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Hail Marys: McTeer and DiDonato at the Met
© Tristan Cook/Metropolitan Opera 2013
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Dolora, set for Dolores © Beth Bergman 2013
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Hymel as the Met's Énée
© Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera 2013

1. Dramatic mezzo DOLORA ZAJICK stars in the world premiere of Tobias Picker's Dolores Claiborne next season at San Francisco Opera. The show, which opens on September 18 in a production by James Robinson, also features Elizabeth Futral, as Dolores's employer Vera Donovan, and Susannah Biller, as her daughter Selena. The opera is based on the novel by Stephen King, which was turned into a film vehicle for Kathy Bates in 1995.

2. Tenor BRYAN HYMEL made an unexpected Met debut on December 26, when he replaced Marcello Giordani as Énée in Berlioz's Troyens, following the Italian singer's withdrawal from the production halfway through its run. Next up for Hymel is a production of Madama Butterfly this month at Pittsburgh Opera, followed by the Duke in Rigoletto at Lyric Opera Baltimore in May and a concert of Walter Braunfels's Jeanne d'Arc at the Salzburg Festival in August.

3. On Sunday, March 17, American Symphony Orchestra presents Heinrich Marschner's 1828 opera Der Vampyr in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. NICHOLAS PALLESEN starsas the titular ghoul in a cast that also includes Vale Rideout and Tamara Wilson. ASO music director Leon Botstein will conduct a free Q&A in the auditorium before the concert. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.americansymphony.org.

4. GOTHAM CHAMBER OPERA rounds out the 2012–13 season with two rarely heard works — Cavalli's Eliogabalo (Mar.), starring countertenor Christopher Ainslie as the eccentric and debauched Roman emperor, and Daniel Catán's La HijaRappaccini (June), with Elaine Alvarez. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.

On January 5, at the Civic Opera House in Chicago, PATRICK STEWART and RENÉE FLEMING cohosted The Second City Guide to the Opera, performing alongside members from Chicago's famed comedy troupe the Second City. The revue-style show, which featured opera-themed comedy sketches, was sold out. Lyric and the Second City have announced a June run of the show, including new material, at the Civic Opera House, with the audience members to be seated onstage.

Ensemble LPR, the resident orchestra of (Le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, has appointed TITO MUÑOZ as its new music director.  

5. Actress JANET MCTEER, Broadway's Mary Stuart in 2009, was among the celebrities applauding JOYCE DIDONATO's Maria Stuarda at the Met's New Year's Eve gala (See In Review, p. 46). It was the first face-to-face meeting for the two Mary Stuarts, who were interviewed about the Scots Queen in the January issue of OPERA NEWS.

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Composer Knussen
© Clive Barda 2013

6. The Miller Theatre in New York City devotes the next installment of its Composer Portraits series to British conductor and composer OLIVER KNUSSEN. The event, which takes place on April 18, showcases Knussen's vocal works Requiem — Songs for Sue and Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh, performed by mezzo Rachel Calloway and Ensemble Signal. The composer will participate in an onstage interview during the show. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit ­www.millertheatre.com, or call 212-854-7799. spacer 

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