World Premiere of EL ULTIMÓ SUEÑO DE FRIDA Y DIEGO And More Announced for San Diego Opera 2022-2023 Season

Word premieres, grand operas, large-scale productions, new and familiar works, and new twists on familiar works make up San Diego Opera's 2022-2023 season.

By: May. 22, 2022
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

World Premiere of EL ULTIMÓ SUEÑO DE FRIDA Y DIEGO And More Announced for San Diego Opera 2022-2023 Season

Word premieres, grand operas, large-scale productions, new and familiar works, and new twists on familiar works make up San Diego Opera's 2022-2023 season.

The season opens with the world premiere of El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego, the Company debut of Puccini's Suor Angelica, the return of Gianni Schicchi after a fifty-two-year absence, and performances of the beloved warhorse Tosca. The d?"tour Series consists of the world premiere of three one-act operas by composer Nicolas Reveles for an evening entitled Ghosts, and The Falling and the Rising, an opera co-commissioned with the United States Army.

"The 2022-2023 season is one of the most exciting in the history of San Diego Opera," shares San Diego Opera General Director, David Bennett. "With two world premieres, productions of sumptuous grand opera by Puccini, and a partnership with the United States Army; there truly is something for everyone in the diverse community of San Diego. Taken together, the season represents the best of the expressive potency of the human voice."

The season begins with great fanfare on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 7:30 PM with the world premiere of El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego) by Grammy-Award winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Pulitzer-Prize winning librettist Nilo Cruz. El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego is a co-commission with San Francisco Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, and DePauw University. The opera features soprano Guadalupe Paz as Frida, last heard as Mercedes in 2019's Carmen. She is joined by baritone Alfredo Daza as Diego, and soprano Maria Katzarava as Catrina, both in Company debuts. The director is Lorena Maza in her Company debut and the conductor is Roberto Kalb in his Company debut.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera have inspired generations of artists and this new opera explores the relationship between these two great Mexican artists. During the celebration of Día de muertos (Day of the Dead), surrounded by candles and the fragrance of marigolds, the great muralist Diego Rivera longs to see his deceased wife Frida Kahlo once more. Catrina, the keeper of the souls, approaches Frida in the afterlife, and explains that Diego desperately needs his beloved wife as the end of his life approaches. For only twenty-four hours, Frida and Diego will relive their tumultuous love through their paintings and embrace the passion they shared. Composer Gabriela Lena Frank said: "Frida Kahlo has been a hero since my girlhood. Before I could read, I found her in the pages of an art book in my mother's home library, the only woman in a multi-volume set of 'great artists.' My mother pointed out how Frida was small, brown and creative like us; moreover, of thick brow, disabled and a daughter of both Europe and Latin America like me. Images in her paintings danced in my dreams for years. Now with my first opera with librettist Nilo Cruz, it has been a privilege to lose myself in this fantastical story exploring Frida's tumultuous love affair, even beyond life itself, with Mexican painter Diego Rivera against the vibrant backdrop of the Day of the Dead. I am grateful." El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego will be performed at the San Diego Civic Theatre with additional performances November 1, 4, and 6 (matinee), 2022. The opera will be performed in Spanish with English translations above the stage. This is a co-production between San Diego Opera and San Francisco Opera. El ultimó sueño de Frida y Diego is the 4th world premiere presented by San Diego Opera after Medea in 1972, La Loca in 1979, and The Conquistador in 1997.

The season continues on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 7:30 PM at the San Diego Civic Theatre with The Puccini Duo - a double-bill of one act operas by Giacomo Puccini, Suor Angelica, which has never been performed by the Company, and Gianni Schicchi, which was last performed here in 1972. Both operas were originally announced for the 2020-2021 season but were postponed due to COVID. San Diego Opera is pleased to be able to present these operas which much of the originally announced cast intact. Suor Angelica tells the story of a woman who bears a child out of wedlock and is sent to a convent for penance. After seven years, she is visited by her aunt, The Princess, who brings tragic news of her son, which set in motion a series of dire actions that ultimately result in tragedy, forgiveness, and peace. The comic-opera Gianni Schicchi begins with the death of wealthy Florentine Buoso Donati, and his distraught family who are upset about being forgotten in his will. So they enlist the help of fixer Gianni Schicchi who helps turn the tables, but not in the way they expect. Considered a comic masterpiece, this is a dark satire based on a real story mentioned in Dante's Inferno and includes the famous aria "O mio babbino caro." Making a welcome return for these performances is mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who will sing the role of the Principessa in Suor Angelica, and will take on the title role of Gianni Schicchi, a role traditionally sung by a baritone. "I started thinking about singing the role the last time I sang in Il Trittico at the Metropolitan Opera," shares Stephanie Blythe. "I have sung in that show so many times, that I can sing most of the roles from memory. I just found myself singing a lot of Schicchi's music, and it gave me an idea. I originally thought that it would be very interesting to make Schicchi a mother, and sing it in my own octave, but I have been thinking so much about gender roles in opera that I decided it would be interesting to play the role as a man and sing an octave down in the baritone register. I am intrigued and inspired by the idea of doing such a thing in opera, especially since in opera, we are not only defined by gender, but also by voice type. In singing Schicchi as a man, I am not only exploring gender, but also using a part of my voice that has developed more and more as I grow in age and experience." She will be joined by soprano Marina Costa-Jackson who will sing the title role of Suor Angelica and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi in her Company debut. They will be joined by tenor Piotr Buszewski, a 2019 Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards, and Operalia finalist, in the role of Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi) in his Company debut. San Diego Opera's Principal Conductor Yves Abel returns to lead these performances and Stage Director Paul Curran makes his Company debut to stage the action. Performed in Italian with English translations above the stage, additional performances are February 14, 17, and 19 (matinee), 2023.

Puccini's tragic masterpiece Tosca continues the mainstage season on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 7:30 PM at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Soprano Michelle Bradley, who was last seen in recital in 2021, and made her Company debut in the title role of Aida in 2019, returns to sing the role of Tosca. Michelle recently made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Tosca where the Chicago Sun Times said "Bradley in her Lyric debut... [hit] every high note and compellingly conveying Tosca's tragic poignancy and unflinching mettle." Joining Michelle in another welcome return is bass-baritone Greer Grimsley in his signature role of the police chief Scarpia. The Company is pleased to announce tenor Marcelo Puente will make his Company debut as Cavaradossi, a role he has sung to critical acclaim at Opéra national de Paris, Canadian Opera Company, Staatsoper Hamburg, and Opéra de Marseille. Performed in Italian with English translations above the stage, Tosca is Giacomo Puccini's gripping drama filled with torture, treachery, lust, execution, and suicide. Scarpia, the chief of police, wants only two things: to recapture the escaped prisoner Angelotti and to seduce Tosca, an opera singer of incredible voice and beauty. Tosca is in love with Cavaradossi, an artist and sympathizer of Angelotti. After arresting Cavardossi for harboring Angelotti, Scarpia plays with Tosca's emotions, promising to free Cavaradossi if Tosca will succumb to Scarpia's desires. But Tosca has a plan of her own and Scarpia a secret order, all of which unfolds with tragic consequences from which no one can escape. Soaring and sensuous, filled with such beautiful arias as Tosca's "Vissi d'arte", Cavaradossi's "Recondita armonia" and the powerful choral piece "Te Deum", Tosca has some of opera's most beloved music, and one of opera's most gripping plots. Alan E. Hicks stages the action while Valerio Galli leads the San Diego Symphony for these performances. Performed in Italian with English translations above the stage, additional performances are March 28 and 31, and April 2 (matinee), 2023.

The Company is also delighted to present the world premiere of Ghosts, an evening of three one-act horror-inspired operas by San Diego composer Nicolas Reveles. Ghosts opens Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30 PM at The Balboa Theatre as part of the d?"tour Series. The three operas that comprise Ghosts are Eden, Dormir, and House. The evening stars Mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, last seen as Rosina in the Company's drive-in performances of The Barber of Seville. "Dormir (Spanish 'to sleep') completed just before the pandemic of 2020, and House, written during the early months of the pandemic, are an attempt to bring the genre of operatic horror into a smaller space where, in my mind, they would have more of an impact on audiences than in a grand theatre," shared the composer. "Dormir is an imaginative exploration of what might happen when Old World spiritual practices meet the Christian belief system, when portals open and unknown, powerful entities appear. House explores the idea that trauma haunts many of us, and that trauma remains in our bodies like ghosts." Eden, also written during the Pandemic, with a libretto by director John De Los Santos, explores the boundaries of madness and obsession and is a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. The evening is directed by John De Los Santos, who last directed our 2018 production of Maria de Buenos Aires, and the conductor is Bruce Stasyna. Additional performances are Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 16 at 1 PM.

Originally announced for the 2019-2020 season, and postponed because of COVID, the Company is excited to present the local premiere of Zach Redler's opera about military spirit with The Falling and the Rising on Friday, May 12, 2023 at 7:30 PM at The Balboa Theatre. The Falling and the Rising is a co-commission between San Diego Opera, the US Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus, Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Memphis, TCU, and Seagle Music Colony. The Falling and the Rising centers around an unnamed female Soldier who is severely wounded by a roadside IED. Placed in an induced coma to help minimize the extensive trauma to her brain, the soldier must now make a journey towards both healing and home. With a libretto taken from dozens of interviews with active-duty soldiers and veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, The Old Guard at Fort Myer, and Fort Meade, Maryland, The Falling and the Rising tells a story of family, service, and sacrifice inside a period of great uncertainty. The Falling and the Rising cast includes active members of the US military including Teresa Alzadon as the Solider. Performed in English, additional performances are Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 14 at 1 PM.

Pre-season artwork available at:

Only subscriptions to the 2022-2023 Season are now on sale. Single tickets will be on sale at a later date. A subscription for the Three Main Stage operas, including the world premiere of The Last Dream of Frida and Diego, begins at a low $105. A subscription for the d?"tour Series (Ghosts and The Falling and the Rising) begins at $70. Subscriptions start at $175 for a full series including the Main Stage operas (The Last Dream of Frida and Diego, Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicci, and Tosca), the d?"tour Series (Ghosts and The Falling and the Rising). Casts, repertoire, and scheduling are subject to change.

At the heart of San Diego Opera is the safety and well-being of our audience, artists and staff. Please visit for the Company's most up-to-date health and safety policy, It will continue to take all of us working together to keep each other safe. Before arriving to any in-person San Diego Opera performance, we ask that our patrons and staff perform a self-assessment. If they are feeling unwell or showing any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask they do not attend the performance. Our Patron Services team is happy to exchange tickets for our patrons for another time.

Senior citizen, student, and military discounts (active and retired) are available on subscription packages. Please call San Diego Opera's Patron Services at (619) 533-7000 Monday- Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM for more information.

For more information visit


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor