Now That's Glamor - LA Opera Opens Season with Ren_e and Rolando in Traviata

Classic Arts News   Now That's Glamor - LA Opera Opens Season with Ren_e and Rolando in Traviata
Los Angeles Opera begins its 2006-07 season in truly high style this evening with a special revival of Verdi's La traviata, conducted by James Conlon in his first appearance as the company's new music director. In the title role is Ren_e Fleming, whose singing and acting as Violetta have earned extravagant praise at Houston and the Met. Her Alfredo is the charismatic tenor Rolando Villaz‹n, beloved of critics and audiences alike, and Germont pre is sung by the admired veteran baritone Renato Bruson. There are only three performances — tonight and September 12 and 17 — but Decca is recording them for release on DVD.

Tomorrow brings another Verdi masterpiece: Don Carlo in a new production by Ian Judge. Conlon conducts, with stars Salvatore Licitra, Annalisa Raspagliosi, Dolora Zajick, Lado Ataneli, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Eric Halfvarson. There will be seven performances through October 1.

Later in September, Villaz‹n joins his frequent stage partner, soprano Anna Netrebko, for the LA Opera premiere of Massenet's Manon, a co-production with the Staatsoper Berlin that will be directed and choreographed by Vincent Paterson. The tireless Plšcido Domingo (who's a conductor as well as the company's general director and still a star tenor) presides from the podium over seven performances from September 30 through October 21.

Also in the '06-07 lineup is a new production, opening February 10, 2007, of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, with Broadway stars Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald both making their LA Opera debuts. Conlon will collaborate with West End and Broadway director John Doyle for the production.

Later in the season, Conlon conducts Wagner's Tannh‹user, with Peter Seiffert, Petra Maria Schnitzer, Franz-Josef Selig, Martin Gantner, and Lioba Braun. Other highlights include a new production of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel; the company premiere of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, with Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, David Daniels and Kurt Streit; Franz Lehšr's operetta The Merry Widow starring Graham and Rod Gilfry; and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, directed by Francesca Zambello.

The season closes with the company premiere of Federico Moreno Torroba's zarzuela Luisa Fernanda, which will run June 3-16, 2007.

For more information on Los Angeles Opera's 2006-07 season, visit

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