Murder and mayhem, epic love and sensuous music, sparkling comedy and vocal fireworks, a literary legend and a fairy tale all comprise Seattle Opera’s 2010-2011 season.
Opening the 2010-2011 season on July 31, 2010 is Wagner’s great love story Tristan und Isolde. Making her Seattle Opera and American debut is Swedish soprano Annalena Persson. Her season includes the title role in Salome with Madrid’s Teatro Real and Chrysothemis (Elektra) at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. As her lover Tristan, dramatic tenor Clifton Forbis returns to Seattle Opera after singing Cavaradossi (Tosca) in 2001. His appearances at the Metropolitan Opera include Samson (Samson et Dalia), Siegmund (Die Walküre) and Lensky (Eugene Onegin.)
Soprano Margaret Jane Wray sings Brangäne after having appeared as Sieglinde and Third Norn in Seattle Opera’s former Ring Cycles. She is a regular at the Metropolitan Opera where her roles have included Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Ortrud (Lohengrin) and Sieglinde. Danish bass Stephen Milling sings King Marke having debuted with Seattle Opera as Fasolt (Das Rheingold) and Hunding (Die Walküre) in a previous Ring Cycle. He is a regular at the Royal Danish Opera where his roles have included Hermann (Tannhäuser), Daland (Der Fliegende Holländer) and Filippo (Don Carlos.) Singing Kurnewal is American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley. He made his Seattle Opera debut in 1994 and has returned in a variety of roles including the title role in Die Fliegende Holländer, Mephistophélès (Faust), Scarpia (Tosca) and Escamillo (Carmen.) Other companies with whom he has appeared include the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Royal Danish Opera and the grand Teatre del Liceu.
The season continues on October 16, 2010 is Donizetti’s bel-canto tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor. Starring as mad Lucy are sopranos Aleksandra Kurzak and Davinia Rodriguez. Ms. Kurzak follows her Seattle Opera debut as Lucia with Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw, as Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) with the Weiner Staatsoper and Violetta (La Traviata) at the Teatro Regio in Torino. Making her Seattle Opera debut is Spanish soprano Rodriguez who has been seen the Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte) at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, the Staatstheater Stuttgart and the Dresden Music Festival.
American tenors William Burden and Scott Piper share the role of Edgardo, the lover from the wrong family. Tenor Burden spends the season as Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw) at Los Angeles Opera, sings the role of Hippolyt in the American Premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Phaedra with Opera Company of Philadelphia and sings Nadir (The Pearl Fishers) with new Orleans Opera. American tenor Scott Piper recently sang the title role in Faust with the New Israel Opera, Edgardo with Opera Cleveland and Rodolfo (La Bohème) with Opera de Nicaragua.
As Lucia’s scheming brother Enrico, baritone Ljubomir Puškarić makes his Seattle Opera debut. This young baritone recently was a Young Artist with Cincinnati Opera, but is already making waves singing the baritone solo in Carmina Burana with the Cleveland Orchestra and Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and appearing as Andrey Shchelkov (Boris Godunov) with the Cincinnati May Festival. Baritone Philip Cutlip sings the alternate performances in his return to Seattle where he has been seen as Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Maurice in Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair and Marcello (La Bohème.) He has also sung the title role in Orphée by Philip Glass at Portland Opera and Zurga (The Pearl Fishers) with Minnesota Opera.
Bass Arthur Woodley is a regular with Seattle Opera having debuted there in 1997. His roles include Dr. Bartolo (Le Nozze di Figaro), Crespel (Les Contes d’Hoffman) and Ashby (La Fanciulla del West). His is also a noted interpreter of Porgy (Porgy and Bess) with the Savonlinna and Bregenz Festival.
Rossini’s fantastic comedy Il Barbiere di Siviglia opens January 15, 2011. Starring as the spunky Rosina are soprano Sarah Coburn and mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey. Ms. Coburn recently sang Gilda (Rigoletto) with L’Opéra de Montréal and Los Angeles Opera. Future engagements will see her as Amina (La Sonnambula) at the Weiner Staatsoper and Gilda at Cincinnati Opera. Mezzo Kate Lindsey returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Nicklausse/The Muse in Les Contes d’Hoffman and will sing Zaida (Il Turco in Italia) in her debut with Los Angeles Opera.
Two tenors, Lawrence Brownlee and Nicholas Phan, sing the disguised Count Almaviva,. Heralded as one of the great tenors of our time, Lawrence Brownlee has sung the great bel canto operas with houses like the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala, the Palais Garnier and the Rossini Opera Festival. Brownlee is a former Young Artist with the Seattle Opera.
In alternating performances, Nicholas Phan makes his Seattle Opera debut. This young singer alternates between concert work with recent appearances with the BBC Proms, the San Francisco Symphony and the Oratorio Society of New York and operatic roles with Glyndebourne (Fenton, Falstaff), Los Angeles Opera (Lucano, L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Frankfurt Opera (Fracasso, La Finta Semplice) and a variety of roles with Houston Grand Opera.
Australian baritone José Carbó sings the title character. His recent engagements include appearances with Opera Australia as Marcello (La Bohème), Don Alfonso (Così Fan Tutte) and Lescaut (Manon); Baron Trombonok (Il viaggio a Reims) at La Scala and Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore) at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Singing alternate performances as Figaro is American baritone David Adam Moore who is a former Seattle Opera Young Artist. He has sung Zurga (The Pearl Fishers) and Guglielmo (Così Fan Tutte) at Seattle. His 2010-2011 season includes Guglielmo with Palm Beach Opera, Masetto (Don Giovanni) with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera.
Bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera, will sing Dr. Bartolo. He returns to Seattle Opera having sung Norabad (The Pearl Fishers.) He will be seen as Swallow (Peter Grimes) and Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Houston Grand Opera this season. Burak Bilgili made his Seattle Opera debut as Banquo (Macbeth) and returns to sing Don Basilio. His Basilio will also make appearances at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Munchen Bayerische Staatsoper. He is also the bass soloist in Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Dvorák’s Stabat Mater at Carnegie Hall and sings Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) with Vancouver Opera.
The season continues with Massenet’s rarely heard Don Quichotteopening on February 26, 2011. Sharing the title role will be American bass-baritone John Relyea and French bass-baritone Nicolas Cavallier. Relyea’s recent engagements include the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera, Mephistophélès (Faust) with Washington Concert Opera and San Francisco Opera and the same role-different opera, (La Damnation de Faust) with Lyric Opera of Chicago.
As Quixote’s sidekick Pancho Sanza, bass-baritone Eduardo Chama returns to Seattle Opera having sung the title role in Don Pasquale and Leporello (Don Giovanni.) He also sings Sancho Panza with the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and will perform Dr. Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Sivliga) with Grand Théâtre de Genève. In alternate performances bass Richard Bernstein sings Sancho Panza. He spends the season at the Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Wozzeck, Tosca, La Fanciulla del West and Don Carlos.
Polish mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska sings Dulcinée. This vibrant mezzo debuted with Seattle Opera as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle. Her roles include Azucena (Il Trovatore) with San Francisco, Maddalena (Rigoletto) and the title role in Carmen with the Vienna Staatsoper and Amneris (Aïda) with the Savonnlina Festival. Sharing the role is German mezzo-soprano Daniela Sindram. She has performed lyric mezzo roles with the Bremer Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
The season concludes with Mozart’s The Magic Flute starring a cast of talented young artists. Tenors John Tessier and Jonathan Boyd make their Seattle Opera debuts as Prince Tamino. Tenor Tessier sings Ramiro (La Cenerentola) at Minnesota Opera and Tito (La Clemenza di Tito) with Vancouver Opera. Jonathan Boyd spends the season as Ottavio (Don Giovanni) at Dallas Opera, Alfredo (La Traviata) with Opera Carolina and Belmonte (The Abduction from the Seraglio) at Arizona Opera.
Sopranos Christine Brandes and Hanan Alattar will sing Pamina. Active as a concert soloist, Christine Brandes will sing Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with Beyond the Baroque, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Canton Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Arizona Symphony this season. Soprano Hanan Alattar recently sang Leïla in English National Opera’s The Pearl Fishers, Clarice (Il Mondo della Luna) with Gothan Chamber Opera and Micaëla (Carmen) with Boston Lyric Opera.
Two sopranos scale the heights of the vengeful Queen of the Night. Soprano Emily Hindrichs returns to Seattle Opera having been a former member of the Young Artist Program. Ms. Hindrichs brings her Queen to New Orleans Opera’s The Magic Flute this fall before singing Bach’s B-minor Mass on tour with L’Ensemble Medical to Munich, Germany, Washington DC and Carnegie Hall. She debuted her Queen of the Night at English National Opera in 2009. Japanese soprano Mari Moriya makes her Seattle Opera debut as the Queen of the Night after performances of The Magic Flute with Glyndebourne, Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) with Tulsa Opera and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Opera Ireland. The 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finalist has also sung the Queen with the Metropolitan Opera, Portland Opera, Palm Beach Opera and Pittsburgh Opera.
Singing Sarastro’s low tones at the other end of the vocal spectrum will be basses Ilya Bannick and Keith Miller, both making their Seattle Opera debuts. Ilya Bannick is a regular at the Marinksy Theater in his native Russia where his roles include Banquo (Macbeth), Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin.) His future roles include Mephistophélès (Faust) with Den Norske Opera and the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo) with Vancouver Opera.
American Bass-baritone Keith Miller is a graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts and a regular at the Metropolitan Opera where he can be seen this season as Monterone (Rigoletto), Zuniga (Carmen) and Ashby (La Fanciulla del West.) He will also make his Washington National Opera debut as the Bonze (Madama Butterfly) and sings Escamillo (Carmen) with Glimmerglass Opera.
Tamino’s birdman sidekick, Papageno will be sung by baritones Phillip Cutlip (profiled above) and Leigh Melrose. Mr. Melrose is a former contestant (representing Scotland) in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and is a graduate of the English National Opera Young Artist Program. His roles include Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with New York City Opera, Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with the Théâtre Royal de Monnaie and Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) with Vlaamse Opera.
Known for its Young Artist Program, Seattle Opera offers these talented singers the opportunity to sing full-length works. This year’s offerings include Donizetti’s comedy Viva la Mamma! opening in November and touring throughout the state of Washington. In April, the Young Artists present Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni.
Seattle opera lovers will enjoy this eclectic repertoire and fantastic established and exciting up-and-coming singers.