I will be reviewing – at the Sarasota Opera, Santa Fe Opera and San Francisco Opera – four iconic operas written in the Italian “verismo” style exemplified by such composers as Puccini, Mascagni, Giordano, Leoncavallo and Cilea. Three of the operas are from the first four years of the 1890s that defined and popularized the style; the fourth from a decade later is one of Puccini’s – and verismo’s – most famous works.
Manon Lescaut (Puccini) Sarasota Opera, February 10, 14, 18, 20, 24, March 1, 4, 17 and 23, 2018
Sandra Lopez is Manon Lescaut and Matthew Vickers is the Chevalier des Grieux in the Sarasota Opera’s first ever production of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut”. Filippo Fontana is Lescaut and Costas Tsourakis is Geronte.
[Below: Sandra Lopez (left) is Manon Lescaut and Matthew Vickers (right) is the Chevalier des Grieux; edited image, based on a Rod Millington photo, courtesy of the Sarasota Opera.]
The opera is conducted by Maestro Victor DeRenzi and directed by Stephanie Sundine. The sets are by David P. Gordon.
Madama Butterfly (Puccini) Santa Fe Opera, June 30, July 6, 11, 20, 30, August 4, 8, 13, 18, 22 and 24, 2018.
Two pairs of principals perform. For the first four scheduled performances Kelly Kaduce is Cio-Cio San and A. J. Glueckert is B. F. Pinkerton. From July 30 throughout August the pair are respectively Ana María Martínez and Joshua Guerrero. For all performances Megan Marino is Suzuki, Nicholas Pallesen is Sharpless, Soloman Howard is the Bonze and Matthew DiBattista is Goro.
The production is that of the late Lee Blakeley, created for Santa Fe Opera in 2010 and re-created for the Los Angeles Opera in 2016.
[Below: Ana María Martínez as Cio-Cio San in the 2016 Los Angeles Opera presentation of Lee Blakeley’s production of “Madama Butterfly”; edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]
Maestro John Fiore conducts. Matthew Ozawa is stage director. Jean-Marc Puissant designed the production’s sets, Brigitte Reiffenstuel the costumes.
Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni) San Francisco Opera, September 7, 12, 16(m), 19, 22, 28 and 30(m), 2018.
The San Francisco Opera imports the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège’s Jose Cura production of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”, created by dramatic tenor/conductor/director Jose Cura.
Ekaterina Semenchuk is Santuzza, Roberto Aronica is Turiddu and Dimitri Platanias is Alfio.
[Below: Santuzza (here, Marie Kalinine) shows affection to Turiddu (here, Jose Cura), although her spiteful actions will lead to his death; edited image, based on a Jacques Croisier photograph for l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège.]
Jill Grove is Mamma Lucia. Maestro Daniele Callegari conducts, Jose Maria Condemi directs the revival.
I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), San Francisco Opera, September 7, 12, 16(m), 19, 22, 28 and 30(m), 2018.
Marco Berti is Canio. Lianna Haroutounian is Nedda. Dimitri Platinais is Tonio.
[Below: Canio (here, Jose Cura), departs from his commedia dell’arte lines to accuse Nedda (here, Sofia Soloviy) of adultery; edited image, based on a Jacques Croisier photograph for l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège.]
David Pershall is Silvio, Amitai Pati is Beppe. Maestro Daniele Callegari conducts, Jose Maria Condemi directs the revival.
This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through January 2019:
Massenet’s “Thaïs” at the Minnesota Opera [See In Quest of Operatic “Exoticism” – July 2017-May 2018.]
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 “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 2018.]
Bellini’s “Norma” at the Sarasota Opera, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at The Dallas Opera and Bellini’s “Norma” at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Mozart and Bellini Operatic Masterpieces – January-April 2018.]
Verdi’s “Don Carlo” at the Washington National Opera, Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and “Don Carlo” at the Los Angeles Opera and Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at the Seattle Opera [See In Quest of Verdi Operas, March 2018-January 2019.]