|Belcore (David Kempster) in a scene from the ENO L'Elisir d'Amore.|
Photo © 2009 English National Opera
L'Elisir d'Amore opens on March 22. This production of Donizetti's bubbling romantic comedy is a collaboration with the English National Opera.
Jonathan Miller's production, first seen at City Opera in 2006, updates the action to the era immediately following World War II. Nemorino is a hapless pump boy, working next to Adina's Diner, somewhere in the American West. Belcore is an aggressive recruiter for Uncle Sam. Dr. Dulcamara's "elixir" is reimagined as Coca-Cola. But the music is still Donizetti, with one of his most imaginative and richly comic scores.
The Monodramas arrive on March 25. These three works include John Zorn's La Machine d'etre, a new work inspired by the drawings of Antonin Artaud; Erwartung by Arnold Schoenberg; and the U.S. stage premiere of Neither by American composer Morton Feldman. The last is based on the writings of Samuel Beckett.
The three works feature (respectively) sopranos Anu Komsi, Kara Shay Thompson and Cyndia Sieden.
|Lauren Flanigan goes beyond the infinite in Séance on a Wet Afternoon.|
Photo by David Bazemann © 2009 The Santa Barbara Independent
The production stars City Opera mainstay diva Lauren Flanigan. Ms. Flanigan will bring the same level of intensity and laser-like soprano that is all to familiar to attendees of past City Opera triumphs, including Intermezzo, Lizzie Borden and last season's revival of Esther. Myra is a psychic who resorts to kidnapping and fraud in a last-ditch effort to legitimize her gifts and social standing. We predict... that the opera will have a tragic ending.
Stephen Schwartz rose to fame as a Broadway composer. Among his credits include the scores for Godspell, Pippin, and the biggest show on Broadway at the moment: Wicked. This is his first opera.