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New production at Seattle Opera!

Just returned from Seattle where I had very productive meetings for a new production I am doing in the 2011-12 season. I cannot yet disclose the title but it is one I am very excited about as it will my second time tackling it. Also thrilled about my collaborators! More to come.

A write-up on the Wall Street Journal about Faust

Rehearsing Faust at San Francisco Opera

Going into the second week of staging Faust for San Francisco Opera. A great group of artists, some of which I've worked with before (the one and only Patricia Racette; the amazing John Relyea) as well as new ones for me (Italian tenor Stefano Secco who will also be Pinkerton for my upcoming Madame Butterfly for SFO later this year). Also happy to be spending daily time with my friends Daniela Mack (Siebel) and Catherine Cook (Marthe). Maestro Maurizio Benini conducts, sets and costumes by Bob Perdziola and lighting by Duane Schuler.

Rondine opened and reviewed!

My new production of La Rondine for Opera San Jose opened last night to wonderful audience and critical reception. Here's a few review excerpts: "Opera San Jose's luscious new production of Puccini's "La Rondine" left its opening-night audience cheering — and emotionally spent, wrung out like a dishrag.Stage director Jose Maria Condemi — he will direct twice at San Francisco Opera in the coming months — keeps the through-line thrumming and the actors on their toes: I have never seen Bengochea so convincing as an actor as he was in his long heartbreaking duet with Davis at the opera's close.The production, whose gears meshed ever more smoothly as Saturday's performance moved along, also is visually stunning. With their Ingrès-like elegance and Tiffany-bright colors, drew us into the vanished Parisian world of sumptuous salons and gaslit nightclubs."

San Jose Mercury News

"The charming and committed production that opened Saturday night at the California Theatre made that case with straightforward eloquence.Director Jose Maria Condemi - working with a bright and ebulliently colorful production  ensured that the scenario made its dramatic points cleanly and without excess. In one especially touching sequence, the entire clientele of Bullier's, the nightclub in Act 2, watches with a combination of prurience and sympathy as Magda and the naively provincial Ruggero fall in love."

San Francisco Chronicle

Full article

Exciting new adventure!

As of today, I am the new Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara! I am very excited about this opportunity to create high-quality opera in a stunningly beautiful and vibrant city. I look forward to collaborating with local and area arts organizations as well as to developing partnerships with opera companies across the nation.

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