The Marriage of Figaro, March 2009

The Marriage of Figaro—March 14, 15, 20, 21, and 22, 2009

The Marriage of Figaro is considered Mozart’s greatest social commentary.  It is a combination of comedy and pathos.  Figaro and Susanna joyfully await their coming wedding but it is clouded by the marital woes of their employers, the Count and Countess.  The Count seems to have lost interest in Rosina (the same Count and Rosina from the Barber of Seville).  He now covets Susanna, Rosina’s maid servant.  The two women devise a plan with the help of Cherubino that will teach the Count a lesion he will never forget.  Magnificent arias, duets, and ensembles abound that reflect deception, anger, discord, and finally, repentance, and reconciliation.

Stage Director: Jose Maria Condemi
Music Director/Conductor: Alex Katsman
Artistic Director: Raquel V. Holt

CAST – The Marriage of Figaro

Count Almaviva – Eugene Brancoveanu
Countess Almaviva
Kaileen Miller
Robert Stafford – March 14, 20, 22
Sascha Joggerst – March 15, 21
Jennie Litster – March 14, 20, 22
Sepideh Moafi- March 15, 21
Erin Neff – March 14, 20, 22
Evgenia Chaverdova – March 15, 21
Marcellina – Carrie Hennessey
Dr Bartolo – Jason Sarten
Don Basilio – Michael Mendelsohn
Antonio – Michael Beetham
Barbarina – Jordan Trommater
Don Curzio – Kenneth Louis

Images courtesy of Barbara Mallon

Eugene Brancoveanu as Count Almaviva

Eugene Brancoveanu is a 2005-2006 San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellow. His virile baritone voice and distinguished stage presence have elicited accolades in both North America and Europe. He won the Tony Award in 2003 for the role of Marcello in La Boheme on Broadway, and received rave reviews for his compelling performance in the San Francisco Opera’s The Little Prince. In 2007, he sang Tomsky in Pique Dame under Seiji Ozawa, and debuted at the NYC Opera as Pandolphe in Cendrillon. Brancoveanu’s 2009-2010 season included the role of Gonzalvo in Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten (Los Angeles Opera), and an appearance in California's prestigious San Francisco Performances concert series. Brancoveanu sang the role of Belcore in L'elisir d'amore (San Francisco Opera), and is fondly remembered as Count Almaviva in Livermore Valley Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro.

Carrie Hennessey as Marcellina

Known for her ability to bring great musical and theatrical depth to her performances, lyric soprano Carrie Hennessey recently made a triumphant debut with Cinnabar Theater as Emmeline, in the West Coast Premiere of Tobias Pickerʼs opera of the same name. She sang the role of Mimì in La Bohème with West Bay Opera, and with only one dayʼs notice, Ms. Hennessey made her debut as soprano soloist at the Modesto Symphony Orchestra with great acclaim in Mahlerʼs Symphony No. 4. In the 2010/2011 season, Ms. Hennessey appears as soprano soloist with Grand Rapids Symphony in Carl Orffʼs Carmina Burana, with the Pacific Symphony in Handelʼs Messiah and with the Oakland East Bay Symphony in the Brahms Requiem. She has also appeared with Townsend Opera Players as Hanna (The Merry Widow), and with Sacramento Opera as Giannetta (LʼElisir dʼAmore), and as soprano soloist in Stravinskyʼs ballet Pulcinella at the Mendocino Music Festival. Ms. Hennessey has also performed with members of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra in Heitor Villa-Lobosʼ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Voice and Eight Cellos.

Sascha Joggerst as Figaro

German baritone Sascha Joggerst has played several roles with LVO. He has played many venues including Opera San Jose, Mission City Operal, West Bay Opera and the Mendocino Music Festival. Future engagements include Perichaud in Puccini’s La Rondine with Opera San Jose and Schaunard in La Bohème with Mission City Opera. Mr. Joggerst is a studio artist at Opera San Jose and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Performance from The Royal Academy of Music in London as well as a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory of Music Lübeck.

Jennie Litster as Susanna

Jennie Litster sang the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni with LVO and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with LVO and Opera San Jose. Last March, she debuted with the Virginia Consort as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana and in 2009 was chosen as an Arizona District Winner to compete at the Regional Level in LA for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ms Litster was an Apprentice Artist with the Ash Lawn Opera Festival in Virginia where she performed the roles of Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, Morgan le Fey in Camelot, and covered Guenevere. Other roles include Lisette (La Rondine), Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Despina (Così fan tutte), Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail,), Frasquita (Carmen), and Nella (Gianni Schicchi). She created the leading role of Rosewa for the world premiere performances of M. Ryan Taylor's Abinadi in 2004. Ms. Litster earned her Bachelor of Music from the Brigham Young University and her Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.