Dimitri Pittas withdraws from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Verdi’s MACBETH - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Dimitri Pittas withdraws from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Verdi’s MACBETH

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Friday, September 3, 2010

American tenor Dimitri Pittas withdraws from
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Verdi’s MACBETH
and from “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert

Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo will portray Macduff
in his Lyric Opera stage debut and will perform in the
“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert in his company debut

American tenor Dimitri Pittas has withdrawn from all scheduled performances of Verdi’s Macbeth at Lyric Opera of Chicago, general director William Mason announced today. Pittas is recovering from surgery, according to his management. He was to have made his Lyric Opera stage debut portraying Macduff in the new production that will open Lyric’s 56th season on Oct. 1, with nine performances through Oct. 30.

Pittas has also withdrawn from the Sept. 11 “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” free concert program. He debuted with the company in the 2008 Millennium Park concert.

Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo will make his Lyric stage debut as Macduff and will make his company debut performing in the Sept. 11 concert.

“We were terribly sorry to learn of Mr. Pittas’s surgery,” said Mason. “We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him to Lyric in the future.  We are pleased that we were able to engage the services of the rising young singer Leonardo Capalbo on such short notice, and look forward to his Lyric debut.”

The Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo is garnering international acclaim for his performances throughout the United States and Europe. He has appeared at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Semperoper (Dresden), Opéra du Rhin (Strasbourg), Opéra de Bordeaux, Israeli Opera, Greek National Opera, New York City Opera, Opera North, and other companies.

Capalbo began the 2009/2010 season singing the Duke/Rigoletto for the Opera Company of North Carolina, followed by his debut with Oper Köln as Rodolfo/La bohème. He debuted at Opéra Royal de la Wallonie (Liège) as the Duke/Rigoletto and returned to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin as Nemorino/ L’elisir d’amore and to the Semperoper in Dresden as Alfredo/La traviata.

In the 2010/2011 season Capalbo will return to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin as Nemorino and also in the title role/Candide (new production). He will also debut with the Stuttgart Opera as Leicester in concert performances of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.  He will then debut at the Teatro São Carlos in Lisbon as Rinuccio/Gianni Schicchi.

In the 2007/2008 season Capalbo sang his first Duke for L’Opera de Toulon. He also debuted with the Florida Grand Opera (Miami) and New Orleans Opera as Alfredo. Additionally he debuted with the Arizona Opera as Nemorino, as well as at L’Opéra de Nice singing his first Gerald/Delibes’s Lakmé.

Capalbo debuted in Bordeaux and in Athens as Rodolfo.  He returned to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin as Nemorino and sang his first Roméo/Roméo et Juliette for Opera North (Leeds, England). At the end of the season he returned to Opera Holland Park (London) in the title role/Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (new production) conducted by Richard Bonynge.

Capalbo made his European Operatic debut in 2004 singing Paco/de Falla’s La Vida Breve for Opera North. He returned to the company for performances as Ismaele/Nabucco and for a recording of the work for the Chandos label. In January 2006 he also appeared with the company as Narraboth/Salome and Juan/ Weill’s Der Kuhhandel. In December 2005 Capalbo debuted with the Israeli Opera as Alfredo and a year later debuted with New York City Opera as Nemorino (new production). In 2007 Capalbo made his debut at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin as Fenton/Falstaff , where he subsequently sang Nemorino and Macduff/Macbeth; and at the Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg as Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor.  He also appeared as Macduff for Opera Holland Park.  

Capalbo trained at The Julliard School, The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and L’Academie Musicale de Villecroze in France.


New Production

MACBETH  / Giuseppe Verdi   (in Italian with projected English translations)

9 performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for opening night at 7:00 p.m and matinees at 2:00 p.m.

Oct. 1, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 (mat), 24 (mat), 30

Premiered in 1847 and significantly revised in 1865, Macbeth combines the magnificent and irresistible vigor of early Verdi with the probing psychological depth of the composer’s later works. Shakespeare’s taut tragedy is distilled to its absolute essentials, concentrating on the Scottish play’s unforgettable central couple: the title character (baritone Thomas Hampson), Thane of Cawdor, whom the witches predict will ascend to the throne of Scotland; and his wife, Lady Macbeth (soprano Nadja Michael, debut), whose consuming desire for power pushes her husband towards murder. Other characters are the noble Macduff (tenor Leonardo Capalbo, debut), who finally triumphs over Macbeth; Banquo (bass Štefan Koćan, debut), originally Macbeth’s friend but eventually his victim; Malcolm (tenor Konstantin Stepanov, debut), the son of the murdered king who eventually is restored to the throne; and the Lady-in-Waiting (soprano Carter Scott, debut), who witnesses Lady Macbeth’s descent into madness. 

The new production is conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by Barbara Gaines (debut), with sets designed by James Noone (debut), costumes by Virgil C. Johnson, and lighting by Robert Wierzel. Donald Nally is chorus master. Harrison McEldowney (debut) is the choreographer.

The new Lyric Opera production of Macbeth is generously made possible by The Gramma Fisher Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa, the Abbott Fund, Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, and Nancy W. Knowles.

            Lyric Opera has previously presented Macbeth in three other seasons (1969, 1981, 1999-00).