In Quest of Early Summer 2024 Operas in San Francisco and Santa Fe

The following is a list of operas that I am scheduled to review at the San Francisco and Santa Fe Operas. The four operas, all from the 18th and 19th centuries, will be shown in productions that time-shift each opera to the late 19th or the first half of the 20th century.

The Magic Flute (Mozart), San Francisco Opera, May 30, June 2, 4, 8, 14, 20, 22, 26 and 30, 2024.

Barrie Kosky’s well-traveled production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” appears for the first time at the San Francisco Opera. Musically, the opera is performed as Mozart intended, but its visual presentation incorporates images from a silent movie that I, in a previous performance review, described as “outrageously inventive, unceeasingly entertaining”.

[Below: A scene from Barry Kosky‘s “silent film” production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”]

Samoan-born New Zealand Amitai Pati performs the role of Tamino. Austrian soprano Christina Gansch, in her third major San Francisco Opera role, is Pamina. Company debuts include German baritone Lauri Vasar as Papageno, Polish soprano Anna Siminska as the Queen of the Night and South Korean bass Kwangchul Youn as Sarastro.

Maestra Eun Sun Kim conducts. Germany’s Tobias Ribitski the is revival director.

Twice I have reported on this production’s mountings at the Los Angeles Opera [See Review: Outrageously Inventive, Unceasingly Entertaining – Kosky/Andrade/Barritt’s Silent Movie “Magic Flute” Wows L. A. – Los Angeles Opera, November 23, 2013 and Review: A Youthful Cast Excels in Los Angeles Opera “Magic Flute” – December 1, 2019.]

Partenope (Handel), San Francisco Opera, June 15, 19, 23, 25 and 28, 2024.

Nine years ago, director Christopher Alden’s production of Handel’s “Partenope” (moving the action from the era of the founding of Naples, Italy to early 19th century Paris) proved a hit wtih San Francisco Opera audiences.

For the production’s revival, making their San Francisco Opera debuts are French soprano Julie Fuchs as Partenope, Italian countertenor Carlo Vistoli as Arsace, and New York countertenor Nicholas Tamagna as Armindo,

For the revival mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack repeats her role of Rosmira and tenor Alek Shtrader his role of Emilio. New Zealand bass-baritone (and former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow) Hadleigh Adams makes his role debut as Ormonte.

[Below: French soprano Julie Fuchs will sing the role of Partenope; edited image, based on a photograph from juliefuchs.com]

[For my previous reports on this production, see: Review: An Engaging Cast, Handel’s Seductive Music, and Christopher Alden’s Surreal Staging Enliven San Francisco Opera’s “Partenope” – San Francisco Opera, October 15, 2014 and A Second Look Review: “Partenope” at the San Francisco Opera – October 24, 2014.]

La Traviata (Verdi) Santa Fe Opera, June 28, July 3, 6, 12, 19, August 1, 5, 10, 17, 20 and 24, 2024.

American director Louisa Muller makes her Santa Fe Opera debut, creating a new production of “La Traviata” for the company’s season opener. Her concept moves the opera’s action to 1939 Paris.

Each of the three principal artists singing “La Traviata” are making their Santa Fe Opera debuts. Violetta is performed by Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan. Uzbeki tenor Bekhzod Davronov (and 2021 Operalia prizewinner) is Alfredo. Mexican baritone Carlos Arámbula is Giorgio Germont. Maestro Corrado Rovaris conducts.

[Below: Director Louisa Muller; edited image, based on a photograph from louisamujller.com.]

The scenery and costumes are by the debuting British designer and Tony-winner, Christopher Oram, whose scenic designs for productions I have praised of Britten’s “Billy Budd” performed at San Francisco Opera and Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” at Houston Grand Opera.

Don Giovanni (Mozart), Santa Fe Opera, June 29, July 5, 10, 29, August 3, 6, 19, 21 and 23, 2024

British director Stephen Barlow returns for his third Santa Fe Opera production. Fascinated by parallels he sees between “Don Giovanni” and Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, Barlow time-shifts the opera to Victorian England.

[Below: A detail from Santa Fe Opera poster for Stephen Barlow’s 2024 Dorian Gray-themed production of “Don Giovanni”; edited image, based on a Benedetto Cristofani poster, from the Santa Fe Opera.]

Don GIovanni is played by Virginia bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green and Giovanni’s sidekick Leporello by California bass-baritone Nicholas Newton. Florida soprano Teresa Perrotta is Donna Anna, Texas tenor David Portillo is Don Ottavio and Nevada soprano Rachael Wilson is Donna Elvira. The rustici are performed by Minnesota soprano Liv Redpath as Zerlina and Chinese bass William Guanbo Su. District of Columbia bass Soloman Howard is the Commendatore.

Maestro Henry Bicket conducts. Yannis Thavoris is the Scenic and Costume Designer

[For my performance reviews of Santa Fe Opera’s two previous Stephen Barlow productions, see: Review: Echalaz, Jagde, Aceto Open Santa Fe Opera Season in Wonderfully Sung “Tosca” – June 29, 2012 and Review: A Hilarious “Barbiere di Siviglia” from Hopkins, Swanson, Fons and Burdette – Santa Fe Opera, August 6, 2022.]

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed through June, 2024:

Saariaho and Oksanen‘s “Innocence” [See In Quest of 21st Century Operatic Projects].