In Quest of Fall 2021 Live Opera Performances in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Il Trovatore (Verdi), Los Angeles Opera, September 18, 22, 25, October 3, 6 and 10, 2021.

The Los Angeles Opera re-opens for its 2021-22 season (after the Covid-19 pandemic forced cancellation of its previous season) with Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, conducted by Maestro James Conlon. The role of Manrico is shared by tenors Limmie Pulliam (first four performances) and Gregory Kunde (the final two). Soprano Guanquin Yu is Leonora, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis is Azucena. Vladimir Stoyanov and Morris Robinson are respectively the Count di Luna and the head of his henchmen, Ferrando.

[Below: Raehann Bryce-Davis (left) is Azucena and Limmie Pulliam (right) is Manrico in the Los Angeles Opera’s 2021 production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.]

The production is a revival of Director Francisco Negrin’s, previously performed in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Copenhagen.

[For my performance review, see: Streamed Performance Review: Azucena-Centered “Trovatore” Stars Pulliam, Bryce-Davis, Yu and Stoyanov – Los Angeles Opera, October 3, 2021.]

Fidelio (Beethoven) San Francisco Opera, October 14, 17, 20, 22, 26 and 20, 2021.

Director Matthew Ozawa creates a new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, starring Elza van den Heever in the title role, with Russell Thomas as Florestan, Greer Grimsley as Don Pizzaro, and Soloman Howard as Don Fernando.

[Below: Leonore (Elza van den Heever, left) is reunited with her husband Florestan in the new Matthew Ozawa production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”.]

Rocco, Marzelline and Jacquino are respectively James Creswell, Anne-Marie Mackintosh and Christopher Oglesby. Maestra Eun Sun Kim conducts. The sets and projections are by Alexander L. Nichols.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Beethoven’s “Fidelio”, An Excellent Cast for Matthew Ozawa’s Powerful Production – San Francisco Opera, October 17, 2021.]

Tannhäuser (Wagner), Los Angeles Opera, October 16, 19, 24, 27, 31, November 3 and 6, 2021.

Ian Judge’s 2007 Los Angeles Opera production of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” is revived, under the superviision of Director Louise Miller. Issachah Savage is Tannhäuser, Sara Jakubiak is Elisabetg and Yulia Motochkina is Venus. Morris Robinson and Lucas Meachem are respectively Hermann and Wolfram.

The 2007 production caused a sensation because of the vivid sexuality of the Venusberg scene, shocking some Angelenos to the same degree that one expects the citizens of the Wartburg were shocked when they learned of Tannhäuser’s visit to the goddess Venus’ lair.

[For my performance review, see: Streamed Performance Review: A Vocally Glorious “Tannhäuser” with Savage, Jakubiak, Meachem, Manotchkina, and Robinson – Los Angeles Opera, October 24, 2021

[For my review of the 2007 production, see: Powerful, Edgy “Tannhäuser” at Los Angeles Opera – February 28, 2007.]

Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart), San Francisco Opera, November 21(m), 23, 27, December 1 and 3, 2021.

The second part of a trio of inter-related productions of the three Mozart operas with Lorenzo da Ponte libretti. “Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Fall 2019. “Don Giovanni” will follow in June, 2022.

Nicole Cabell is Fiordiligi, Irene Roberts is Dorbella. Ben Bliss and John Brancy are respectively Ferrando and Guglielmo. Ferruccio Furlanetto is Don Alfonso and Nicole Heaston is Despina.

[Below: Guglielmo (John Brancy, left) and Ferrando (Ben Bliss, right) are disguised as Albanians in the San Frandsco Opera production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte”; edited image, based on a production design, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Maestro Henrik Nanasi conducts. Michael Cavanagh is production designer.

[For my performance review, see: Review: “Cosi fan Tutte” – Nicely Sung, Imaginatively Staged – San Francisco Opera, November 21, 2021.]