In Quest of Summer 2021 Live Opera Performances in Santa Fe and San Francisco

Note from William: My most recent review of an operatic performance was that of the Sarasota Opera’s production of Catalani’s “La Wally” on March 7, 2020. Although I was scheduled to review subsequent operatic performances in Chicago, San Francisco, the Glimmerglass Festival, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston, every one of these performances was canceled as opera companies responded to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

Live opera performances in many venues are resuming, including at the Santa Fe and San Francisco Operas, notably with many accommodations designed to protect the health of artists and audiences. The following is a list of opera productions in Santa Fe and San Francisco in the months of July and August, 2021 that I am scheduled to attend and review:

The Marriage of Figaro – Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Santa Fe Opera, July 10, 14, 23, August 3, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24 and 27, 2021.

After a canceled 2020 season, live opera performances return to Santa Fe Opera with French director Laurent Pelly’s new to Santa Fe production of Mozart’s masterpiece “Le Nozze di Figaro”.

Over the past 15 years, I have reviewed seven performances of Pelly’s imaginative productions in Paris [Hayseed Hilarity: The Pelly “L’Elisir” – Opéra National de Paris, September 16, 2007], San Francisco [Matthew Polenzani Triumphs in Pelly’s Take on “Tales of Hoffmann” – San Francisco Opera, June 5, 2013] and, especially in Santa Fe [Review: Bernstein’s “Candide” Opens 2018 Santa Fe Opera Season – June 29, 2018].

[Below: a promotional image for Laurent Pelly’s 2021 production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro; edited art work, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]

Nicholas Brownlee and Ying Fang are the servant Figaro and his fiancé Susanna. Samuel Dale Johnson and Vanessa Vasquez are the Count and Countess Almaviva. Megan Marino is Cherubino. Patrick Carfizzi, Susanne Mentzer and Brenton Ryan are, respsectively, the meddlesome Don Bartolo, Marcellina and Don Basilio. (Lindsay Kate Brown is Marcellina in the final two performances.) James Creswell, Thomas Cilluffo, Cheyanne Coss, Alaysha Fox and Ruby Dibble round out the cast.

Maestro Harry Bicket conducts. Laurie Feldman stages Pelly’s production concept. Chantal Thomas is the scenic designer.

[For my performance review, see: Review: A Clockwork “Marriage of Figaro” Delights – Santa Fe Opera, July 23, 2021.]

Lord of Cries (Corigliano), Santa Fe Opera, July 17, 21, 30, August 5, 11 and 17, 2021.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, in his Santa Fe Opera debut, creates the role of Dionysius in the world premiere of John Corigliano’s second opera. “Lord of Cries” premieres two decades after Corigiliano’s “Ghosts of Versailles”), with a libretto by his husband (and fellow opera composer) Mark Adamo.

The plot of the opera, “Lord of Cries”, is ultimately based on Euripides’ “The Bacchae”, with a twist. It moves the action to the end of the 19th century London and also includes characters and plot elements from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula”.

[Below: Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo; edited image, based on a publicity photograph.] ]


The late 19th century Stoker characters are soprano Susanna Phillips’ Lucy (in this opera married to tenor David Portillo’s Jonathan Harker); bass Matt Boehler as Van Helsing, the consultant on disposing of vampires; and baritone Jarrett Ott as insane asylum director John Seward. The ancient Greeks, besides Dionysius, are represented by the trio of Leah Brzyski, Rachel Blaustein and Megan Moore as Agave, Autonoe and Ino. Bass Kevin Burdette and tenor Robert Stahley.complete the cast.

Maestro Johannes Debus conducts. James Darrah is director, and designers Adam Rigg, Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko and Pablo Santiago are respectively responsible for Scenic, Costume and Lighting Design.

For an interview I conducted with Anthony Roth Costanzo see Rising Stars: An Interview with Anthony Roth Costanzo. For my interview with Mark Adamo, at the world premiere of a previous opera, see Redemption for Mary Magdalene: An Interview with Mark Adamo.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Jarrett Ott and Kathryn Henry Lead Strong Cast for Corigliano’s New “Lord of Cries” – Santa Fe Opera, July 21, 2021.]

Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky), Santa Fe Opera, July 24, 28, August 6, 12, 20 and 26, 2021.

Baritone Lucas Meachem returns to Santa Fe Opera in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece “Eugene Onegin”, with soprano Sara Jakubiak as Tatyana and tenor Doviet Nurgeldiyev as Lensky. Bass James Creswell is Prince Gremin. Also in the cast are contralto Avery Amereau as Olga, mezzo-soprano Katherine Goeldner as Larina and mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel as Filipyevna. Other cast members are tenors Matthew Di Battista and Joseph Tancredi, baritone Ethan Vincent and bass Allen Michael Jones.

[Below: promotional image for Alessandro Talevi’s 2021 production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”; edited image, based on Benedetto Cristofani‘s art work, courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.]

Maestro Nicholas Carter conducts. Gary McCann is Scenic and Costume Designer, Matt Haskins designed the lighting.

[For my interviews and conversations with Lucas Meachem, see: Rising Stars: An Interview with Lucas Meachem, Part 1, Rising Stars: An Interview with Lucas Meachem, Part 2 and “Hey, Figaro!”: A Conversation with Baritone Lucas Meachem.]

[For my performance review, see: Review: Santa Fe Opera’s “Eugene Onegin”, Musically Appealing, Visually Striking – July 24, 2021.]

Tosca (Puccini) San Francisco Opera, August 21, 27, 20, September 3 and 5, 2021.

Soprano Ailyn Pérez is Tosca and tenor Michael Fabiano is Tosca’s lover, Mario Cavaradossi in San Francisco Opera’s revival of Shawna Lucey’s and Robert Innes Hopkins’ striking production of Puccini’s opera.

[Below: Ailyn Pérez performs the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca”; edited image, bsed on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Baritone Alfred Walker is Baron Scarpia. Bass-baritone Soloman Howard is Cesare Angelotti. Also performing are Dale Travis as the Sacristan, Joel Sorensen as Spoletta, Timothy Murray as Sciarrone, Stefan Egerstrom as the Jailer and Elisa Sunshine as the Shepherd Boy.

Maestra Eun Sun Kim conducts her first performances at the War Memorial Opera House since being named San Francisco Opera’s Musical Director.

[See my interview with Ailyn Pérez at Rising Stars – An Interview with Ailyn Pérez, part 1 and Rising Stars – An Interview with Ailyn Pérez, part 2. See my interview with Michael Fabiano at Rising Stars: An Interview with Michael Fabiano.]

[For my performance review, see Review: Ailyn Pérez , Michael Fabiano, Alfred Walker, Soloman Howard Excel in a Memorable “Tosca” (with a Post-Finale Surprise) – San Francisco Opera, September 5, 2021.]

This website’s “Quests and Anticipations” feature, previewing operatic performances I was scheduled to attend and review, was established in 2007. Over the course of the next 13 years, the feature linked the previews to each of my subsequent reviews. After my March 2020 “La Wally” review, every performance I was scheduled to review was canceled.

The cancellations encompassed:

Handel’s “Partenope” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Handel Operas – June 2019-July 2020.]

Debussy’s “Pelleas et Melisande” at the Los Angeles Opera. [See In Quest of French Operatic Masterpieces – June, 2019-May 2020.]

Bates’ “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” at the San Francisco Operaand Ruo’s “M. Butterfly” at the Santa Fe Opera. [See In Quest of 21st Century Operas, August 2019-August 2020]

Wagner’s “Die Feen” at the Glimmerglass Festival and Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” and Dvorak’s “Rusalka” at the Santa Fe Opera. See [In Quest of Operas Based on Myths and Fairy Tales – November 2019 – August 2020]

Rodgers’ and Hammestein’s “The Sound of Music” at the Glimmerglass Festival[SeeIn Quest of Intriguing Opera Productions – September, 2019-August, 2020

Verdi’s “Ernani” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Donizetti and Early Verdi (January-July, 2020)]

Wagner’s “Das Rheingold”, “Die Walküre”, “Siegfried” and “Götterdämmerung” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. [see In Quest of Sir David Pountney’s Production of the “Ring of the Nibelungs”- Lyric Opera of Chicago, April 2020.]

Beethoven’s “Fidelio” at the San Francisco Opera, Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” at the Los Angeles Opera, Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at The Dallas Opera and Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Houston Grand Opera. [See In Quest of German Operatic Masterpieces – September 2020 to January, 2021.]

[As of July 2021, the previously canceled San Francisco Opera “Fidelio” and Los Angeles Opera “Tannhäuser” have been rescheduled, with some cast changes, for Fall, 2021 and will be included in the next “Quests and Anticipations” feature.]