The Puccini Duo: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi Continues San Diego Opera’s Mainstage Season (SD Opera Press Release)
February 11, 2023
Return of Stephanie Blythe to sing the title role of Gianni Schicchi for an opera first // Company debut of Marina Costa Jackson as Suor Angelica
Performances led by San Diego Opera Principal Conductor Yves Abel
First Company performances of Suor Angelica and first performances of Gianni Schicchi in over 50-years in a new San Diego Opera production
San Diego, CA – San Diego Opera’s 2022-2023 Season continues with The Puccini Duo: a double-bill of the tragic Suor Angelica and the witty comic opera Gianni Schicchi on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at the San Diego Civic Theatre for four performances. Additional performances are February 14, 17, and 19 (matinee), 2023. All evening performances take place at 7:30 PM, matinees at 2 PM.
Originally scheduled as part of the 2021 Season and postponed because of COVID, San Diego Opera is pleased to announce that much of the original cast has been preserved including the return of world-renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe who will make opera history with these performances by performing the title role of Gianni Schicchi, traditionally performed by a baritone.
“I have tried to eschew the idea of voice category my entire career, and been grateful to sing a myriad of roles that are roam the very edges of the definition of a mezzo-soprano,” says Blythe, “In singing Schicchi as a man, I am not only exploring gender, but also using a part of my voice that has developed more and more as I grow in age and experience. I am excited about this challenge, because it will give me an opportunity to utilize many of the skills that I have been developing as a singer and as an actor over the last 26 years.”
Blythe, last heard in concert with the Company in 2021 performing the songs of Johnny Mercer will also sing the role of Principessa in Suor Angelica. She will be joined by soprano Marina Costa-Jackson, in her anticipated Company debut in the title role of Suor Angelica and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Rounding out the cast is contralto Sharmay Musacchio as Badessa (Suor Angelica) and Zita (Gianni Schicchi), mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule as La Zelatrice (Suor Angelica) and La Ciesa (Gianni Schicchi), tenor Piotr Buszewski as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and bass-baritone Philip Cokorinos as Simone in Gianni Schicchi, all in Company debuts. Mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Paz, last heard earlier this season creating the role of Frida Kahlo in the world premiere of El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego, returns to sing La Maestra Delle Novizie in Suor Angelica, soprano Tasha Koontz, last heard on the main stage as the High Priestess in 2019’s Aida, and as a soloist in the Company’s performance of Ascension at the Without Walls Festival in 2022, sings Suor Genovieffe in Suor Angelica and Nella in Gianni Schicchi, and bass Colin Ramsey, last heard 2020 as Colline in La bohème, sings the role of Betto in Gianni Schicchi.
San Diego Opera’s Principal Conductor Yves Abel, last heard on the podium for 2022’s Roméo et Juliette, returns to lead the San Diego Symphony for these performances. Stage Director Kyle Lang, who last directed 2019’s Carmen returns to stage the action in this new production built and owned by San Diego Opera. The set designer is Tim Wallace, the costume designer is Ingrid Helton, and the lighting designer is Thomas C. Hase.
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