Transport yourself to belle époque France with the Opera Santa Barbara as they conclude their 23rd season with the company’s premiere production of Giacomo Puccini‘s La Rodine. “La Rondine, which we are performing almost exactly 100 years after its Monte Carlo premiere, is one of Puccini’s most elegant works,” says Opera Santa Barbara Artistic Director, Kostis Protopapas, who will conduct the production.
The operetta, which will be sung in Italian with English subtitles, features extravagant costumes, allowing the audience a quick glimpse into 20th century France. Performed at the Granada Theatre, the work follows the story of Magda, a Parisian courtesan. After falling in love with a younger man, the operetta follows Magda as she embarks on a bittersweet journey to reclaim her youthful innocence.
Making her company debut playing the role of Magda, soprano Karin Wolverton has been commended by Opera News for her “lovely warm tone, easy agility, and winning musicality.” Wolverton has appeared in an array of other works, including her role as Anna Sörensen in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night with the Minnesota Opera. With the Tulsa Opera, Wolverton played Micaëla in Carmen as well as Mimi in La Bohème. Additionally, she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 and has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic and the Utah Opera, among many others.
Playing the role of Ruggiero, the young country boy who Magda falls in love with, is tenor Adam Diegel. Last season, Diegel performed as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera San Antonio and Opera Hong Kong, as well as played Don José in Carmen at San Francisco Opera, Arizona Opera, and PORTopera, among other roles in varying cities.
Performing alongside Wolverton and Diegel are baritone Peter Lindskoog as Rambaldo, Magda’s wealthy protector, tenor James Callon as the poet Prunier, and soprano Elizabeth Kelsay as the maid Lisette, Prunier’s lover. Rounding out the cast and crew is Tara Faircloth, the stage director, who has directed in opera houses across the United States.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Tickets can be purchased at granadasb.org or by calling 805/899-2222. For more information, visit www.operasb.org or call 805/898-3890.