In Quest of Less Well-Known Operas – July-December, 2014

This feature highlights selected performances of operas at the 2014 Santa Fe Opera Summer Festival and in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles that I am scheduled to review.

Doctor Sun Yat-Sen (Huang Ruo), Santa Fe Opera, July 26, 30, August 8 and 14, 2014.

Santa Fe Opera mounts the American premiere of Huang Ruo’s opera about Doctor Sun Yat-Sen, Although he was a central figure in early 20th century Chinese history, the opera, which will be sung in the Chinese Mandarin dialect, is focused on Sun’s personal life.

[Below: Sun Yat-Sen (center, in blue jacket) listens to the grievances of the peasants; edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]


(Tenor Warren Mok, the creator of the title role at the opera’s Hong Kong premiere in 2011, was to introduce it to Santa Fe. Days before the American premiere, his cover, Texas tenor Joseph Dennis, took over all performances of the role.)

Soong Chingling, Sun’s wife, is sung by Corinne Winters, Ni is sung by Mary Ann McCormick, Charlie Soong by Don-Jian Gong. The role of Mr Umeya is sung by Chen-Ye Yuan.

The conductor will b e Carolyn Kuan. THe director is James Robinson, scenic designs by Allen Moyer with costume designs by James Schuette. Sean Curran ua choreographer.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Santa Fe Opera Shows its Mettle in Mounting Huang Ruo’s “Doctor Sun Yat-Sen” – July 30, 2014.]

Capriccio (Richard Strauss) Lyric Opera of Chicago, October 6, 9, 12, 15, 22, 25 and 28, 2014.

A stellar cast has been assembled for the mounting of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Richard Strauss’ late career work, “Capriccio”.

[Below: La Roche (Peter Rose, center) intercedes in an artistic dispute between Flamand (William Burden, left) and Olivier (Auden Iversen, right); edited image of a Michael Brosilow photograph, courtesy of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.]


Renée Fleming is the Countess, Anne Sofie von Otter is Clarion, Bo Skovhus is the Count, William Burden is Flamand, Auden Iversen is Olivier and Peter Rose is La Roche in a mounting of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of Richard Strauss’ “conversation piece”.

Sir Andrew Davis is the conductor.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Renée Fleming’s Reverential “Capriccio” at Lyric Opera – Chicago, October 28, 2014.]

Partenope (Handel), San Francisco Opera, October 15, 18, 21, 24, 30 and November 2, 2014.

Handel’s melodic opera about Queen Partenope of Naples is shifted to Paris  in the 1920s in Christopher Alden’s award winning production from London’s English National Opera.

[Below: Partenope (Danielle De Niese); edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Soprano Danielle De Niese [Rising Stars: An Interview with Danielle De Niese, Part 1 and Rising Stars: An Interview with Danielle De Niese, Part 2] is Queen Partenope. Counter-tenors David Daniels [Top of His Game – An Interview with David Daniels] is Arsace and Anthony Roth Costanzo (in his San Francisco Opera debut) is Armindo

Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack is Rosmira, tenor Alek Shrader is Emilio, baritone Philippe Sly is Ormonte. Julian Wachner conducts.

 [For my performance reviews, see: Review: An Engaging Cast, Handel’s Seductive Music, and Christopher Alden’s Surreal Staging Enliven San Francisco Opera’s “Partenope” – San Francisco Opera, October 15, 2014 and A Second Look: “Partenope” at the San Francisco Opera – October 24, 2014.]

Florencia en el Amazonas (Catan), Los Angeles Opera, November 22, 30, December 10, 14, 18 and 20, 2014.  

Zambello’s production of Daniel Catan’s Spanish language opera stars sopranos Veronica Villaroel as Florencia Grimaldi, basso Jose Carbo as Riolobo, soprano Lisette Oropesa (Los Angeles Opera debut) as Rosalba and Arturo Chacon-Cruz as Arcadio. David Pittsinger is the Captain, Gordon Hawkins Alvaro, and Nancy Fabiola Herrera is Paula.

[Below: the finale of the 2014 Los Angeles Opera production of Catan’s “Florencia en el Amazonas”; edited image, based on a photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]


Robert Israel designed the scenery, Catherine Zuber the costumes, with Eric Sean Fogel as the choreographer. Grant Gershon will conduct.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Los Angeles Opera’s Magically Staged and Sung “Florencia en el Amazonas” – November 22, 2014.]

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from July, 2014 through February, 2015.

These are Bizet’s “Carmen” in Santa Fe and Verdi’s “La Traviata” in Los Angeles [See Popular Opera Offerings in Southwestern Vacation Destinations – March-September, 2014]; 

Beethoven’s “Fidelio” in Santa Fe and Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York [See Selected French and German Opera Offerings Coast to Coast April-August, 2014];

Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” in Santa Fe and Bellini’s “Norma” and Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” in San Francisco [See “Bel Canto” Italian Works in Toronto and the American Southwest – April-October, 2014];

Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” and Picker’s “An American Tragedy” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York, Floyd’s “Susannah” at the San Francisco Opera, and Corigliani’s “The Ghosts of  Versailles” at the Los Angeles Opera [See In Quest of Opera Company Performances of American Works – July 2014 to February 2015.].

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York, Puccini’s “Tosca” and “La Boheme” at the San Francisco Opera and Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the San Diego Opera [See A Selection of Popular Puccini Opera Performances – July 2014-January 2015.]

Mozart’s “The Impresario” and Stravinsky’s “Le Rossignol” at the Santa Fe Opera, and Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” and Bartoke’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Los Angeles Opera. {See Anticipated Opera Operatic “Double Bills” in Santa Fe and Los Angeles – July-November, 2014.]