Three appealing operas - "The Tales of Hoffmann," "Rigoletto," and "Don Giovanni" - cast with talented young artists on the rise will highlight the Utah Opera's 1989-90 season, according to general director Glade Peterson.
"I'm excited about the diversity of the coming season," he said, "and hope to provide our patrons with variety, inspiration and beauty."Opening the season on Oct. 12, 14, 16, 19 and 22 will be Jacques Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann." In a plot based on stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the student-poet relives his experiences with the three women he loved and lost. Already cast are Martha Thigpen, a recent Metropolitan Opera debutant, as Antonia and Giulietta, and baritone James Johnson as Hoffmann's four nemeses. Resident music director Byron Dean Ryan will make his Utah Opera conducting debut.
"Rigoletto," one of Verdi's most popular operas, continues the season with performances on Jan. 18, 20, 22, 25 and 28, 1990. The story of the hunchbacked court jester, whose revenge for the violation of his daughter Gilda miscarries tragically, is one of opera's most familiar plots, filled with beloved music.
As Rigoletto, James Dietsch makes his Utah Opera debut. This young American singer has been principal baritone at the Badisches Staatstheater in West Germany for five years, and is recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller grant. Soprano Katherine Luna will sing Gilda, with Hans Gregory Ashbaker as the Duke of Mantua. Donna Bruno will sing Maddalena, and David Morelock will direct.
Utah Opera audiences overwhelmingly requested "Don Giovanni" in a recent survey, and they will get it next spring, with performances on May 17, 19, 21, 24 and 27. Mozart has set to immortal music the story of Don Juan, a name synonymous with ruthless seduction and philandering, who finally oversteps his luck.
Bass-baritone Dean Peterson will sing the title role, supported by two popular returning sopranos - Kallen Esperian as Donna Elvira and Kay Paschal as Donna Anna.Henry Holt will conduct Utah Opera for the first time in this production.
The popular SUPERTITLES simultaneous translations will be continued next year, with productions sung in their original languages. Because of its success this season, the additional Sunday matinee will also be offered. Season tickets are now on sale ranging from $25-$90, with half-price tickets available to senior citizens and students for the matinee. Utah Opera box office hours at the theater are 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.