In Quest of 2021 and 2022 Opera Performances in California and Arizona

The Copper Queen (Borzoni and de los Santos), Arizona Opera, October 29, 30, 31, November 1, 2, 3 and 4, 2021.

A planned in-theater world premiere for Clint Borzoni’s opera “The Copper Queen” (libretto by John de los Santos) had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 epidemic. A decision was made to film the opera and open the Arizona Opera’s 2021-22 season with a week of showings of the film at various movie theaters and venues throughout Arizona.

“The Copper Queen” takes place in 2010 in a particular room (#315) of an old Bisbee, Arizona hotel, considered “haunted” because it was the place that a sex worker (Julia) was murdered a century prior. Addison, the room’s 21st century hotel guest, although at first skeptical of “ghost stories”, becomes absorbed in Julia’s fate, as the opera’s action alternates between 2010 and 1910.

[Below: the Arizona Opera’s promotional poster for “The Copper Queen”.]

Sarah Coit is 2010’s Addison. The 1910 characters are Vanessa Becerra (Julia Lowell), Keith Phares (Daddy Lowell) Joshua Dennis (Theodore), Joseph Lattanzi (Peter Ackerman), and Peter Morgan and Ian Christensen. Crystal Manich directs; Maestra Daniela Candillari conducts.

This collaboration between composer Borzoni and librettist de los Santos follows their previous opera “When Adonis Calls”.

[For my performance review, see: Opera World Premiere Review: Vanessa Becerra Stars in Dramatically Persuasive “Copper Queen” Film – Arizona Opera, October 29, 2021.]

La Cenerentola (Rossini and Ferretti), Los Angeles Opera, November 20, 28, December 1, 4, 8 and 12, 2021.

Director Laurent Pelly’s production of “La Cenerentola”, seen last fall at the Grand Théâtre de Genève is mounted with a cassst led by Serena Malfi as Angelina/Cenerentola/Cinderella and Levy Sekgapane as Don Ramiro. The cast includes opera buffo veterans Rodion Pogossov (Dandini), Alessandro Corbelli (Don Magnifico) and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo (Alidoro).

[Below: Angelina (here, Anna Goryachova, left) spends the hours before midnight with the prince Don Ramiro (here, Edgardo Rocha, right) in the 2020 Laurent Pelly Grand Théâtre de Genève production of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola”; based on a Carole Parodi photograph for the Grand Théâtre de Genève.


Maestro Roberto Abbado conducts. The production and costumes are by Pelly, the sets by his collaborator Chantal Thomas .

[For my performance, review, see: Streamed Performance Review: An Enchanting, Well Sung, “La Cenerentola”, Los Angeles Opera, November 28, 2021.]

Don Giovanni (Mozart and da Ponte), San Francisco Opera, June 4, 10, 12, 15, 18, 21, 26 and July 2, 2022

Director Michael Cavanagh has conceived a trilogy of productions of the three operas that Mozart composed on libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, each opera taking place in the same house but at different points in time. “Don Giovanni” is the third of the trilogy and takes place in the future.

Etienne Dupuis and Adela Zaharia make their San Francisco Opera debuts respectively as Don Giovanni and Donna Elvira. Carmen Giannattasio is Donna Elvira, Christina Gansch is Zerlina. Amitai Pati is Don OttaP.vio, Luca Pisaroni is Leporello and Soloman Howard is the Commendatore.

[Below: Donna Elvira (Nicole Car, left) confronts Don Giovanni (Etienne Dupuis, right) on his unacceptable behavior; edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph for the San Francisco Opera.]

Maestro Bertrand de Billy conducts. Erhard Rom designed the sets.

[For my performance review, see: Review: Dupuis and Pisaroni Lead International Cast for Michael Cavanagh’s New “Don Giovanni” Production – San Francisco Opera, June 12, 2022.]

Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky and Shilovsky) September 25, 28(m), October 1, 6, 9, 11 and 14, 2022)

“Eugene Onegin” returns to the San Francisco Opera in Robert Carsen’s “world treasure” production. A group of artists debuting with the company include Russian soprano Evgenia Muraveva as Tatyana, Canadian baritone Gordon Bintner as Onegin, Minnesota tenor Evan LeRoy Johnson as Lensky, Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmenshina as Olga, North Carolina mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel as Madame Larina. Debuts include the conductor, Maestro Vassilis Christopoulos and choreographer Serge Bennathan.

Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto is Prince Gremin. Florida contralto Ronnita Miller is Filipyevna and Missouri tenor Brenton Ryan is Monsieur Triquet.

[Below: Photo: Vladimir Lensky (Evan LeRoy Johnson, front left) and Eugene Onegin (Gordon Bittner, front right) have arrived for their duel, whose details are being discussed by their seconds (back, center); edited image, based on a Cory Weaver photograph, courtesy of the San Francisco Opera.]

Peter McClintock is revival director. John Keene is chorus director. The original production was designed by Michael Levine.

[For my performance review: see Review: Robert Carsen’s Production of “Eugene Onegin”, Admirably Performed – San Francisco Opera, October 9, 2022.]

[For my review of a previous revival of the Carsen production, see: Review: A Praiseworthy “Eugene Onegin” in Robert Carsen’s “World Treasure” Production – Houston Grand Opera, November 1, 2015.]

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through November, 2021:

Mozart’s and da Ponte’s “Cosi fan Tutte” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Fall 2021 Live Opera Performances in Los Angeles and San Francisco.]