Jerome Kern's Show Boat
June 1- July 2, 2014
This Francesca Zambello production comes to us from Chicago Lyric where it received rave reviews.
Heidi Stober will sing Magnolia Hawks, daughter of
Bill Irwin as Cap'n Andy Hawks (No, Bill Irwin is not an opera singer)
Patricia Racette is Julie La Verne, the leading lady of the troupe.
Michael Todd Simpson is Gaylord Ravenal, a gambler
Morris Robinson as Joe sings "Ole man River"
You may remember Heidi from Magic Flute a couple of years ago.
And here is a brief excerpt from Morris Robinson singing "Ole man River."
This is a classic American Musical that can be well cast with opera singers.
Verdi's La Traviata
June 11- July 13 2014
This opera has two casts. The first cast is:
Sonya Yoncheva sings Violetta
Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo
Vladimir Stoyanov as Alfredo's father Giorgio Germont.
I saw Saimir Pirgu in this role at Santa Fe opposite the Violetta of Natalie Dessay. Sonya Yoncheva has been making a big splash lately by replacing Anna Netrebko in Faust in Vienna and New York. In 2010 she was the Operalia winner.
The other cast is:
Ailyn Pérez (the 2012 Richard Tucker prize winner) as Violetta,
Stephen Costello (her husband, the 2009 Tucker Prize winner) as Alfredo
Quinn Kelsey is Giorgio Germont.
Ailyn sang one performance of this opera in San Francisco in 2009 when Anna Netrebko cancelled some of the performances. By now she has sung Violetta at Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and the Royal Opera House in London.
I have seen her in Faust at Santa Fe, and La Boheme at the Los Angeles Opera with her husband. I traveled for her. She makes frequent appearances in selfies around the internet and is a lovely woman and a wonderful singer. Stephen was most recently here for Moby Dick. Here Stephen and Ailyn together.
It's another one of those situations where you want to hear both casts.
Puccini's Madama Butterfly
June 15- July 9 2014
Patricia Racette will sing Cio-cio-san (her most famous role)
Elizabeth DeShong is Susuki
Brian Jagde is Pinkerton
Brian most recently appeared in San Francisco as Cavaradossi in Tosca. And if you missed Patricia Racette in San Francisco, you simply don't go to the opera here.
The production by Jun Kaneko is new to the San Francisco Opera. Bright colors seems to be a trend in American opera.
This is hard.