is Lola Montez.

[Below: A contemporary image of San Francisco at the time of the Gold Rush, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Maestro Grant Gershon (San Francisco Opera debut) conducts. David Gropman designs the sets, Rita Ryack the costumes. John Heginbotham is choreographer.


This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through August 2017:

Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of Operatic Comedy – July 2016 – August 2017.]

Wagner’s Götterdammerüng at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Less-Often Performed Core Repertory Operas – November 2016 – May 2017.]

Bellini’s “Norma” at The Dallas Opera, Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Santa Fe Opera and Donizetti’s “L’Assedio di Calais” at the Glimmerglass Festival [See In Quest of Donizetti and Bellini – November 2016 to August 2017.]

Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Italian Opera Masterpieces, February – July, 2017.]

Vivaldi’s “Orlando Finto Pazzo” at the Korea National Opera in Seoul, Handel’s “Xerxes” at the Glimmerglass Festival, Handel’s “Alcina” at the Santa Fe Opera and Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Handel and Vivaldi Opera Performances – May to November, 2017.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations