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Opera in the Summer 2007 (U.S.A.)

See also our guide to summer opera in Europe.

This is a slightly disappointing season in St. Louis, but sales should be strong. The new opera Anna Karenina, in its world premiere production, is the main reason to go.

May 19 to June 23
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado
May 26 to June 23
Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata
With Ailyn Pérez
June 3 to June 21
David Carlson, Anna Karenina
With Kelly Kaduce
June 14 to June 24
Vincenzo Bellini, I Puritani
With Pamela Armstrong

Filene Center at night, Wolf Trap, August 20, 2005
Filene Center at night, Wolf Trap, August 20, 2005

All three productions at Spoleto this year would be on our schedule if we could make it work. Christopher Alden directing a little-known Gluck opera, the American premiere of Pascal Dusapin's Faustus, and a Mahagonny.
May 28 to June 9
Christoph Willibald Gluck, L'Ile de Merlin
American premiere
Directed by Christopher Alden
May 28 to June 9
Kurt Weill, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
May 29 and June 2
Pascal Dusapin, Faustus, the Last Night
American premiere
With John Hancock and Heather Buck

This will be the first performance of this little-known Lully opera in North America. It will be performed in a staged production, directed by Gilbert Blin, over five evenings in Boston and three in the Berkshires later in the month. Professor John Powell, who prepared the edition of the earlier ballet version of Psyché, is Special Advisor to the performers.

June 12 to 24
Lully, Psyché
With Carolyn Sampson and Karina Gauvin

We have not experienced summer opera in Cincinnati yet, either, but it is not for lack of temptation. The company presented Danielpour's Margaret Garner in 2005 and Chabrier's L'Étoile in 2006. In the second season under new artistic director Evans Mirageas, the four operas include old favorites and a modern classic.
June 14 and 16
Gounod, Faust
With Ruth Ann Swenson
June 28 and 30
Mozart, Così Fan Tutte
With Alexandra Deshorties, Nathalie Paulin, Shawn Mathey, Teddy Tahu Rhodes
July 12 and 14
Adams, Nixon in China
With Thomas Hammons as Kissinger
July 25 to 31
Verdi, Aida
With Lisa Daltirus

Plácido Domingo continues his proselytizing efforts to bring zarzuela to American audiences. We had this one in Washington three years ago.

June 3 to 16
Federico Torroba, Luisa Fernanda
With Plácido Domingo

Santa Fe Opera remains the premiere destination for summer opera in the United States (see the Ionarts coverage in 2006 and 2005). The first reason to go to Santa Fe this summer are the chance to see Strauss's Daphne staged, an opera we have reviewed live and on disc with Renée Fleming. It is a killer role, and I am a little worried about Erin Wall, the singer formerly known as Canadienne, who will sing the role at such a young age, although I probably shouldn't be. The second reason is to hear French tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt sing the role of his career, the ugly frog-princess in Rameau's Platée.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by Tan Dun's opera The First Emperor at the Met this year (as was Jens, who reviewed a live performance), and as a result I am not too sad to be missing that composer's Tea at Santa Fe this year. However, I am sad to miss the chance to hear soprano Jennifer Black, who was an angelic Micaëla in Santa Fe's Carmen last year, as well as Nicole Cabell, whose new CD has been in my MP3 player recently, and the truly lovely Susanna Phillips as Fiordiligi in Così. So, if the lineup seems a little prosaic this year by comparison to previous ones, it will still be a summer of fine singing.
June 29 to August 25
Giacomo Puccini, La Bohème
With Jennifer Black and Nicole Cabell
June 30 to August 24
Mozart, Così fan tutte
With Susanna Phillips
July 14 to August 17
Strauss, Daphne
With Erin Wall
July 21 to August 23
Tan Dun, Tea: A Mirror of Soul
American premiere
July 28 to August 22
Rameau, Platée
With Jean-Paul Fouchécourt

Another place Ionarts needs to visit soon is the venerable summer opera festival in Central City, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this summer. For the big year, Artistic Director Pelham G. Pearce has pulled out all the stops to make a magnificent offering. Most interesting, of course, is the world premiere of a new opera by Guo Wenjing, commissioned by the company. Another production of Massenet's charming Cendrillon, memorably mounted last summer by Santa Fe, will have the splendid Heather Buck as the Fairy Godmother. One of my favorite modern operas, the late great Gian-Carlo Menotti's Saint of Bleecker Street, is also on the roster, in a production directed by Catherine Malfitano and starring Christine Brandes.
June 30 to August 16
Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata
With Jennifer Casey Cabot
July 7 to 28
Guo Wenjing, Poet Li Bai
World Premiere
July 14 to August 19
Jules Massenet, Cinderella
With Heather Buck as La Fée
July 21 to August 18
Gian Carlo Menotti, The Saint of Bleecker Street
Directed by Catherine Malfitano, with Christine Brandes

In honor of the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi's Orfeo, the Glimmerglass season consists entirely of operas on the Orpheus legend, beginning with Antony Walker (of our own Washington Concert Opera and Australia's Pinchgut Opera) conducting the Monteverdi masterpiece that started it all.
July 28 to August 25
Monteverdi, Orfeo
Conducted by Antony Walker
Directed by Christopher Alden
July 8 to August 28
Gluck, Orphée et Eurydice
Re-orchestrated by Berlioz
With Michael Maniaci
July 7 to August 26
Offenbach, Orpheus in the Underworld
July 21 to August 27
Philip Glass, Orphée

This month represents a sort of homecoming for composer Mark Adamo. He studied composition at Catholic University here in Washington in the 1980s, and during that time wrote some concert reviews for the Washington Post. As profiled in the Post this week, Adamo's new harp concerto will be premiered this week by the National Symphony Orchestra. Later this month, Ionarts will review the production of Adamo's successful opera Little Women at Washington's Summer Opera Theater. As Adamo admitted in an interview for the PBS telecast of that opera, the idea to make an opera on Little Women came from Summer Opera Theater. The company's artistic director, Elaine Walter, suggested that Adamo compose Little Women for the company, a plan that ultimately fell through and the premiere was given by Houston Grand Opera.
June 16 to 24
Mark Adamo, Little Women
Directed by David Grindle
July 14 to 22
Puccini, Tosca
With Benjamin Warschawski and Jason Stearns

Kim Witman, the director of Wolf Trap Opera, blogs about the experience, which is always entertaining and enlightening reading. The company's season this summer is very exciting, and I am sad to be missing all of the interesting parts: the revival of John Musto's Volpone, commissioned by Wolf Trap Opera and premiered there in 2004 (when I did not review it, for some reason), and Chabrier's L'Étoile.
June 22 to July 1
John Musto, Volpone
With Anne-Carolyn Bird
July 27 to August 5
Emmanuel Chabrier, L'Étoile
August 17 and 18
Mozart, The Magic Flute

SEATTLE OPERA (Washington)

August 4 to 25
Wagner, The Flying Dutchman
With Greer Grimsley and Jane Eaglen

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