Vanessa Becerra, Maya Kherani & Maria Natale Headline Opera San José’s 2020-21 Season

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Steven Kemp/Johnny Tran/Pat Kirk)

Opera San José has announced its 2020-21 season with its new General Director Khori Dastoor leading the company.

In a press release Dastoor said, “Our current charge is to elevate the company as a vibrant artistic incubator in the heart of Silicon Valley. In its next chapter, Opera San José is committed to expanding access to the art form for more residents of our region, expanding and developing our programmatic offerings to better serve the diverse community of the valley, and incubating the next generation of singers, musicians, designers, composers, directors and craftspeople that will engine the future of operatic expression in America.”

Main Stage

The season is set to launch with a new production of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” which transports the action to colonial India during Victorian Imperial rule. The production is set to be directed by Brad Dalton with Mozart specialist Francesco Lecce-Chong conducting. The cast is set to include Maya Kherani and Efrain Solis in the roles of Figaro and Susanna, Eugene Brancoveanu as the Count, and Maria Natale as the Countess. Soprano Indira Mahajan will appear as Marcellina.

Performance Dates: Sept. 12 – 27, 2020

Lillian Groag directs a production of Bizet’s “Carmen” in a new collaboration with the acclaimed Flamenco Society of San José. “Carmen will be conducted by Music Director Joseph Marcheso.

Performance Dates: Nov. 14 – 29, 2020

Audiences will also get to experience the company premiere of R. Strauss’ “Salome.” OSJ will create a dynamic production that blurs boundaries and invites the audience to re-examine the unthinkable with visionary director Matthew Ozawa, who will make his OSJ debut. Music Director Joseph Marcheso conducts the production with Maria Natale in the title role, mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez as Herodias, and tenor Adrian Kramer as Narraboth.

Performance Dates: Feb. 13 – 28, 2021

Closing the season will be Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s “West Side Story.” The classic American tale of two star-crossed lovers and the prejudices that keep them apart  will be director Michael Shell. The work will be performed in its original version by classically trained young singers with the full sound and impact of the Opera San José Orchestra. Soprano Vanessa Becerra will sing Maria with a new choreography by Ben Needham-Wood.

Performance Dates: April 17 – May 2, 2021