Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ will open 2011 San Diego Opera season

San Diego Opera’s 46th International Season opens on Jan. 29 with Giacomo Puccini’s grand “Turandot” and marks the company debut of American soprano Lise Lindstrom in the title role.

Of Lise’s house debut as Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, The New York Times reported, she sang with chilling power and nailed the top notes. Her sound was impressively focused, with a vibrant vibrato on sustained tones and no wobble. The youthful shimmer of her singing was balanced by rich emotional maturity.

These performances also mark the return of Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho as the slave girl Liù, and the return of San Diego favorite, the Uruguayan tenor Carlo Ventre as Calàf.

Rounding out the cast is German bass Reinhard Hagen as Timur, American baritone Jeff Mattsey as Ping, American tenor Joel Sorensen as Pang, Taiwanese tenor Joseph Hu as Pong, American bass baritone Scott Sikon as a Mandarin and American tenor Joseph Frank as Emperor Altoum.

Persian stage director Lotfi Mansouri continues his long history with the company, and Italian conductor Edoardo Müller brings his mastery of the Italian repertory to the podium.

Performed in Italian with English translations above the stage, “Turandot” was last performed by San Diego Opera in 2004 and tells the story of Princess Turandot and her three riddles one must answer to win her heart. Every man who has tried has failed, but Prince Calàf is determined to win her heart even at great peril to his life and the lives of those around him.

The sets, designed by famed visual artist David Hockney, and costumes by Ian Falconer, are owned by the San Francisco Opera.

These performances mark the fifth time this opera has been performed in San Diego with other performances in 2004, 1997, 1982 and 1971. They are dedicated to Title Co-Sponsors Iris and Matthew Strauss and Producers’ Circle Members Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg and the Kathryn Fischback Foundation, Mary Keough Lyman, Cynthia and Bill Ruddy and The Staver Family – in loving memory of Marian and Ralph.

San Diego was founded in 1965, and led for the last 27 years by artistic director Ian D. Campbell.

The Season’s Four for Four

• ‘Turandot’ by Giacomo Puccini, Jan. 29; Feb. 1, 4 and 6

• ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ by Richard Strauss, April 3, 6, 9 and 12

• ‘Faust’ by Charles Gounod, April 23, 26, 29 and May 1

• ‘Carmen’ by Georges Bizet, May 14, 17, 20 and 22

If you go

What: ‘Turandot” (world premiere was at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, April 25, 1926)

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 29; 7 p.m. Feb. 1; 8 p.m. Feb. 4 and 2 p.m. Feb. 6

Where: Civic Theatre, Third Avenue and B Street, San Diego

Tickets: Single tickets, through Dec. 31, $35, $75, $90, $115, $155, $195 ($220 for select seats on opening night)

Contact: (619) 533-7000. sdopera.com

Pre-Opera Lectures: 30-minutes-long, one-hour prior to each performance, free to ticket holders

Perks: A broadcast of ‘Turandot’ will air on KPBS Radio (89.1 FM in La Jolla) 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28, 2011.

OperaTalk! with Nick Reveles: airs on UCSD-TV;  schedule at http://www.sdopera.com/Company/Education/OperaTalk

Stars in the Salon: Meet cast during a panel discussion 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Beverly Sills Salon, Civic Theatre. Free.

Podcast Series: Hosted by Nicolas Reveles; 15-minute ‘conversations’ to prepare for the season http://www.sdopera.com/Company/Education/Podcasts

San Diego Opera Blog: http://ariaserious.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Susan DeMaggio on Dec 16, 2010. Filed under A & E, Music, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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