Malbin, a vintage Butterfly
NBC Opera Theatre
1. JONAS KAUFMANN makes his company role debut as the innocent fool of Wagner's Parsifal as part of the METROPOLITAN OPERA's 2012–13 season, which opens in September with a new production of L'Elisir d'Amore starring Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani. Next season also features two company premieres — Thomas Adès's The Tempest, which will be conducted by the composer, and Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, directed by David McVicar and starring Joyce DiDonato. The Met marks the Verdi and Wagner bicentennials with new stagings of Rigoletto and Un Ballo in Maschera and a revival of Robert Lepage's Ring cycle staging. For details, visit www.metopera.org.
2. PLÁCIDO DOMINGO opens LOS ANGELES OPERA's 2012–13 season in the baritone role of Francesco in the company premiere of Verdi's I Due Foscari, which receives a new production by Thaddeus Strassberger. The five other operas on the schedule play in imported productions, notably Peter Stein's Don Giovanni and Joan Font's La Cenerentola, the latter featuring Kate Lindsey in the title role. For more information, visit www.laopera.com.
3. On Sunday, May 19, the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan screens NBC Opera Theatre's 1955 English-language broadcast of Madame Butterfly, with Elaine Malbin as Puccini's geisha. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Malbin led by OPERA NEWS contributor Eric Myers.
4. LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO has announced that its 2015–16 season will feature the world premiere of Bel Canto, a new opera by Peruvian composer JIMMY LÓPEZ, with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. The new work, based on the best-selling novel by Ann Patchett, stars Danielle de Niese in a production by Stephen Wadsworth.
DEBORAH SANDLER, who has previously headed Kentucky Opera and Opera Festival of New Jersey, has signed a five-year contract to become the new general director of Lyric Opera of Kansas City, effective July 1. She succeeds Evan Luskin, who served fourteen years in the post.
5. On February 18, Opera Tampa bid farewell to founding artistic director ANTON COPPOLA with a concert at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. At a gala following the concert, Maestro Coppola was presented with the award that bears his name, the Anton Coppola Award for Artistic Excellence.
On January 25, KAZEM ABDULLAH became the thirtieth general music director of the city of Aachen, home to one of Germany's oldest orchestras.
6. OPERA America's fifth annual National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards dinner took place at a private club in New York City on February 24. The 2012 honorees were Elizabeth Eveillard of the Glimmerglass Festival; Susan F. Morris of Santa Fe Opera; William C. Morris of the Metropolitan Opera; Joseph and Judy Liff-Barker of Nashville Opera (not in attendance); and the late George R. White of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, who passed away on January 14 and was honored posthumously.
This fall, baritone SANFORD SYLVAN joins the faculty of the Juilliard School's Marcus Institute for the Vocal Arts.