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Abbado tribute in Milan
Courtesy Teatro alla Scala
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Soprano Mosuc
© Susanne Schwiertz 2014
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Mozartean Kwiecien
© Mikolaj Mikolajczyk 2014

1. ELENA MOSUCwhose new Sony disc, Donizetti Heroines, is reviewed here, received a "career prize" from the Verona Opera Group at the Verona Philharmonic Theater in January. The Romanian soprano is in Salerno this month for Liù in Turandot, then travels to Berlin in May for Donna Anna at Deutsche Oper.

2. Thousands filled Milan's Piazza della Scala on January 27 in tribute to conductor CLAUDIO ABBADO, longtime music director of La Scala (1968–86). The auditorium was empty inside the theater, where Daniel Barenboim, La Scala's current music director, led the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala in a performance of the funeral march from Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, broadcast live on Italian state television and streamed on the internet.

3. On September 27, MARIUSZ KWIECIEN will take on the title role in LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO's season-opening new staging of Don Giovanni, directed by Robert Falls and conducted by Andrew Davis. Davis will also be on the Lyric podium in 2014–15 for Capriccio, Tannhäuser and the company premiere of The Passenger

4. Actor BILL IRWIN will make his San Francisco Opera debut on June 1, as Cap'n Andy in the company premiere of Francesca Zambello's staging of Show Boat. Others on board the SFO Show Boat include HARRIET HARRIS, making her company debut as Parthy Ann, Patricia Racette (Julie), Michael Todd Simpson (Gaylord Ravenal) and Heidi Stober (Magnolia). San Francisco Opera's 2014–15 season opens on September 5, with SONDRA RADVANOVSKY in Bellini's Norma.

5. On January 12 at the National Opera Center in Manhattan, STEPHANIE BLYTHE hosted a reception for the FALL ISLAND VOCAL ARTS SEMINAR, where she is artistic director. The program's third season begins on May 19 at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York.

6. PATTI LUPONE  returns to LOS ANGELES OPERA in February 2015 as Samira in the company's new production of The Ghosts of Versailles, conducted by JAMES CONLON. Patricia Racette and Christopher Maltman make their role debuts as Marie Antoinette and Beaumarchais in Darko Tresnjak's staging of John Corigliano's work, which joins two other Figaro operas in the company's 2014–15 season, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Feb.–Mar.) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Mar.–Apr.). The LAO season opens on September 13, with general director PLÁCIDO DOMINGO singing his first local performances as Germont in La Traviata.

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The gang's all here: Green, Bledsoe and O'Connell — Figaro, Almaviva and Rosine, respectively, in Wadsworth's Beaumarchais adaptations
Photo by John Baer

7. In April and May, director STEPHEN WADSWORTH's English-language adaptations of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais revolutionary "Figaro" plays, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, take the stage of Princeton's McCarter Matthews Theatre. Wadsworth, who previously translated and staged an acclaimed trilogy of Marivaux plays at the McCarter, directs the new productions of Beaumarchais's farcical works, which inspired the operas by Mozart and Rossini. Both Figaro productions will feature Neal Bledsoe as Count Almaviva, Naomi O'Connell as Rosine and Adam Green in the role of Figaro; Maggie Lacey will play the role of Suzanne in Marriage of Figaro. More information can be found at www.mccarter.org/figaroplays 

8. Tony Award-winning producer JED BERNSTEIN took office as the ninth president of LINCOLN CENTER on January 27. For the past seven years, Bernstein has been president of Above the Title Entertainment, a theater and television production company and marketing consultancy.

9. Sony's new fifteen-CD set, DOMINGO — THE VERDI OPERA COLLECTION, gathers Plácido Domingo's recordings of six complete Verdi operas, four of them conducted by James Levine. spacer 

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