Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, Election-Centered Rigoletto Among Seattle Opera’s 2019–2020 Season

Classic Arts News   Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, Election-Centered Rigoletto Among Seattle Opera’s 2019–2020 Season
The season kicks off August 10 with Lindy Hume’s contemporary spin on Verdi’s Rigoletto.
<i>Charlie Parker&#39;s Yardbird</i> at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Charlie Parker's Yardbird at Lyric Opera of Chicago Todd Rosenberg

Seattle Opera has announced the five titles comprising its 2019–2020 season, which kicks off August 10 with Lindy Hume’s production of the Verdi favorite Rigoletto. The lineup also includes Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly’s jazz opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird.

Hume’s Rigoletto, from Opera Queensland (where she previously served as artistic director) takes inspiration from the political career of Italian mogul Silvio Berlusconi and carries new resonance following the 2016 election. This production transports the opera from the Duke’s 16th-century Mantua palace to a contemporary presidential hall. Performances will continue through August 28.

Carlo Montanaro will conduct a cast that includes Lester Lynch and Giuseppe Altomare alternating in the title role, Madison Leonard and Soraya Mafi as Gilda, and Liparit Avetsyan and Yongzhao Yu as the Duke of Mantua.

The season continues October 19–November 1 with Rossini’s La Cenerentola, also directed by Hume. Gary Thor Wedow will conduct the operatic take on the Cinderella fairy tale, with Ginger Costa-Jackson and Wallis Giunta both singing the title role.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, directed by Tomer Zvulun, will follow. Aleksandar Marković conducts the January 2020 run, with John Moore and Michael Adams in the title role and Marjukka Tepponen and Marina Costa-Jackson singing Tatyana.

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird runs February 22–March 7. The piece, which premiered at Opera Philadelphia in 2015, explores the career of the legendary jazz saxophonist as he struggles to complete one final masterpiece. Joshua Stewart and Frederick Ballentine will sing the title role in the Ron Daniels production, with Kelly Kuo conducting.

The season concludes with Puccini's La Bohème May 2–19. Among the ensemble cast is Angel Blue, who sang Bess in last year's Porgy and Bess at Seattle Opera, as Mimì. Joseph Colaneri will conduct.

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