Juan Diego Flórez

Washington National Opera's 2010-2011 Season

September 11-25 2010: Un Ballo in Maschera
October 7-23 2010: Salome
February 26- March 19 2011: Madama Butterfly
February 27 2011: Juan Diego Flórez Concert
March 12 2011: Bryn Terfel Concert
May 6-29 2011: Iphigénie en Tauride
May 13-27 2011: Don Pasquale

Today WNO announced the new season, which is reduced to 5 operas, but does include two "Celebrity Concerts." Deborah Voigt sings Salome. Patricia Racette makes a role debut as Iphigénie opposite of Domingo.

Press Release | Official Site

The Barber of Seville at LA Opera

Barber-of-seville-laopera * Notes * 
Last Sunday Il Barbiere di Siviglia opened in a matinée performance at Los Angeles Opera. The orchestra sounded unfocused under Michele Mariotti, often not with the singers. As Fiorello, José Adán Pérez sounded fine, as did Kerri Marcinko (Berta). Andrea Silvestrelli was an amusing Don Basilio, his throaty, resonant tones were spot on. Bruno Praticò looked and acted convincingly as Doctor Bartolo, but could not always be heard over the orchestra. both lacking heft and fullness.

Nathan Gunn (Figaro) moved so well, and he really has the physicality to pull off the humorous choreography in this production. His voice seemed just a little thin, especially for a baritone. Juan Diego Flórez was perfectly sweet as the Count, never straining. He started off slightly quiet, but seemed to warm up as the afternoon progressed. On the contrary, Joyce DiDonato (Rosina) was wonderful from the beginning. Full of sass, she sang with a gorgeous ease and good volume, but not overwhelming anyone else.

Emilio Sagi's production, directed by Javier Ulacia, was certainly informed by The Wizard of Oz, starting off monochrome and ending in lurid colors. The scenic design, from Llorenç Corbella, was perhaps overly precious. It was all terribly cute, especially Doctor Bartolo's tiny dog.

* Tattling * 
Everyone on the left side of Handrail Obstructed Balcony B was quiet, no talking, hardly any whispering. Unfortunately there was talking from the center, and of course, cellular phones rang during Act II, some more than once, even though we had all been reminded to turn off our electronic devices.

La fille du régiment at SF Opera

Damrau-florez * Notes * 
San Francisco Opera's La fille du régiment opened last Tuesday. The production, directed by Laurent Pelly, is outrageously silly, involving laundry, potatoes, and very large maps. Karine Girard's slapstick choreography was cute and worked well on the all the singers. The acting overall was charming and everyone looked quite comfortable. It was surprising how much French dialogue there was, but for the most part, the momentum of the absurdity kept the performance moving.

The orchestra raced through the score under Andriy Yurkevych, but managed to stay together. The chorus sounded like they were having fun. Kenneth Kellogg acted and sang convincingly with the chorus as the corporal. Meredith Arwady was an imperious Marquise de Berkenfield, her voice is dark and velvety. Diana Damrau was winsome in the title role, sprightly and darling. She did have the slightest bit of strain when singing loudly at the top of her voice, but had a pleasant suppleness otherwise. Juan Diego Flórez sang sweetly, his high C's were brilliant and not shrill in the least.

* Tattling * 
There was more than one conversation going on during the music, but nothing too obnoxious to be ignored. The audience was particularly delighted by the elderly wedding chorus and by the mini tank Flórez enters on near the end.

La fille du régiment Preview

The Opera Tattler sat in on a piano dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera's La fille du régiment last night. Without going into any details, it was very instructive to watch how it all comes together, not to mention hilarious. Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez are absurdly cute. Can't wait to hear Flórez hit those high C's at next Tuesday's opening.

Press Release | Official Site