Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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 this production.

costume sketches

The cast
 Ferruccio Furlanetto

The lyrical and melodic score is a tour-de-force for the great bass Ferruccio Furlanetto who is “…strong in rejecting the temptations and in rebutting the assassins’ charges of treasonous behavior toward the king, yet his singing in the sermon has a touching eloquence…” (The New York Times review of his La Scala performance as Becket).

 Donato Renzetti, Susan Neves, Helene Schneiderman and Allan Glassman

The opera is conducted by Donato Renzetti in his debut here. Susan Neves and Helene Schneiderman lead the women of Canterbury commenting on the action while unable to interfere with events which seem ordained to happen. American Tenor Allan Glassman is the Herald.

Listen to Nicolas Reveles, our Geisel Director of Education, talking about our upcoming production of Murder in the Cathedral:

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