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'Porgy' Joins Music Center Opera Season

March 06, 1986|DANIEL CARIAGA | Times Music Writer

Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" has been added to the Music Center Opera's inaugural 1986-87 season that includes productions of Verdi's "Otello," Richard Strauss' "Salome," Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" and Handel's "Alcina," Peter Hemmings, executive director of the opera association announced at a press conference at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Wednesday.

To be co-presented with 10 other North American companies this year and next, the "Porgy" production is based on the Houston Grand Opera staging that was seen locally at the Pantages Theatre in May, 1977. It will be given three subscription performances at the Wiltern Theatre, Feb. 19, 20 and 21, 1987 (plus Feb. 25-29 on a non-subscription basis), with new sets and costumes by Douglas Schmidt and Nancy Potts, respectively. These performances will follow "Porgy" performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center by the same forces.

The four previously announced operas in the Los Angeles season will be given in the fall, Hemmings said.

Verdi's "Otello" will open the season, in the Pavilion of the Music Center, Oct. 7, with subsequent performances scheduled Oct. 10 and 12. Also at the Music Center are Strauss' "Salome" (Oct. 9, 13 and 18) and Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" (Oct. 8, 11 and 14). And, at the Wiltern, Handel's "Alcina," will be performed Nov. 4, 6 and 8.

Not previously announced, conductor Henry Lewis will lead the "Salome" performances, and Scottish conductor Alexander Gibson will conduct "Madama Butterfly," which will be staged by Peter Ebert. Also not previously announced are English supertitles for all four of the operas to be given in the fall.

Also, the instrumental ensemble for "Alcina" will be the San Francisco Bay-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Finally, singing the title role in "Madama Butterfly" at the Oct. 11 performance will be the Korean soprano Young Mi Kim; Leona Mitchell, previously announced, will sing the role Oct. 8 and 14.

Virtually complete casting and production assignments as announced Wednesday:

"Otello" (Verdi), in Italian, with English subtitles. Conducted by Lawrence Foster, staged by Goetz Friedrich, scenery and lighting by Guenther Schneider-Siemssen, costumes by Jan Skalicki. Cast to include Rosalind Plowright, Alice Baker, Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, Jonathan Mack, Michael Gallup, Julien Robbins and Rodney Gilfrey; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

"Salome" (R. Strauss), in German, with English subtitles. Conducted by Henry Lewis, staged by Peter Hall, choreography by Elizabeth Kean, designed by John Bury. Cast to include Maria Ewing, Marvellee Cariaga, Ragnar Ulfung, Michael Devlin, Jonathan Mack, Ken Remo, Stephen Plummer, John Guarnieri, Christopher Deane. L.A. Chamber Orchestra.

"Madama Butterfly" (Puccini), in Italian with English subtitles. Conducted by Alexander Gibson, staged by Peter Ebert, scenery and costumes by Ming Cho Lee. Cast to include Leona Mitchell/Young Mi Kim, Alice Baker, Neil Wilson, Peter Glossop, Ken Remo, Rodney Gilfrey and Angelique Burzynski. L.A. Chamber Orchestra and L.A. Master Chorale.

"Alcina" (Handel), in Italian with English subtitles. Conducted by Richard Hickox, staged by Frank Corsaro, designed by Bob Crowley. Cast to include Arleen Auger, Della Jones, Eiddwen Harrhy, Jonathan Mack and Kenneth Cox. Philharmonia Baroque and L.A. Master Chorale.

"Porgy and Bess" (Gershwin). Co-production with Houston Grand Opera. Conducted by John DeMain, staged by Jack O'Brien, scenery by Douglas W. Schmidt, costumes by Nancy Potts.

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