Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Dallas Opera Leads Off 2011 with Roméo et Juliette, Followed by Rigoletto

The Dallas Opera’s 2010-11 season revolves around “Dangerous Desires,” a theme of romantic drama and political intrigue, and the February 11-27 production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the celebrated Winspear Opera House presents that most iconic story of love and conflict, starring two vocal up-and-comers, Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova and New York-born tenor Charles Castronovo. The star-crossed lovers’ tale will be followed by Verdi’s tragi-comedy Rigoletto (March 25-April 10); a production originally created for London’s Covent Garden, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (April 1-17); and the premiere of a song cycle by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer (April 8). The Boris Godunov production will be the Dallas Opera’s first staging of the Russian epic and the first time Mussorgsky’s opera has been produced in Dallas in more than 30 years.

Starring as Juliette, Petrova previously appeared with the Dallas Opera in The Marriage of Figaro, her performances prompting Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News to write: “Petrova is an adorable dynamo of a Susanna, as sweet as she is feisty and playful. … Her soprano can blaze but also glow warmly.” Her Romeo, Castronovo, is a frequent guest artist of Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden and Paris Opera, and is now making his Dallas Opera debut. The tenor recently sang in La traviata opposite Anna Netrebko in San Francisco, and Opera Today captured the moment: “Netrebko nearly met her match in Charles Castronovo, who brought urgency, voluptuously sculpted text delivery, beauty of tone and a handsome stage presence.”

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