Weekend Preview (1/27-29, 2017): LA & Chicago Among 5 Major Companies To Open Their Doors To 2017

By David Salazar

Four companies open their doors for 2017 as the opera world in the United States slowly gets back in the rhythm.

The two most recognized are the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Los Angeles Opera. Both companies will make their 2017 premieres on Saturday. In Chicago, audiences will be treated to Mozart’s “The Abduction of the Seraglio” which will feature a number of young stars, many of them making their debuts at the house. Among them is Joel Prieto, who OperaWire had the pleasure of speaking with about his interpretation of Belmonte. “Belmonte is very courageous and lots of conviction. He longs for his Konstanze, but deep inside he knows he will find her. He is not afraid about the dangers he will face. He isn’t thinking about that. He is only focused on the end goal,” he said about the role.

Meanwhile Chicago will showcase Bellini’s “Norma” starring Sondra Radvanovsky and OperaWire artist of the week Russell Thomas under the baton of Riccardo Frizza who heaped much praise on the work during a recent chat with OperaWire. Radvanovsky and Frizza both performed the opera together at the Metropolitan Opera in 2013.

On that same Saturday, the Florida Grand Opera opens its doors to 2017 with a run “Eugene Onegin.” That run will last a total seven performances with the second performance taking place on Sunday Jan. 29.

The Arizona Opera will give performances of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” on Saturday and Sunday in Tuscon.

The Palm Beach Opera will also be opening their 2017 season on the Jan. 27, with performances of “Madama Butterfly” on Friday, Satuday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Houston Grand Opera will feature its final performance of “Nixon in China”  which debuted last Friday while the Metropolitan Opera will showcase its final performance of “Roméo et Juliette” starring Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau. On Friday the company puts on another performance of “Carmen” while the Saturday matinee slot will be occupied by “The Barber of Seville” starring Pretty Yende.

Minnesota Opera continues its run of “Diana’s Garden” on the 28th and 29th.

The Seattle Opera will bring its run of “La Traviata” to an end with performances on Friday and Saturday. Angel Blue performs the title role on Friday while Corinne Winters ends the run on Saturday.