Lyric Opera of Orange County Presents Ethel Smyth’s ‘Fête Galante’

By Afton Wooten

The Lyric Opera of Orange County will present Ethel Smyth’s “Fête Galante” at the Chance Theater in Anaheim, California, March 8 – 10, 2024.

This production starring Jessica Mammey, Christopher Walters, and Julia Behbudov will be the West Coast premiere of the opera with a live orchestra. Valerie Langfield’s orchestration also includes the addition of Smyth’s song cycle for mezzo-soprano. Emily Border in the added role of the Woman in Pants performs the three pieces, “The Clown,” “Possession,” and “On the Road” throughout the one-act opera. Doris Lang Kosloff conducts.

Lyric Opera of Orange County’s founding artistic director and the production’s stage director Diana Farrell says in a press release, “I’ve been a huge fan of Smyth’s work for about 15 years, really starting to delve into her music when I first started programming recitals featuring women composers. I’ve been hoping to produce this work for almost 8 years and I finally felt the company has grown enough to really do the work justice.”

The production will be performed in the original English with English & Spanish supertitles.