Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

san diego opera

Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) Opens San Diego Opera’s Mainstage Season on October 22, 2016

Local WallyComment
Cinderella at the San Diego Opera Oct 22, 2016

San Diego Opera is proud to present Rossini’s La Cenerentola, his opera based on the beloved fairy tale Cinderella that has entertained generations and inspired different versions throughout history from Charles Perrault, The Brothers Grimm, to Walt Disney. La Cenerentola (Cinderella) opens the maintage season at the San Diego Civic Theatre on Saturday, October 22, 2016 for four performances. Additional performances are October 25 and 28 at 7 PM, and October 30 at 2 PM.

For Ticket Info Go Here:  http://www.sdopera.org/

Making important company debuts are American mezzo-soprano Lauren McNeese as Angelina/Cinderella and American tenor David Portillo as Prince Don Ramiro. Returning to the Company after last having been heard as Garcias in Don Quixote in 2014 is American soprano Susannah Biller as Clorinda, Cinderella’s older sister. She is joined by returning Egyptian bass Ashraf Sewailam, last heard as Leporello in 2015’s Don Giovanni, as the philosopher Alidoro. Mexican baritone José Adán Pérez makes his debut as Dandini, the valet to Prince Ramiro and American mezzo soprano Alissa Anderson sings Thisbe, Cindererlla’s younger sister. American conductor Gary Wedow makes his Company debut on the podium and Australian stage director Lindy Hume makes her house debut staging the action.     

Rossini’s version of Cinderella tells the story of an innocent girl, abused by her family, who winds up marrying a handsome prince but faces real dangers along the way. Some things are different from the popular Disney version of the story; Don Magnifico is a wicked stepfather, replacing the wicked stepmother; Alidoro, the philosopher and prince’s tutor, replaces the fairy godmother; and Cinderella’s slipper is replaced by a bracelet. La Cenerentola (Cinderella) will delight audiences from all generations with its arias and ensembles, and stunningly beautiful music from the composer of The Barber of Seville.   

This production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) is rented from Leipzig Opera and was originally built for Opera Queensland. The set and costume designer is Dan Potro and has been updated to Edwardian England. Matt Marshall is the lighting designer. The opera will be performed in Italian with English translations above the stage. This is the second time La Cenerentola (Cinderella) has been performed by the Company with the other performances occurring in 1996.

La Cenerentola (Cinderella) will have a radio broadcast on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8 PM on KPBS radio, 89.5 FM (97.7 FM Calexico) and online at www.kpbs.org

Madama Butterfly: Local Wally Goes to the San Diego Opera (and doesn't die)

eventsLocal WallyComment

OK, I will admit that the idea of going to the opera, the opera, was not initially my idea of a good time.  I mean, I don't know nothing about the opera other than they sing in a foreign language and ain't nobody's got time for that.  Well wait, hang on, I am here to tell you that I went to the San Diego Opera and saw Madama Butterfly and not only did I not die but I actually enjoyed it.  You should go.  Seriously.


Now some people out there (i.e. my wife) are thinking that I am just showing how uncouth I am, akin to stating that one's a Trump supporter while waiting in line for tacos in Tijuana, but I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have either never been to an actual opera or who went so long ago that memories of being spanked come to mind.  But Madama Butterfly wasn't hard to understand, the plot simpler than a Will Ferrel movie but with perhaps a bit more emotion.  Look, I'm saying you won't be cocking your head like a confused dog, it's not that hard to figure out the story!

And then there's the music, live music played by real people!  Oh my goodness, we have been listening to preprogrammed and synthetic music for so long that there is something so sweet and organic, human, about a real orchestra. And when the singers step up to the mic's - wait, there are no mics so they actually have to belt these songs out and the power of their voices is simply amazing. Just. Beautiful.

So go.  Get tickets.  It's way cool!  



The Official Press Release:

San Diego, CA – San Diego Opera is proud to present Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as the second mainstage offering of its 2015-2016 season when it opens on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 7 PM for four performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Returning to San Diego Opera in the title role, is American soprano Latonia Moore, who dazzled audiences in 2013 as Aida, and audiences at the Metropolitan Opera earlier this month when she sang her first American Butterfly. The Company is excited to welcome Romanian tenor Teodor Ilincăi as Pinkerton, a role he has sung the role to critical and popular acclaim in Vienna, Paris, Budapest, Toulouse, and Hamburg, in his American debut. Also making an important Company debuts are American mezzo soprano J’nai Bridges as Suzuki and American baritone Anthony Clark Evans as Sharpless. Taiwanese-American tenor Joseph Hu returns as Goro and American bass-baritone Scott Sikon returns as the Bonze. Franco-Canadian conductor Yves Abel, last heard leading the orchestra in 2014’s Pagliacci, returns to lead the San Diego Symphony for these performances. American stage director Garnett Bruce will stage the production. 

In Puccini’s tragic opera Madama Butterfly, the American naval officer Pinkerton marries a Japanese geisha named Cio-Cio-San (who is also known as Butterfly). Pinkerton takes the relationship lightly despite the warnings of the American consul, Sharpless. Pinkerton returns to America, and Butterfly gives birth to their child whom she names Trouble while she waits for her husband to return. When Pinkerton does return he brings with him his American wife and Cio-Cio-San must choose to live in disgrace or die with her honor intact. With the famous aria “Un bel dì” and the haunting “Humming Chorus” Madama Butterfly is full of beautiful music that will stay with the audience long after they have left the theatre.