Carmen Giannattasio, Gregory Kunde and Irina Lungu Headline Bilbao Opera’s 2017-18 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Bilbao Opera has announced its 2017-18 Season with five operas.

The season begins on Oct. 21 with Verdi’s “I Masnadieri” starring Carmen Giannattasio in her Bilbao debut. It also marks the first time in 12 seasons since the opera was last performed in Bilbao and will be presented in a production by Leo Muscato that first at the Teatro Regio di Parma.

Jessica Pratt and Paolo Fanale then lead the cast in Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale.” The opera comes back after 22 years and it will mark the debut of Fanale and conductor Roberto Abbado at the famed theater. The production opens on Nov. 18.

On Jan. 20 Arnaud Bernard’s Monte Carlo production of Massenet’s “Manon” arrives in Bilbao with a starry cast that includes Irina Lungu and Celso Albelo. The opera will be conducted Alain Guingal.

Strauss’ “Salome” opens on Feb. 17 with American soprano Emily Magee. The production from the Palau de les Arts, Reina Sofia also stars Egils Silins and Daniel Brenna in their Bilbao debuts and legendary mezzo Ildikó Komlósi.

The season closes out with Bellini’s “Norma.” The starry cast includes Anna Pirozzi as the title character, Gregory Kunde as Pollione and Silvia Tro Santafé as Adalgisa. Davide Livermoore’s production opens on May 18 and is a co-production the Palau de les Arts.