UCSD-TV Shows the Method Behind the Madness as Donizetti’s Bel Canto Masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor Comes to San Diego Opera

Maestro Richard Bonynge rehearses with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra

Baritone Dalibor Jenis
Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor opens as the second opera of the 2006 International Season on Saturday, February 18, 2006 for four performances. Lucia di Lammermoor features an all-star cast led by the world’s preeminent bel canto scholar, Maestro Richard Bonynge on the podium.

An interview with Angela Gilbert

Moving the scenery
Lucia di Lammermoor also marks the house debut of sensational newcomer and finalist of the “Singer of the World” competition, Angela Gilbert. She is joined on stage by San Diego Opera and Metropolitan Opera favorite Richard Leech. Also making his house debut in this production is exciting new baritone Dalibor Jenis who is joined by returning bass Reinhard Hagen. 

Reinhard Hagen laughs during his interview

Studying the cue sheets
Lucia di Lammermoor is a passionate tragedy that follows the story of the Ashton and Ravenswood families high up on Scottish moors. A blood feud between these families has gone on for generations and there is only one member of the Ravenswood family left, Edgardo (Richard Leech). Enrico Ashton (Dalibor Jenis) faces bankruptcy and demands his sister Lucia (Angela Gilbert) marry the rich bachelor and family ally Arturo (Bryan Register). Lucia is in love with Edgardo however and when Enrico finds out he vows revenge. So begins a treacherous plot of deceit and passion in one of opera’s most heartbreaking tragedies. A bel canto opera written to showcase the human voice, Lucia di Lammermoor features one of the most famous scenes in all of theatre history – the Mad Scene – as well as one of the greatest ensembles ever written for opera, the sextet of Act 2. 

Kenneth Morris waits for the cue to join the rehearsal onstage.

Director Andrew Sinclair

Soprano Angela Gilbert

Videotaping a rehearsal

UCSD-TV Cameras Capture Colorful Carmen

Mezzo-Soprano Marina Domashenko

A view from backstage

Georges Bizet’s immortal masterpiece Carmen, opens as the third opera of the 2006 International Season on Saturday, March 25, 2006 for five performances. This new production of Carmen, designed by Tony© Award Winner Michael Yeargan, features an all-star cast including the house debut of Siberian born mezzo-soprano Marina Domashenko who has sung this role at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Arena di Verona, Berlin and Vienna as well as having been immortalized on film in Franco Zeffirelli’s version of Carmen and in a new complete CD recording opposite Andrea Bocelli for Decca Records. She is joined on stage by returning tenor César Hernández, baritone Malcolm MacKenzie and soprano Barbara Divis. San Diego Opera Resident Conductor Karen Keltner leads the orchestra for these performances and American stage director Mark Lamos makes his house debut to direct.

Setting up the tavern for Act II

Tenor César Hernández
Carmen is a tragic story of obsessive love set in the passionate backdrop of Seville, Spain. Tempted away from his girlfriend Micaëla (Barbara Divis) by the gorgeous Carmen (Marina Domashenko), handsome solider Don José (César Hernández) is used and manipulated by Carmen and her friends to assist in a smuggling operation at their mountain hideaway. Carmen has fallen for the bullfighter Escamillo (Malcolm MacKenzie) however and her passion ignites and flames. No longer amused by Don José, Carmen casually dumps him but Don José’s obsession creates an emotional bonfire that threatens to destroy them all.

Interviewing Director Mark Lamos

Dropping the cyc

Chorus Master Timothy Todd Simmons and Maestro Karen Keltner
during rehearsal and the UCSD-TV Spotlight interview

Carmen is one of the most loved and most performed operas of all time with music that is instantly recognized by young and old alike. It features two of opera’s most endearing arias “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Love is a rebellious bird) and “Toreador en garde!” (Toreador, be careful!).

Organizing large numbers of chorus members and supernumeraries

Moving the set pieces

Join UCSD-TV backstage to watch the creation of Rossini's The Barber of Seville at San Diego Opera

Gioachino Rossini’s comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville opens San Diego Opera’s 2006 International Season on Saturday, January 28, 2006. The Barber of Seville features an all-star cast led by famed British baritone, Christopher Maltman as Figaro and exciting coloratura tenor and Sony recording artist Lawrence Brownlee. Sensuous American mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chávez, Argentine bass-baritone Eduardo Chama and the renowned Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto round out the cast. San Diego Opera’s Principal Guest Conductor Edoardo Müller conducts and former San Francisco Opera General Director Lotfi Mansouri directs.

The Barber of Seville follows the exploits of Figaro (Christopher Maltman), “barber by day, matchmaker by night” as he aids Count Almaviva (Lawrence Brownlee) in wooing the beautiful Rosina (Kirstin Chávez), ward of the manipulating Dr. Bartolo (Eduardo Chama) who intends to keep Rosina to himself and marry her. Figaro infiltrates Bartolo’s guarded estate with the Count, disguised first as a drunken sailor and then as a replacement for music teacher Don Basilio (Ferruccio Furlanetto). This riotous romantic comedy will keep audience members in stitches with fast action, pranks and instantly recognizable music.

Rehearsal Photographs

Interview with Christopher Maltman and
Kirstin Chávez

Maestro Edoardo Müller

Kirstin Chávez and Christopher Maltman
rehearse a scene

Christopher Maltman and Lawrence Brownlee

Upstage sets

Calling the show

UCSD-TV Marks 10-Year Milestone with San Diego Opera

(Press Release) University of California, San Diego Television (UCSD-TV) proudly celebrates its upcoming tenth season of partnership with San Diego Opera, creating award-winning television with the series San Diego Opera Spotlight and OperaTalk! With Nick Reveles. The new season of OperaTalk! continues September 6 on UCSD-TV with The Barber of Seville at 8:00PM, followed by […]

(Press Release) University of California, San Diego Television (UCSD-TV) proudly celebrates its upcoming tenth season of partnership with San Diego Opera, creating award-winning television with the series San Diego Opera Spotlight and OperaTalk! With Nick Reveles. The new season of OperaTalk! continues September 6 on UCSD-TV with The Barber of Seville at 8:00PM, followed by the premiere of Carmen on September 13, also at 8:00PM. San Diego Opera Spotlight launches its tenth season on January 27, 2006 with a behind the scenes look at the San Diego Opera production of The Barber of Seville.

In 1996 the successful partnership between UCSD-TV and San Diego Opera began with San Diego Opera Spotlight, a unique and entertaining sneak preview of upcoming San Diego Opera productions. The program offers a behind the scenes look at how the singers, director, conductor and stage crew come together to create each breathtaking performance. The series will kick off its momentous tenth season on January 27, 2006 with the premiere of The Barber of Seville, the first performance of San Diego Opera’s 2006 season.

Two years after the series debut of Opera Spotlight, UCSD-TV and San Diego Opera launched a second series, OperaTalk! with Nick Reveles. Hosted by San Diego Opera’s Geisel Director of Education and Outreach, Dr. Nicolas Reveles, this half-hour program takes you through the story, music and history of the approaching season’s productions, offering valuable insights into what inspired the composers, the challenges they faced, the reactions of the audience and critics, along with recommendations of the best recordings. The eighth season of OperaTalk! on UCSD-TV continues September 6 at 8:00PM with The Barber of Seville, followed by the premiere of Carmen, September 13 at 8:00PM.

UCSD-TV producer John Menier has received several awards for San Diego Opera Spotlight programs: The Pearl Fishers (Silver Telly Award, 2004), Therese Raquin (Bronze Telly Award, 2004), and Ariodante (Gold Aurora Award, 2002). The Telly Awards is a national competition honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions. The Aurora Awards is an international competition designed to recognize excellence in the film and video industries, specifically targeting programs focused on regional or special interest entertainment.

“UCSD-TV’s long association with San Diego Opera has been uniquely rewarding, both for San Diego viewers and for me, personally,” shared UCSD-TV arts and humanities producer/director John Menier. “Thanks to the Opera and to Nick Reveles, I’ve learned more about this art form than anyone has a right to know.”

“Ten years ago this partnership was a ground-breaking event which has benefited both San Diego Opera and UCSD-TV in so many ways,” stated San Diego Opera general director Ian Campbell. “I am grateful that the leadership at UCSD-TV had the vision to risk such an undertaking which has always been supported to the fullest at all times. I want to give special recognition to John Menier and Matt Alioto [associate producer, principal photographer] whose artistry in producing our programs has been extraordinary, and for whom excellence is never good enough – they always set themselves even higher standards.”

San Diego Opera, ranked by OPERA AMERICA as one of the top 10 opera companies in the United States, is a widely respected member of the international opera community and an invaluable cultural resource to the San Diego community. The Company is both a national and regional model for all arts organizations in terms of artistic product, impact of community education and outreach and consistently sure-footed fiscal management.