Verdi Bicentenary Celebration Continues…
ONSTAGE @LA Opera
In the Southland, LA Opera Director-General Plácido Domingo recently announced the full casting and production details for LA Opera’s upcoming production of Falstaff, Verdi’s final opera based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. “All year long, opera houses around the world have been celebrating the bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi, the greatest of all Italian composers,” said Mr. Domingo.
In performances from November 9 through December 1, LA opera unveilS a new staging of Verdi’s comic masterpiece, Falstaff, the crowning glory of his extraordinary career. Falstaff is, of course, based on Shakespeare’s brilliant comedy, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, about old Sir John Falstaff, the portly knight of Windsor and his plot to improve his love life by courting two different married women that unleashes a flood of comic chaos and romantic misadventure. The cast is led by three acclaimed Italian singers: baritone Roberto Frontali as Falstaff, soprano Carmen Giannattasio as Alice Ford and Marco Caria as Ford. The cast also includes Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova and Argentinian tenor Juan Francisco Gatell in their LA Opera debuts as the young lovers Nannetta and Fenton. Returning artists include mezzo-sopranos Ronnita Nicole Miller and Erica Brookhyser, alumnae of LA Opera’s young artist program, as Mistress Quickly and as Meg Page; tenor Robert Brubaker as Dr. Caius; Filipino tenor Rodell Rosel as Bardolph; and Russian bass Valentin Anikin, a current member of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, as Pistol.
James Conlon, LA Opera’s Music Director, will conduct all six Los Angeles, as well as a special concert performance on November 26 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County. The new production is directed by Lee Blakeley, with scenery and costumes designed by Adrian Linford, both making their LA Opera debuts. Rick Fisher is the lighting designer and Nicola Bowie is the choreographer. Grant Gershon, LA Opera’s Resident Conductor, is the chorus master.
Performance Dates and Locations
Falstaff will open on Saturday, November 9, at 7:30pm, with subsequent evening performances at 7:30pm on November 13, 16 and 21, and matinee performances at 2pm on November 24 and December 1. These performances will take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012. There will also be a concert performance of Falstaff with Mr. Conlon leading the same cast, as well the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus, at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County, on November 26 at 7:30pm. For information on this performance, please click HERE.
Watch a video clip of LA Opera’s earlier Falstaff production starring Bryn Terfel in the title role:
Tickets at $18 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online at www.LAOpera.com.
@San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera just concluded its Verdi bicentennial celebration with a staging of the same opera, Falstaff, which ran from October 8 to November 2, with the renowned bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in what has become one of his signature roles. Terfel sang the same role with LA Opera in 2005. San Francisco Opera teamed with Stanford Live to present a free live simulcast of the October 11 performance of Falstaff at Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheater. Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta starred as Alice Ford and Italian baritone Fabio Capitanucci made his Company debut as her husband. Soprano Heidi Stober was Nannetta, Meredith Arwady was Dame Quickly and Francesco Demuro sang Fenton. The Lyric Opera of Chicago production, designed by Frank Philipp Schlössmann and directed by French stage director Olivier Tambosi, was conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
The celebration also included an Insight Panel Discussion on October 2, presented by the San Francisco Opera Guild featuring members of the cast and production team. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, October 2 at 6 p.m.
Below is a video clip of Bryn Terfel in this San Francisco Opera presentation:
In addition to Falstaff, San Francisco Opera presented an unprecedented performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s choral masterpiece, the Messa da Requiem, on Friday, October 25, 2013 featuring the combined orchestras and choruses of San Francisco Opera and Italy’s celebrated Real Teatro di San Carlo of Naples. Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, much-admired music director of both international companies, this concert featured four vocal soloists: soprano Leah Crocetto, mezzo-soprano Margaret Mezzacappa, tenor Michael Fabiano and bass Vitalij Kowaljow. This unique presentation of the Requiem was offered both as part of the worldwide Verdi bicentennial celebration and in recognition of 2013 The Year of Italian Culture in the United States, an initiative held under the auspices of the president of the Italian Republic.