In Quest of European Opera Performances (Part One) April-May 2016

Later this Spring, I begin another Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour (this trip with eight performances in 16 days). The first four of these are described below:

Rigoletto (Verdi),  L’Opéra National de Paris, April 9, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 27, 30, May 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 16, 20, 21, 24, 27 and 30, 2016. 

In Paris, Claus Guth’s new production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” opens at L’Opéra National de Paris, with Quinn Kelsey in the title role, Michael Fabiano as the Duke of Mantua and Olga Peretyatko as Gilda. Nicola Luisotti conducts.

[Below: the assembled Mantuan court is witness to the pronouncement of a curse by an angry father; edited image, based on a Monica Rittershaus photograph for L’Opéra National de Paris.]


I will be reporting on one of the later performances of the opening night cast (and Maestro Luisotti) as the first stop of a sixteen day Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour.

For the performance review, see: Review: A “Rigoletto” Surprise in Paris: Ludovic Tézier Subs in Title Role in Claus Guth’s Production with Fabiano, Peretyatko, Luisotti – May 5, 2016.

Orlando Paladino (Haydn) Zurich Oper at Theater Winterthur, May 7, 10, 18, 20 and 22(m), 2016.

The second stop of our Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour will be in the ancient Swiss city of Winterthur to attend the premiere night of a new Zurich Opera production of Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino”.

Haydn’s 1782 opera, whose style of composition’s influence on Mozart is unmistakable, is based on Ariosto’s 16th century blockbuster epic poem, Orlando Furioso.

[Below: Medoro (Spencer Lang, right) expresses his love for Angelica (Claire de Sévigné, left); edited  image, based on a Danielle Liniger photograph, courtesy of the Zurich Opera.]


Canadian coloratura soprano Claire de Sévigné, whose performance of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s “Magic Flute” I had enjoyed at the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, will be Angelica.

Scottish tenor Iain Milne is Orlando, Oregon tenor Spencer Lang is Medoro, Swiss soprano Estelle Posco is Eurilla, American tenor David Margulis is Pasquale, Chinese mezzo-soprano Lin Shi is Alcina and Korean bass Ildo Song is Caronte. Each of the seven performers is a member of Zurich Opera’s International Opera Studio.

Italian conductor Gianluca Capuana will conduct. The production is by Dutch director Jetske Mijnssen.

[For the performance review, see: Review: Zurich Opera Young Artists Sparkle as Jetske Mijnssen Re-invents Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino” – Theater Winterthur, May 7, 2016.]

Pelléas et Melisande (Debussy), Zurich Oper, May 8, 11, 14, 19, 21, 25, 27 and 29(m), 2016.

The third of eight opera performances I have scheduled on my Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour of Europe is Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production of Debussy’s “Pelléas and Mélisande” at the Zürich Opera.

Photo: the unit set for  “Pelléas and Mélisande”, with Pelléas (Jacques Imbrailo, right center, left) standing above Mélisande (Corinne Winters, right center, right) ; edited image of a Toni Suter photograph, courtesy of the Zurich Opera.]


The new production, whose first performance I will be reviewing, stars South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo as Pelléas, American soprano Corinne Winters as Mélisande and American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Golaud.

For the performance review, see: Review: Imbrailo, Winters and Ketelsen Effective in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s Psychoanalytic Take on “Pelléas et Mélisande” – Zurich Opera, May 8, 2016.]

Tosca (Puccini) Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, May 8, 11, 14, June 25, 28 and July 1, 2016.

The fourth performance will take place at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, specifically the controversial production of Puccini’s “Tosca” by the late Luc Bondy, that opened the 2009 Metropolitan Opera season and has subsequently been performed in Munich and Milan (La Scala) and Salzburg.

[Below: Scarpia (Ambrogio Maestri, above) assaults Tosca (Sondra Radvanovsky, below); edited image of a W. Hosl photograph, courtesy of thethe Bayerische Staatsoper.]

My cast is scheduled to be Sondra Radvanovsky as Tosca, Jorge De Leon as Cavaradossi and Ambrogio Maestri as Scarpia.

[For the performance review, see: Review: Sondra Radvanovsky stars in Munich “Tosca” – Bayerische Staatsoper, May 11, 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.]

Wagner’s “Siegfried” at the Houston Grand Opera, Janacek’s “Jenufa” and “The Makropoulos Case” at the San Francisco Opera and Richard Strauss’ “Capriccio” at the Santa Fe Opera. [See In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016.]

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” and Heggie’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Houston Grand Opera, Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” at the Glimmerglass Festival and Sheng’s “Dream of the Red Chamber” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Repertory-Expanding Operas – April-December, 2016.]