The Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) will perform its season opener, R. Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Sept 26 – Oct 6, 2019) and its season closer, G.F. Handel’s Giulio Cesare (May 8 – 17, 2020) at the DCR Steriti Memorial Rink in the North End.
Learn more about the two upcoming performances below.
Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci will star Mexico-born tenor Rafael Rojas as Canio and his murderous circus clown alter-ego of the title. African American soprano Lauren Michelle – an alumna of Walnut Hill School in Natick, Mass. and a finalist in 2015’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World contest – plays Nedda. Tobias Greenhalgh sings the role of Silvio, Nedda’s lover. Michael Mayes (2016’s Carmen and 2014’s Rigoletto) returns as Tonio. BLO Emerging Artist alumnus Omar Najmi sings Beppe-Harlequin. BLO Music Director David Angus conducts.
Pagliacci, originally written in 1892, will be sung in English and Italian. BLO will use the 2018 translation by Bill Bankes-Jones. David Lefkowich directs the opera and its surrounding experience, which aims to mirror the carnival atmosphere that sets the storyline in motion. The production underscores the play-within-a-play plot of a traveling group of actors who act out their own melodramatic version of a traditional love-triangle plot. Local community choruses and singers (plus on-site audience members) will be tapped to participate in the event and the performance alongside BLO’s professional chorus.
George Frideric Handel’s 1760 work Giulio Cesare, BLO’s first Baroque opera since 2011’s Agrippina, closes the 2019/20 season in a production directed by Matthew Ozawa. With a libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym, this opera, like Norma, takes its story from first-century B.C. Rome – by way of Egypt, with Caesar and Cleopatra’s entangled love story. Gary Thor Wedow, a Baroque music master with an historically informed style heard previously in Agrippina, leads the BLO orchestra, which for this production will include period instruments.
Canadian counter-tenor David Trudgen (BLO’s 2010 Agrippina)—also well-versed in the Handel repertoire—sings the title role. Boston native and New England Conservatory graduate Jacquelyn Stucker, whose vibrant European career includes a recent two-year engagement with the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, sings Cleopatra. Making his BLO debut is South Korean counter-tenor Siman Chung as boy-king Tolomeo. Canada’s Wallis Giunta, winner of 2018’s International Opera Awards “Young Singer of the Year” award makes her Boston debut singing en travestias Sesto Pompeo. Emerging Artist alumni Simon Dyer (2017’s The Rake’s Progress) and David McFerrin (2018’s Burke & Hareand the current The Rape of Lucretia) return to the company singing General Curio and Achilla, respectively. Renee Tatum (2018’s The Threepenny Opera) is Cornelia.
Season subscriptions and individual show tickets for BLO’s 2019/20 season are on sale online at www.blo.org or through BLO Audience Services (Mon-Fri, 10am – 5pm) at 617.542.6772 or firstname.lastname@example.org.