L’opera Don Quichotte di Jules Massenet sarà allestita per la prima volta a Seattle dal 26 febbraio al 12 marzo per un totale di otto rappresentazioni.
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Seattle—One of literature’s most memorable characters comes to life in Seattle Opera’s premiere of Jules Massenet’s Don Quichotte, opening on February 26, 2011, and running for eight performances through March 12.
The opera, which premiered in Monte Carlo in 1910, draws from Cervantes’ classic novel about the eccentric and idealistic Don Quixote, who, after reading too many books full of romantic chivalry, dreams of becoming a knight-errant and winning the heart of the lovely Dulcinea.
“Cervantes’ Don Quixote is more often talked about than read. And many only know the familiar songs from Man of La Mancha,”
says Seattle Opera General Director Speight Jenkins.
“Massenet’s opera, however, is different from both: a sweeter, subtler, more sympathetic treatment of Don Quixote, which brought out the best from the French composer.”
Seattle Opera’s new production, directed by Linda Brovsky and designed by Donald Eastman, places Don Quichotte’s literary origins front and center by setting the characters in an imaginative landscape of giant books, inkwells, and feather pens.
Brovsky’s many Seattle Opera credits include I puritani (new production in 2008) and the 2004 Rigoletto (set in 1930s Italy).
Says Brovsky of the new production of Don Quichotte,
“The power of literature and imagination is at the heart of Cervantes’ novel. Don Quixote describes his books as ‘the joy of my soul and the delight of my life’ and in his madness tries to recreate their heroic deeds. Ever the romantic, if impractical, idealist, Quixote challenges reality and dares to imagine the world as it ought to be.”
The production will feature a horse and a donkey (as Don Quixote’s steed, Rocinante, and Sancho Panza’s mount, Grison) provided by Branch’s Quarter Horses of Bothell, WA. The stage combat will be choreographed by Geoff Alm; Spanish dancing will be choreographed by Sara de Luis and will feature de Luis and accomplished flamenco dancer and Spanish theater dance dance specialist Raúl Salcedo.
Opening night stars renowned bass-baritone John Relyea as Don Quichotte. Relyea, who won Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award in 2005 for his portrayal of the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann, returns to Seattle following memorable performances as Bluebeard in Seattle Opera’s 2009 production of Bluebeard’s Castle.
Mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska—Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle—again appears opposite Relyea, this time as Dulcinée. “The actor-singers could not possibly be bettered,” said the Seattle Times of Relyea and Walewska in 2009, adding that their characters were “sumptuously sung, rivetingly acted, and ideally balanced.”
Also performing in the opening night cast is bass-baritone Eduardo Chama as Sancho Panza. Chama has received acclaim for his portrayal of Don Quichotte’s trusty “squire.”
Opera Today noted that he “communicated a touchingly simple admiration for his master that illuminated every bit of pathos that Massenet intended.” Chama appeared at Seattle Opera in 2010 as Falstaff.
Making his Seattle Opera debut is Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro.
French bass Nicolas Cavallier, who made his U.S. debut as Figaro in Seattle Opera’s 2009 production of The Marriage of Figaro, appears as Don Quichotte in the Sunday/Friday cast. The Seattle Times praised Cavallier’s Figaro for “the glorious richness of his cleanly focused baritone.”
American bass-baritone Richard Bernstein returns to Seattle Opera as his Sancho Panza, with Dulcinée portrayed by German mezzo-soprano Daniela Sindram, who also made her U.S. debut in Seattle Opera’s 2009 Marriage of Figaro, as Cherubino.
Don Quichotte runs from Saturday, February 26 to Saturday, March 12.
Single tickets start at $25 and are available online at seattleopera.org, by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619, or by mobile phone at mobile.seattleopera.org.
Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Music by Jules Massenet
Libretto by Henri Cain
In French with English Captions
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington
8 Performances: February 26, 27m, March 2, 5, 6m, 9, 11, and 12, 2011
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission
Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; matinees begin at 2:00 p.m.
Single ticket prices start at $25
Seattle Opera Ticket Office: 206.389.7676/800.426.1619
Online orders: www.seattleopera.org
Premiere: Opéra de Monte Carlo, Monaco, February 19, 1910
Seattle Opera Premiere
Don Quichotte: John Relyea/Nicolas Cavallier*
Sancho Panza: Eduardo Chama/Richard Bernstein*
Dulcinée: Malgorzata Walewska/Daniela Sindram*
Juan: Alex Mansoori†
Rodriguez: Marcus Shelton†
Pedro: Jennifer Bromagen
Garcia: Emily Clubb
Ténébrun: Jad Kassouf
Principal Dancers: Sara de Luis, Raúl Salcedo
Conductor: Carlo Montanaro†
Stage Director: Linda Brovsky
Set Designer: Donald Eastman
Costume Designer: Missy West†
Lighting Designer: Connie Yun
Choreographer: Sara de Luis
English Captions: Jonathan Dean
Sets: Seattle Opera
Costumes: San Diego Opera
† Company debut
* On February 27, March 6, and 11 only
Alex Mansoori and Marcus Shelton are former Seattle Opera Young Artists.
Production Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts
About Seattle Opera
Founded in 1963, Seattle Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the United States.
The company is recognized internationally for its theatrically compelling and musically accomplished performances, especially the Opera’s interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Since 1975, Seattle Opera has presented 38 cycles of the Ring (three different productions), in addition to acclaimed productions of all the other major operas in the Wagner canon. Seattle Opera has achieved the highest per capita attendance of any major opera company in the United States, and draws operagoers from four continents and fifty states.