OPERA NEWS - Noteworthy & Now
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Noteworthy & Now

By Eloise Giegerich

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Wonderful Life
© Karen Almond
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© Anton Welt
Noteworthy Now Stagg lg 1218
© Simon Pauly

Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role of Davide Livermore’s new Attila staging at La Scala (Dec. 11–Jan. 8); Riccardo Chailly conducts. Later in January, Abdrazakov heads to New York, for Leporello in the Met’s Don Giovanni; Luca Pisaroni (title role), Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Donna Anna) and Aida Garifullina (Zerlina) also star, paced by Cornelius Meister, who makes his house debut.

Siobhan Stagg  makes her Lyric Opera debut in the title role of Laurent Pelly’s Cendrillon staging, which has a run in Chicago, December 1 through January 20. Later in January, the Australian soprano heads to Europe, for Micaëla in Deutsche Oper Berlin’s Carmen, and later Gilda, in the house’s Rigoletto.

Just in time for the holiday season: Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life has its West Coast premiere at San Francisco Opera, November 17–December 9. Leonard Foglia directs and Patrick Summers paces the cast, which includes William Burden (George Bailey), Golda Schultz (Clara), in her house debut, Andriana Chuchman (Mary), also in her house debut, and Rod Gilfry (Mr. Potter).

Pavol Breslik  sings Hans in David Bösch’s new Bartered Bride in Munich (Dec. 22–Jan. 6). Later in January, the Slovakian tenor heads north to Dresden, for the Semperoper’s Merry Widow, where he sings Danilo to Marlis Petersen’s Hanna Glawari (Jan. 18–24). 

⓹  Susan Graham  makes her role debut as the Witch in LA Opera’s Hansel and Gretel, by director Doug Fitch (Nov. 17–Dec. 15). Sasha Cooke (Hansel) and Liv Redpath (Gretel) also star, paced by James Conlon. In 2019, Graham gives multiple concerts and recitals across the U.S., appearing first at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, IL, then with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and finally at the Houston Symphony, where she’ll sing an all-French program. 

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© Dario Acosta

Wallis Giunta  shares the title role in Lindy Hume’s new production of Carmen at Opera Leipzig, December 15 (and later, Feb. 2). The Canadian mezzo remains at the house through the new year, singing Rosina in Claus Guth’s Barbiere di Siviglia staging (Dec. 20 & Jan. 26) and later, Octavian in Alfred Kirchner’s Rosenkavelier production (Jan. 6 & 12).

Baritone Quinn Kelsey sings Germont in Michael Mayer’s new staging of La Traviata at the Met (Dec. 4–29); Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts. Following New York, Kelsey heads to Europe for the title role in Zurich’s Rigoletto, before returning stateside for Dallas Opera’s Falstaff, in which he sings Ford.

Composers Missy Mazzoli and Tony Award-winner Jeanine Tesori are making history as the first female composers commissioned by the Met Opera. Mazzoli (Breaking the Waves, Proving Up) will write an opera based on American writer George Saunders’s 2017 novel, Lincoln in the Bardo; Tesori, of Fun Home fame, will also see her opera, Grounded, developed and staged by the house.

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© Dario Acosta

American mezzo Samantha Hankey, who recently took home two of the top prizes at this year’s Operalia competition, sings Madamigella Dangeville in David McVicar’s new Adriana Lecouvreur staging at the Met (Dec. 31–Jan. 26). Following Adriana, Hankey remains in New York well into the new year, singing Countess Ceprano in the house’s Rigoletto, then Wellgunde in Robert Lepage’s productions of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, part of the Met’s Ring cycle revival. 

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Vienna State Opera
© Masci Giuseppe/AGF/Agefotostock

Noteworthy and now 10 Catch the world premiere of composer Johannes Maria Staud and librettist Durs Grünbein’s Weiden at Wiener Staatsoper, December 8–20. Written specifically for the Staatsoper, and based on Algernon Blackwood’s novella, The Willows, the opera stars Rachel Frenkel and Tomasz Konieczny as Lea and Peter, a young couple navigating the rapidly-changing political landscape of modern Europe. Ingo Metzmacher conducts. spacer 

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