Washington National Opera to Perform Sophie's Choice in 2006-07

Classic Arts News   Washington National Opera to Perform Sophie's Choice in 2006-07
Washington National Opera's 2006-07 season will include the North American premiere of Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice and new productions of Wagner's Die Walk‹re, Janšcek's Jenufa, and Verdi's Macbeth, general director Plšcido Domingo announced today.

Sophie's Choice, which is based on the William Styron novel, comes to Washington in September 2006 in a revised version, four years after its premiere to mixed reviews at the Royal Opera. Markus Bothe directs the new staging, a co-production with the Vienna Volksopera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. The cast will include Angelika Kirschlager in the title role and Rod Gilfrey as Nathan; Marin Alsop will conduct.

Die Walk‹re, scheduled for March and April 2007, is the second in the WNO's ongoing Ring cycle (now, according to press release, a co-production with San Francisco Opera). Francesca Zambello is the director; WNO music director Heniz Fricke conducts. Domingo stars as Siegmund.

WNO performs Jenufa for the first time in May 2007. The production, shared with English National Opera and Houston Grand Opera, is directed by David Alden; Jir‹ Belohlšvek, the incoming BBC Symphony music director, conducts. The cast includes Patricia Racette and Catherine Malfitano.

Macbeth, directed by Paolo Miccich, closes the 2006-07 season in June 2007. Renato Palumbo, named earlier this fall as music director of Deutche Opera Berlin, is the conductor.

The season opens in September 2006 with a double bill of Bart‹k's Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, directed by film director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and imported from Los Angeles Opera. Samuel Ramey and Denyce Graves star.

Revivals include Donizetti's La Fille du regiment (March and April 2007). Puccini's Madama Butterfly, conducted by Domingo, is on the schedule for November 2006.

The WNO will also present the East Coast premiere of Stephen Mager and Elkhanah Pulitzer's Dream of the Pacific, a one-act opera for young people based on the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland. The WNO's performances in August of 2006 will inaugurate the company's Family Opera series.

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