Mozart's Don Giovanni to open at Sarasota Opera February 12
January 31, 2011
Patricia G Horwell
Don Juan – womanizer, seducer, rapist. What a legend and what a subject for an opera! Sarasota Opera will retell the story with the most popular version of all, Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Opening February 12, it stars baritone Lee Poulis who makes his Sarasota debut as the infamous rake.
Mr. Poulis recently stepped in at the last minute to perform Renato in Un ballo in maschera at Teatro Municipal de Santiago. Mr. Poulis often performs in Europe were he has sung at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Teatro Real in Madrid, Theater Bonn, Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken, and Theater Chemnitz among others. In the United States, he has performed at Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera. Immediately following his last Don Giovanni here in Sarasota, Lee goes to Minnesota Opera to sing Heathcliff in Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights.
Also making her Sarasota Opera debut here is soprano Christina Pier who performs Donna Anna, a role she has also sung at Santa Fe Opera. A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, Christina has portrayed Pamina in The Magic Flute, The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, as well as Micaela in Carmen and Marguerite in Faust for companies such as Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Nashville Opera, and .Eugene Opera. Her recording of Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem is available on the Naxos label.
Bass Andrew Gangestad returns to Sarasota to sing the role of Leporello, which was also his last assignment with the company in 2005. Earlier for Sarasota he performed Banquo in both the standard and original versions of Verdi’s Macbeth produced in 2003. Leporello is one of Mr. Gangestad’s signature roles and in addition to Sarasota Opera he has performed it at Seattle Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Other companies for which he has performed are the Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater, as well as internationally with the Brengenz Festival in Austria and Welsh National Opera.
Peter Kozma is making his Sarasota debut as director. His credits include The Merry Widow at the Szeged Open-Air Festival/Hungary, Orazi e Curiazi at Minnesota Opera, and The Marriage of Figaro and Eugene Onegin at Opera San José. Anthony Barrese returns to Sarasota to conduct. His past engagements here include Hansel and Gretel, The Marriage of Figaro, and Lakmé. David P. Gordon designed the set and Howard Tsvi Kaplan, the costumes. Hair and make-up designer is Georgianna Eberhard.
Tickets for the opening performance of Don Giovanni are still available and start at $19. There will be an additional eight performances through March 18. Please note that all evening performances of Don Giovanni begin at 7:30 p.m.; matinées begin at 1:30 p.m.
Other operas to be performed in repertory during the Festival are Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s I Lombardi, and Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller’s Tony Award winning play of the same name. Tickets are available now at the Box Office in the Deane Allyn Pavilion of the Sarasota Opera House, by phone at (941) 328-1300 or online at www.sarasotaopera.org.