With the 2019-20 season fully underway, we have found this challenge of selecting a choice few operas every weekend increasingly challenging as there is really a lot of special work going on around North America. Nonetheless, as per usual, we have whittled it down to five works that we think will bring a balanced operatic diet for those who want to pursue a few of these.
Fellow Travelers – Arizona Opera
“Fellow Travelers” is slowly turning into one of the big 21st century America operas. The work, which will be performed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Phoenix, will star Jonas Hacker, Joseph Lattanzi, Katherine Beck, Kaitlyn Johnson, and Marcus Deloach, among others. Daniela Candillari conducts.
Akhnaten – Metropolitan Opera
This is probably one of the most hotly anticipated productions to open at the Met in quite some time and starring Anthony Roth-Costanzo in the title role, this Philip Glass work is bound to be one of the most talked about shows in New York this holiday season. The new production opens on Friday, which will be an event attended by many of the opera luminaries around New York City.
Siegfried – North Carolina Opera
Wagner’s “Siegfried” is probably the least performed of the Ring operas, especially in the U.S. The possibility of seeing it outside the context of the full cycle itself is highly unlikely, so any chance that you get is a treasured one. North Carolina Opera may not be showcasing the full opera, but Act three is easily among the greatest that Wagner ever composed and this alone makes it essential viewing for those in the Southeast U.S. There is but one performance on Sunday afternoon. Timothy Myers conducts.
Manon Lescaut – San Francisco Opera
On Friday night, the San Francisco Opera will open up a production of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” starring star soprano Lianna Haroutounian and tenor Brian Jagde in the two lead roles. These are two singers of incredible quality in repertory that suits them to perfection. Anthony Clark Evans and Philip Skinner round out the cast, which will be conducted by Nicola Luisotti.
Il Postino – Virginia Opera
On Friday and Sunday, Virginia Opera will open its run of Daniel Catán’s “Il Postino” in Norfolk. The lush and melodious work will feature Raúl Melo as Pablo Neruda with Danielle Talamantes as Beatrice and Daniel Montenegro as Mario Ruoppolo. Adam Turner conducts a production directed by Crystal Manich. Catán’s operas are having a well-deserved resurgence, which makes this a must-see to sustain that momentum.