Patricia Racette & Paulo Szot Lead Arizona’s 2021-22 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Arizona Opera has announced initial plans for its 2021-22 season celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary.

Arizona Opera’s President and General Director, Joseph Specter said in a press release, Our 50th Anniversary Season would be a reason to celebrate in and of itself as we begin to emerge from this challenging pandemic year. It is made that much more meaningful by the prospect of our returning to in-theater performances this December in both Phoenix and Tucson. We thank the communities that we have had the honor of serving as we reach this milestone. Their decades of devotion and love for this art form have made this anniversary possible. It would also be impossible not to thank the Arizona Opera Board, who have demonstrated incredible leadership and generosity in helping us to persevere through the pandemic to reach this moment.

The McDougall Red Series

Arizona Opera’s season will open with the McDougall RED Series film premiere of The Copper Queen with music by Clint Borzoni and a libretto by John de los Santos. The production, originally slated to be performed in-theater during the 2020-21 Season, has been reimagined as a film project and will be viewable by opera lovers not only in Arizona Opera’s home state, but across the country and the globe. Crystal Manich leads the production which stars Vanessa Becerra, Sarah Coit, Joshua Dennis, and Keith Phares.

Streaming Date: October 2021

Arizona Opera returns to in-door performances with the McDougall RED Series Regional Premiere of “El Milagro del Recuerdo” with music by Javier Martínez, and production and libretto by Leonard Foglia. Cecelia Duarte leads the cast that also includes Octavio Moreno, Vanessa Alonzo, Miguel de Aranda, Héctor Vásquez, Claudia Chapa, and Rafael Moras.

Performance Dates: Phoenix – Dec. 3-5, 2021 – Herberger Theater Center, Tucson – Dec. 11-12, 2021 – Temple of Music and Art

Main Stage Series 

Stephanie Havey directs Bizet’sCarmen which marks the company’s return to the main stage. The production stars Maya Lahyani and Fleur Barron in the title role alongside Viktor Antipenko, Matthew White, Andrew Manea, Vanessa Vasquez, and Caitlin Gotimer.

Performance Dates: Phoenix – Jan. 28-30, 2022 – Symphony Hall, Tucson – Feb. 5-6, 2022 – Tucson Music Hall

Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” will star Patricia Racette as Desiree, and Paulo Szot as Frederick. The production also stars Joseph Lattanzi, Beth Clayton, Jill Grove, Katrina Galka, and Melanie Long. Andrew Bisantz conducts.

Performance Dates: Phoenix – March 4-6, 2022 – Symphony Hall, Tucson – March 12-13, 2022 – Tucson Music Hall

The season concludes with “Così fan tutte” which will showcase the artistic leadership of Arizona Opera’s second all-female director/conductor/designer team. The cast will include Caitlin Gotimer, Cheyanne Coss, Katie Beck, Mack Wolz, Bille Bruley, Terrence Chin-Loy, Jarrett Porter, Rob McGinness, Mark Schnaible, and Cadie Jordan. Karen Kamensek conducts.

Performance Dates: Phoenix –April 8-10, 2022 – Symphony Hall, Tucson – April 16-17, 2022 – Tucson Music Hall

Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist Program

The 20210-22 Season will mark the 15th year of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio and will see a return of  Cheyanne Coss (soprano), Caitlin Gotimer (soprano), Mack Wolz (mezzo-soprano), Terrence Chin-Loy (tenor), Rob McGinness (baritone) and Haley Stamats (assistant director).

Full casting and creative team details will be announced in May.