Los Angeles Opera Announces 2007-08 Season

Classic Arts News   Los Angeles Opera Announces 2007-08 Season
The 2007-08 season at Los Angeles Opera, announced yesterday, features nine productions, including the company premiere of Jenufa with Karita Mattila in her house debut; the U.S. premiere of Viktor Ullmann's Der zerbrochene Krug, Puccini's La Rondine starring Patricia Racette, and a revival of the David Hockney production of Tristan und Isolde.

The seasons opens on September 8 with Beethoven's Fidelio conducted by music director James Conlon, who will be beginning his second season with the company. The production, directed and designed by Pier'Alli, features soprano Anja Kampe as Leonore, tenor Klaus Florian Vogt as Florestan, baritone Eike Wilm Schulte as Don Pizzaro, bass Matti Salminen as Rocco and bass-baritone Oleg Bryjak as Don Fernando.

The opening weekend will continue on September 9 with the annual Plšcido Domingo and Friends Gala.

Following Fidelio will be the house premiere of Janšcek's Jenufa on September 27. Singing alongside Karita Mattila will be soprano Eva Urbanová as the Kostelnicka, tenor Kim Begley as Laca and tenor Joseph Kaiser, a 2005 winner of the Operalia competition (which is run by Domingo) as Steva. This Metropolitan Opera production will be conducted by Conlon and directed by Olivier Tambosi.

The season continues with a revival of Mariusz Trelinski's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni on November 24, with bass Erwin Schrott in the title role. Hartmut Haenchen conducts a cast that also features bass Kyle Ketelsen, soprano Alexandra Deshorties and tenor Charles Castronovo.

The company will also revive the Herbert Ross production of Puccini's La Bohme, which returns on November 25. Maija Kovalevska, first prize winner of the 2006 Operalia competition, and 2003 Operalia winner Virginia Tola will alternate as Mimì; tenors Massimo Giordano and 2005 Operalia winner Arturo Chac‹n-Cruz will sing Rodolfo. Hartmut Haenchen and Domingo will alternate on the podium.

Linda Watson and John Treleaven take the title roles in a revival of the David Hockney-designed staging of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, which opens January 19, conducted by Conlon. John Cox's production of Verdi's Otello returns to the repertory on February 16, also with Conlon in the pit. The cast features tenor Ian Storey as Otello, soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domê¢s as Desdemona, baritone Mark Delavan as Iago and bass Eric Halfvarson as Lodovico.

Over the past few years one of Conlon's pet projects has been reviving the neglected music of Jewish composers who perished or went into exile during World War II, such as Erwin Schulhoff, Alexander Zemlinsky and Viktor Ullman. Los Angeles Opera's Recovered Voices series will offer new productions (opening February 17) of a double bill, conducted by Conlon and directed by Darko Tresnjak, of Zemlinsky's rarely performed Der Zwerg ("The Dwarf") alongside the U.S. premiere of Ullmann's Der zebrochene Krug ("The Broken Jug").

Der Zwerg is a tragedy based on Oscar Wilde's The Birthday of the Infanta, in which a naive dwarf falls in love with a spoiled Spanish princess who cruelly breaks his heart. Der zebrochene Krug, a comic opera completed by the composer shortly before he was interned at Theresienstadt (where he died in 1944), received its world premiere in 1996. It is dominated by burlesque and humorous scenes based on the classic comedy by the Romantic German poet Heinrich von Kleist in which a provincial judge inadvertently shows himself to have committed the crime under investigation.

The cast for the double bill includes sopranos Mary Dunleavy and Susan B. Anthony, tenor Roderick Dixon and baritone James Johnson.

The season closes with two Puccini operas, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. Tosca features sopranos Adrianne Pieczonka and Georgina Lukšcs sharing the title role, with tenors Neil Shicoff and Gwyn Hughes Jones as Cavaradossi and baritone Juan Pons as Scarpia. Domingo shares conducting duties with Richard Armstrong, a former music director of both Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera; the production will be directed by Ian Judge.

La rondine, starring Patricia Racette and Marcus Haddock, closes the season on June 28; Marta Domingo directs and Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts.

The company will also present a solo recital by bass-baritone Bryn Terfel on April 20; repertoire will be announced at a later date.

Domingo also announced yesterday that KUSC-FM 91.5 will broadcast 11 of the company's main-stage performances from the current (2006-07) season. The radio broadcasts, which will be distributed nationally by the WFMT Radio Network, are scheduled to start airing on May 12 this year, after the Metropolitan Opera's final spring broadcast.

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