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LA Opera: “Roberto Devereux” Opened Feb 22,2020

Nicola Bowie

Ramon Vargas

Angela Meade

From February 22 thru March 14, 2020

It was a bit of an adjustment on opening night when the role of Elizabeth was being acted by someone other than the singer.  If not for the exquisite voice of soprano Angela Meade, who sang the role of Elizabeth from down stage right, it could have been a complete debacle.

The audience was given notice when LA Opera’s CEO Christopher Koelsch entered, stood center stage and announced that due to Davinia Rodriquez’s illness and her withdrawal from the role of Queen Elizabeth that week, the fabulous Angela Meade replaced her.

Because of her late arrival and the extensive demands of the role, Ms Meade sang the role of Elizabeth while Nicola Bowie, the production choreographer, acted the role in costume onstage. Both performers were excellent, in sync and pulled it off seamlessly.

American soprano Angela Meade is the winner of both the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Artis Award and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. In 2008 she joined an elite group of history’s singers when, as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, she made her professional operatic debut on the Met stage. Since then she has fast become recognized as one of today’s outstanding vocalists, excelling in the most demanding heroines of the 19th-century bel canto repertoire as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart.

Nicola Bowie danced professionally with English National Ballet before joining English National Opera as Head of Movement and Dance (1980-1998). In that capacity, she choreographed more than 40 productions there. Since 1998 she has worked as a director and choreographer at New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Eugene Opera, Arizona Opera, San Diego Opera, Graz Oper, and many other venues. (

Inspired by Tudor-era English history, Roberto Devereux finds Queen Elizabeth I clinging onto her power, influence and heart in the final year of her reign. Her younger lover Devereux—fighting charges of treason—is discovered to have a secret affection for another woman. As Elizabeth searches for her rival, she soon realizes the “other woman” is much closer to her than she ever could have imagined, while Devereux is left to fight for his freedom—and his head—all on his own.

There will be six performances from February 22 through March 14, 2020, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012).

Other Cast Members

Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas, one of the leading tenors of our time, returns as Devereux. A longtime LA Opera favorite who regularly performs at all the major opera houses of the world, he made his company debut in 1996 as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, a role he reprised with LAO in 1999. His other LA Opera appearances include the title roles of Werther (1998) and Don Carlo (2018).

Mezzo-sopranos Ashley Dixon and Raehann Bryce-Davis will share the role of Devereux’s beloved, Sara. They replace Alice Coote, previously announced for the role, who has withdrawn from the production for family reasons. Ashley Dixon, appearing as Sara from February 22 through March 5, is a 2018 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions who makes her LAO debut. She recently completed two seasons as an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera, where her roles included Mercédès in Carmen and the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel. Raehann Bryce-Davis, performing the role of Sara on March 8 and 14, recently made her LAO debut as the Big Stone in Eurydice. She will return next season as Azucena in Il Trovatore.

Baritone Quinn Kelsey makes his LAO debut as the Duke of Nottingham, singing five of the six performances. South Korean baritone Kihun Yoon, an alumnus of the company’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program who most recently appeared as Marcello in La Bohème, will sing the role of the Duke of Nottingham on March 14.

The cast also includes two current members of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program: tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro as Lord Cecil and baritone Michael J. Hawk as Sir Walter Raleigh.

The Creative Team
Eun Sun Kim will make her LAO debut conducting five performances of Roberto Devereux. Ms. Kim is the principal guest conductor of the Houston Grand Opera, and she will become the music director of the San Francisco Opera in 2021. Louis Lohraseb, a member of LAO’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, will make his mainstage company debut conducting the March 14 performance.

The production is directed by Stephen Lawless, with scenery by Benoît Dugardyn, costumes by Ingeborg Bernerth and lighting by Christopher Akerlind. The chorus director is Grant Gershon and the choreographer is Nicola Bowie.

Performance Dates and Times
There will be six performances of Roberto Devereux at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

  • Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 7:30pm
  • Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 2pm
  • Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 2pm
  • Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 2pm*

*Hispanics for LA Opera Night at the Opera; wine reception at intermission

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $24 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email

February 25 Concert Performance in Orange County
On Tuesday, February 25, at 7:30pm, the Musco Center for the Arts will host a concert performance of Roberto Devereux, featuring the cast, chorus and orchestra from the LA Opera production. The Musco Center is located at 415 North Glassell Street, Orange, CA 92866. For tickets and information about this performance, please visit

Performed in Italian with subtitles.


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