The 5 Must-See Performers of the LA Opera 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The LA Opera has announced its 2018-19 season featuring a number of major singers and rising stars.

Like every season, there are major surprises or debuts to look out for. This season has its fair share of debuts and role debuts as well as classic returns that should please audiences around.

Sean Pannikar – Satyagraha

The American tenor makes his Los Angeles Debut in Phillip Glass’ masterwork. Over the years Pannikar has built his career singing many rare works and new works from those of Jake Heggie, Wendell Smith, and Hans Werner Henze. His turn as Gandhi will once again show his diversity and his exploration of modern works.

Ana María Martinez – El Gato Montes, Don Carlo 

Martinez will get a chance to showcase operatic styles this season performing Verdi and Penella. First, she will get to open the season for the second year in a row as Elisabetta. When she first sang the role in 2016, critics raved stating, “Martinez clear voice had willowy phrasing as well as big notes; she was particularly moving in her beautiful Act 5 aria.” Then she will bring her Spanish flavor in Zarzuela showcasing her virtuosic powers.

Plácido Domingo – El Gato Montes, Don Carlo  

Domingo will join Martinez in both works. First Domingo will continue exploring the baritone repertoire as Posa, a role he debuted in Vienna and later he will return to Zarzuela, which he has promoted all over the world and which he last took on in LA with “Luisa Fernanda.”

Susan Graham – Hansel and Gretel

The veteran mezzo is known for her comic timing and her feisty stage presence and this year, she will add the role of the witch in Humperdinck’s masterpiece. As she enters another phase in her career, this should be a juicy role that Graham fans and opera lovers should look forward to.

Adela Zaharia – La Traviata

Last year, Zaharia won first place at Operalia and since then her star has been on the rise making debuts at the Bayerische Staatsoper and singing major roles at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Now after major successes, she makes her U.S., role debut and LA debut as Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata.” This is a singer to look out for in the coming years.