Boston Lyric Opera Announces New Venue & Cast Changes for ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’

By Francisco Salazar

The Boston Lyric Opera has announced that it will move its 2021-22 Season opening performances of “Cavalleria Rusticana” to the Leader Bank Pavilion, a large, open-air venue in Boston’s Seaport District.

The new venue will allow for a full, live-orchestra and chorus. As a result, the performances originally scheduled for Oct. 8 and 10, will now be performed on Oct. 1 and 3, 2021.

BLO Music Director and Conductor David Angus will lead BLO’s Orchestra and Chorus while Giselle Ty will direct the production replacing previously announced stage director Sarna Lapine.

Acting Stanford Calderwood General and Artistic Director Bradley Vernatter stated, “We’re aiming to make ‘Cavalleria’ a thrilling return to live opera with full musical forces. The work required to pull off a production of this scale is monumental; it requires an accomplished team and a supportive community. I’ve been proud that BLO has kept artists employed through our digital projects and Street Stage performances during the roughest days of the pandemic. But it’s especially rewarding to provide so many opportunities for artists and production personnel to join us for our first full-length opera, with a complete orchestra and chorus for a live audience, since the pandemic began.”

The company will implement COVID safety protocols that align with other area performing arts organizations returning this fall and will require all audiences to show either proof of full vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance, or an antigen test taken within the previous 24 hours. Face masks will also be required for all patrons except when eating and drinking.

The company also announced cast changes for its production. Michelle Johnson will replace J’Nai Bridges in the role of Santuzza while Javier Arrey will replace Alfred Walker in the role of Alfio. The cast will also include Adam Diegel as Turiddu, Nina Yoshida Nelsen as Lucia, and Chelsea Basler as Lola.