Florida Grand Opera swaps “Thaïs” for “Tristan,” announces casting for season

May 24, 2013

Lauren Flanigan will reprise her role as Christine Mannon in Florida Grand Opera’s production of Marvin David Levy’s “Mourning Becomes Electra,” which opens November 7 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo, with Jason Howard, by Rozarii Lynch for Seattle Opera).

If you live in Miami and were anticipating your first Wagner opera in many years, you’re going to have to be patient just a while longer.

Florida Grand Opera announced Thursday that their scheduled production of Tristan und Isolde, slated for next season, will now be put off until 2015.

“It is a huge undertaking for the company and we want to do it right,” said Susan T. Danis, FGO general director.

“I don’t want to disappoint all those Wagnerians!” she added. “[But] we truly couldn’t find a production that fit in both theaters.  When we found one, the company decided to use it during the same period.  It is truly disappointing.”

In its place, FGO will mount Thaïs, the Miami company’s first staging of Jules Massenet’s opera in 38 years. Danis said the fact that FGO has offered so little French repertoire in recent years played into this decision as well.

“It is a beautiful piece filled with exotic music,” she said. “I am a big fan of other similar operas such as Lakme and The Pearl Fishers and fascinated by how interest in the Orient influenced opera composed at that time.”

FGO also announced casting details and dates for its entire 2013-14 season on Thursday.

Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra will open FGO’s 73rd season November 7 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale (repeating on the 9th and playing at Miami’s Arsht Center November 16-23).

Lauren Flanigan will return to FGO to star as Christine Mannon, a role she has sung to wide acclaim in Chicago, New York and Seattle. This will mark Flanigan’s first FGO appearance since starring in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina in 2001.

The cast will also include Rayanne Dupuis as Lavinia, Morgan Smith as Adam Brant, Jason Collins as Orin, and Kevin Langan as Ezra Mannon. Ramon Tebar will conduct and Kevin Newbury will be the stage director.

Maria Guleghina will make her FGO debut in Verdi’s Nabucco, which will open January 25. The Ukrainian soprano will split the role of Abigaille with Susan Neves with the title role alternated between Dario Solari and Nelson Martinez. Leigh Holman directs.

Puccini’s Tosca is up next, opening in Miami March 29. Kara Shay Thomson will split the title role of the doomed diva with Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste. Rafael Davila and Diego Torre will portray her lover Cavaradossi with Todd Thomas as the villainous Scarpia. Jose Mari Condemi, who recently helmed Maria de Buenos Aires for the company, will direct.

Local favorite Eglise Gutierrez returns to FGO in the title role of the Egyptian courtesan Thaïs, which opens May 3. The Cuban-American singer will split dates with Angela Mortellaro, and Kristopher Irmiter and Martin Nusspaumer will alternate in the role of the conflicted holy man Athanael.

Subscriptions for the 2013-2014 season start at $36. Tickets may be purchased online at fgo.org, by calling 800- 741-1010 or at the box office at 8390 NW 25 St. in Doral during business hours.

One Response to “Florida Grand Opera swaps “Thaïs” for “Tristan,” announces casting for season”

  1. Posted May 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm by Jeff Haller

    This is a fine example of how the company has already made good changes. If we have all these great singers in Florida, let’s use them.. Thais in place of Tristan und Isolde is a pretty satifying change. Thais hasn’t been done in Miami in nearly 40 years, Nabucco in over 30, Mourning Becomes Electra – never. And next season’s Tosca is going to let us hear singers that Miamians haven’t heard before. Bravo to such ambition.