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Jules Massenet (sung in French)
September 27 & 29, 2019
The Egyptian Theatre
Opera Idaho favorite Cecilia Violetta López stars in the title role of Jules Massenet’s romantic opera, one of the great tragic tales in literature and music. López is the perfect diva to bring to life Manon’s story – a story about an innocent country girl who became a celebrated courtesan and ends up a destitute prisoner – as she returns to Opera Idaho for the fifth time in recent years (Maria in West Side Story in Concert, 2018; Adina in L’elisir d’amore, 2017; Violetta in La traviata, 2016; and, Gilda in Rigoletto, 2014). In the 2018/19 season Cecilia made debuts at Minnesota Opera and Colorado Opera, both as Violetta, and Opera Omaha (Marguerite in Faust), and she returned to Virginia Opera as Adina. In 2017 Cecilia was awarded an Idaho State Concurrent Resolution honoring her life as an Idahoan and her work in the field of opera, and last fall she sang at the re-opening of the Idaho State Museum.
The opera is the second Massenet opera to be staged at Opera Idaho, following a well-received Werther (2017). Manon features Opera Idaho debuts by conductor Edwin Outwater and director John de los Santos. Two other cast members return from 2017’s L’elisir d’amore: tenor Thomas Glenn as Des Grieux and baritone Jason Detwiler as Lescaut.
Acis & Galatea
George Frederick Handel
November 8 & 10, 2019
The Egyptian Theatre
Opera Idaho joins Boise Baroque Orchestra (BBO) and its newly appointed artistic advisor Robert Franz for a semi-staged opera by George Frederick Handel, the most well-known of all Baroque composers. Acis & Galatea is the composer’s most popular dramatic work and has remained in the opera repertory continuously since its premiere in 1718. It is the first Handel opera produced in Opera Idaho’s 47-year history. Opera Idaho and BBO last collaborated to present Gluck’s Orpheus in 2014.
Tenor Karim Sulayman, winner of the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, performs the role of Acis. Young Artist soprano Cara Gabrielson performs the role of Galatea. Robert Franz led Opera Idaho’s West Side Story in Concert (2018) and, as then-music director of the Boise Philharmonic, Faust (2009). Canadian director Erin Armstrong makes her Opera Idaho debut.
Giacomo Puccini (sung in Italian)
February 14 & 16, 2020
The Morrison Center
La bohème, Giacomo Puccini’s beloved masterpiece of Bohemian life in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1830s, returns to Opera Idaho for the seventh time – no opera has been presented more often in the company’s history. The passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, La bohème is perennially performed more than any opera in the world.
The production stars Irish soprano Celine Byrne as Mimi. Byrne made her operatic debut as Mimi in Scottish Opera’s 2010 production and in 2012 she was heard at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the lead role of Dvorak’s Rusalka. Soon afterwards she was invited back to assume the role of Mimi, followed by Micaela in Carmen and, in the seasons that have followed she has performed extensively throughout Europe as well as in the United States, China, Russia and Mexico. She made her American debut in 2018 as Magda in Minnesota Opera’s La rondine. Jessica E. Jones (Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, 2016) returns as Musetta. Conductor Stefano Sarzani, who conducted La bohème at Lyric Opera of Chicago in early 2019, makes his Opera Idaho debut; Andrew Nienaber (Don Giovanni, 2018; L’elisir d’amore, 2017; and Tosca, 2017) returns to direct.
Dead Man Walking
April 24 & 26, 2020
The Egyptian Theatre
Now one of the most performed American operas of all time, Jake Heggie’s first opera Dead Man Walking was commissioned by and premiered at San Francisco Opera in 2000. Dead Man Walking is based on a 1993 memoir of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, which was subsequently made into an Oscar-winning movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. It is a heart-wrenching story of grief, grace and redemption, recounting Sister Helen’s courageous struggle to provide spiritual guidance to a condemned Louisiana murderer in the months leading up to his execution.
Heggie has become the leading living American composer of operas, having also written The End of the Affair, Three Decembers, Moby Dick and It’s a Wonderful Life. He is currently at work on If I Were You, a new opera commissioned by San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. Sara Jobin (most recently Evgeny Onegin, 2015) returns to conduct. Sara is the newly appointed artistic director of The Center for Contemporary Opera and last season made an important debut, conducting the LA Phil New Music Group at Disney Hall. Director Kristine McIntyre, who has staged the opera in Kansas City, Des Moines and Madison, makes her Opera Idaho debut.
Special Operatini at Chateau des Fleurs
Thursday, August 8, 2019, Time TBA
At The Sapphire Room
September 19, 2019
October 31, 2019
December 5, 2019
February 6, 2020
April 16, 2020
Thursdays, two performances:
• Early – doors open 5:30 pm, performance 6:15 pm
• Late – doors open 8:15 pm, performance 9:00 pm