LIVERMORE, CALIF. – The Tri-Valley’s own professional opera company, the Livermore Valley Opera, will open its 26th season, with a “first” for LVO when it presents Donizetti’s buffo opera Don Pasquale, set in the 1880’s Wild West. Details are as follows:
Don Pasquale by Donizetti
- September 30, 2017; 7:30pm, Opening night
- October 1, 2017; 2pm
- October 7, 2017; 7:30pm
- October 8, 2017; 2pm
- Opening Night Gala celebration dinner at Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard, 4:00pm. (Separate ticket purchase required.)
LVO is offering a unique staging for its first opera of the season. Described as a “rootin, tootin romp in the Wild West, this production concept was created by stage director David Gately, premiering in 2002. The production has entertained audiences for nearly two decades and is set just 40 years later than the original setting composed by Donizetti.
“It is a classic ‘spaghetti western’, complete with gun toting cowboys, saloon gals, bubble baths and even a Mariachi band,” explains Rob Herriot, who will stage the opera for LVO. “It is an opera of fun, laughs and amazing tunes that will appeal to all ages.”
Peter Strummer makes his LVO debut as Pasquale. Known as one of America’s foremost character bass-baritones, and hailed for “giving a role maximum impact” by the Toronto Star and for his “warm, firm and agile voice” by Opera News. The Denver Post said of a performance, “This is a dream cast…Strummer is one of the most meticulous performers I know. His portrayals become highly individual, each formidably different whether as Bartolo or Don Magnifico, Beckmesser or Pasquale…” As an artist who constantly reworks his roles and seeks to expand the breadth of his repertoire, Peter has earned a reputation for endowing his characterizations with increased depth and humanity. His seasoned career includes performances at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and major opera houses in Europe.
Described by The New York Times as having a “buttery, booming baritone,” Alex DeSocio, will make his LVO debut in the role of Malatesta, which he also performed in 2015 with the Merola Opera Program.
Returning for LVO is soprano Erin Sanzero who performed as Lucia for LVO in another Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor (2015). San Francisco Classical Voice said of her 2015 performance, “Erin Sanzero as Lucia [threw] herself into the role…with a voice that was as agile and tight-grained as some exotic hardwood. Added to that was her deep immersion in a difficult persona that cycled manically from love to despair…”
Pleasanton native, tenor Marco Stefani, now living in Italy, is returning to perform again for LVO in the role of Ernesto. Stefani premiered with LVO in La Cenerentola (Cinderella) in 2014, and again in 2016 as Lindoro in The Italian Girl in Algiers. The Independent said of his performance, “Marco Stefani brings a youthful, heartfelt zest and a sweet, well-placed tenor voice to the role of Lindoro…”
“Our professional quality will be on full display in Don Pasquale,” says Erie Mills, LVO Artistic Director. “With Maestro Alexander Katsman conducting, Jean-François Revon’s western inspired sets and our wonderful cast, audiences will be in for a real treat.”
Opening Night Gala at Uncle’s Yu’s at the Vineyards
Gala ticket includes dinner at Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard, served with McKahn Family Cellars wine, followed by a dessert reception in the Bankhead Theater. The welcome reception begins at 4:00pm and dinner seating at 4:30 pm at Uncle Yu’s, conveniently located one-half block from the theater. Guests will have a chance to meet the Stage Director Rob Herriot and LVO’s Music Director Alexander Katsman.
Gala Tickets are $95, and are available through Bankhead Theater box office.
Included in the ticket price are pre-opera talks held one hour prior to curtain time. LVO’s traditional artist’s reception is held in the lobby immediately following each performance.
Adults $42-$90. Students 18 years and younger, $10 off all seating. Tickets can be purchased through the LVO website at www.livermorevalleyopera.com.
Performance & Box Office Location:
2400 First Street, Livermore, CA 94550
Bankhead Ticket Office: 925-373-6800
Livermore Valley Opera was founded in 1992, and presents fully-staged operas at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater in the spring and fall. This gem of a theater features excellent lines of sight and acoustics, helping the opera to attract talented singers and stage directors for their performances.
LVO is a professional opera company and a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable arts organization. For more information, visit www.livermorevalleyopera.com.