• Mozart: Don Giovanni
    Photography by Felix Sanchez

  • Mozart: Don Giovanni
    Brown Theater | Sung in Italian with projected English translation

    Houston Grand Opera’s 2012 winter season continues with one of Mozart’s masterpieces, Don Giovanni, Jan. 25 – Feb. 10. Based on the story of Don Juan, Göran Järvefelt’s muchloved production, designed by Carl Freidrich Oberle, will feature the HGO debuts of a number of internationally-acclaimed artists, led by distinguished British conductor Trevor Pinnock, making his HGO debut.

    Pinnock, who is a sought-after conductor, harpsichordist, and authority on the music of the baroque and classical eras, founded The English Concert, which became renowned for its performances on historical instruments. Awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and an Officier des Arts et des Lettres, Pinnock continues to work with the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Mozarteum, Salzburg. Recent recordings include Wigmore Live, featuring works by Purcell, Handel, and Haydn. A recording of concertos and chamber music from the court of Frederick the Great with flutist Emmanuel Pahud, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, Matthew Truscott, and Jonathan Manson was released on EMI in late 2011.
    Making his HGO debut in the role of the world’s most unrepentant playboy will be Adrian Eröd. The Austrian baritone, whose star began to rise at Vienna State Opera in 2003, has established an impressive career at Bayreuth and other German houses. Career highlights at Wiener Staatsoper have included Papageno in The Magic Flute, Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Marcello in La bohème, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lescaut in Manon by Massenet and Manon Lescaut by Puccini, among others.
    American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is Don Giovanni’s long-suffering servant Leporello, a role for which he has won many plaudits. “He has a naturally beautiful, superbly trained voice, rich and clear at the low end, smooth and flexible in the middle range and effortless at the top. Good as his sound was, his acting was better. Ketelsen fully realized the role.” (Opera News.) He recently appeared as Don Basilio in HGO’s new production of The Barber of Seville as well as in Fidelio.
    HGO Studio alumna, soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen will sing Donna Anna. She has won numerous competitions, including the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, where The New York Times noted her “gleaming voice, capped with big top notes.” She was the first prize winner of the 2011 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, earning top honors in both the opera and operetta categories. Willis-Sørensen recently made her Covent Garden debut as The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, which she also sang at Michigan Opera Theater. “Willis-Sørensen as the bereft Countess stopped the show in its tracks…(she) displayed a well-schooled voice, consistent in its control and quality over its full range and shaped with unfailing expressivity.” (Detroit News.)
    Raised in Puerto Rico, Joel Prieto is sought after around the world since winning the first prize in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition in 2008. His portrayal of Don Juan in 2010 in Valencia, Spain, was well received: “Prieto boasted a powerful, even voice that rose firmly to the high notes.” (Opera News.) Swedish soprano Malin Christensson has earned acclaim for her performances
    of Zerlina this role in the U.K. and elsewhere. (“Malin Christensson made a heartbreaking, beguiling Zerlina.” – The Independent, London.) Russian soprano Veronika Dzhioeva won the the Grand Prix VII International Vocal Competition in 2006, and received prizes in the international Glinka Competition-Astrakhan (2003), the All-Russian Competition for Young Opera Singers Saint Petersburg (2003), and the Maria Callas Grand Prix for Opera-Athens (2005).
    HGO studio alumnus Michael Sumuel will sing Masetto. The Texas-born bass baritone recently made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Heart of a Soldier and in the summer of 2012 he will make his European debut as Schaunard at the Glyndebourne Festival, a role he reprises at HGO in fall 2012. Sumuel holds degrees from Columbus State University and Rice University.
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