Seattle Opera today announced its 2012/13 season, featuring six operas that explore the infinite variety of love: obsession, true love, false love, love at first sight, marital love, and love born of hatred. The season opens with Turandot in August, followed by Fidelio in the fall, La Cenerentola and La Bohème in the winter, and a double bill of La Voix Humaine and Suor Angelica in May 2013.
“Exciting debuts, the return of Seattle Opera’s favorite artists such as Greer Grimsley, Nuccia Focile, and Antonello Palombi, great conductors, very theatrical directors—all these elements should make 2012/13 one of our most rewarding seasons,” says Speight Jenkins, Seattle Opera’s General Director.
The season leads off with Puccini’s extravagant final masterpiece, Turandot. A fairy-tale set in ancient China, this grand romance tells the story of a cruel princess softened by love, and boasts one of the world’s most famous arias, “Nessun dorma.” Soprano Lori Phillips takes on the role of the icy Turandot, opposite Italian tenor Antonello Palombi as the besotted Calaf. A frequent performer at Seattle Opera, Palombi has previously starred as Manrico in Il trovatore, Radames in Aida, and Canio in Pagliacci; this January, he sings Foresto in Verdi’s Attila. Lina Tetriani makes her company debut as the slave girl Liù, with Peter Rose as Calaf’s father, Timur, Patrick Carfizzi as Ping, and Peter Kazaras returning to the Seattle Opera stage as Emperor Altoum. The second cast performances of Turandot showcase former Seattle Opera Young Artist Marcy Stonikas in the title role; her Calaf is Mexican tenor Luis Chapa, who recently made his U.S. debut in Seattle as Don José in Carmen. Grazia Doronzio makes her Seattle Opera debut as Liù. Seattle Opera Principal Guest Conductor Asher Fisch conducts. This co-production with Pittsburgh Opera and Minnesota Opera is directed by Renaud Doucet, who makes his company debut as stage director, alongside professional partner and Turandot set and costume designer André Barbe.
In the fall, Seattle Opera revives its 2003 production of Fidelio, created by the innovative team of director Chris Alexander and designer Robert Dahlstrom, who set the action in a present-day First World prison. Asher Fisch returns to conduct. Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio remains a story of hope in the face of oppression and tyranny that is as relevant today as it was in 1814. German soprano Christiane Libor makes her U.S. operatic debut as Leonore, a devoted wife determined to find and free her wrongfully imprisoned husband Florestan, sung by tenor Clifton Forbis, whose recent Seattle Tristan inspired rave reviews. Two Seattle favorites run Fidelio’s prison: bass Arthur Woodley is head-jailer Rocco, and bass-baritone Greer Grimsley is the cruel governor Don Pizarro. John Tessier sings Jacquino and Anya Matanovi?, a former Seattle Opera Young Artist, sings Marzelline. Both were most recently seen at Seattle Opera in the 2011 production of The Magic Flute (also directed by Alexander), as Tamino and the First Lady, respectively. On October 14, former Seattle Opera Young Artist Marcy Stonikas returns for a performance as Leonore.
Rossini’s effervescent comedy La Cenerentola returns to the Seattle Opera stage in the winter. The charming production, directed by Joan Font and designed by Joan Guillén, is jointly owned by Houston Grand Opera Association, Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and Grand Théâtre de Genève, and brings the Cinderella story to life with eye-popping colors, magical conveyances, and a helpful team of giant mice. Italian mezzo Daniela Pini and American tenor René Barbera make their Seattle Opera debuts as Cenerentola and Prince Ramiro on opening night; Patrick Carfizzi returns as Cenerentola’s pompous stepfather, Don Magnifico, and Brett Polegato does his best to confuse things as the Prince’s mischievous valet, Dandini. Arthur Woodley sticks up for Cenerentola as the wise Alidoro, while former Seattle Opera Young Artist Ani Maldjian, portraying her wicked stepsister Clorinda, tries to make her life hell. At three of the performances, Tamara Mumford and Edgardo Rocha will make their Seattle Opera debuts as Cenerentola and Ramiro. Giacomo Sagripanti makes his debut on the podium.