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  • Writer's pictureScott M Williamson

Susannah notebooks: Intro

I can't believe the last time I posted here was in January, for a MET HD broadcast of Verdi's Nabucco. IT was that very broadcast, featuring our own VT alum Danielle Talamantes in a cast headed by Placido Domingo. Since we had recently found ourselves in need of a new title character for our upcoming production of Susannah, the broadcast prompted me to reach out to Danielle. Now she's here for her MainStage debut with Opera Roanoke, and her role debut as the heroine in our company premiere of Carlisle Floyd's great "Appalachian" opera, Susannah, April 28 & 30.

Danielle Talamantes with Placido Domingo

We are fortunate to have not only Danielle, but other friends who happen to be MET Opera artists. Our conductor is MET Opera conductor (and OR Principal Guest Conductor), Steven White. Met debutante, the exciting young bass, Zach James, returns for his fourth MainStage lead in as many seasons. Zach makes his role debut as the complicated anti-hero, the Reverend Olin Blitch, one of the great bass roles in the repertory. In fact, all of us are working on Susannah for the first time.

As the stage director, I'll be posting my notes on the production here. If you don't know the work, it's one of the great operas written since the death of Puccini. It is the most popular full-length opera in the US after the Gershwin brothers' Porgy & Bess.

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