La donna del lago, Rossini's heroic opera seria based on Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake, opened last night at the New York State Theater — in a brand new production (have a look at the photos below) directed by Chas Rader-Shieber and conducted by company music director George Manahan.
Heading the cast are two gifted young Rossinians, soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska and tenor Barry Banks, who thrilled audiences in City Opera's 2004 staging of another of the composer's heroic stage works, Ermione. Pendatchanska plays the titular Lady of the Lake, Ellen Douglas (Elena in Rossini's libretto), with Banks as the young King James V (father of Mary, Queen of Scots), who attempts to woo Elena in disguise under the name Uberto. They are joined by tenor Robert McPherson as Rodrigo, the hot-tempered rebel to whom Elena was betrothed against her will; mezzo Laura Vlasak Nolen as Malcolm, Elena's true love; and bass Daniel Mobbs as her father, Lord Douglas.
La donna del lago returns to the State Theater tomorrow night and continues for five more performances through April 7. Details and tickets are available at www.nycopera.com.
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All photos by Joan Marcus.