Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto will sing the title role for the first time in the U.S., while Ukrainian bass Vitalij Kowaljow makes his company debut as Pimen. Lotfi Mansouri directs; Val_ry Ryvkin conducts; sets are by Robert Dahlstrom.
San Diego Opera will also present the company premiere of Saint-SaêŠns's Samson et Delilah, with Denyce Graves and Clifton Forbis in the title roles. Karen Keltner conducts; Mansouri directs; sets are by Douglas Schmidt.
Broadway director Des McAnuff makes his opera debut with a new production of Wozzeck opening April 14. This San Diego Opera premiere features German bass Franz Hawlata in the title role. Karen Keltner conducts.
In Il trovatore (opening March 24), Italian soprano Paoletta Marrocu and Italian tenor Nicola Rossi Giordano will make their company debuts as Leonora and Manrico. Edoardo M‹ller conducts; Stephen Lawless directs in his company debut; sets are by Benoit Dugardyn.
The 2007 season closes with The Marriage of Figaro (opening May 5), starring Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian as Susanna and Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien and American bass-baritone Richard Bernstein making their company debuts as Count Almaviva and Figaro, respectively. Edoardo M‹ller conducts; Linda Brovsky directs; sets are by Zack Brown.
San Diego Opera has lowered the price of its cheapest seats to $27; subscription packages for three operas are available for $81, and a full season of five operas for as low as $135. This season also marks the debut of the company's podcast series, which was launched three weeks ago and is hosted by Fortuna Classical Music. There are two formats: an audio series of 15-minute introductions to all the operas being performed this season; and 30-minute in-depth video podcasts of programs (originally produced for television) now available for downloading to MP3 format.
The San Diego Opera podcast series can be accessed at www.sdopera.com/education/podcast.html as well as the iTunes site.