Saturday, January 23, 2010

San Francisco Opera's 2010-11 Season Announced

San Francisco Opera just announced its 2010-11 Season. Except for the already announced Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Richard Wagner) in summer 2011, six other operas are to be presented in fall 2010: Aida (Giuseppe Verdi), Werther (Jules Massenet), Le Nozze di Figaro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), Madama Butterfly (Giacomo Puccini), Cyrano de Bergerac (Franco Alfano), The Makropulos Case (Leos Janácek).

The most significant news are the Ring cycle to be conducted by the great Donald Runnicle, with Nina Stemme as Brünhilde, Karita Mattila in The Makropulos Case and the return of the tenor Plácido Domingo in a fully staged opera after a long drought.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle article:

Domingo's return will mark his first performance in a staged opera since playing John the Baptist in Massenet's "Hérodiade," although he has made concert appearances since then. In a phone interview, General Director David Gockley said that "Cyrano" - a 1936 treatment of the Edmond Rostand play by a composer still best known for having completed Puccini's "Turandot" - was Domingo's idea.

He suggested that and Handel's 'Tamerlano,' " he said, "so I got on my horse and went to La Scala and saw 'Cyrano.'

"I was impressed. It's a pretty good work - not a great work - but I thought he did an extraordinary job of characterizing the title role. He sings it beautifully, both strength and sensitivity - and he sword fights well."

Tamerlano is a work with penetrating intellect and great drama, while Cyrano, "is not a gret work".

New production Aida looked garish and do we want to hear another Butterfly so soon?

Opera not only needs to entertain, it should also stimulate and challenge.

Pamela Rosenberg (former general director of SF Opera), where art thou?

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