Showing posts from December, 2012

Cruzar la Cara de la Luna - 31 Days of Opera Awesomeness

As a special addition to San Diego Opera's 2013 International Season, we present Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the first Mariachi Opera featuring renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Celebrate the music, memories, color and high spirits of Mexico as the rich classical sounds of the traditional mariachi and brilliant soloists create a poignant and moving opera which will appeal to all audiences.
The Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

  Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán
The renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, known as the World’s Best Mariachi and heard on more than 800 recordings, take the stage for the first mariachi opera, a bi-lingual work following three generations of a single family, spanning countries, cultures and customs.  Performed to ecstatic reviews in Houston and Paris, this semi-staged production receives its West Coast premiere. “A multicultural winner”, “a stunning, emotional Mariachi opera”, “the bright Mariachi orchestration (violins, trumpets, harp and guitars) and e…

Aida - 31 Days of Opera Awesomeness

Our season will end with the vivid, colorful and famous Aida by Giuseppe Verdi who celebrates his 200th Birthday in 2013.
The plot Aida tells the story of the tragic love triangle of Amneris, the Pharaoh’s daughter, who is competing for the love of the Egyptian general Radames with her own Ethiopian slave, Aida.
The production Zandra Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes’ vivid designer’s eye enhances Verdi’s vision of ancient Egypt in this stunning production. Acclaimed in London, San Francisco and Houston, the brilliant sets and costumes are seen in San Diego for the first time, creating a riot of color and pageantry.

 The triumphal march - Photo by Cory Weaver
The cast

Filled with great arias and choruses, including the famous Triumphal March, Aida demands extraordinary singers in every role.

Latonia Moore, Walter Fraccaro, Jill Grove and Mark S. Doss
Rising American star Latonia Moore conquered Covent Garden as Aida: “I can honestly say that I have not heard an Aida like her at Covent Garden…or, for th…

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness Murder in the Cathedral

Ildebrando Pizzetti’s ‘Assassinio nella cattedrale’ is based on an actual historic event, the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170.

Thomas Becket Thomas Becket was born in London in 1118. His humble parents made sure he learned to read and sent him to Paris for his studies. After various jobs as a clerk and deacon, he became the young king’s Chancellor at the age of thirty-six, the second most powerful person in the country. The relationship between King Henry II and the twenty year older Thomas Becket at that time is documented as a strong friendship with both men enjoying splendor. This did however change in 1162 when Henry II made Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury. Feeling like he could not serve two masters, Thomas Becket resigned as Chancellor, choosing God over the king. Along with this switch came a grave change in lifestyle, Becket became a prime example of a disciplined and praying priest. Conflicts and many misunderstanding between king and archbishop foll…

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness - Murder in the Cathedral

Conducted by La Scala’s Donato Renzetti, directed by Ian Campbell and starring Ferruccio Furlanetto as Becket, Ildebrando Pizzetti's Murder in the Cathedral has its West Coast Premiere in America, combining faith, passion, tragedy and hope.

The plot Archbishop Thomas Becket, brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170 defending his church against the intrusions of King Henry II, became a Christian martyr and Saint at whose tomb Henry was forced to pay penance. Based on the T. S. Eliot play, the opera covers the last 27 days of Becket’s life as he struggles with politics, religion and temptation.

The production San Diego Opera's new production will be traditional. Here are two sketches of the scenery:

It is directed by San Diego Opera's very own Ian Campbell. The sets are designed by San Diego favorite Ralph Funicello.

 Ian Campbell and Ralph Funicello
Costumes are created by Bulgarian costume designer Denitsa Bliznakova who makes her San Diego Opera debut in …

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness - Samson and Delilah

The Composer
Camille Saint-Saëns was born in Paris on October 9, 1835. A generally talented person, he started taking piano lessons aged two and wrote his first work at three. At twelve, he started studying organ and composition at the Paris Conservatory. Finally aged twenty, he had won the support of Berlioz, Liszt, Gounod, Rossini, and other notable figures. Other interests of him were geology, languages and astronomy as well as traveling which he did extensively in the last period of his life. During his life time he was celebrated in England and the United States as France’s greatest living composer leading to a triumphant concert tour in the U.S. in 1915. He died on December 16, 1921, in Algeria. An anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century, he wrote in all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. Mainly known for works such as The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre or his Piano Concert

Samson and Delilah

31 Days of Opera AwesomenessOur second opera of the season is Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah. The impressive production full of action, ballet dancing, drama and great singing returns to our stage on February 16, 2013.

The plot

The Bible’s Samson and Delilah tells the tragic story of the Hebrew Samson who is send by god to save Israel from the Phillistines. Physically strong, Samson cannot repel the advances of the seductive Delilah. Urged on by the High Priest of Dagon, she makes him reveal the source of his strength, his hair, which she cuts, rendering him powerless. Captured and blinded, Samson calls on God for forgiveness, destroying the temple and all within it, including the treacherous Delilah.

 Act One
The production

Camille Saint-Saëns’sSamson and Delilah return to our stage in a production described by the North County Times as “…one of the most memorable San Diego Opera productions of the past decade (with) stunning and gargantuan sets, vivid lighting, gorgeous costum…

Tenors of the 2013 Season

Tenors are considered by many audience members as the 'glories' of opera. What they do seems beautiful, athletic, stunning and unreasonable, all at once. Well, we have some wonderful tenor roles this upcoming season: Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment, Samson in Samson and Delilah, and Radames in Aida. Tune in as Nicolas Reveles, the Geisel Director of Education and Outreach opens up the world of the operatic tenor in this week's installment.

Here is a little challenge

31 Days of Opera AwesomenessToday's 31 Days of Opera Awesomeness gives you this amazing Daughter of the Regiment jigsaw puzzle. Have fun!

The Daughter of the Regiment Jigsaw Puzzle

The Music from The Daughter of the Regiment

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness The Daughter of the Regiment is a comic opera which is defined as a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature that usually ends well. Composed by Donizetti in 1840 for the Paris Opera Comique, it tells the story of the young orphan Marie who has been adopted by a regiment and later is found to be the Marquise’s niece. The libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean Francois Bayard gave Donizetti the chance to write military rhythms, pastoral chorals, majestic orchestra pieces, passionate arias and love duets. It is an opera that demands exceptional skills from the singers. The tenor aria "Ah me amis" for example requires the singer to sing nine high C's.

Listen to what Nicolas Reveles, our Geisel director of education, has to say about the orchestra, the duets and much more!

The orchestra in The Daughter of the Regiment
The choir in The Daughter of the Regiment
The soprano in The Daughter of the Regiment

The arias in The Dau…

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness

Gaetano Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment 
The first opera of our upcoming season is the Donizetti’s comic opera The Daughter of the Regiment. Written by the Italian composer in Paris, it was first performed at the Paris Opéra-Comique in 1840 in french.

The Plot
The Daughter of the Regiment tells the story of the young orphan Marie who has been adopted by a regiment of the American army. Young and wild, a true army girl, she travels with the regiment and sees them all as her father. After meeting Tonio, a French peasant, they fall in love with each other. This leads Tonio to enlist in the regiment and everything seems perfect until Sgt. Sulpice meets the Marquise of Birkenfeld who turns out to be Marie’s aunt. Exhilarated about the finding of her long-lost niece, the Marquise decides to take Marie home to the family’s chateau. Comedy ensues as Marie attempts to adapt to her new life, as she discovers that the identity of the Marquise is not what she was led to believe.

Scenes fro…