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Saturday Opera with Lane Whitesell 

Enjoy Lane's reviews of opera performances within driving distance here!

2018-2019 Operas within Driving Distance

Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades. June 22

The director of this production of Queen of Spades puts Tchaikovsky himself into the opera, letting him morph into Prince Yeletsky, who loves and loses Lisa. Vladimir Stoyanova sings the prince, with Eva-Marie Westbroek as Lisa and Aleksandr Antonenko as Ghermann, the gambler. Felicity Palmer scored a triumph as the Countess, Lisa's grandmother.

Verdi: Simon Boccanegra. June 15

Verdi's story of politics and revenge in 14th-century Genoa returned last fall to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with Carlos Alvarez as Simon Boccanegra and Ferrucio Furlanetto as his archrival Jacopo Fiesco.

Wagner: Siegfried. June 8

Nina Stemme is Brunnhilde with Stefan Vinke as Siegfried, John Lundgren as the Wanderer, and Gerhard Siegel as Mime in the third installment of the Ring of the Nibelung at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, last fall.

Wagner: Die Walkure. 1 June

This is a very strongly-cast performance, with Nina Stemme and John Lundgren as Brunnhilde and Wotan and Dame Sarah Connolly as Fricka. At age 50, Stuart Skelton is one of the premiere heldentenors of today and Emily Magee a very strong Sieglinde.

Wagner: Das Rheingold. May 25

The first evening of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen was recorded last fall at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Johannes Martin Kraenzle is Alberich, who gives up Love for the Rheingold. Gerhard Siegel is his brother Mime, who covets the power of the Rheingold, and John Lundgren and Alan Oke are Wotan and Loge, who plot and steal the Rheingold to pay for a new home for the gods, Walhalla.

Verdi: Falstaff

This production from the Royal Opera House last summer was updated to the 1950's for decor and costumes. Another really good cast features Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside as Sir John Falstaff and Mr. Ford, with Anna Maria Martinez as Alice Ford, Pamela Helen Stephen as Meg Page, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux as Dame Quickly.

Poulenc: Dialogues of the Carmelites. May 11

The production from 1980, an early Live from the Met broadcast, has stood up to time in very good health. Isabel Leonard is our latest Blanche de la Force, Karita Mattila is the Old Prioress, Mme. de Croissy, and Adrianne Pieczonka is the new Prioress, Mme. Lidoine.

Verdi: Aida. May 4

This rebroadcast of the October 6 performance features the Aida of Anna Netrebko, the Radames of Alaksandrs Antonenko, and the Amneris of Anita Rachvelishvili, with Quinn Kelsey as Amonasro.

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