Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto with Željko Lučić as Rigoletto, Aleksandra Kurzak (pictured) as Gilda, and Francesco Demuro as the duke. I look forward to hearing Kurzak. The second cast is Marco Vratogna, Albina Shagimuratova, and former Adler Fellow David Lomelí. Nicola Luisotti conducts. I've been advised to try to see both sopranos.
Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Joyce Didonato as Romeo and Nicole Cabell (pictured) as Juliet. This is a new production. Nicole will also sing in Pearl Fishers at Santa Fe next summer. So far I only know her from the Boheme movie. Riccardo Frizza conducts.
Jake Heggie’s [rhymes with leggy] Moby-Dick had its premier in 2010 in Dallas. Ben Heppner and Jay Hunter Morris (pictured) share the role of Ahab. You will have to pick your favorite. Patrick Summers of the Houston Grand Opera conducts. I heard bits of this on the radio and it sounded fascinating.
Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin with the title role is sung by Brandon Jovanovich (pictured), who sang Siegmund in Die Walküre (2011), and Elsa is soprano Camilla Nylund whom I saw in Zurich in Fidelio with Jonas Kaufmann. Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca will have two casts: Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Giordano (pictured), and baritone Roberto Frontali is one, and the other stars Patricia Racette, tenor Brian Jagde and Mark Delavan. Nicola Luisotti conducts. You may have to go twice.
The Secret Garden is by Nolan Gasser, libretto by Carey Harrison. This is a world premier. Details of the performance are sketchy, and you have to order tickets on the phone.
Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann is a new production starring Natalie Dessay, who will sing all four women, tenor Matthew Polenzani (pictured), whom I remember most from Don Pasquale from the Met, will sing Hoffmann, Alice Coote is Nicklausse, The Muse, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn will play the villains. I think I'll probably still wish for Rolando. Patrick Fournillier conducts.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Heidi Stober (pictured) is featured. Nicola Luisotti conducts.
Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. This is a world premier with Sasha Cooke (pictured) , William Burden, Maria Kanyova and Nathan Gunn. Michael Christie conducts. All I can say is wow. I have a copy of this book at home and am amazed that someone would write an opera based on it.
We have many familiar name stars in this list: Angela Gheorghiu, Natalie Dessay, Patricia Racette, Ben Heppner, Joyce DiDonato, and Alice Coote. Less familiar rising stars include: Heidi Stober, Aleksandra Kurzak, Matthew Polenzani.
That's three new operas in English, and I must comment. Moby-Dick is obviously not a chick flick, since it is all men, but at least it's based on a novel and not history. The Secret Garden is more a kid flick. It is impossible to imagine what The Gospel of Mary Magdalene will be, but I can't wait to find out.