News for July/August 2003


HOUSTON -- Houston Grand Opera has announced its 49th season, which has been given the umbrella title of Affairs of the Heart. The seven operas comprising the season are: TOSCA, JULIUS CAESAR, JENUFA, THE MAGIC FLUTE, THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, TURNADOT and THE END OF THE AFFAIR.

"Our season will be a year of new experiences, new artists, four new productions and the world premiere of Jake Heggie's new opera, The End of the Affair," said HGO General Director David Gockley. "The season will begin and end with two Puccini masterpieces, Tosca and Turandot, and includes the beloved Maurice Sendak production of The Magic Flute and an updated production of the ever-popular comedy The Barber of Seville. Additionally, we will mount Jenufa, the last installment in our three-part exploration of Janacek in a provocative new version featuring two of the greatest sopranos singing Janacek right now, Patricia Racette and Catherine Malfitano."

Houston Grand Opera performs at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston's downtown theater district. Call (713) 228-OPERA or (800) 62-OPERA or visit


LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Opera's new season includes the World Premiere of Deborah Drattell's NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, two revivals, six new productions and two recitals. Among the principal singers featured in the 2003-2004 season are Placido Domingo, Denyce Graves, Wolfgang Brendel, Anna Netrebko, Samuel Ramey, Linda Watson and Cristina Gallardo-Domas, among others.

Directors include Anne Bogart, Lucinda Childs, Jurgen Flimm, Achim Freyer, Marthe Keller, Stephen Lawless, Robert Wilson and Patrick Young.

The season will open Sept. 10 with Freyer's new staging of Hector Berlioz's THE DAMNATION OF FAUST, conducted by Kent Nagano; it will be followed on Sept. 14 with the premiere of NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, with Bogart directing, Rodney Gilfrey and Nancy Gustafson singing Nicholas and Alexandra, respectively. Placido Domingo has been cast as Rasputin, with Mstlav Rostropovich conducting.

A new production of Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR will open Nov. 22, with Marthe Keller directing and Julius Rudel conducting. Soprano Anna Netrebka makes her L.A. debut, with Jose Bros, Franco Vassallo, Vitalij Kowaljow and Kresimir Spicer backing her up.

Gluck's ORFEO AND EURYDICE follows on Nov. 29, starring Vivica Genaux, Maria Bayo and Carmen Giannattasio. The director is Lucinda Charles. Next (Feb 12, 2004) is the perennial favorite, MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Puccini, designed, directed and lit by Robert Wilson. Cristina Gallardo-Domas, John Matz and Greg Fedderly are the main singers.

THE WOMAN WITHOUT A SHADOW by Richard Strauss will be revived on Feb. 22. Patrick Young directs, David Hockney has designed the sets. Robert Dean Smith, Inga Nielsen and Wolfgang Brendel are just a few of the featured singers.

On May 22 Los Angeles Opera will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth by reviving its production of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, directed by Jurgen Flimm. Erwin Schrott, Veronique Gens and Isabel Bayrakdarian are the featured singers.

IL TROVATORE by Verdi will open on May 27, with Stephen Lawless directing. Set designer is Benoit Dugardyn, costumes are by Martin Pakledinaz, choreography by Andrew George. Sondra Radvanovsky will sing Leonora, Franco Farina Manrico.

The two recitals are by lyric soprano Hei-Kyung Hong (Jan 17, 2004) and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky (April 18).

Los Angeles Opera also announced that it has signed up its top artistic and administrative teams--including General Director Placido Domingo and Music Director Kent Nagano--to a new long-term contract through the 2005-2006 season. Edgar Baitzel and Elizabeth Kennedy take on the position of artistic director and administrative director, respectively.

For tickets and information call (213) 972-8001 or visit

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