In Quest of Mozart and Bellini Operatic Masterpieces, January-April 2018

In the first four months of 2018, I will be attending performances in Seattle, Sarasota, Dallas and Houston of works by two composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Vincenzo Bellini, neither of whom lived to age 36.

In contrast to Mozart’s and Bellini’s brief lifespans, consider American composer Carlisle Floyd, whose first operatic success “Susannah” dates from 1955 and his most recent work “Prince of Players” debuted in 2016, 61 years later.

The dates of the three operas “Don Giovanni” (1787), “Cosi fan Tutte” (1790) and “Norma” (1831) – operas we regard as representative of different eras in operatic history – span a mere 44 years.

Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart); Seattle Opera, January 13, 14, 17, 20, 24, 26 and 27, 2018

Two casts share responsibility for the shifting pairs of “Cosi fan Tutte” lovers. Marina Costa-Jackson (Fiordiligi), Ginger Costa-Jackson (Dorabella), Tuomas Katajala (Ferrando) and Craig Verm (Guglielmo) perform are January 13, 17, 24 and 27th.

[Below: Ferrando (here, Ben Bliss, center right) bids farewell to a distressed Dorabella (Hanna Hipp, center left) as part of a mobilization of reserve forces arranged by Don Alfonso (Kevin Burdette, background left); edited image, based on a photograph for the Seattle Opera.]

Marjukka Tepponen (Fiordiligi), Hanna Hipp (Dorabella), Ben Bliss (Ferrando) and Michael Adams (Guglielmo) perform January 14, 20 and 26. Laura Tatulescu (Despina) and Kevin Burdette (Don Alfonso) perform all seven shows.

Jonathan Miller’s production, seen in Seattle in 2006, shifts the opera to modern day, with camo uniforms for the soldiers who return disguised as hippy dudes rather than Albanians.

[For my performance reviews, see: Review: Seattle Opera’s “Cosi fan Tutte”: Costa-Jackson Sisters Lead Convincing Cast – January 13, 2018 and Review: Seattle Opera’s “Cosi fan Tutte”: A Crowd-Pleasing Alternate Cast – January 14, 2018.]

Norma (Bellini); Sarasota Opera, March 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17(m), 20 and 24, 2018

Joanna Parisi will be Norma, Jennifer Black is Adalgisa, Cameron Schutza is Pollione and Young Bok Kim is Oroveso in performance conducted by Maestro Vincent DeRenzi.

[Below: The high priestess Norma (Joanna Parisi, center) leads the Druids’ sacred rites; edited image, based on a production photograph.]

Mark Freiman is the director, Michael Schweikhardt is the scenic designer. The costumes are by Howard Tsvi Kaplan.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Sarasota Opera’s “Norma” – Maestro DeRenzi Presides, Sarasota Opera, March 17, 2018.]

Don Giovanni (Mozart), The Dallas Opera, April 13, 15, 18, 21, 27 and 29, 2018.

Mariusz Kweicien is Don Giovanni, Kyle Ketelsen in Leporello, Laura Claycomb is Donna Anna, Ellie Dehn is Donna Elvira, David Portillo is Don Ottavio, Virginie Verrez is Despina, Craig Verm is Masetto and Morris Robinson is the Commendatore.

[Below: the masked Don Giovanni (Craig Verm, center) is in the process of killing the Commendatore (Morris Robinson, right) as a shocked Leporello (Kyle Ketelsen, left) looks on; edited image, based on a Karen Almond photograph, courtesy of The Dallas Opera.]

Maestro Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Robert Falls will direct the production he created for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2014, whose sets are by Walt Spangler and costumes by Ana Kuzmanic.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Craig Verm Leads The Dallas Opera’s Compelling “Don Giovanni” Cast, April 27, 2018.]

Norma (Bellini), Houston Grand Opera, April 27, 29(m), May 5, 8 and 11, 2018. 

Norma is to be sung by Liudmula Monastyrska, Adalgisa by Jamie Barton, Pollione by Chad Shelton and Oroveso by Peixin Chen.

[Below: Adalgisa (Jamie Barton, left) expresses her admiration of and friendship for Norma (Liudmyla Monastryska); edited image, based on a Lynn Lane photograph, courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera.

Maestro Patrick Summers conducts, Kevin Newbury directs.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Beautifully Sung “Norma” at HGO Resilience Theater – Houston Grand Opera, April 29, 2018.]

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

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

Massenet’s “Thaïs” at the Minnesota Opera [See In Quest of Operatic “Exoticism”, July 2017-May 2018.]

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.]

Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Sarasota Opera and Berlioz’ “Beatrice et Benedict” at the Seattle Opera [See In Quest of Operas by Berlioz, Bizet and Massenet, November 2017–March 1018.]