In Quest of Mozart and Bellini Operatic Masterpieces – January-April 2018

In the first four months of 2018, I will be attending performances in Seattle, Sarasota, Dallas and Houston of works by two composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Vincenzo Bellini, neither of whom lived to age 36.

In contrast to Mozart’s and Bellini’s brief lifespans, consider American composer Carlisle Floyd, whose first operatic success “Susannah” dates from 1955 and his most recent work “Prince of Players” debuted in 2016, 61 years later.

The dates of the three operas “Don Giovanni” (1787), “Cosi fan Tutte” (1790) and “Norma” (1831) – operas we regard as representative of different eras in operatic history – span a mere 44 years.

 

Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart); Seattle Opera, January 13, 14, 17, 20, 24, 26 and 27, 2018

Two casts share responsibility for the shifting pairs of “Cosi fan Tutte” lovers. Marina Costa-Jackson (Fiordiligi), Ginger Costa-Jackson (Dorabella), Tuomas Katajala (Ferrando) and Craig Verm (Guglielmo) perform are January 13, 17, 24 and 27th.

[Below: Ferrando (here, Matthew Polenzani, left) has disguised himself as a rocker who distresses Fiordiligi (here, Alexandra Deshorties, center) to the amusement of Don Alfonso (here, Richard Stilwell, right); edited image, based on a Bill Mohn photograph for the Seattle Opera.]

Marjukka Tepponen (Fiordiligi), Hanna Hipp (Dorabella), Ben Bliss (Ferrando) and Michael Adams (Guglielmo) perform January 14, 20 and 26. Laura Tatulescu (Despina) and Kevin Burdette (Don Alfonso) perform all seven shows.

Jonathan Miller’s production, seen in Seattle in 2006, shifts the opera to modern day, with camo uniforms for the soldiers who return disguised as hippy dudes rather than Albanians.

 

Norma (Bellini); Sarasota Opera, March 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17(m), 20 and 24, 2018

Joanna Parisi will be Norma, Jennifer Black is Adlagisa, Cameron Schutza is Pollione and Young Bok Kim is Oroveso in performance conducted by Maestro Vincent DeRenzi.

[Below: Soprano Joanna Parisi; edited image of a publicity photograph.]

Mark Freiman is the director, Michael Schweikhardt is the scenic designer. The costumes are by Howard Tsvi Kaplan.

 

Don GIovanni (Mozart), The Dallas Opera, April 13, 15, 18, 21, 27 and 29, 2018.

Marius Kweicien is Don Giovanni, Kyle Ketelsen in Leporello, Laura Claycomb is Donna Anna, Ellie Dehn is Donna Elvira, David Portillo is Don Ottavio, Virginie Verrez is Despina, Craig Verm is Masetto and Morris Robinson is the Commendatore.

[Below: the scene in the Robert Falls’ production of “Don Giovanni” in which Donna Elvira first appears; edited image, based on a Todd Rosenberg photograph, courtesy of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.]

Maestro Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Robert Falls will direct the production he created for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2014, whose sets are by Walt Spangler and costumes by Ana Kuzmanic.

 

Norma (Bellini), Houston Grand Opera, April 27, 29(m), May 5, 8 and 11, 2018. 

Norma is to be sung by Liudmula Monastyrska, Adalgisa by Jamie Barton, Oroveso by Peixin Chen.

[Below: Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastryska (here in the title role of Verdi’s “Aida” at the Houston Grand Opera); edited image, based on a Lynn Lane photograph, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.

Maestro Patrick Summers conducts, Kevin Newbury directs.

 

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through August 2018:

Adams’ “The Girls of the Golden West” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of American Operas and Musicals – July to December, 2017.]

Massenet’s “Thaïs” at the Minnesota Opera [See In Quest of Operatic “Exoticism” – July 2017-May 2018.]

Puccini’sTurandot” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Italian Opera Masterpieces, September-November, 2017.]

Wagner’s “Die Walkure” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, d’Albert’s “Tiefland” at the Sarasota Opera  and Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of German Operatic Repertory – September 2017-August 2018.]

Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Sarasota Opera and Berlioz’ “Beatrice et Benedict” at the Seattle Opera [See In Quest of Operas by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet – November 2017 – March 1018.]