Washington Opera announces new lineup

January 22, 2003|By Tim Smith

One-fourth of Wagner's Ring Cycle, an operatic treatment of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, and the original 1853 version of Verdi's La Traviata are among the attractions of Washington Opera's 2003-2004 season.

Artistic director Placido Domingo spent part of his 62nd birthday yesterday holding a news conference to announce the lineup and discuss the company's new temporary home at DAR Constitution Hall. That hall is currently being refurbished and reconfigured to accommodate Washington Opera productions for a year, starting next month with Aida and continuing with Don Giovanni and Fidelio this season, while the Kennedy Center Opera House is being renovated. "As a birthday present to me, please don't speculate on what it's going to be like in the hall and give us a chance," Domingo said.

The Spanish tenor will sing the role of Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walkure in November, one of three new productions being designed specifically for the hall. The season will open in September with Strauss' Die Fledermaus, starring June Anderson (Rosalinde) and Elena Obratsova (Orlofsky). "There will be some surprises during Prince Orlofsky's ball," Domingo said. "I might be one of them."

The company's first production of Bellini's Norma, featuring Hasmik Papian in the title role in October, will complete the Constitution Hall portion of next season.

The action moves back to the Kennedy Center in 2004 for Puccini's Manon Lescaut, starring Veronica Villarroel and conducted by Domingo; Rossini's La Cenerentola, with Sonia Ganassi; La Traviata, with Hei-Kyung Hong and Andrea Rost alternating in the title role; and the East Coast premiere of A Streetcar Named Desire, with some performances conducted by the composer, Andre Previn (casting not yet finalized).

For more information, call 202-295-2400 or 800-876-7372. The Washington Opera Web site is www.dc-opera.org.

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