San Diego opera season will mix concerts with Mozart’s “Cosi” and Gounod’s “Romeo”



Fans of the San Diego Opera who have been eagerly awaiting the return of the main opera at the San Diego Civic Theater will need to calm down a bit longer.

The 2021-22 season just announced by the company will feature two full-scale productions of “Così fan tutte” and “Romeo and Juliet” at the Civic, but they won’t arrive until early 2022.

In the meantime, the San Diego Opera is planning three solo recitals at concert halls in La Jolla, the Gaslamp Quarter and Escondido. The long-delayed chamber opera “Aging Magician” is also slated for the season’s closing production next May.

Tenor Pene Pati will make his companion debut in San Diego Opera’s “Romeo and Juliet” in March 2022.

(Courtesy photo)

David Bennett, general manager of San Diego Opera, said the coming season will focus on delivering “spectacular vocals,” with many international artists making their company debuts, including Samoan tenor Pene Pati, Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan and Korean baritone Gihoon Kim, who last week was crowned winner of the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

“Our mission statement said we are focusing on the transformative power of the live performance, but we are changing that for the“ transforming and expressive power of the human voice, ”” Bennett said. “What makes opera unique is that at the center of everything we do is the expressive power that everyone carries with them.”

The coming season will continue the company’s mission of expanding its offering to people from all walks of life and from all corners of the county. The popular Detour series – introduced in 2016 to feature concerts, chamber works and other non-traditional dishes – will expand to four offerings, with “Aging Magician” and recitals by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe of the soprano Michelle Bradley and tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz.

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Soprano Michelle Bradley will present a recital on November 20 at La Jolla as part of the 2021-2022 season of the San Diego Opera.

(Courtesy photo)

The approved budget for fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1, will be $ 7.6 million, as it only includes two, rather than the traditional three, stage productions. The company is closing its 2021 financial year on Wednesday. The final results will be announced on Monday at the company’s annual meeting.

Only season tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. Single tickets will go on sale later this year. Subscriptions to the two main stage productions start at $ 70, subscriptions to the three recitals start at $ 105. Tickets for “Aging Magician” start at $ 35. Full season subscriptions start at $ 210. Discounts are available for military and seniors. For more information, call (619) 533-7000 or visit

Here is an overview of the 2021-2022 season:

Mezz-soprano Stephanie Blythe will present a recital on October 23 as part of the 2021-2022 season of the San Diego Opera.

Mezz-soprano Stephanie Blythe will present a recital on October 23 at the Balboa Theater as part of the 2021-2022 season of the San Diego Opera.

(Courtesy photo)

Stéphanie Blythe in concert: The world-famous American mezzo-soprano was scheduled to appear this year in Puccini’s one-act “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi”, but these returned to a future season. Instead, Bennett said Blythe will present a diverse program of songs that he will leave to his imagination. In addition to exploring the opera repertoire in the lower ranges of her voice, she has also performed with her own ukulele accompaniment in recent years. 7:30 p.m., October 23. Balboa Theater, San Diego.

Michelle Bradley in concert: The American soprano made her company debut in 2019 in the title role of “Aida”, which she has performed around the world. Bennett said Bradley is a talented recitalist who is accomplished in many genres, including jazz and gospel, and the concert schedule will reflect this versatility. 7:30 p.m. November 20. Baker Baum Concert Hall, Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, La Jolla.

Tenor Arturo Chacon-Cruz

Tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz will make his San Diego Opera debut on December 3 with a solo recital at the California Center for the Performing Arts, Escondido.

(Courtesy photo)

Arturo Chacón-Cruz in concert: Making his company debut, Mexican tenor Chacón-Cruz has sung over 60 roles in over 30 countries. Chacón-Cruz began his career as a mariachi singer, and his winter recital will blend opera and mariachi and include a mariachi ensemble on stage. This concert is the first production of the San Diego Opera season ever produced in Escondido. It will take place in the 400-seat concert hall of the California Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m. December 3. California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Baritone Reginald Smith Jr.

Baritone Reginald Smith Jr. co-stars in San Diego Opera’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” in February 2022 at the San Diego Civic Theater.

(Courtesy photo)

“Così fan tutte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Last produced in 2005, Mozart’s opera bouffe of 1790 about two men whose plan to test the loyalty of their fiancees ends in surprise. The company will create a new modern production to match the concept envisioned by director Tim Nelson during his early days with the company. Bennett said the production may feature video screens, like those used in the company’s recent drive-in productions, to capture vocalists in close-up. Soprano Alisa Jordheim, who made her debut here as Gilda in “Rigoletto” in 2019, returns as intelligent maid Despina. All the other lead singers are making their company debuts: Baritone Reginald Smith Jr., who represented America at this month’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021 competition, plays the originator of the program Don Alfonso, the baritone Gihoon Kim as Guglielmo, tenor Konu Kim as Ferrando and mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as Dorabella. Fiordiligi’s role as soprano has yet to be chosen. Bennett said: “It will be a diverse group of people on stage with great, rich voices.” Bruce Stasyna of the San Diego Opera, who conducted the musicians of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in the drive-in “Barber of Seville” in April, conducts. 7:30 p.m. on February 12, 15, 18; 2:00 p.m. on February 20. San Diego Civic Theater.

Soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan makes her San Diego opera debut as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet," opening on March 26, 2022.

Soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan makes her San Diego Opera debut as Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet,” opening March 26, 2022.

(Courtesy photo)

“Romeo and Juliet” by Charles Gounod: Last produced here in 2010, this new production of the 1867 opera house will feature stunning Minnesota opera sets that blend traditional elements with modern touches. New Zealand tenor Pene Pati has performed Romeo all over the world, including two seasons ago at the San Francisco Opera under the direction of conductor Yves Abel, who will conduct the San Diego Symphony for this production. . Bennett said Pati is the right kind of voice for Romeo: “It’s a tough role with great vocals on top of a big orchestra and he has to float his voice over it.” Kristina Mkhitaryan, who plays Juliette, recently made her debut in a role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Covent Garden in London. Chinese baritone Yunpeng Wang will play Mercutio. Matthew Ozawa, who made his San Diego Opera debut in children’s choir, is making his debut as a company director. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on March 26, 29 and April 1; 2:00 p.m. April 3. San Diego Civic Theater.

The San Diego Opera House presents Charles Gounod "Romeo and Juliet" in March 2022.

The San Diego Opera House presents “Romeo and Juliet” by Charles Gounod in March 2022.

(Dan Norman / Courtesy photo)

“Aging magician”: Postponed from spring 2020, this choral opera by Paola Prestini and playwright / actor / singer Rinde Eckert is the story of a dying watchmaker, played by Eckert, who imagines himself as a magician who must pass on his precious book of magic before die. The show, developed for production by Beth Morrison Projects, features the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Grammy Award-winning Attacca quartet and puppets. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on May 13; and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 14. Balboa Theater.

San Diego Opera House Presents "Aging Magician" May 13 and 14, 2022, at the Balboa Theater.

The San Diego Opera House presents “Aging Magician” on May 13-14, 2022 at the Balboa Theater.

(Jill Steinberg)


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