In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016

During 2016 I will be reviewing four less often performed operatic masterpieces from the German and Czech repertories.

Siegfried (Wagner), Houston Grand Opera, April 16, 20, 23, 28 and May 1(m), 2016

Heldentenor Jay Hunter Morris is Siegfried and dramatic soprano Christine Goerke is Brünnhilde in the Fura del Baus production of the third opera of Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelungs”, directed by Carlus Pardrissa.

Others in the cast include Rodell Rosel as Mime, Iain Paterson as the Wanderer, Richard Paul Fink as Alberich, Andrea Silvestrelli as Fafner, Meredith Arwady as Erda and Mane Galoyan as the Forest Bird.

[Below: the Wanderer (Iain Paterson, center left) has summoned Erda (Meredith Arwady, in the center of an eye; edited image, based on a Lynn Lane photograph, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.]


Patrick Summers conducts. Chu Uroz is costume designer, Roland Olbeter is set designer.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Jay Hunter Morris, Christine Goerke Lead a Vocally Strong “Siegfried” Cast – Houston Grand Opera, April 20, 2016.]

Jenufa (Janacek) San Francisco Opera, June 14, 19(m), 22, 25, 29 and July 1, 2016

For the fifth time in company history, Janacek’s searing “Jenufa” is mounted by the San Francisco Opera after a 15-year absence from its repertory. New to San Francisco is the Olivier Tambosi production, whose sets are by his frequent collaborator Frank Philipp Schlössmann.

[Below: Jenufa (Malin Byström) expresses her anger at Steva (Scott Quinn); edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]


Malin Byström, in her San Francisco Opera debut, is Jenufa, Karita Mattila is Kostelnicka, William Burden is Laca and Scott Quinn is Steva. Jirí Belohlávek conducts.

[For my performance review, see: Review: A Beautifully Performed “Jenufa” by Byström, Mattila and Burden, San Francisco Opera, June 19, 2016.]

Capriccio (Richard Strauss), Santa Fe Opera, July 23, 27, August 5, 11 and 19, 2016

“Capriccio”, an opera famous for its discussion of the relative merits of words and music in opera is revived by the Santa Fe Opera, a company closely associated with the Strauss operatic canon.

[Below: Countess Madeleine (Amanda Majeski, left) shares a moment with Clairon (Susan Graham, center) and Flamand (Ben Bliss, right); resized image of a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]

Andrea Majeski is the Countess, Susan Graham is Clarion. Flamand and Olivier are respectively Ben Bliss and Joshua Hopkins. Eric Owens is La Roche, Allan Glassman Monsieur Taupe and Shelley Jackson the Italian Singer

The production is by Tim Albery with sets by Tobias Hoheisel. Leo Hussain conducts.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Santa Fe Opera Makes the Case for “Capriccio”.]

The Makropoulos Affair (Janacek), San Francisco Opera, October 14, 18, 23(m), 26 and 29, 2016

Nadja Michael is Emilia Mary, Scott Quinn is Albert Gregor, Stephen Powell is Baron Prus, with Dale Travis, Joel Sorensen and Matthew O’Neill rounding out the cast.

[Below: Nadja Michael as Elina Makropulos; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]


The production revives Olivier Tambosi’s dramatically effective staging (sets by Frank Philipp Schlössmann), last seen at San Francisco Opera in a 2010 production that I praised highly [See Brilliant Belohlavek Conducts Mattila’s Masterful “Makropulos” – San Francisco Opera, November 28, 2010].

[For my performance review, see: Review: Nadja Michael’s Arresting Performance in “Makropulos Case” – San Francisco Opera, October 14, 2016.]

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from April 2016 through December 2016:

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Butterfly” in the American Southwest – October 2015 to December 2016.]

Little’s “JFK” at the Fort Worth Opera, Barber’s “Vanessa” at the Santa Fe Opera and Ward’s “The Crucible” at the Glimmerglass Festival. [See In Quest of American Operas – October 2015 through August 2016.]