viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

Recital de la soprano June Anderson en el Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2014

© Copyright Simone Donati / TerraProject

Massimo Crispi

El recital de June Anderson y Jeff Cohen, que remplazó al del bajo Vitalij Kowaliow, en el programa del Maggio 2014, estaba concebido, como la misma Anderson declaró al final del concierto, para el Teatro de Châtelet de Paris. Pensado para un público francés ¿para justificar la ausencia de arias italianas en el programa? El programa, mezcló una elección de mélodies francesas en la primera parte y des songs de Musicals de Broadway en la secunda en lo que fue una “gourmandise” para los apasionados de la música rara y para los fans de la soprano estadounidense cuyas exhibiciones en el escenario escasearon en estas últimas décadas.  Se puede decir sin duda que las mélodies elegidas por Anderson no eran las mas idóneas para su voz de hoy, que a su sesenta y un años no está más la magia de joyas vocales que nos intoxicaron por mucho tiempo. También se puede añadir que el mundo íntimo, y de vez en cuando, retorcido de la mélodie entre los dos siglos (Fauré, Debussy) no es el mundo donde Anderson se mueve con ojos vendados, aún si la clase desbordante de la soprano fuera evidente. Desafortunadamente el bonito timbre hoy resulta un poco opaco y muchas suavidades de su voz, indispensables en ese repertorio, se perdieron obligándola a utilizar de vez en cuando, demasiados “portamentos”. O quizás fuera solo porque en esta ocasión la cantante/actriz no se encontraba bien con fragmentos abstractos y con textos poéticos (y músicas!) magníficos pues lejos de la representación teatral que parece ser mas fácilmente su “cup of tea”. Solamente con la obra de Poulenc, “Fancy”, “C”, y sobre todo en el último monologo “La dame de Monte-Carlo” donde, quizás por su tamaño y por la multifacética estructura dramática de esa mélodie, finalmente la tigresa del escenario se despertó y causó el delirio del público. Eso es lo que el público esperaba de ella: personajes.  La secunda parte del programa, totalmente americana y teatral, fue decididamente mas adecuado a la personalidad de la soprano, que nos regaló momentos mágicos con los fragmentos de Bernstein (“Dream of me”, de “Peter Pan” y “A little bit in love” de “Wonderful Town”), autor que ella ama mucho y que la amaba muchísimo: Anderson fue la brillante Cunegonde en la famosa grabación de “Candide” en Londres dirigida por el mismo Bernstein poco antes de fallecer.  En seguida dos canciones de Stephen Sondheim, le segunda fue la célebre “Losing my mind”, con una interpretación intima y conmovedora. Los dos fragmentos de Kurt Weill, la etapa  sucesiva, fueron cantados magníficamente: “My ship” de “Lady in the dark” y sobre todo el tango-habanera en francés “Youkali”, la isla seductora y arcana inalcanzable, metáfora de un lugar utópico donde refugiarse, le dieron a la Anderson la manera de lucir todo su charme. Gran final con dos songs de Jerome Kern: “Yesterdays” de “Roberta” y “Cant help lovin’ that man” de “Show Boat”, muy intensos. La única observación que le se puede hacer a la artista es que la gama de los songs de musical es demasiado central y comprimida para la extensa voz de soprano lírico ligero de Anderson, pero su interpretación fue tan intensa, quizás enriquecida por la edad y la experiencia, que se le puede perdonar todo. También el pianista Jeff Cohen, que en la primera parte no estuvo más que correcto, sin particulares esguinces interpretativos, en el segundo tiempo del recital se puso más cautivante.  Bis, con voz cansada pero con verve, con dos arias de su amado Rossini: “Giusto ciel” de “Maometto II” y la brillante aria “La fioraia fiorentina”, donde el público reencontró la amiga belcantista de un tiempo. Teatro medio vacío, sin saber porqué, pero el público feliz. Y, efectivamente, escuchando a artistas como Anderson, al final de su carrera pero en buena forma vocal, como pasó la semana pasada aquí en Florencia con Devia, solo puede tranquilizar a los fans que la magia podrá durar un poco más. 

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2014. Firenze, Teatro Goldoni, 25 maggio. Recital June Anderson e Jeff Cohen.

© Copyright Simone Donati / TerraProject

Massimo Crispi

Il recital di June Anderson e Jeff Cohen, in sostituzione di quello del basso Vitalij Kowaliow, annunciato nel programma, era pensato per lo Châtelet di Parigi, come ha dichiarato la stessa Anderson alla fine del concerto. Pensato per un pubblico d’oltralpe, si dovrebbe quindi supporre, quasi per giustificare l’assenza di repertorio italiano nel programma? Invece il programma misto di mélodies francesi nella prima parte e di songs da Musical nella seconda si annunciava ghiotto per gli appassionati di rarità e per i fans del soprano statunitense le cui apparizioni in palcoscenico si sono, purtroppo, diradate nel tempo. Diciamo che, forse, le mélodies scelte dalla Anderson non erano tra le più adatte alla sua voce di oggi, che, a sessantuno anni, non è più quella magia di preziosismi vocali con cui ci aveva viziato. Diciamo anche che, forse, il mondo intimo e talvolta contorto della mélodie tra i due secoli (Fauré, Debussy) non è proprio il mondo in cui la Anderson si muoveva a occhi bendati, anche se la classe della star debordava da ogni lato. Purtroppo il bel timbro si è opacizzato un po’ e molte morbidezze della sua voce, necessarie in questo repertorio, si sono perse, tanto da costringerla a fare un uso talora eccessivo di portamenti. O forse solo perché in questa occasione la cantante/attrice non rendeva bene pezzi astratti con testi poetici (e musiche!) splendidi ma lontani dalla rappresentazione teatrale che più facilmente sembra essere la sua tazza da tè. Solo con Poulenc finalmente si accendeva la fiamma dell’attrice di razza, soprattutto nell’ultimo monologo, “La dame de Monte-Carlo” dove, forse a causa della lunghezza e della poliedrica struttura drammatica della mélodie, la tigre del palcoscenico si risvegliava e faceva andare in delirio il pubblico. È esattamente ciò che il pubblico si attendeva da lei: dei personaggi. La seconda parte del programma, tutta americana e tutta teatrale, era decisamente più consona alla personalità del soprano, che ci ha regalato momenti magici con Bernstein (“Dream of me”, da “Peter Pan” e “A little bit in love” da “Wonderful Town”), autore a lei molto caro e che l’amava molto: fu lei la pirotecnica Cunegonde della famosa registrazione di “Candide” diretta a Londra dall’autore stesso, poco prima della sua scomparsa. Di seguito, due canzoni di Stephen Sondheim, la seconda delle quali era la celebre “Losing my mind”, in un’interpretazione intimista e commovente. I due brani di Kurt Weill, la tappa successiva, sono stati mirabilmente risolti: sia “My ship” da “Lady in the dark” che il tango-habanera in francese “Youkali”, l’isola seducente e arcana che non si può raggiungere, metafora di un luogo utopico ove rifugiarsi, hanno dato modo alla Anderson di sfoderare tutto il suo charme. Gran finale con due brani di Jerome Kern: “Yesterdays” da “Roberta” e “Cant help lovin’ that man” da “Show Boat”, quest’ultimo assai intenso. L’unico appunto che si poteva fare all’artista era che la tessitura dei songs fosse decisamente troppo centrale e piatta per l’estesa voce di soprano lirico leggero della Anderson. Pecca perdonata, comunque, da una grande interpretazione che l’età e l’esperienza arricchiscono, senz’ombra di dubbio. Anche la parte pianistica di Jeff Cohen, che nel primo tempo appariva semplicemente corretta, senza guizzi interpretativi degni di nota, nel secondo è apparsa più partecipativa e coinvolgente. Bis, a voce stanca ma con verve notevole, con l’amato Rossini: “Giusto ciel” da “Maometto II” e la brillante aria “La fioraia fiorentina”, dove il pubblico ha ritrovato l’abile belcantista a cui era affezionato. Teatro mezzo vuoto, chissà perché, ma spettatori felici. E, in effetti, ascoltare degli immensi artisti come la Anderson, alla fine della carriera ma ancora in buona forma vocale (come è successo per Mariella Devia la settimana scorsa sempre qui a Firenze), può solamente rassicurare i fans che la magia si prolungherà ancora.

Ana Elisa Mena fue nombrada primera bailarina de la Compañía Nacional de Danza, Palacio de Bellas Artes, México D.F

Foto: INBA

La Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND) del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) ha sido, durante el medio siglo de su existencia, escuela, semillero y referente de los grandes intérpretes de la danza en nuestro país, dijo la directora general del INBA, María Cristina García Cepeda, al finalizar la última función de la temporada del ballet Giselle en el Palacio de Bellas Artes, el jueves 29 de mayo, y antes de anunciar el nombramiento de Ana Elisa Mena como primera bailarina de la CND, en reconocimiento a su talento, profesionalismo y disciplina. Entre aplausos y ovaciones del público, Ana Elisa Mena, emocionada y agradecida, fue felicitada en el escenario por la titular del INBA; por la directora de la CND, Laura Morelos, y por algunos de sus compañeros. La bailarina aseguró que el nombramiento fue una sorpresa, pues los bailarines solo fueron notificados de que, al concluir la función, la directora general del INBA daría algunas palabras. “No puedo creerlo todavía. Estoy muy contenta. Toda mi vida la he dedicado a la danza. Mi mamá fue mi maestra y desde muy pequeña nuestros esfuerzos estuvieron dirigidos al ballet. Estaba en la escuela y todo mundo sabía que yo iba a ser bailarina. Siempre.” La intérprete aseguró que este nuevo cargo en la CND también representa una gran responsabilidad. “Ahora deberé hacer lo que todos están esperando de mí. La edad me ayuda, porque soy joven, y tengo todo el empeño para seguir hasta que mi cuerpo aguante.” Anteriormente, como solista de la CND, ya había protagonizado otros ballets, como La cenicienta, El cascanueces y El lago de los cisnes. Por ello, agradeció a la directora de la CND. “Si Laura Morelos no me hubiera dado estas oportunidades yo no estaría aquí. Desde que entró a la CND confió en mí y como bailarina eso se agradece. Entonces, que me haya escogido y yo haya cumplido, y que siguiera dándome roles principales, confiando en mí y exigiéndome, se agradece muchísimo.” Ana Elisa Mena nació en Saltillo, Coahuila, en 1990. Después de estudiar con su madre, en el sistema de la Royal Academy of Dance de Londres, continuó su preparación a los 17 años en el Miami Ballet School, hasta 2010. Ha participado en certámenes como el Genée International Ballet Competition, en Gran Bretaña, y el Concurso Nacional de Ballet Clásico Infantil y Juvenil, en México, así como en cursos impartidos por docentes de la Royal Academy of Dance de Londres, como Lynn Wallis y Debra Wayne. Ingresó a la CND en 2010, donde fue solista, hasta su nombramiento como primera bailarina.

martes, 27 de mayo de 2014

Ofrecerá Francisco Araiza Gala Strauss en Bellas Artes de México.


Con un repertorio de lied, el poema sinfónico "Don Juan" y escenas de las óperas "Ariadna en Naxos" y "La mujer sin sombra", el tenor Francisco Araiza ofrecerá la Gala Strauss en el Palacio de Bellas Artes. El programa del domingo 1 de junio fue seleccionado por Araiza, quién estará acompañado por dos de sus discípulas, la coreana Joo-Hee Jung y la croata Marija Vidovic, para conmemorar los 150 años del compositor alemán Richard Strauss, el más importante después de Richard Wagner. Araiza ha hecho suyo el repertorio de lied, el género de los reyes, disciplina en la que se educó en México bajo la guía de Erika Kubascek. "Me fui de México como cantante liederista. Es la disciplina que más libertad da al cantante y requiere mayor grado de investigación, cada sílaba guarda un secreto escondido. Es un trabajo minucioso que, si lo aplicas a todo el repertorio, da un resultado fantástico, algo que no se tiende a hacer en el canto operístico", dijo Araiza, en conferencia de prensa en la sala Adamo Boari del Palacio. El tenor, con 40 años de carrera internacional, sugirió entrenar más a los cantantes mexicanos en esta disciplina. La gala está programada el 1 de junio a las 17:00 horas, con Srba Dinic al frente de la Orquesta del Teatro de Bellas Artes. Araiza celebró el triunfo del tenor Javier Camarena en el Metropolitan Opera House y reveló otra hazaña, poco difundida, del tenor veracruzano, quien fue su alumno en Zúrich. Contó que en el primer ensayo de El Barbero de Sevilla, título con el que Camarena debutó en la casa de ópera neoyorquina, la orquesta le brindó un aplauso de pie, algo sólo antes conseguido por los directores Carlos Kleiber y Christian Thielemann con "El caballero de la rosa" de Strauss. "Tiene un don único y no aspira al protagonismo absoluto, tiene una humildad verdadera de alguien que sabe que desde la segunda fila puede meter goles", dijo Araiza, quien lo invitó al Opernstudio de Zürich por sus dotes excepcionales.

lunes, 26 de mayo de 2014

Elektra de Strauss en el Teatro alla Scala de Milán

Foto: Brescia & Amisano

Massimo Viazzo

Altos muros grises daban marco a una escena que parecía casi una prisión, en la que vivían las tres mujeres fuertes y carismáticas, protagonistas de la opera de Strauss. Esta fue la ambientación de la Elektra de la Scala, el último espectáculo firmado por Patrice Chéreau antes de su muerte, repuesta aquí con gran cuidado por Vincent Huguet. Esta producción se originó en Aix-en-Provence en julio del 2013 trata con evidencia los rasgos de la poética del director francés con una escena desnuda, austera, atemporal dentro de la cual el mito se hace teatro burgués cargándose de agitaciones reales y reflejos psicoanalíticos. Así, la recitación es muy minuciosa para analizar las más secretas emociones que se transmiten al espectador de modo directo y de manera fulgurante. El merito fue también para una compañía de canto, casi perfecta, dominada por Evelyn Herlitzius en forma brillante. Su Elektra convenció por el gran magnetismo emitido y por seguridad en su canto, rico de inflexiones y claroscuros, muy solida en los agudos que fueron precisos y firmes.  Waltraud Meier diseñó una Klymtemnenstra psicológicamente atormentada, con una esculpida presencia escénica y Adrianne Pieczkonka con la suavidad de su canto dio voz a una Chrysothemis exuberante y determinada.  Para recordar también estuvo el Oreste de René Pape, con su timbre seductor y aterciopelado, con una linea vocal muy musical.  Pero también todos los cantantes que interpretaron los papeles menors (como Donald McIntyre, Franz Mazura y Roberta Alexander) supieron dar lo mejor de si. La conduccion de Esa-Pekka Salonen se hizo apreciar por la lucidez de su concertación y por el cuidado de los empastes instrumentales.  Salonen supo infundir a la orquesta un tono de inexorabilidad alucinada en todo lo que sucedía sobre el escenario para lograr un resultado artístico memorable.   

Elektra di Strauss - Teatro Alla Scala Milano

Foto: Marco Brescia & Rudy Amisano

Massimo Viazzo

Alte mura grigie incorniciavano una scena che sembrava quasi una prigione, la prigione in cui vivono le tre donne forti e carismatiche, protagoniste dell’opera di Strauss. Questa era l’ambientazione dell’Elektra scaligera, l’ultimo spettacolo firmato da Patrice Chéreau prima della morte, ora ripreso con grande cura da Vincent Huguet. Questo allestimento, nato ad Aix-en-Provence nel luglio del 2013 porta con evidenza i tratti della poetica del regista francese, con una scena spoglia, austera, atemporale, all’interno della quale il mito si fa teatro borghese caricandosi di turbamenti reali e riflessi psicoanalitici. Così la recitazione è minuziosissima nell’analizzare le più segrete emozioni che vengono trasmesse allo spettatore in modo diretto e a tratti folgorante. Merito anche di una compagnia di canto, pressoché perfetta, dominata da una Evelyn Herlitzius in forma smagliante. La sua Elektra ha convinto per il grande magnetismo sprigionato e per la sicurezza del canto, ricco di inflessioni e chiaro-scuri, e saldissimo sugli acuti, precisi e fermissimi. Waltraud Meier ha disegnato una Klytemnestra psicologicamente tormentata, di presenza scenica scolpita e Adrianne Pieczonka con la morbidezza del suo canto ha dato voce ad una Chrysothemis volitiva e determinata. Da ricordare anche l’Orest di René Pape, di timbrica seducente e vellutata, e con una linea vocale musicalissima. Ma anche tutti i cantanti che interpretavano le parti di fianco (c’erano anche Donald McIntyre, Franz Mazura e Roberta Alexander) hanno saputo dare il meglio. La direzione di Esa-Pekka Salonen si è fatta apprezzare per la lucidità della concertazione e per la cura degli impasti strumentali. Salonen ha saputo infondere all’orchestra un tono di inesorabilità allucinata in un tutt’uno con quello che avveniva sul palcoscenico per un risultato artistico memorabile.

Roberto Devereux o il Conte di Essex - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2014

© Copyright Pietro Paolini / TerraProject / Contrasto


Massimo Crispi

Meno male che Leyla Gencer, nel 1964, riesumò quest’opera piena di passioni e di canto. Grazie a lei, purtroppo ancora raramente presente nei cartelloni dei teatri, questo capolavoro del “ciclo Tudor” di Gaetano Donizetti ha ripreso vitalità. L’esecuzione in forma di concerto al Maggio Fiorentino 2014 aveva il pregio tutto festivaliero dell’esecuzione rarissima per la presenza di Mariella Devia, l’ormai sessantaseienne soprano ligure che continua a proclamare la propria inossidabilità vocale. Le sue regine donizettiane, anno dopo anno, hanno dato lustro al Maggio e segnano davvero una coraggiosa e vittoriosa sfida al tempo e al canto. L’Elisabetta della Devia, ben lungi da una stanchezza vocale e belcantistica, era impeccabile. Anzi, c’è di più: la solitudine e la disperazione del personaggio, lungi da zampate tigresche e veriste, erano dalla Devia espresse con sapienti accenti distribuiti con coscienza e proprietà lungo tutto il percorso, con abbandoni lirici e colorature, sempre mozzafiato, certamente, ma in questo contesto più rubate ed espressive, assecondate perfettamente dal direttore Paolo Arrivabeni. Degni di ammirazione le sue messe di voce e i sopracuti, argentini, spettacolari. Una regina del belcanto che ha riportato sul palco una regina affranta dalla vita di regnante che entrava sempre in collisione con la vita intima, lasciandola perennemente sola. Le facevano degnamente compagnia gli altri componenti del cast, a cominciare dal tenore protagonista, Celso Albelo, un Roberto di più che buona sapienza vocale, con acuti squillanti e fraseggi sul fiato a cui non eravamo più abituati, messi in risalto dall’ottima concertazione del maestro Arrivabeni, soprattutto nei brani d’insieme. Splendida l’aria finale di Roberto e i duetti.  Chiara Amarù era Sara, moglie scontentissima del Duca di Nottingham, che fin dall’inizio dell’opera ha sfoderato la gran bella voce di mezzosoprano, lanciandosi in un canto appassionato e ben mettendo in risalto anch’essa la sua solitudine in quel vortice fatale che investe tutti i personaggi di quest’opera. Suo marito il Duca, il baritono Paolo Gavanelli, che ha sostituito all’ultimo momento Gabriele Viviani, pur mostrando buone intenzioni musicali e interpretative, oltre a un’ottima dizione, ha però offerto dei “piano” con suoni assai scoperti e spoggiati, inadatti al repertorio, e nei momenti di drammatica collera, soprattutto nei brani d’insieme, perdeva un po’ il controllo della propria voce. Discreti i cantanti di contorno: Antonio Corianò (Cecil), Gabriele Sagona (Raleigh), Davide Giangregorio (Paggio) ed eccellenti i complessi del Maggio, orchestra e coro (preparato da Lorenzo Fratini), sotto la bacchetta di Arrivabeni. Pubblico letteralmente impazzito con applausi continui alla fine delle arie e dei brani d’insieme, consapevole che questa era una di quelle serate storiche. Speriamo sempre che tutto ciò venga registrato e che si mantenga una memoria per quando l’opera non si potrà più ascoltare dal vivo in questo paese distratto verso il suo patrimonio musicale e potranno cantare solamente gli archivi.


Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2014. Roberto Devereux o il Conte di Essex.

© Copyright Pietro Paolini / TerraProject / Contrasto


Massimo Crispi

Menos mal que Leyla Gencer, en 1964, descubrió otra vez después de un siglo esta ópera llena de pasión y canto. Es gracias a esa artista que esta obra maestra del “ciclo Tudor” de Gaetano Donizetti tomó nueva vida, aunque no se vea con frecuencia en los carteles de los teatros. El Maggio Fiorentino 2014 ofreció esta joya con el valor festivalero de la rareza, cantando el papel de Isabel I de Inglaterra la soprano Mariella Devia, que con su edad de 66 años sigue proclamando su inoxidable voz. Sus reinas donizetianas, año trás año, han iluminado el Maggio y marcan un verdadero valiente y vencedor desafío al tiempo y al canto. La Isabel de Devia, que no conoce el cansancio vocal ni belcantista, fue impecable. Además: la soledad y la desesperación del personaje, sin las caracterizaciones veristas de fiera, Devia las expresó con sabiduría vocal en acentos repartidos con consciencia en todo el recorrido dramático, con  abandonos liricos y coloraturas, aun impresionantes pues aquí hubieron mas rubatos y expresivos, perfectamente preparados por el Paolo Arrivabeni. Admirables fueron sus “messe di voce” y los sobreagudos, cristalinos, espectaculares. Una reina del belcanto que resucitó una reina abatida por su vida política que siempre chocó con su vida intima, dejándola sola. Un digno reparto fue la corona para Devia, empezando por el tenor protagonista, Celso Albelo, un Roberto con una habilidad vocal mas que buena, con agudos brillantes y un fraseo “sul fiato” que es difícil escuchar hoy, siempre bien evidenciados por la valiosa concertación del maestro Arrivabeni, sobre todo en los ensambles. Esplendidos estuvieron el aria final de Roberto y los dúos.  Chiara Amarù cantó el papel de Sara, mujer infeliz del Duque de Nottingham. Desde el inicio de la opera Amarù desenvainó su preciosa voz de mezzosoprano, cantando con pasión y evidenciando ella también su soledad de mujer, en aquel vórtice fatal de eventos que todos atrapa en esta opera. Su marido el Duque, el barítono Paolo Gavanelli, remplazando a la ultima hora Gabriele Viviani, aun mostrando buenas intenciones musicales e interpretativas, además con buena pronunciación, pero ofreció unos “piano” con sonidos no tan cubiertos ni apoyados por el aliento, no tan idóneos en ese repertorio, y, en los momentos mas coléricos, sobre todo en los ensambles, pareció perder el control de su voz. Buenos los cantantes del resto del reparto: Antonio Corianò (Cecil), Gabriele Sagona (Raleigh), Davide Giangregorio (Paggio) y excelentes fueron los orgánicos del Maggio, orquesta y coro (preparado por Lorenzo Fratini), dirigidos por Arrivabeni. Publico totalmente enloquecido con aplausos continuos al final de las arias y de los ensambles, consciente que esta representación era una de las más históricas. Siempre esperamos que todo esto haya sido grabado y que se mantenga una memoria para cuando la opera no podrá mas escucharse en vivo en este país “distraído” en relación a su patrimonio artístico y musical. En aquel día solo podrán cantar los archivos.

martes, 20 de mayo de 2014

San Diego Opera Board of Directors Rescind Vote to Close - San Diego Opera Announces 2015 Season

San Diego, CA – San Diego Opera’s Board of Directors voted today to rescind the decision to close the Company after nearly two months of careful analysis, deliberation and fundraising. The Company originally announced its closure and the sale of its assets on March 19, 2014. The original closure date was scheduled to occur on April 14, 2014, the day after the Company’s final sold-out performance of Don Quixote. A vote by the Board on March 31, 2014, delayed that closure by two weeks until April 29, 2014. Another vote by the Board on April 18, 2014, extended that closure date to at least May 19, 2014. Today’s vote on May 16, 2014, overturns the original decision to close.

“The public spoke, we listened, and we’re open for business,” shares Board President Carol Lazier, “and do we have some great news to share with you!”

In light of this news, San Diego Opera is announcing its 2015 season, the Company’s 50thLa bohème, Don Giovanni, and Nixon in China are the three operas being performed at the San Diego Civic Theatre. The Company will also celebrate its 50th anniversary with special Gala Concerts of favorite arias, duets, ensembles and choruses with the San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall. Additional events and performances are in the works, and will be announced shortly. 

 The Company has also announced that the ongoing crowd funding effort has resulted in a total of $2,116,376 in donations from 2461 of donors as of midnight Sunday, May 18, 2014. 48% of these donors have never given before and represent gifts from six countries - Austria, Australia, Canada, England, Italy, Mexico & 36 States. The gifts range from $10 - $50,000 with a median gift of $100. Now that the $1 million goal has been reached, and the Company has announced a 2015 season, both triggers of the escrow account have been met and donations will be moved from the escrow account into the Company’s 2015 fund to be used for the just-announced season.

The 2015 Season

San Diego Opera pays tribute to the first opera it produced in 1965, Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème, with a production new to San Diego audiences. Featuring the important house debuts of tenor David Lomelí as Rodolfo, soprano Alyson Cambridge as Mimì and soprano Sara Gartland as Musetta. San Diego Opera’s resident conductor Karen Keltner conducts.

January 24, 27, 29 and February 1 (matinee), 2015 – San Diego Civic Theatre

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni makes a welcome return to the San Diego Opera in a production new to the Company. Making his house debut in one of his signature roles as the titular Don Giovanni is bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo. Soprano Ellie Dehn returns as Donna Anna. Also making  a notable Company debut is soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu as Elvira. Conductor Daniele Callegari returns to conduct.
  
February 14, 17, 20 and 22 (matinee), 2015 – San Diego Civic Theatre

John Adams’ Nixon in China makes its San Diego Opera debut in a stunning multimedia-heavy production. Making Company debuts are baritone Franco Pomponi as Richard Nixon, soprano Maria Kanyova as Pat Nixon, baritone Chen-Ye Yuan as Chou En-Lai and tenor Alfred Kim as Mao Tse-Tung. Baritone Richard Paul Fink returns to sing Henry Kissinger and Joseph Mechavich returns to conduct.

March 14, 17, 20 and 22 (matinee), 2015 – San Diego Civic Theatre

San Diego Opera celebrates 50 years with special Gala Concerts featuring favorite arias, duets, ensembles from operas with an all-star cast including Lise Lindstrom as well as special surprise guests. Karen Kamensek returns to conduct.

April 18 and 19 (matinee), 2015 – Jacobs Music Center - Copley Symphony Hall

Internationally renowned singers Lise Lindstrom, Morgan Smith, Kathleen Kim and Ellie Dehn all make welcome returns to San Diego Opera to celebrate the Company’s 50th season. The Company is also happy to welcome notable house debuts fromIldebrando D’Arcangelo, David Lomelí, Alyson Cambridge, Myrtò Papatanasiu, Franco Pomponi, Maria Kanyova, Alfred Kim,and Chen-Ye Yuan. Returning conductors are Joseph Mechavich, Daniele Callegari, Karen Kamensek, and Karen Keltner.

The season opens on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 7 PM with Giacomo Puccini’s beloved tragic opera La bohèmeA classic in any season, this production, which is new to San Diego Opera, honors the first opera the Company produced in 1965. In highly anticipated Company debuts are soprano Alyson Cambridge as Mimì, tenor David Lomelí as Rodolfo and soprano Sara Gartlandas Musetta. Returning singers include baritone Morgan Smith (last seen as Starbuck in 2012’s Moby-Dick) as Marcello andMalcolm MacKenzie (seen last season as Belcore in The Elixir of Love) as Schaunard. San Diego Opera’s Resident Conductor, Karen Keltner, conducts.

The season continues with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s classic opera Don Giovanni, based on the legend of Don Juan and his 2,065 conquests.  Don Giovanni opens on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 7 PM, in a production new to the Company. Making his Company debut in what has become his signature role is bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo in the title role. Soprano Ellie Dehn (last seen as Mimì in 2010’s La bohème) returns to sing Donna Anna. Also making notable House debuts are soprano Myrto Papatanasiu as Elvira and tenor Paul Appleby as Ottavio. Returning bass Kristopher Irmiter (last heard as the Second Priest in 2012’s Murder in the Cathedral) sings Masetto and returning bass Reinhard Hagen (Ramfis in 2013’s Aida) sings the Commendatore. Conductor Daniele Callegari returns to lead the orchestra from the podium.

The San Diego premiere of John Adams’s political drama Nixon in China opens on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 7 PM. This multimedia-heavy production about President Nixon’s historic trip features the Company debuts of baritone Franco Pomponi as President Nixon, soprano Maria Kanyova as Pat Nixon, baritone Chen-Ye Yuan as the Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai, and tenorAlfred Kim as Chairman Mao Tse-Tung. Returning as Madame Mao Tse-Tung is soprano Kathleen Kim (seen last season as Oscar in A Masked Ball) and bass Richard Paul Fink (last seen in the title role of 2010’s Nabucco) as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Conductor Joseph Mechavich, who conducted 2012’s Moby-Dick, returns to lead the orchestra.

San Diego Opera pays tribute to its history in a special series of two 50th Anniversary Gala Concerts with a selection of arias, duets and choruses featuring soprano Lise Lindstrom and special surprise guests on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19 (matinee), 2015 at 7 PM at the Jacobs Music Center - Copley Symphony Hall, conducted by Karen Kamensek.

La bohème
Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage
San Diego Civic Theatre

January 24, 27, 29 and February 1 (matinee), 2015

Mimì: Alyson Cambridge*                                                                          Conductor: Karen Keltner
Musetta: Sara Gartland*                                                                           
Rodolfo: David Lomelí*                                                             
Marcello: Morgan Smith                                                            
Schaunard: Malcolm MacKenzie                
Colline: Christian Van Horn*
Alcindoro/Benoit: Scott Sikon                                                                 
*San Diego Opera debut

Alyson Cambridge, Mimì

San Diego Opera debut. American soprano Alyson Cambridge is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004 as Frasquita in Carmen and has since sung numerous roles with the company over the past seven seasons, including Bianca in La rondine and Crobyle in Thaïs. Other recent highlights include her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Giulietta inThe Tales of Hoffmann and Julie in the highly-acclaimed new production of Show Boat, Washington National Opera as Musetta in La bohème, Clara in Porgy and Bess and Julie in Show Boat, her Deutsche Oper Berlin debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Polish National Opera as Violetta in La traviata, Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Mimì, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette and Frasquita,  Los Angeles Opera as Clara in Porgy and Bess, with PORT Opera as Donna Elvira and Musetta, the Hungarian State Opera, Florentine Opera and Boston Lyric Opera for Mimì, and solo concert performances with the Vienna Kamerorchester, Munich Philharmoniker, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Festival de Saint-Denis, and a special recital for the US Justices of the Supreme Court, amongst others, including performances under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Frederic Chaslin and Emmanuel Villaume. Her debut CD, "From the Diary of Sally Hemings", a song cycle by William Bolcom, was released in 2010.

David Lomelí, Rodolfo

San Diego Opera debut. Mexican tenor, David Lomelí made his New York debut as Nemorino in The Elixir of Love at New York City Opera. Notable recent debuts include performing at Deutsche Oper Berlin as Alfredo in La traviata, Pittsburgh Opera as Edgardo inLucia di Lammermoor, Opéra de Lille as Macduff in Macbeth, Santa Fe Opera as Rodolfo, Canadian Opera Company as The Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Houston Grand Opera as Alfredo, New York City Opera as Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, and The Glyndebourne Festival as Rodolfo. In 2006, he won first place in Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia competition – the first artist ever to win top prize in both the opera and zarzuela categories. Important concert engagements were performances of the Verdi Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic under the batons of Maestros Dudamel and Janssons. He has also sung in concert with the Oslo Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonic, Hamburg Symphony and the Munich Radio Orchestra. Additional performances include Lord Riccardo Percy in Anna Bolena with Opéra National de Boudreaux and Oper Köln, Deutsche Oper Berlin as The Duke, Leicester in Mary, Queen of Scots for Oper Frankfurt, Rodolfo at Theater Basel in Switzerland and Pittsburgh Opera, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Michigan Opera Theater, and the title role in Gounod’s Faust at Madison Opera, Alfredo, Harry inThe Girl of the West, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with San Francisco Opera, and with the Los Angeles Opera as Rodolfo and Javier in Federico Moreno Torroba’s zarzuela Luisa Fernanda. He is a graduate of both the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program.

Sara Gartland, Musetta

San Diego Opera debut. American soprano Sara Gartland is a former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. With San Francisco Opera she has performed Micaëla in Carmen, Pat/Ann in the world premiere of Christopher Theofandis' Heart of a Soldier, Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaroand Gerhilde in Die Walküre. Recent notable engagements include Juliette in Romeo et Juliettewith Des Moines Metro Opera, Adina in The Elixir of Love with Austin Lyric Opera, Violetta in La traviata and Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men with Utah Opera, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera San Jose, Alexandra in Regina with Des Moines Metro Opera and Norina in Don Pasquale with Opera Iowa. She has appeared on the concert stage with the Elmhurst Symphony in Beethoven'sSymphony No. 9, Cheyenne Symphony in Carmina Burana, Central City Opera, and Colorado University's Boulder Wind Symphony inFour Maryland Songs.

Karen Keltner, Conductor

San Diego Opera’s Resident Conductor Karen Keltner has been associated with the Company since 1982 and has conducted a broad repertoire for San Diego Opera including FaustLa bohèmeRomeo and Juliet, Don QuixoteThe Pearl FishersSamson and DelilahWozzeck, CarmenThe ConquistadorCosì fan tutteThérèse RaquinThe Flying DutchmanThe LighthouseCold Sassy TreeA Streetcar Named Desire and Rigoletto. Other engagements have been with Utah Festival Opera, Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg, New York City Opera, Anchorage Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Glimmerglass Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Carolina.  Keltner gives master classes for singers in universities and cities where she guest conducts.

Don Giovanni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage
San Diego Civic Theatre

February 14, 17, 20 and 22 (matinee), 2015

Don Giovanni: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo*                                 Conductor: Daniele Callegari
Donna Anna: Ellie Dehn                                                              
Donna Elivira: Myrtò Papatanasiu*                                                        
Zerlina: TBD                                                                                  
Ottavio: Paul Appleby*                                 
Masetto: Kristopher Irmiter
Commendatore: Reinhard Hagen
Leporello: Alex Esposito*
              
                                                                                                                        *San Diego Opera debut
                                                                                         
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Don Giovanni

San Diego Opera debut. Italian bass baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo is known for his interpretation of Don Giovanni. In 2010 he premiered two new productions at the Deutsch Oper Berlin and Vienna Staatsoper and then in 2011 a new production for La Scala in Milan, followed by a new Zeffirelli production at Arena di Verona. In 2012 he recorded the role for Deutsche  Grammophon as Festspielhaus Baden-Baden as well as performances at Los Angeles Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He performs regularly at La Scala, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Theater an der Wien, Bayerische Staatsoper, the Liceu Barcelona, London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Opéra Bastille, as well as the Salzburg and Baden-Baden Festivals. Recent engagements include the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl with Maestro Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Escamillo in Carmen at the Los Angeles Opera, Don Ruy Gomez de Silva in Ernani for Rome Opera, Alidoro in La Cenerentola and  Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Vienna Staatsoper, Selim in Il Turco in Italia for Bayerische Staatsoper and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden,  Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algerifor Opéra national de Paris, and Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust for Deutsch Oper Berlin. He is an active recording artist.  In addition to the aforementioned Don Giovanni, Deutsche Grammophon has released a solo album of Handel arias and a second CD, “Mozartissimo”, dedicated to the composer with whom he is most identified. Other recordings include Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn's L'Anima del filosofoLa bohème, Verdi's RequiemLa SonnambulaThe Marriage of Figaro, and Rossini’s Otello among others.

Ellie Dehn, Donna Anna

American soprano Ellie Dehn made her Company debut in 2010 as Mimì in La bohème. Recent engagements include Teatro Lirico di Cagliari for Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Musetta in La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Euryanthe in Von Weber's Euryanthe at the Bard Festival, Teatro alla Scala debut as Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, the Metropolitan Opera as Donna Elvira and Musetta, and both Helena in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Musetta at Rome’s Teatro dell’ Opera. She is well known for her portrayal of Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with performances at Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera and Tulsa Opera, Donna Anna with performances at the Ravinia Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Colorado and PORT Opera, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Spoleto Festival.  Other notable performances include Rosaura in the world premiere of Spratlan's Life is a Dream in Santa Fe, Agathe in Der Freischütz in Geneva, Madame Cortese in Il viaggio a Reims in Bilbao, Freia in Das Rheingold in Los Angeles, Juliette in Romeo and Juliette with Minnesota Opera, and the title role in William Walton's Troilus and Cressida at the Opera Theater of St. Louis. She is a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

Myrtò Papatanasiu, Elvira

San Diego Opera debut. Greek soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu’s recent performances include the title role of Alcina and Fiordiligi inCosì fan tutte at Opéra National de Paris, Violetta in La traviata at Vienna Staatsoper, The Dallas Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Il teatro de Macerata, Teatro dell’Opera de Roma, Welsh National Opera and Opera de Oviedo, Donna Anna inDon Giovanni at Théâtre des Champs Elysées de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, De Nederlandse Opera, Teatro delle Muse, Il teatro de Macerata, and Teatro Carlo Felice, Musetta in La bohème at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role of Iphigénie en Aulide at Theater an der Wien, Alcina at Die Staatstheater Stuttgart, Fiordiligi at the Royal Danish Theatre, and the title role of Rusalka at La Monnaie in Brussels.

Paul Appleby, Ottavio

San Diego Opera debut. American tenor Paul Appleby’s recent engagements include Fritz in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at Santa Fe Opera, Brian in Two Boys, Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Hylas in Les Troyens, Demetrius in The Enchanted Island, and Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte for his Canadian Opera Company debut as well as with Oper Frankfurt and Boston Lyric Opera, Tamino in The Magic Flute for his Washington National Opera debut, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress for Oper Frankfurt, Agenore in Il Re Pastore with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Gomatz in Zaïde at Wolf Trap Opera. An active concert recitalist, he has performed Britten’s Les Illuminations at Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings, and Spring Symphony, at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic, performances of the Mozart Requiem with the Pittsburgh Symphony, in Pittsburgh and on tour to Vienna, and Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, among others. He is the recipient of the 2012 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, the 2012 Top Prize by the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a 2012 Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and a 2011 Richard Tucker Career Grant. He was a National Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Daniele Callegari, Conductor

Italian conductor Daniele Callegari made his Company debut in 2013 with Aida. He was the Principal Director of the Wexford Opera Festival from 1998 to 2001 and was the Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra in Antwerp from 2002 to 2008. He is a regular guest at the world’s leading opera companies and symphonies including Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall of New York, Canadian Opera of Toronto, Washington National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Vienna Staatsoper Opera, Carlo Felice di Genova, Comunale di Bologna, Dresden Musik Festspiele, Frankfurt Oper, Gurzenich Orchester, Liceu of Barcelona, Macerata Opera, Massimo di Palermo, Massimo Bellini di Catania, MDR Orchester, Muncher Rundfunk Orchester, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, New Japan Foundation, Opéra Marseille, Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, Orquestra Sinfonica de Madrid, Philarmonique de Montecarlo, Regio di Parma, Sao Carlos in Lisbon, Théatre de La Monnaie in Brussels, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia di Roma. Recent operas he has conducted include Rigoletto, La bohème, Les Huguenots, Falstaff, Così fan tutte, I due Foscari, Turandot, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, A Masked Ball, La traviata, The Force of Destiny, Aida, Simon Boccanegra, The Elixir of Love, Madama Butterfly and Carmen, among many others. His discography includes Alice by Testoni and Wolf-Ferrari’s I quattro Rusteghi for Agorà, La traviata for Bongiovanni, La Gioconda by Ponchielli, Mascagni’s Messa di Gloria, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, Il trovatore and Oberto conte di San Bonifacio and a CD dedicated to concert arias by Mozart for Fonè.

Nixon in China
John Adams
Sung in English with English text above the stage
San Diego Civic Theatre

March 14, 17, 20 and 22 (matinee), 2015

Richard Nixon: Franco Pomponi*                                                     Conductor: Joseph Mechavich
Pat Nixon: Maria Kanyova*                                                                   
Mao Tse-Tung: Alfred Kim*                                                                    
Chou En-Lai: Chen-Ye Yuan*                                                                
Henry Kissinger: Richard Paul Fink
Madame Mao Tse-Tung: Kathleen Kim
                                                                                                                     
Franco Pomponi, Richard Nixon

San Diego Opera debut. Baritone Franco Pomponi’s notable performances include Pentheus in Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids, Richard Nixon and the title role of Sweeney Todd at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, the title role of Hamlet at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona and Opéra de Marseille, the title role of Don Giovanni for The Bolshoi Opera and Opéra Nationale in Montpellier which was broadcast on Radio France, Zurga in The Pearl Fishers for Opernhaus Zürich, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, as Ford in Falstaff for the Santa Fe Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, Hérode in Massenet’s Hérodiade for U.K.’s Dorset Opera, Golaud in Pélleas et Mélisande for the Nationale Reisopera in The Netherlands; Count Di Luna in Il trovatore for Austin Lyric Opera; Carbon in Cyrano de Bergerac at Théâtre du Châtelet, and Guglielmo in David McVicar’s production of Così fan tutte for L’Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg. He has sung Escamillo in Carmen for New York City Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, Dorset Opera, Toulon, France, PORTOpera Theatre, Maine, Florida Grand Opera, Qatar Philharmonic, and United Arab Emirates. The Metropolitan Opera has heard him as Schaunard in La bohème, Count Dominik in Arabella and Presto in Les Mamelles de Tirésias. For the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he was a member of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, he was heard as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, as well as Germont in La traviata for the Grant Park Music Festival. Other performances include Fritz the Pierrot in Die Tote Stadt at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra for Grand Théâtre Genève; Lescaut inManon Lescaut and Frederic in Lakmé at Spoleto USA; Valentin in Faust at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann for Nationale Reisopera, Netherlands, Portland Opera, Utah Festival and The Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago, and Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire for the New Orleans Opera and the Tennessee Williams Festival.

Maria Kanyova, Pat Nixon

San Diego Opera debut. American soprano Maria Kanyova is well known for her portrayal of Pat Nixon which she has performed with San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Colorado, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Chicago Opera Theatre and in concert with the Ravinia Festival and Phoenix Symphony. Her performances at Opera Colorado were recorded for the Naxos label for commercial release. Other notable performances include Violetta in La traviata at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Portland Opera and Utah Opera, Mimì in La bohème with New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera and The Dallas Opera, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, New Orleans Opera,  Tulsa Opera, Madison Opera and Central City Opera, Nedda in Pagliacci with the The Dallas Opera and New York City Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera as well as Donna Elvira with the Los Angeles Opera and Opera Colorado, Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Colorado and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Adina in The Elixir of Love with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Colorado, Gretel in Hänsel and Gretel with the Los Angeles Opera as well as the Dew Fairy/Sandman with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with Boston Lyric Opera, Utah Opera and Opera Pacific, the title role in Suor Angelica with New York City Opera, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Colorado, Oscar in A Masked Ball with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Blanche de la Force in The Dialogues of the Carmelites with Glimmerglass Opera, and Corinna in  Il Viaggio a Reims with New York City Opera. She created the role of the Wedding Planner in William Bolcom’s A Wedding at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Elle Burling in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at Santa Fe Opera, Annabelle in John Philip Sousa’s The Glass Blowers for Glimmerglass Opera, Leya in Shulamit Ran’s Between Two Worlds with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for America Artists, and Miriam in Mark Adamo’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene at San Francisco Opera.  

Alfred Kim, Mao Tse-Tung

San Diego Opera debut. Korean tenor Alfred Kim was a member of the Staatstheaters in Kassel and Wiesbaden before joining the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt after making his house debut as Carlo in I Masnadieri. During his time in Frankfurt his roles included Ismaele in Nabucco, Rodolfo in La bohème, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Alfredo Germont in La traviata, the title role of Don Carlo,  and Henri in Die sizilianische Vesper. Other notable performances include Radames in Aida at Teatro de la Maestranza in Sevilla, Calàf in Turandot for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Deutsch Oper Berlin, Cavaradossi for Rome Opera, Don José in Carmen for the Daegu International Opera Festival in Korea and Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Don Alvaro in La forza del destino for Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Mao Tse-Tung for Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, and Manrico in Il trovatore for Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse. He won the 1997 Belvedere international singing competition, second prize in the 1998 ARD Music Competition in Munich and was awarded a special prize at the 2002 Operalia competition in Paris. He is an active concert soloist as well. 

Richard Paul Fink, Henry Kissinger

American baritone Richard Paul Fink made his San Diego Opera debut as Pritschitsch in The Merry Widow in 1985, returning that same season for Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Escamillo in Carmen in 1992 and the title role of Nabucco in 2010. Notable engagements in his international career include the title role of The Flying Dutchman for Calgary Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Klingsor in Parsifal, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, George Wilson in The Great Gatsby and Edward Teller in Doctor Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera, Alberich in the Ring Cycle for the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and San Francisco Opera, Amonasro in Aida, Jochanaan in Salome and Don Pizarro in Fidelio for Seattle Opera, Telramund in Lohengrinfor Houston Grand Opera and the Water Sprite in Rusalka for Canadian Opera Company. He has appeared with Paris Opéra Bastille, Berlin Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Municipal in Chile, Washington National Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Sydney Opera and New York City Opera in roles as varied as Nabucco, Macbeth, Rigoletto, the Four Villans in The Tales of Hoffmann, Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Gerard in Andrea Chenier and Nick Shadow in The Rak’s Progress.

Joseph Mechavich, Conductor

American Conductor Joseph Mechavich made his Company debut in the 2012 season leading the performances of Moby-Dick, which he also conducted for Calgary Opera. He is the Principal Conductor and Music Director for Kentucky Opera, where he has conducted La bohèmeThe Marriage of Figaro and Carmen.  Recent performances include Romeo and Juliette for Florida Grand Opera, Susannah for The Florentine Opera, The Barber of Seville at Washington National Opera, Porgy and Bess at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera, La bohème at Dayton Opera and Cendrillon at the Aspen Music Festival.  Mechavich was the Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham from 2004-10, conducting  Turandot, Madama Butterfly, La bohème, La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Elixir of Love, Aida, La Cenerentola and The Barber of Seville. He has also presided over highly-recognized productions for Calgary Opera, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sugar Creek Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Lake George Opera Festival, Virginia Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera and Spokane Opera. Others companies with which he has collaborated include Austin Lyric Opera, New Orleans Opera, Mobile Opera, Nevada Opera and Berkshire Opera. 

50th Anniversary Gala Concert
Jacobs Music Center – Copley Symphony Hall
Featuring Special Guests
Conducted by Karen Kamensek

April 18 and 19 (matinee), 2015
                                            
Karen Kamensek, Conductor

American conductor Karen Kamensek made her Company debut last season for The Elixir of Love. She has been the music director of Staatsoper Hannover since 2011 where she recently conducted Suor AngelicaGianni SchicchiIl abarroCosì fan tutteLady Macbeth of MtsenskDas RheingoldDie Walküre and Ariadne auf Naxos. She cooperates closely with Philip Glass whose work Orphéeshe performed as the world premiere with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. She also conducted Glass´ world premiere of Les Enfants Terribles at the Spoleto Festival in the USA, and his composition for Büchner´s play Wozzeck performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival. As a guest, she conducted at the Opera Australia in Melbourne for Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, the Deutsche Oper Berlin for La bohème, the Komische Oper Berlin for La bohème and Der Vogelhändler, the Opéra National de Bordeaux for Idomeneo, the Dortmund Opera for La bohème, the Frankfurt Opera for The Turn of the ScrewRoméo et JulietteDeath in Venice, and La traviata, the Staatsoper Hannover  for the ballet The FirebirdPictures of an ExhibitionCarmen, and The Daughter of the Regiment, the Hamburgische Staatsoper for The Elixir of LoveMadama ButterflyA Masked Ball, and Otello, the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen for Pelléas et Mélisande, the Staatstheater Stuttgart for La bohème, the Volksoper Wien for Herzogin von Chicago, the State Opera in Prague for La bohème, the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater for Il trovatore and at the Opéra National de Bordeaux for Jenufa as well as at WDR Festival in Duisburg for Glass´ Civil Wars. She regularly performs concerts with the Hamburger Philharmoniker, Staatsorchester Hannover, Basel Sinfonietta, Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Vlaams Radio Orchester Brussels, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle, Klagenfurter Symphonieorchester, Slovenien Philharmonic Orchestra Ljubljana, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Monterey Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie Maribor, the Orchestra of the MDR, Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien as well as Odense Symphony Orchestra.