Nadine Sierra, Inside Series Lead The Top Operas To See This Weekend – North America

By David Salazar
(Credit: Merri Cyr)

The 2019-20 season continues to ramp up this weekend with a number of fantastic works, some of them from the standard repertory. Here are the top operas to see this weekend.

Looking at You – HERE, New York City

The New York City company will showcase this unique work starting on Friday. The piece, described as a “high-tech espionage ‘Casablanca’ meets Edward Snowden, features music by Kamala Sankaram and a production by Kristin Marting. Rob Handel wrote the work.

Madama Butterfly – The In Series, Washington D.C.

Puccini’s classic gets a showcase that features a preview performance on Friday in Italian before an opening night on Saturday in English. Then there will be another performance on Sunday, in Italian. The performances will feature Maribeth Diggle and Amanda Palmeiro rotating the title role, the latter singing in English. Other cast members will include Erik Grendahl, Brian Arreola, Nelson Ebo, and Elizabeth Mondragon. Timothy Nelson directs while Jessica Krash accompanies at the piano. The production is aimed at destroying the orientalism often associated with the work. Here’s one indication of that statement of intent.

Roméo et Juliette – San Francisco Opera, California

Gounod’s classic masterpiece will open the season for the San Francisco Opera in a production starring Nadine Sierra and Pene Pati in the title roles. The production opens on Friday night. Other cast members include Amina Edris, Lucas Meachem, James Creswell, and Timothy Mix, among others. Yves Abel conducts with Jean-Louis Grinda directing.

Billy Budd – San Francisco Opera, California

A day after “Roméo et Juliette” opens, Britten’s “Billy Budd” comes to town with Willian Burden, John Chest, Christian Van Horn, Philip Horst, Wayne Tigges, and Christian Pursell, among others. Lawrence Renes conducts a production directed by Michael Grandage.