Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fantasy Opera Casting – Part Deux

©2002 Warner Bros., Inc. 

Probably more opera nerds play Fantasy Opera Casting than would care to admit. It’s even happened on this blog. Here’s a twist: 

In her master classes at Julliard this winter, Joyce DiDonato demonstrated a great affinity for the role of Figaro in Barber of Seville. And I thought, gee she would be a good Figaro. 

This got me thinking about how Jesusa Rodriguez recast Don Giovanni a few years back, calling her show Donna Giovanni. 

And that got me wondering about who else I would cast in a drag Barber of Seville. Here is one possible cast:
  • Figaro – Joyce DiDonato, of course!
  • Almaviva – Miah Persson
  • Rosina – Mariusz Kwiecień
  • Bartolo – Sonia Prina
  • Berta – the ubiquitous character tenor Guy de Mey
Who would you cast in a Fantasy Barber of Seville? What about other operas?


  1. OK I'll bite. Here's my fantasy drag casting for Cosi:

    Fiordiligi: Juan Diego Florez
    Dorabella: Bryn Terfel (he looks so good in a dress)
    Ferrando: Christine Schafer
    Guglielmo: Isobel leonard
    Don Alfonso: Felicity Palmer
    Despina: Michael Schade

    1. Nice casting. I LOVE FP as Alfonso; she'd be over-the-top awesome.

    2. She would be. And I would travel quite a ways to witness Schade as Despina


  2. So, let's see how far we can take this. Salome seems sufficiently heteronormative to really cry out for the drag treatment.

    Salome: Barry Banks
    Herod: Renee Fleming
    Herodias: Richard Margison
    Jokanaan: Stephanie Blythe

  3. How about Podles instead of Prina for Bartolo?

    Drag Idomeneo though? Schade would make an awesome Elettra.

  4. Trouble with Idonmeneo is one would have to cast a man as Idamante. maybe it would be OK if he were very loud and large. Alan Held maybe?

    1. Well, if you take the tenor version as standard, you could get away with a soprano Idamante...

    2. Ow, I think I just sprained my brain. Come to think of it... how WOULD you cast a drag Nozze? Or Rosenkavalier?

      Podels as Bartolo is fine. Sonia Prina is one of my my favorite countertenors ;-)

    3. You have to take the gender of the character, and not the singer, I guess, and in come all those young barihunks ;) (Or you take the singer's, and multiple the homoerotic content that comes with all the pants roles...)

  5. Taking the Jesusa Rodriguez approach to its ultimate conclusion, I would pay good money to see Astrid Hadad cast as everyone in everything.

  6. Seconded.


    1. OK you got me. I had to look her up. I think I agree with you. Meanwhile, I was trying to figure where we could cast Dorothea Röschmann. Maybe Idomeneo, or Mitridate - she is good at playing anguish and/or rage.

  7. >>I was trying to figure where we could cast Dorothea Röschmann

    Wozzeck? Peter Grimes? The Minotaur?


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