On Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m., Pacific Opera Project (POP) presents Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” at Thorne Hall at Occidental College. Stravinsky’s only full-length opera work, inspired by a series of eight paintings by William Hogarth (1697-1764), was written in L.A. over a three-year period of time before its premiere in Venice in 1951.
Principal cast members include tenor Brian Cheney (POP’s “Tosca” and “Abduction from the Seraglio”) as Tom Rakewell, soprano Rachele Schmiege (Nashville Opera’s “Hydrogen Jukebox” and Boston Lyric Opera’s “La traviata”) as Anne Trulove, bass-baritone Adrian Rosas (Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Michigan Opera Theatre) as Nick Shadow, bass-baritone Patrick Blackwell (title role in European tour of “Porgy and Bess”) as Father Trulove, mezzo-soprano Adelaide Sinclair (Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera) as Baba the Turk, tenor Robert Norman as Sellem (L.A. Opera, Opera San José, and Opera Las Vegas), mezzo-soprano Danielle Bond (multiple performances with Long Beach Opera) as Mother Goose, and baritone Joel Balzun (POP’s “The Merry Widow” and recent fellowship recipient at Tanglewood Music Center) as Keeper of the Madhouse. POP’s chorus and orchestra are joined by the Occidental College Glee Club.
Pacific Opera Project artistic director Josh Shaw directs the production and serves as scenic designer. Costume design is by Maggie Green and lighting design is by Marie Scott Mawji of Occidental College. Stephen Karr, POP’s music director and co-founder, conducts the POP orchestra.
Additional performances this year include a one night only encore performance of POP’s “Star Trek”-inspired parody of Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” on Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. at the newly reopened Ford’s Theatres, and “The Barber of Seville” on Nov. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Ebell Club.
Tickets for “The Rake’s Progress,” priced at $20-$50, are available by visiting www.pacificoperaproject.com or by calling (323) 739-6122.