"Samson and Delilah," "Tosca" and "Cinderella" - a season of legendary heroes and heroines - is in store for Utah Operagoers in 1991-92, said general director Anne Ewers. Each opera will have five performances at the Capitol Theatre, and each will be sung in its original language, with English supertitles.
"This season will offer three distinctive musical experiences: the liquid fire and luscious arias of composer Camille Saint-Saens, the haunting melodies and dramatic orchestration of Giacomo Puccini, and the enchanting bel canto delights of Giacomo Rossini. Add to that our Christmas production of `Amahl and the Night Visitors' and `Hansel and Gretel,' and it's a season that you won't want to miss," said Ewers.Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah" will run Oct. 12-20, with its portrayal of seduction and betrayal, power and pageantry. Sacred choruses contrast with bacchanalian orgies of the Philistines, leading to one of grand opera's great finales, as Samson literally brings down the temple of Dagon around him.
Maurice Stern, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut last year, will sing Samson, with Melanie Sonnenberg as Delilah. Anne Ewers will direct, and Matthias Kuntzsch will conduct.
From Jan. 18 to 26, Utah Opera brings back Puccini's "Tosca," a fiery, passionate prima donna and patriot, who with her lover Cavaradossi is caught in a net of political intrigue, murders the lustful villain Scarpia and finally leaps to her death in the River Tiber. Soprano Martha Thigpen, last seen here in "Tales of Hoffmann," returns to sing Tosca, with Utah favorite Hans Gregory Ashbaker as Cavaradossi, and Greer Grimsley as Scarpia. Lou Salemno will conduct, with David Gately directing.
Rossini's sparkling "Cinderella" will be a comic masterpiece worth watching May 16-24, 1992, when mezzo-soprano Kathryn Cowdrick makes her debut with Utah Opera in the title role. Utah singers Marjo Burdette and Diane Beesley will portray the ugly stepsisters, with Mark Pedrotti returning as Dandini, the prince's valet. Other cast members will be announced later. Rhoda LeVine will direct the production.
Season tickets are on sale at the Utah Opera box office, located in the Capitol Theater, 50 W. 200 South, or call 534-0888 for charge sales. Current season subscribers should renew their tickets by May 31. Subscription buyers can save up to 15 percent over single ticket purchases, with Monday and Wednesday night performances discounted. Seniors, university students and faculty are eligible for a 50 percent discount on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday performances in certain seating areas. For information or a brochure, call the Utah Opera at 534-0842.