By So, Joseph
Opera Canada , Vol. 42, No. 4
The production of Pelleas et Melisande at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in which baritone Brett Polegato was scheduled to make his house debut in Spring 2003 has been cancelled, for unknown reasons. The silver lining is that he has been invited to sing the title role at the Helsinki Opera instead, opposite the Melisande of Monica Groop and under the baton of Esa Pekka Salonen. This October found the baritone in Glasgow for Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte for the Scottish Opera. His recently released CD of English songs, To A Poet, (CBC Records MVCD1134), has garnered critical accolades, with Alan Blyth in Gramophone praising Polegato's "well-nigh perfect line and shapely phrasing, always alert to a song's meaning."
On the eve of his American debut as Siegfried in the high-profile Seattle Opera production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Canadian tenor Alan Woodrow tripped over a treadmill and severed his quadriceps muscle. Sitting on a stool in the wings with his leg in a brace, Woodrow gamely sang Siegfried and Gotterdammerung in Cycle One, while his understudy, Richard Berkeley-Steele, mimed. The opening-cycle audience rewarded both artists with thunderous applause. Woodrow later expressed great disappointment at not being able to complete his assignment but revealed he has already been invited back for Seattle Opera's next Ring in the summer of 2005. In the meantime, he returned to Seattle in October as the Prince in Rusalka, with his leg in a brace and using a cane for the performances. In February 2002, he will tackle the role of Siegmund in Die Walkure (Tokyo), and in the fall of 2002, he will once again sing the Gotterdammerung Siegfried for Toulouse Opera.
Fresh from her success this past summer in the title role of Benjamin Britten's Rape of Lucretia in Amsterdam, mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabo looks forward to several debuts this season, including Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera de Quebec and Magnolia (opposite the Ravenal of Brett Polegato) in Showboat for l'Opera National du Rhin. Closer to home, Szabo appeared this Fall as Lola in the Canadian Opera Company's Cavalleria Rusticana and Second Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflote for Opera Atelier. …