In Quest of Rossini and Donizetti – June-September, 2018

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The following is a list of operas by Gioacchino Rossini and Gaetano Donizetti that I will be reviewing for between May and September, 2018.


Pia de’ Tolomei (Donizetti), Spoleto Festival, USA (Charleston South Carolina), May 27, 31, 3(m), 6 and 8, 2018.

Italian director Andrea Cigni, who staged Minnesota Opera’s May 2018’s rewarding production of Massenet’s “Thais”, directs the United States premiere of Donizetti’s “Pia de’ Tolomei”. Pia’s tragic fate, briefly referenced in Dante’s Divine Comedy, is the result of fatal misunderstandings during the tensions of the Guelph-Ghibelline warfare.

[Below: Nello (Valdis Jansons, left) reacts violently to what turn out to be false reports of the fidelity of his wife, Pia (Amanda Woodbury, right); edited image, based on a production photograph, courtesy of the Spoleto Festival-USA.]

Maestra Lidiya Yankovskaya, musical director of the Chicago Opera Theater, conducts. Amanda Woodbury is Pia, Latvian baritone Valdis Jansons is Nello and tenor Isaac Frishman is Ghino. “Pia de’ Tolomei” is co-produced by Spoleto Festival USA, Teatro di Pisa, Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Donizetti’s “Pia de’ Tolomei” at Spoleto Festival-USA, June 3, 2018.]


Barber of Seville (Rossini), Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, New York), July 14, 20, 23, 28, 31, Aug 3, 9, 11, 13, 19 and 25, 2018.

Francesco Zambello directs a new production of Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” starring Joshua Hopkins as Figaro, with Emily D’Angelo as Rosina, David Walton as Conte Almaviva and Dale Travis as Doctor Bartolo.

[Below: Don Basilio (Timothy Bruno, center), having arrived at an inconvenient time, finds that Figaro (Joshua Hopkins, left), Rosina (Emily D’Angelo, second from left), Doctor Bartolo (Dale Travis, left) and Count Almaviva (David Walton, second from right) are all trying to convince him that he is ill; edited image, based on a Karli Cadel photograph, courtesy of the Glimmerglass Festival.]

Maestro Joseph Colaneri conducts. The sets are by John Conklin.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Zambello’s Zany “Barber of Seville” – Glimmerglass Festival, July 20, 2018.]


L’Italiana in Algeri (Rossini), Santa Fe Opera, July 21, 25, August 3, 9 and 17, 2018.

Santa Fe Opera revives its famous 2002 production of Rossini’s “Italian Girl in Algiers” in which an Italian biplane aviatrix crash lands in Algeria.

Daniela Mack is Isabella, Jack Swanson is Lindoro, Scott Connor is Mustafa, Patrick Carfizzi is Taddeo and Craig Verm is Haly.

[Below: Mustafa (Scott Conner, left) has taken a liking to Isabella (Daniella Mack, right); edited image, based on a Ken Howard photograph, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]

The scenery is by Robert Innes Hopkins. Shawna Lucey directs the revival. Maestro Corrado Rovaris conducts.

[For my performance review, see:Review: Santa Fe Opera’s Delightful “Italian Girl in Algiers” – July 25, 2018.]


Roberto Devereux (Donizetti), San Francisco Opera, September 8, 11, 14, 18, 23(m) and 27, 2018.

Stephen Lawless’ production of Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux”, whose performances at The Dallas Opera with Stephen Costello and Hasmik Papian and at the Canadian Opera Company with Leonardo Capalbo and Sondra Radvanovsky, will be the first San Francisco Opera performances of Donizetti’s exhilirating work in almost 40 years.

[Below: Sondra Radvanovsky as Queen Elisabetta I in the San Francisco Opera’s mounting of the Stephen Lawless production of Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux”; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Florida tenor Russell Thomas is Devereux, Illinois soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is Queen Elizabeth I. Jamie Barton is Sara and Artur Rucinski is Nottingham. Lawless directs. Maestro Riccardo Frizza conducts.

[For my performance reviews, see: Review: World’s Best Ever “Roberto Devereux” Performance: Radvanovsky, Thomas, Barton, Frizza – San Francisco Opera, September 8, 2018 and Review: A Second Look at San Francisco Opera’s Superb “Roberto Devereux” – September 23, 2018.]


This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through January 2019:

Bernstein’s “Candide” and Adams’ “Doctor Atomic” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of New Opera Productions, March-August 2018.]

Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Santa Fe Opera [See In Quest of German Operatic Repertory – September 2017-August 2018.]

Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and “Don Carlo” at the Los Angeles Opera and Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at the Seattle Opera [See In Quest of Verdi Operas, March 2018-January 2019.]

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the Santa Fe Opera, Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” at the San Francisco Opera and Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of “Core” Verismo Operas, February-September, 2018.]