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Opera Pacific to Offer Strictly European Fare

Music: For '96-97, the new 'Dorian Gray' is held; two earlier productions will be revived.


IRVINE — Retreating from plans to include one American opera each season in coming years and returning to popular European repertory for its 11th season, Opera Pacific will offer four operas in 1996-97. The company will present Puccini's "Turandot," Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," Verdi's "Rigoletto" and Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. All except "Rigoletto" have been presented by Opera Pacific in previous seasons.

The company originally announced that in conjunction with L'Opera de Monte Carlo it would stage Lowell Liebermann's new "Dorian Gray" this season, but it will be postponed for a year "for financial reasons," according to a company spokesman. The "American Opera Cycle," which begins with the March 16 opening of Marc Blitzstein's "Regina," will continue in alternating seasons.

Ticket sales for this year's productions of "Otello" and "Regina" have been lower than anticipated, and it would "not be fiscally responsible" to take the risk of a introducing another unfamiliar work next season, the spokesman said.

Subscription tickets, ranging from $68 to $625, are on sale now. Single tickets, from $22 to $89, will go on sale approximately one month before each production. Tickets: (800) 346-7372.

The 1996-97 season:

* "Turandot," Sept. 21-29. Jane Eaglen and Alessandra Marc will alternate in the title role. Craig Sirianni and Eduardo Villa will alternate as Calaf. Guiping Deng will sing Liu at all performances. John Mauceri will conduct. Roman Terleckyj will be the stage director. The production, different from the one the company presented in 1990, will be announced.

* "Die Fledermaus," Nov. 16-24. Brenda Harris will sing Rosalinda; Louis Otey will sing Eisenstein, and Lynette Tapia will sing Adele. Orlofsky will be announced. John DeMain will conduct the same production seen in 1988. Charles Nelson Reilly will direct. "Fledermaus" will be sung in English.

* "Rigoletto," Jan. 25-Feb. 1. Mark Rucker and Gordon Hawkins will alternate in the title role. Laurence Janot and Mary Dunleavy will alternate as Gilda. Jorge Lopez-Yanez and Carlo Ventri will alternate as the Duke of Mantua. Sparafucile will be announced. Steven Mercurio will conduct. Dejan Miladinovic will direct.

* "Don Giovanni," March 15-23, 1997. Richard Cowan and Richard Bernstein will alternate in the title role. Helen Donath and Brenda Harris will alternate as Donna Anna. Ashley Putnam and a soprano to be announced will alternate as Donna Elvira. David Hobson and Tracey Welborn will alternate as Don Ottavio. Leporello will be announced. Klaus Donath will conduct the same production seen in 1990. Mario Corradi will direct.

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