Opera San Jose announces a whale of a new season

Opera San Jose’s 2018-19 season will take audiences to a daring rescue in a Turkish harem, a fateful love triangle in an Italian circus, a deep-sea quest for a great white whale and a tragic liaison between a Japanese geisha and her American lover.

Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio,” Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” Jake Heggie’s “Moby Dick” and Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” are on the schedule for the company’s upcoming season, announced last week by company general director Larry Hancock.

The season — Opera San Jose’s 35th — runs September 15, 2018, to April 28, 2019, with each of the four productions receiving six performances at the California Theatre in San Jose.

Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” (Sept. 15-30, 2018) opens the fall season in its first Opera San Jose production. Sung in German with English supertitles, the composer’s rollicking early comedy follows the Spanish nobleman Belmonte to the Turkish coast to rescue his beloved Konstanze, held captive in the palace of Pasha Selim. Director Michael Shell helms the production.

“Pagliacci” returns as the company’s other fall production (Nov. 17-Dec. 2, 2018.) Set in a traveling commedia dell’arte troupe, Leoncavallo’s opera revolves around a jealous husband, his unfaithful wife and her lover. A prime example of the Italian verismo style, “Pagliacci,” which includes the famous aria “Vesti la giubba,” offers what one character calls “a bleeding slice of life.” Stage director Shawna Lucey, who is directing Verdi’s “La Traviata” for Opera San Jose later this season, will return to direct “Pagliacci.”

The company’s 2019 offerings begin with “Moby Dick” (Feb. 9-24, 2019), based on Herman Melville’s classic American novel. San Francisco composer Heggie and his librettist, Gene Scheer, introduced the opera in its world premiere at Dallas Opera in 2010. San Francisco Opera produced it in 2012, and the opera made its East Coast premiere at Washington National Opera in 2014. “Moby Dick” has since gone on to become one of the opera world’s most successful contemporary works. With a stage director still to be announced, this will be Opera San Jose’s first production of the opera.

The season closes with “Madama Butterfly” (April 13-28, 2019.) One of Puccini’s most frequently performed operas, the melodrama about an American naval officer and the Japanese geisha who loves him will be staged by director Brad Dalton.

“We are very much looking forward to our 35th season,” remarked Hancock. “It is a great pleasure to bring back to the California Theatre two favorites, ‘Pagliacci,’ which we haven’t seen in seven years, and ‘Madama Butterfly, which has also been too long in the wings.

“New works in the season will be Mozart’s ‘Abduction from the Seraglio,’ a company premiere, and another company premiere, Jake Heggie’s brilliant ‘Moby Dick,’ which is a co-production with Utah Opera, Opera Pittsburgh, Chicago Opera Theatre and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Not only is this a new production, but Mr. Heggie will create a new orchestration. This is a very ambitious season for Opera San Jose, one that would not be possible without special funding from the Packard Humanities Institute, for “Abduction,’ and the Carol Franc Buck Foundation for ‘Moby Dick.’”

Additional details about conductors, singers and designers for the 2018-19 season will be announced at a later date.

Subscriptions for the season are $104-$504 and will be available on April 1. Single tickets, priced at $61-$181, go on sale in June. For more information, call 408-437-4450, or visit www.operasj.org.

Contact Georgia Rowe at growe@pacbell.net.

Source: mercurynews
Opera San Jose announces a whale of a new season