Thursday, March 21, 2013

From the Horse's Mouth

Well, well, well, San Francisco Opera has a new tactic for getting people to renew their subscriptions. (Pssst: I just haven't gotten around to doing it, because I need to do one of those nifty pre-season swaps.) They're telling us well in advance about some upcoming productions and singers.

Here's what the letter says.

New productions:
  • Norma
  • Susannah
  • Les Troyens (guys, hate to tell you, this was the world's worst-kept secret)
  • Elektra
  • Jenufa
  • Meistersinger (ditto; it's the Glyndebourne production)
  • Partenope
And "an important revival of Don Carlo." That would be nice, considering that the last two productions of this great opera more or less sucked.

The letter also mentions a bunch of singers: Radvanovsky, Vargas, Hampson, Stoyanova, Zajick, Pisaroni, D'Arcangelo, Graham, Antonacci, Hymel, Fabiano, Kwiecien, Mattila, Monastryska, Alagna, Crocetto, Finley, Jovanovich, "and a host of others." Let's try to map them to some of the above operas.

We already know from personal reports and program bios that Graham and Antonacci will be in Troyens. Let's guess that the tenor will be Hymel, who took the last few performances at the Met and seems to have the right kind of voice for the heroic French repertory. So much for my guess that it would be Brandon J! But we can slot him into a couple of the above operas: He could be Pollione in Norma, or Walther in Meistersingeri, or, hey, either of the tenor roles in Jenufa. Speaking of those operas, Jenufa and Eva are both in Mattila's repertory, though at 50+, who knows whether they still are? Gerald Finley sang Sachs at Glyndebourne, if I'm not mistaken, but that's a house half the size of SF. Vargas, Hampson, Stoyanova, and Zajick might make a good chunk of a Don Carlo cast, though maybe Alagna is expected to be the tenor there. Monastryska got raves for her Aida in NY, so maybe she is Elisabetta di Valois.

S. Rad. is about to take on the Druid priestess, and we know that Zajick is a powerhouse Adalgisa. Or perhaps we just know she is a powerhouse. I'd be happy to see her in anything because she sings better and sounds better than mezzos 20 years her junior. Or maybe SFO is doing the right thing and casting a young soprano as Adalgisa; that could be Leah Crocetto. Or maybe she is in Partenope. Pisaroni could be in Partenope. Susannah is likely to star a couple of the host of others, local fav Patricia Racette and Stuart Skelton.

Anyone else have guesses? I don't see obvious roles above for Kwiecien or Fabiano, who will both be welcome returnees.


John Marcher said...

Okay- I'll play:

Finley- Blitch
Crocetto- Susannah
Mattila- Jenufa
Jovanovich- Laca
Zajick- Kostelnikja
Vargas- Don Carlo
Kwiecien- Rodrigo
Stoyanova- Elisabeth
Hampson- Phillipe (!)
Vargas- Carlo

Henry Holland said...

So I guess a revival of the great production of Lear is out of the question. :-)

Any hints of Britten? Something written after the death of Puccini besides the Susannah?

In recent days, a handful of the major European houses have announced their 2013/14 seasons: Royal Opera House, Zurich, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Monnaie, Munich and it's pretty grim. I think the days of lavish public spending on opera in the EU are gone which = less risk taking, less willingness to let 28 performances of La Traviata pay for baroque/rare/modern stuff.

Andy Olson said...

I'm envious! Chicago Lyric is the principal opera house I get to, being in Madison, and their season next year is so conservative. I would kill for Jenufa, Les Troyens, or Susannah!

John Marcher said...

Andy does bring up a good point I didn't even realize- the future seasons feature a nice expansion beyond the war horses Gockley has been presenting almost wall-to-wall these past few years.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Henry, alas. I doubt we'll see Lear ever again. It was done recently in two different German houses, Frankfurt and I can't remember where else. Hamburg?

Andy, yeah, though the last couple of seasons have been wall-to-wall top-20 opera.

Henry Holland said...

Indeed, Lear was done recently in Frankfurt and Hamburg. The Frankfurt performance, of course, came out on CD, it's quite good. I've only seen it once, in Dresden, it was pretty overwhelming in that small house. Now if they'd only release the film they made in 1982(?), I have it on a 4 millionth generation DVD....

Maybe Gockley could do all the stuff that never got done during Pamela Rosenberg's tenure. :-) He is doing Les Troyens, which was on Rosenberg's list but I think it was a horrible production that got trashed by the critics when it was done at the Royal Opera House.

Wonder if they ever filmed the Saint Francois d'Assisi?