Merola & Adler Updates

Ciao, Opera Mavens! Here’s some news from around the world on what some of our talented Merola and Adler alums have been up to:

Joyce DiDonato (Merola 1997) has bid farewell to the role of Elena in Donizetti’s La Donna del Lago. In a December 27th Facebook post she said, “Last night at The Metropolitan Opera I said goodbye to Elena on the stage. What a wonderful journey this has been “on the lake” (and various other settings!) with her. From Geneva to Paris to Milan to London to Santa Fe to New York … From the astoundingly wonderful and breathtakingly brilliant colleagues who have shared the stage with me, to the brilliant orchestral playing, to the enthusiastic audiences who have welcomed this quirky piece into the repertoire ~ it has been a beautiful, joy-filled ride. Indeed – TANTI AFFETTI and TANTA FELICITA!”

Adler 1989-91 Patricia Racette was recently awarded Merola Opera Program’s Distinguished Alumni Award in a ceremony on Jan 7th.

Talya Lieberman

Talya Lieberman

Soprano Talya Lieberman (Merola 2014) has been selected to join the young artist program at Komische Oper Berlin. Brava, Talya! We look forward to hearing more about her upcoming roles there.


Robert Watson

Merola 2013 alum Robert Watson recently performed an excerpt from Carmen on WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida where he is currently in the Palm Beach Opera young artist program.

Bryan Hymel
(Merola 2001) recently made his Opera National de Paris debut in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, sharing the title role with Jonas Kaufmann.

Merola 1996 superstar Anna Netrebko is recording an all-Puccini album for release later this year and has been teasing us with tidbits of it on Instagram including this fabulous Turandot excerpt. According to an interview in the Russian press (and translated by Google), she will debut the role in Venice in 2017. She also has posted teasers for Manon Lescaut and Tosca.

Tamara Mancini

Turandot is becoming a signature role for Merola 2007 alum Tamara (née Wapinsky) Mancini.  She’ll be in Long Beach later this month to sing the role in Pacific Symphony‘s upcoming concert presentation of Turandot with fellow former Merolini Elizabeth Caballero (2001, 2002) as Liù and Dan Kempson (2010) as Ping.




Wilfried Hosl

‘South Pole’ photo by Wilfried Hosl

Thomas Hampson (Merola 1980) and Rolando Villazon (Merola 1998) are now appearing at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera in Mirolav Srnka’s world premiere opera South Pole based on the 1910 race between British and Norwegian teams to be the first humans to reach the South Pole.

Stuart Skelton

Stuart Skelton



And finally, some exciting news via the NY Times: Stuart Skelton (Adler 1997) will be opening the Met’s 2016 season this fall as Tristan in a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, directed by Mariusz Trelinski. It will also star Nina Stemme as Isolde and Rene Papé as King Marke, with Sir Simon Rattle, chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, conducting.







Tix: SFO 2016-17 Season, Series A

OPERABOBB’S TICKET EXCHANGE — For the admissionally challenged; please communicate directly with the seller.

Series A – Friday Sept. 9th opening night gala and eight subsequent Fall and Summer Tuesday nights.  Left Orchestra, Row H, Seats 5 & 7.  Price: $2,301.00.
See for production details.

Seller will take care of all needed exchanges or add-ons. An option is to purchase these and split the season with another couple.  Contact Craig Pavlich at or 415-999-3519 (call or text)

Feb 2016 Live Performances

Ciao Opera Mavens. Lots of Bay Area opera this month.

Paisello’s Barber of Seville, a real rarity. West Edge Opera

Wesr Edge BarberStill mad they remade Planet of the Apes? Some of us will always prefer the original. Before Rossini wrote The Barber of Seville, Paisiello gave Beaumarchais’ immortal characters music.  With Sara Duchovnay, Jonathan Smucker, Nikolas Nackley and Carl King. Jonathan Khuner conducts from the piano.

          Sunday, February 7th 3:00pm at the Lisser Theater, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS AT LISSER

          Tuesday, February 9th 8:00pm at Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison Street in Berkeley. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS AT FREIGHT AND SALVAGE

Steven Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Townsend Opera in Modesto and Fresno Grand Opera

Feb 12, 14, Townsend Opera, Gallo Center for the Arts – 1000 I Street, Modesto. Tickets

Feb 20, 7:30 Fresno Grand Opera, William Saroyan Theatre – 730 M Street. TicketsCarmen OSJ

Bizet’s Carmen. Opera San Jose

Feb 13-28, California Theatre, 345 South 1st Street, between San Carlos and San Salvador. Tickets

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddygore.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic masterpiece melds the world of Jane Austen with a good old-fashioned English ghost story and a dash of Wuthering Heights romance.

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek. 925-943-7469 · Purchase tickets

Friday, February 12, 2016 • 8PM
Saturday, February 13, 2016 • 2PM & 8PM
Sunday, February 14, 2016 • 2PM

Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco. 415-978-2787 · Purchase tickets

Friday, February 19, 2016 • 8PM
Saturday, February 20, 2016 • 2PM & 8PM
Sunday, February 21, 2016 • 2PM

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. 650-903-6000 · Purchase tickets

Saturday, February 27, 2016 • 8PM
Sunday, February 28, 2016 • 2PM

Terence Blanchard’s Champion (West Coast premiere). Opera Parallele

“I keep thinking how strange it is… I kill a man and most people understand andChampionBanner forgive me.  However, I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin.”  Emile Griffith

WHEN: February 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27 – 7:30pm, Feb. 28 – 4pm

WHERE:  SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium, 201 Franklin St., San Francisco


OneginTchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. West Bay Opera

Friday, February 19, 2016 – 8:00 p.m

Sunday, February 21, 2016 – 2:00 p.m

Saturday, February 27, 2016 – 8:00 p.m

Sunday, February 28, 2016 – 2:00 p.m

Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Tickets

Flotow’s Martha. Pocket Opera

February 28 at 2:00 PM Berkeley Hillside Club Buy Tickets Now

March 6 at 2:00 PM SF Legion of Honor Buy Tickets Now

A Opera Bobb Extra: Amsterdam police knock down door of opera singer.


More Good Streams Including Glyndebourne with a Short Fuse

Ciao, Opera Mavens. Let’s start with:

Glyndebourne: Watch La Cenerentola online. For the next seven days you can watch Peter Hall’s 2005 production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola online, on our website and for free. We hope you enjoy this elegant and timeless take on the classic Cinderella story.

Watch now

Culture Box is currently chock full of full length opera including:

Verdi’s Stifellio from La Fenice Jan 23, 2016.[Quotidienne]-20160129-[live]

Medici is offering Purcell’s Indian Queen, a Peter Sellars production from Madrid with Vince Yi (counter-tenor Merola 2007) and Noah Stewart (tenor Merola 2006).!/the-indian-queen-purcell-peter-sellars

Idomeneo from Theater an der Wien Nov 20, 2013.[Quotidienne]-20160124-[live]

Rigoletto from Wallonie Mar 28, 2015.[Quotidienne]-20160129-[live]

Il Trovatore from Choregies d’Orange 2015 (also with a short fuse – until Feb 5, 2016) with Roberto Alagna.

Magic Flute from Wallonie Jan 5, 2016

AND tomorrow morning at 10am, a concert version of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt on with Klaus Florian Voght.!/die-tote-stadt-korngold-mikko-franck-orchestre-philharmonique-de-radio-france