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February 2009

Houston Opera's 2009-2010 Season

October 23 - November 7 2009: L'Elisir d'Amore
October 30- November 15 2009: Lohengrin
January 22- February 7 2010: Tosca
January 29- February 13 2010 : Turn of the Screw
April 16- May 1 2010: The Queen of Spades
April 30- May 14 2010: Xerxes

Patricia Racette sings the title role in Tosca opposite of Marcus Haddock. Susan Graham and David Daniels star in Xerxes.

Chronicle Article | Official Site

Tosca at San Diego Opera

Tosca-sd-2009 * Notes *
Last Saturday San Diego Opera opened with a revival of Tosca. The production is distinctly Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's, and he originally designed it for San Francisco Opera in 1972. Everything looked utterly traditional and as one would expect, as Suzanne Mess' costumes were in keeping with the sets.

The singing was strong. Sylvie Valayre was lovely as La Tosca, her voice as a surprising warmth to it. Her "Vissi d'arte" was fine, though strangely metallic near the end. Ms. Valayre's acting, though, left something to be desired, particularly when she overzealously stabbed Scarpia. Greer Grimsley certainly was able to project unctuousness as the villain. He sang the role of Scarpia with more verve than some of his Wagnerian roles and his volume was good. Marcus Haddock was most impressive vocally, his "Vittoria!" in Act II was riveting, as was his "E lucevan le stelle."

For the most part, the orchestra was unobtrusive under Edoardo Müller. The horns sounded ragged in the overture, and there were a few times when the orchestra and singers were slightly off in Act I.

* Tattling * 
Ian Campbell addressed the opening night crowd with mention of the economy, the reduced 2010 season, and a pledge of commitment to artistic excellence.

There were no electronic sounds from the audience, nary a watch alarm nor a mobile phone. However, there was quite a lot of talking at times, and applause for the third set.

Lyric Opera's 2009-2010 Season

September 26 2009- January 29 2010: Tosca
October 5- November 7 2009: Faust
October 27- November 23 2009: Ernani
November 22- Deceumber 12 2009: Katya Kabanova
December 5 2009- January 16 2010: The Merry Widow
January 23- February 22 2010: L'Elisir d'Amore
February 20- March 17 2010: La Damnation de Faust
February 28- March 27 2010: Le Nozze di Figaro

René Pape and Kyle Ketelsen share the role of Mephistopheles in Faust. Salvatore Licitra sings opposite of Sondra Radvanovsky in Ernani. Karita Mattila will sing the title-role of Katya Kabanova. Susan Graham, Paul Groves and John Relyea star in La Damnation. Le Nozze features Joyce DiDonato and Mariusz Kwiecien.

Tribune Article | Official Site

SF Opera Futures and Latest Commissions

2010-2011 Season
Summer 2011: Der Ring des Nibelungen

2011-2012 Season
September 2011: An opera about September 11th by Christopher Theofanidis
Summer 2012: John Adams' Nixon in China

2012-2013 Season
Fall 2012: Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick
June 2013: Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

2013-2014 Season
Fall 2013: An opera by Jennifer Higdon

Nothing surprising here, though it is good to know that the Ring has not been canceled and the name of the aforementioned female composer.

Press Release [PDF] | Official Site

SF Opera's 2009-2010 Season

September 11- October 6 2009: Il Trovatore
September 15- October 3 2009: Il Trittico
September 23- October 23 2009: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
October 13-31 2009: La Fille du Régiment
October 18- November 1 2009: Salome
November 8- December 2 2009: Otello
June 5- July 1 2010: Faust
June 9- July 2 2010: La Fanciulla del West
June 10-30 2010: Die Walküre

Sondra Radvanovsky, Stephanie Blythe, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky sing in Il Trovatore, with Marco Berti in the title-role. Diana Damrau makes her SF Opera debut in La Fille du Régiment with Juan Diego Flórez. Patricia Racette returns in Il Trittico, singing opposite Paolo Gavanelli in Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi, and Ewa Podleś in Suor Angelica. Racette also sings in Gounod's Faust with Stefano Secco and John Relyea. Deborah Voigt and Salvatore Licitra star in La Fanciulla del West. Janina Baechle has her San Francisco Opera debut as Fricka in Die Walküre.

Press Release [PDF] | Official Site

LA Opera's 2009-2010 Season

September 12-30 2009: L'Elisir d'Amore
September 26- October 17 2009: Siegfried
November 21- December 1 2009: Tamerlano
November 29- December 19 2009: Il barbiere di Siviglia
April 3-25 2010: Die Götterdämmerung
April 12-24 2010: Die Gezeichneten
May 29- June 26 2010: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Nathan Gunn stars in L'Elisir with Rolando Villazón and in Il barbiere with Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato. Plácido Domingo and Bejun Mehta sing in Tamerlano.

Press Release [PDF] | Official Site

Washington National Opera's 2009-2010 Season

September 12-20 2009: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
October 10-30 2009: Falstaff
October 24- November 13 2009: Ariadne auf Naxos
March 20- April 13 2010: Porgy and Bess
April 24- May 7 2010: Le Nozze di Figaro
May 19- June 4 2010: Hamlet

Eric Owens will share the role of Porgy with Lester Lynch. Teddy Tahu Rhodes will sing Almaviva in Le Nozze, with Ildar Abdrazakov as Figaro. Diana Damrau sings Ophelia in Hamlet opposite Carlos Álvarez in the title role.

Press Release | Official Site

COC's 2009-2010 Season

September 26- November 3 2009: Madama Butterfly
October 17- November 5 2009: The Nightingale and Other Short Fables
January 27- February 27 2010: Carmen
February 3-28 2010: Otello
April 24- May 20, 2010: The Flying Dutchman
May 1-30 2010: Maria Stuarda
May 9-29 2010: Idomeneo

Johannes Debus will be the next music director of the Canadian Opera Company, starting with the 2009-2010 season. Robert Lapage directs a new production of Stravinsky's The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Paul Groves sings the title role of Idomeneo and Isabel Bayrakdarian will be Ilia.

Press Release on Debus | Official Site

Seattle Opera's 2009-2010 Season

October 17-31 2009: La Traviata
January 16-30 2010: Il Trovatore
February 27- March 13 2010: Falstaff
May 8-22 2010: Amelia

Only four operas next season for Seattle Opera, as the Ring Cycle also to be presented this summer. The La Traviata is from San Francisco Opera, and will star Nuccia Focile and Eglise Gutiérrez sharing the role of Violetta. Gordon Hawkins will be Count di Luna in Il Trovatore. Stephanie Blythe sings Dame Quickly in Falstaff. The world premiere of Daron Aric Hagen's Amelia will include William Burden, Nathan Gunn, and Jane Eaglen.

Press Release [PDF] | Official Site