Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Italian Girl in Switzerland

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong has withdrawn on account of illness from her scheduled performances as Isabella in the Met's L'Italiana in Algeri this fall. (Sorry to hear this; feel better soon!)

The ramifications are as follows, all quoted from the Met press release:
Marianna Pizzolato will make her Met debut as Isabella, the title character in L’Italiana in Algeri, which she now sings in all performances of Rossini’s comedy at the Met this season. The Italian mezzo-soprano replaces Elizabeth DeShong, who has withdrawn from the run due to illness.
Maria Zifchak will replace Ms. Pizzolato as Hedwige in the first four performances of the new production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, which are October 18, 21, 25, and 29 matinee. Pizzolato will sing the role as scheduled in the final four performances of the run, on November 2, 5, 9, and 12 matinee.
Artist Biographies
Marianna Pizzolato has recently sung the role of Isabella at Toulouse’s Théâtre du Capitole, Florence’s Opera di Firenze, Liège’s Opéra Royal de Wallonie, and Bologna’s Teatro Comunale. Her other recent performances have included Emma in Rossini’s Zelmira at Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Opéra Lyon; Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Gran Teatre del Liceu; and the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Opéra National de Paris, and Seville’s Teatro de la Maestranza.
Maria Zifchak has sung more than 300 Met performances over the course of her 18-year career with the company. Her numerous other roles at the Met this season will include the Old Shepherdess in Janáček’s Jenůfa, the Slave in Strauss’s Salome, Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Annina in Verdi’s La Traviata. Her other recent appearances with the company have included Ines in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Hannah in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, and Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a role she has sung 83 times at the Met.
Casting and Performance Dates
L’Italiana in Algeri, conducted by the Met’s Music Director Emeritus, James Levine, will also star René Barbera in his Met debut as Lindoro, Nicola Alaimo as Taddeo, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Mustafà. The revival opens October 4 and continues on October 7, 12, 15, 20, 22, 26, and 29.
The new production of Guillaume Tell will be conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi and directed by Pierre Audi. Gerald Finley sings the title role, with Marina Rebeka as Mathilde, Janai Brugger as Jemmy, Bryan Hymel as Arnold, Marco Spotti in his Met debut as Walter Furst, Kwangchul Youn as Melcthal, and John Relyea as Gesler. Guillaume Tell opens October 18, with additional performances on October 21, 25, 29 matinee, November 2, 5, 9, and 12 matinee.
Well, that's quite a good cast for the Rossini; René Barbara would be worth the price of admission along. (Levine conducting Rossini? Okay.) Of course Guillaume Tell is one of the greatest operas in the repertory and hasn't been done at the Met in 85 years. I'm astonished it isn't getting an HD broadcast.

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