In Quest of Operas by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet, November 2017-March 2018

I will be reporting on four operas by 19th century Parisian composers Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet and Jules Masssenet:


Manon (Massenet), San Francisco Opera, November 4, 7, 10, 16, 19(m) and 22, 2017.

Ellie Dehn is Manon and Michael Fabiano is the Chevalier des Grieux in a Vincent Broussard staging of Massenet’s “Manon”, conducted by Maestro Patrick Fournillier. David Pershall is Lescaut, James Creswell the Comte de Grieux, Timothy Mix De Bretigny and Robert Brubaker Buillot de Morfontaine. Monica Dewey, Laura Krumm and Renee Rapier form the trio of young women.

[Below: Soprano Ellie Dehn in the Cours la Reine scene in San Francisco Opera’s 2017 production of Massenet’s “Manon”; edited image of a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

The production is a co-production with the Lietuvos Nacionalinis Teatras operaos ir baleto (Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet) and the Israeli Opera.

[For my performance reviews, see: Review: An Exquisitely Sung “Manon” with Ellie Dehn and Michael Fabiano – San Francisco Opera, November 4, 2017 and A “Second Look” Review: “Manon” – San Francisco Opera, November 19, 2017.]


The Pearl Fishers [Les Pecheurs de Perles] (Bizet), Lyric Opera of Chicago, November 19(m), 22(m), 25, 29, December 4, 7 and 10(m), 2017.

Marina Rebeka is the priestess Leila. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien is Zurga,with Andrea Silvestrelli as the high priest Nourabad.

[Below: Leila (Marina Rebeka, center) is the object of desire of both Zurga (Mariusz Kwiecein, left) and Nadir (Matthew Polenzani, right); edited image, based on an Andrew Cioffi photograph, courtesy of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.]

The maestro is Sir Andrew Davis. Andrew Sinclair is Director for the production whose sets and costumes were designed by Zandra Rhodes.

[For my performance review, see: Review: “Pearl Fishers”: Polenzani, Kwiecien, Rebeka, Silvestrelli in Magnificently Sung Performance – Lyric Opera of Chicago, November 29, 2017.]


Carmen (Bizet), Sarasota Opera, February 17, 22, 25(m), 27, March 2, 7, 9, 13, 16, 22 and 24(m), 2018 

At Sarasota Opera, Lisa Chavez will be Carmen to Cody Austin’s Don Jose. Steven La Brie is Escamillo and Hanna Brammer Dillon is Micaela

[Below: Carmen (Lisa Chavez, seated) has become a fatal attraction for Don Jose (Cody Austin, standing); edited image of a Herb Booth photograph.]

Maestro John F. Spencer IV conducts; Martha Collins directs. The sets are by David P. Gordon.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Sarasota Opera “Carmen” with Lisa Chavez, Cody Austin, Hanna Brammer – March 16, 2018.]


Beatrice et Benedict (Berlioz). Seattle Opera, February 24, 25, 28, March 3, 7, 9 and 10, 2018.

Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader (February 24, 28, March 7 and 10] share with Hanna Hipp and Andrew Owens [February 25 March 3 and 9] the roles of Beatrice and Benedict. Performing all seven nights are Laura Tatulescu (Hero ), Avery Amereau (Ursule), Kevin Burdette (Somarone), Craig Verm (Claudio) and Daniel Sumegi (Don Pedro).

[Below: Benedict (Alek Shrader, center) assures Don Pedro (Daniel Sumegi, left) and Claudio (Craig Verm, right) that he will never marry; edited image, based on a Jacob Lucas photograph, courtesy of the Seattle Opera.]

Seattle Symphony Orchestra Maestro Ludovic Morlot conducts. ACT Theater Artistic Director John Langs directs, with supertitles quoting passages from the Bard’s Much Ado About Nothing, from which the opera derives.

[For my performance reviews, see: Review: “Beatrice and Benedict”, Seattle Opera Reinvents Berlioz’ Opera – February 24, 2018 and Review: Seattle Opera’s Brilliant “Beatrice and Benedict” – February 25, 2018.]


This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through May 2018:

Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” at the Houston Grand Opera [See In Quest of Handel and Vivaldi Opera Performances – May to November, 2017.]

Adams’ “The Girls of the Golden West” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of American Operas and Musicals – July to December, 2017.]

Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila” at The Dallas Opera and Massenet’s “Thaïs” at the Minnesota Opera [See In Quest of Operatic “Exoticism”, July 2017-May 2018.]

Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Houston Grand Opera and  Puccini’sTurandot” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Italian Opera Masterpieces, September-November, 2017.]

Wagner’s “Die Walkure” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, d’Albert’s “Tiefland” at the Sarasota Opera  and Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of German Operatic Repertory, September 2017-August 2018.]