San Francisco Opera Announces Casting Change for Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, Opening September 8

Release date: 8/17/2018    


 Andrew G. Manea Makes Role Debut as Duke of Nottingham, Replacing Artur Ruciński

Roberto Devereux Cast Change.pdf Photos Available

San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, opening September 8 and running for six performances through September 27. Romanian-American baritone Andrew G. Manea will perform the role of the Duke of Nottingham, replacing Artur Ruciński who has withdrawn due to lung injuries sustained in a serious bicycling accident involving a car in his native Poland. He is expected to make a full recovery. Ruciński deeply regrets having to withdraw but looks forward to returning to San Francisco Opera in the future.

Manea made his Company debut in 2017 as Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto and performed Marquis d’Obigny in Verdi’s La Traviata last season. At the 2017 The Future Is Now: Adler Fellows Concert, his performance of the baritone aria “Il balen del suo sorriso” from Verdi’s Il Trovatore “… excited the audience with soaring top notes, a crackling tone and commanding resonance,” observed San Francisco Classical Voice. The Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux will be a role debut for the young baritone who joins an all-star cast featuring soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabetta (Elizabeth I, Queen of England), tenor Russell Thomas as Roberto (Robert, Earl of Essex), mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham, tenor Amitai Pati as Lord Cecil and bass-baritone Christian Pursell as Walter Raleigh.

Currently in his second year as a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, Manea was a participant of the 2016 Merola Opera Program, appearing as Iron Hans/Wolf in their production of Conrad Susa’s Transformations. He has performed Escamillo (Carmen) in Wuhan, China, the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen) and the title role of Don Giovanni. He has won awards in competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (semifinalist), Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition (finalist), Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Voice Competition, Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition and Giulio Gari Foundation (career grant recipient). Manea is a student of Michael Paul and has worked with opera luminaries such as Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, Lorin Maazel and James Morris. 

Italian maestro Riccardo Frizza conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Donizetti’s period romance of love and sacrifice in Tudor-era England. The production by Stephen Lawless, which was hailed as “absolutely thrilling” by the Toronto Star at its 2014 premiere at Canadian Opera Company, sets the action in a recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and features set designs by Benoit Dugardyn, costume designs by Ingeborg Bernerth and lighting designed by Christopher Akerlind. The chorus is prepared by San Francisco Opera Chorus Director Ian Roberton.

Donizetti’s 1837 romance follows the intrigues in the court of Elizabeth I that compel the Queen to choose between duty and her love for Robert, the Earl of Essex. Set during a period of war and English expansion overseas, the bel canto masterpiece by the composer of Lucia di Lammermoor, L’Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale features some of Donizetti’s most demanding and dramatic vocal music. Roberto Devereux was first performed at San Francisco Opera in 1979 with a commanding cast headed by Montserrat Caballé as Elisabetta, Carlo Bini as Roberto, Stefania Toczyska as Sara and Juan Pons as Nottingham.

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*For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.