All three of our Autumn operas feature company debuts, with La Cenerentola featuring six singers new to WNO, but not necessarily new to this production. As a co-production with Houston Grand Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu and Grand Théâtre de Genève, first produced in 2007, two of our new singers have sung their roles, in this production, elsewhere in the world:
Our Angelina, aka Cinderella, made her American debut in the role at Washington National Opera in 2015, garnering good reviews, including this one:
Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught was making her American debut in the title role, her voice well-moulded to its coloratura demands, especially in the infamous last aria where she needs to cover a greater-than-two-octave range
The other singer making his WNO debut, but who has appeared in both Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Grand Théâtre de Genève, performances of the production, is Fabio Capitanucci. Both times he sang the role of Dandini – a role he has performed at San Francisco Opera and in Dresden too. With us he takes on the comic role of the pompous step-father, Don Magnifico.
The other La Cenerentola WNO debut appearances are from fellow Italians, Matteo Macchioni as our Prince Charming, Don Ramiro, and Giorgio Caoduro as Dandini; alongside the two ‘ugly’ sisters, Tisbe, sung by Heather Lowe and Aoife Miskelly’s Clorinda. Heather has sung the role before, for Opera Holland Park when reviews all praised her performance. Both Matteo and Giorgio have sung their roles before too, with Matteo appearing as Don Ramiro twice at Oper Leipzig in Germany, as well as in Florence; while Giorgio has sung Dandini at Opéra National de Paris, in Bologna, Frankfurt, Glyndebourne, Trieste, Genoa and Nice.
War and Peace, the opera with by far the most roles, has three singers making their company debuts: Jonathan McGovern as Andrei; Samantha Price, who has also sung with our Orchestra before as a National Opera Studio Young Artist in 2014, sings the roles of Sonya/Peronskaya/Kondratyevna; and Donald Thomson sings Jacquot/General Belliard/Yermolov (and other roles). Donald is the only one of the three to have performed in War and Peace before, in a Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama production, a co-pro between Scottish Opera and Rostov State Rachmaninov Conservatoire in Russia.
Finally, La traviata, where our three main roles are all sung by singers performing with WNO for the first time. Our Germont senior will be sung by Roland Wood, who has performed the role internationally, in Holland, at Sante Fe Opera in his US debut, and at Opera North where he received some wonderful reviews such as this one:
What’s on Stage
Roland Wood's impeccably sung Giorgio Germont combines power with an aristocratic suavity – and he is not afraid to suggest that Germont père is not the nicest guy around
Alfredo, aka Germont junior, sees Kang Wang make both his role and WNO debut. Kang was a finalist in 2017’s Cardiff Singer in the World, when one of our two Violettas this season was a winner: Anush Hovhannisyan, who makes her company debut in the role she shares with Linda Richardson. Anush has just sung Violetta in this production with our co-producers Scottish Opera, in their autumn 2017 season:
It is not every day – nor every month, not even every year – that you can say "a new Violetta is born."... On the evidence of her first performance in Glasgow it can unquestionably be said of Anush Hovhannisyan
All of these international singers, while this Season making their debuts with WNO, have performed all around the world in their careers to date. Opera, due to its very nature, the many languages it is written in and therefore sung in, automatically enables a company to encompass a multi-national cast and we can’t wait to welcome these new artists to the WNO fold.