Illustration By Jen Mayhew

Pagliacci & Cavelleria Rusticana October, 2009

Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo & Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

Performances October 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.

Artistic Director/Producer – Raquel Holt

Complimentary pre-opera lecture offered one-hour prior to curtain included in ticket price. Supertitles in English are always provided at the Bankhead Theater opera performances. Please see the Tickets page for further details. *Gala ticket sold separately from performance ticket.

Music Director/Conductor – Alex Katsman
Stage Director – David Cox

Pagliacci Cast: Cavalleria Rusticana Cast:
Canio (lead of the players)
– Ben Bongers
Nedda (his wife and leading lady)
– Olga Chernisheva
Tonio (the clown)
– Roberto Perlas Gomez
Peppe (the young lead)
David Heilman
Silvio (a villager)
Nicolai Janitzky
Santuzza (a village girl)
Lisa van der Ploeg
Turiddu (a young soldier)
Mathew Edwardsen
Mamma Lucia (his mother)
Sara Couden
Alfio (the village teamster)
Roberto Perlas Gomez
Lola (his wife)
Jillian Boye

Members of Livermore’s Cantabella Children’s Chorus will join the Livermore Valley Opera chorus for PagCav. They won top awards at the recent Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Festival.

Coming in March 2010!
Die Fledermaus (The Bat) by Johann Strauss
March 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21, 2010

Stage Director David Cox

Mr. Cox began his foray into stage directing in 1993 for Pacific Repertory Opera’s Don Pasquale. He has since directed several other shows for PRO including: Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Rigoletto, and Die Zauberflote. He returned to PRO in March of 2007 to direct Verdi’s La Traviata. For his first directing assignment for Opera San Jose, Mr. Cox began with an original language Eugene Onegin followed by two critically acclaimed pieces from the French repertoire: Faust and Pearl Fisher. In the new California Fox Theater he directed sold out performances of Carmen and La Boheme.

Ben Bongers as Canio

Ben Bongers is a tenor known for his compelling performances. In LVO’s Carmen, the reviewer stated that “… his powerhouse tenor filled the house and his intense portrayal made for a memorable Don Jose.” He has performed in roles such as Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, Max in Der Freischütz, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Walter von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg wiith Berkeley Opera where the SF Chronicle reported “…Bongers gave an ardent performance, rising easily to the role’s high notes and delivering the lyrical phrase of the Prize Song with elegant fluency.” He covered and also performed the role of Malcolm in Macbeth for San Francisco Opera. He then appeared in the role of Paul’s doppleganger in the latest production of San Francisco Opera’s Die tote Stadt. On the concert stage, Mr. Bongers has performed in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem and has been a staple feature in the Annual Dierbach Openfest in Germany.

Olga Chernisheva as Nedda

Olga Chernisheva made her opera debut with LVO. She has appeared on many distinctive opera and concert stages of Russia, in Europe, as well as the United States. Announced by Opera Online as the best leading singer in the North East in the season of 2006-2007, and the best couple for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. She was described by critics as possessing “… a pure, strong soprano with phrasing of sumptuous elegance.” (San Francisco Chronicle); “… voice all power and glinting steel.” (Boston Globe); “… a lyric voice focused and alluring … subtly expressive.” (Opera News); and “… show stopping.” (Opera Online). Olga’s repertoire includes more than thirty roles of different styles.

Roberto Perlas Gomez as Tonio

Roberto Perlas Gomez, baritone, has performed an extensive number of roles with such companies as SF Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, Sacramento Opera, Michigan Opera, Nevada Opera, Opera Idaho, and Accorde Opera (Mexico), among others. He was resident artist with Opera San Jose where he performed Escamillo in Carmen, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and created the role of the Drosselmeier in the premier of The Tale of the Nutcracker. Other roles include Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Scarpia in Tosca, Mercutio in Romeo et Julietta, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor,and most recently sang the title role in Vivaldi’s Motezuma in its American premiere with Long Beach Opera. In concert, he sang Verdi’s Requiem with the Juneau Symphony. In Manila, Philippines he created the title role of Jose Rizal in an opera honoring the final days of the Philippines’ national hero. Mr. Gomez made his Italian and European debut for the Arena di Verona Foundation as the Chinese Prime Minister, Chou en-lai in the Italian premier of John Adams’ Nixon in China.