In Quest of Handel and Vivaldi Opera Performances – May to November, 2017

The baroque revival by “mainstream” opera companies of early 18th century operas by the composers Vivaldi and Handel is a phenomenon that has grown in popularity since the 1970s.

I will be reporting on a Vivaldi production at the Korea National Opera, and Handel productions at the Glimmerglass Festival, the Santa Fe Opera and the Houston Grand Opera. 


Orlando Finto Pazzo (Vivaldi), Korea National Opera, Seoul, Republic of Korea, May 10, 12, 13 and 14, 2017.

Italian director Fabio Ceresa, the winner of the 2016 International Opera Award for Young Directors, will direct a production of Vivaldi’s “Orlando Finto Pazzo (The Fake Madman)” for the Korean National Opera.

[Below: Ersilla (Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, on throne) is surrounded by her minions; edited image, based on a production photograph, courtesy of the Korea National Opera.]

South Korean basso Christoph Woo is Orlando, Italian soprano Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli is Ersilla. Canadian counter-tenor David DQ Lee and South Korean counter-tenor Siman Chung are respectively Argillano and Grifone. South Korean soprano Jina Oh is Tigrinda, Polish soprano Franziska Gottwald is Origille, South Korean tenor Byoung Ho June is Brandimarte.

Greek Maestro George Petrou conducts. The opera will be performed at Seoul’s LG Arts Center.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Vivaldi’s Fascinating “Orlando Finto Pazzo” – Korea National Opera, May 10, 2017.]


Xerxes (Handel) Glimmerglass Festival, July 15, 17(m), 20, August 1(m), 6(m), 12 and 18, 2017

Countertenor John Holiday, who had a triumphant success in Vivaldi’s “Cato in Utica” at the Glimmerglass Festival, will take on the lead role in Handel’s “Xerxes”. Alegra De Vita is Arsamenes. Emily Pogorelc is Romilda and Abigail Dock is Amastris.

[Below: Xerxes (John Holiday, Jr) admires a plane tree; edited image, based on a Karli Cadel photograph, courtesy of the Glimmerglass Festival.]

Nicole Paiement conducts, Tazewell Thompson directs, with sets by John Conklin and costumes by Sara Jean Tosetti.

[For my performance review, see: Review: An Elegantly Performed Glimmerglass Festival “Xerxes” – July 15, 2017.]


Alcina (Handel) Santa Fe Opera, July 29, Aug 2, 11, 17 and 23, 2017.

New York director David Alden reprises Handel’s “Alcina”, mounted for the Opéra national de Bordeaux in 2012. Alden’s musical collaborator in Bordeaux, Maestro Harry Bicket and key members of the Bordeaux cast (Elza van den Heever as Alcina, Anna Christy as Morgana and Alek Shrader as Oronte) will appear in those roles at the Santa Fe Opera.

[Below: the sorceress Alcina (Elza van den Heever), her plots unsuccessful, moves on; edited image of a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]

Joining the Bordeaux veterans will be Paula Murrihy as Ruggiero, Daniela Mack as Bradamante, Jacquelyn Stucker as Oberto, and Christian Van Horn as Melisso.  Gideon Davey creates the scenic and costume design.

[For my performance review, see: Review – Santa Fe Opera’s “Alcina”: Beautifully Sung Enchantment – July 29, 2017.]


Guilio Cesare (Handel) Houston Grand Opera, October 27, 29(m), November 4, 8 and 10, 2017.

Houston Grand Opera’s 2003 production Handel’s “Julius Caesar”, set in 1930s Hollywood, is revived. Anthony Roth Costanzo makes his HGO debut as Julius Caesar. Heidi Stober is Cleopatra, David Daniels is Ptolemy, Stephanie Blythe is Cornelia andMegan Mikailovna Samarin is Sextus.

[Below: Anthony Roth Costanzo; edited image of a Mattheu Placek photograph.]

Patrick Summers conducts, James Robinson directs. The sets by are by Christine Jones, the costume designs by James Schuette.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Houston Grand Opera’s Resilient “Julius Caesar” Showcases Anthony Roth Costanzo and Stellar Cast – October 27, 2017.]


This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through August 2017:

Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of Operatic Comedy – July 2016 – August 2017.]

Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” at the Los Angeles Opera and Wagner’s Götterdämmerung at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Less-Often Performed Core Repertory Operas – November 2016 – May 2017.]

Bellini’s “Norma” at The Dallas Opera, Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Santa Fe Opera and Donizetti’s “L’Assedio di Calais” at the Glimmerglass Festival [See In Quest of Donizetti and Bellini – November 2016 to August 2017.]

Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Italian Opera Masterpieces, February – July, 2017.]