Thursday, August 25, 2016
Thanks to the generosity of a parterre reader, “Trove Thursday” presents a rare recording from the famed Carnegie Hall series curated by Matthew Epstein to commemorate Handel’s tercentenary: Tatiana Troyanos and June Anderson in Ariodante conducted by Raymond Leppard. For more than 60 years, New York City has been fortunate to host organizations dedicated to showcasing prominent singers performing less-often heard operas in concert. From 1950 to 1970, there was the American Opera Society, and right after its demise Eve Queler founded Opera Orchestra of New York. Each season both groups would feature two or three operas, most often chosen according to the availability (and whim) of its featured stars. However, in the mid-1980s Epstein and Carnegie, partnering with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, attempted something different—an annual series of operas-in-concert focused on a single singer or composer—or both. The first season featured Marilyn Horne in three serious Rossini operas: a “pirate” recording of the 1982 opening night La Donna del Lago is still available from its posting here last fall. French operas by Offenbach, Thomas and Massenet starring Frederica von Stade followed, while the fourth and final season spotlighted rarely mounted operas by Richard Strauss. Handel’s 300th birthday fell during 1984-1985, and its three programmed masterpieces (with a bonus of Alessandro imported from Stephen Simon’s Handel Festival in Washington, DC) became among the most eagerly awaited events of the season. Horne’s first-ever Orlando opened the series and a recording of it can be found in a “Trove Thursday” posting from February. The legendary Semele with Kathleen Battle, Horne, Rockwell Blake and Samuel Ramey, presented on February 23rd, the actual birthday, was broadcast live on NPR, so recordings of it have always been easy to find. But this stirring Ariodante seemed to disappear, and until I listened to today’s superb-sounding recording I hadn’t heard it since the concert I attended over 31 years ago. Troyanos first sang the demanding title role written for the great castrato Carestini in 1971, replacing Shirley Verrett during the opening weeks of the Kennedy Center. Her wonderfully fresh and eager portrayal opposite a high-flying Beverly Sills was captured by a “pirate” and has long been easily available. Unfortunately, its much-cut and transposed musical edition makes the entire performance an unsatisfactory representation of this great opera. I recall two jarring aspects of that evening at Carnegie in January 1985, both attributable to Troyanos. Ordinarily when a female singer performs a male role in concert, she appears in a chic pants-suit, but Troyanos grandly entered instead in an elaborate concert gown. And while the rest of the cast sang from memory, she often had her head stuck in the score placed on the music stand in front of her. Even with this aid, she still got lost during one of her duets with Anderson madly flipping through the music to find her place! Ariodante remained in her repertoire for several more years; she sang it in Geneva and then at Santa Fe in 1987. Beginning in the early 1980s Troyanos also took on the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare (she had already recorded Cleopatra in that immensely lugubrious Karl Richter set years earlier). She performed Cesare in San Francisco, Geneva and in an ill-starred run at the Met opposite Battle. The last time I heard Troyanos in person was in another trouser role: a concert of Mozart’s Mitridate, Re di Ponto at Alice Tully Hall in the summer of 1992, about a year before her tragically premature death. That sadly off-form Farnace is not how I want to remember her. However, this absolutely note-complete Ariodante is a particularly gratifying souvenir of a fascinating artist. This opera’s rewarding title role, recorded by Janet Baker (also with Leppard), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Anne-Sofie von Otter, retains its allure for star mezzos. Alice Coote sings it this fall in Toronto in Richard Jones’s Aix production, while Joyce DiDonato who recorded the work in 2010 with the late Alan Curtis returns to it next year for an extended world tour with The English Concert which visits Carnegie Hall in April. And Cecilia Bartoli who has never before sung a Handel hero appears as Ariodante at next June’s Salzburg Pfingsten Festival in a new staging by Christoph Loy. Handel: Ariodante Carnegie Hall 27 January 1985 In-house recording Ginevra: June Anderson Dalinda: Erie Mills Ariodante: Tatiana Troyanos Polinesso: James Bowman Lurcanio: Neil Rosenshein King of Scotland: Dmitri Kavrakos Odoardo: Frank Lopardo Orpheon Chorale Orchestra of St. Luke’s Conductor: Raymond Leppard “Trove Thursday” offerings can be downloaded via the audio-player above. Just click on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory. In addition, this Ariodante, last week’s Leonora and all previous fare remain available from iTunes or via any RSS reader.
There are times when a reviewer has to deal with a controversial artistic experience upon which colleagues can have very different opinions. Such a case is undoubtedly the version presented by Sasha Waltz of Purcell´s "Dido and Aeneas" at the Colón. The famous fault ("grieta") also applies to culture. Some background first. "Dido and Aeneas" was written by Henry Purcell in 1682 and is recognised as the initial English opera. Other famous scores of the greatest Baroque composer of his time and place are considered semi-operas and have been seen here, such as "The Fairy Queen" and "King Arthur", in very good historicist versions. Here "Dido..." was premièred in 1953 with first-rate local singers and the knowledgeable conducting of Felix Prohaska, organized by that admirable institution, Amigos de la Música. The Colón gave a notable presentation in 1978, with the talents of Steuart Bedford (conductor), Michael Geliot (producer), Roberto Oswald (stage design) and Aníbal Lápiz (costumes) and good Argentine singers. The 2002 revival was much less stylish. At the Colón the 50-minute "Dido..." was coupled with another short opera; I liked the choice in 1978, the première of Busoni´s "Arlecchino". And this year, after 24 years, the most adequate historicist coupling would have been John Blow´s "Venus and Adonis" (1681), although it´s a masque (a semiopera). Of course, "Dido..." has been profusely recorded (at least 25 times), and with such varied Didos as sopranos Flagstad, De los Ángeles, Kirkby, and mezzos Veasey, Von Otter, Baker. And almost all the Baroque specialist conductors. It certainly isn´t the only time that Dido was an opera heroine: there are about fifty operas on her, starting from Cavalli´s in 1641. But only Purcell´s and "Les Troyens à Carthage" (second part of "Les Troyens") by Berlioz have survived. (A reminder that we urgently need the première of "Les Troyens"). The text is by Nahum Tate and is based on Virgil´s "Aeneid", and the opera was premièred not at a theatre but at the School for young girls of Josiah Priest at Chelsea. In three short acts it tells of Aeneas´ arrival to Carthage fleeing from Troy, the love of Carthage´s Queen Dido and Aeneas, his departure called by Jupiter to found Italy (but in Tate´s libretto it´s a farce for Jupiter is an apparition manipulated by witches bent on mischief), and Dido´s death from grief. The music alternates recitatives with arias, dances and choruses, and the characters include Belinda (Dido´s sister), a Sorceress, two Witches, a Sailor, a Lady and the Apparition, plus the chorus (courtisans, witches and sailors). Time passes quickly with such beautiful sounds. The most famous piece is Dido´s lament on a ground, "When I am laid in earth". But Purcell´s "Dido..." got what is now called an intervention, when choreographer Sasha Waltz in 2005 decided that she would wrap around Purcell´s opera a fantasy of her own. And so the 50 minutes became 95, the extra 45 veering between more Purcell extracted from various sources, read poetry or utter silence (only dancing). The hand programme specifies "Revision by Attilio Cremonesi". ¿Does that include a change for the worse, converting the "sisters" into men? It´s a blot on the otherwise historicist version of the score. Waltz introduces a Prologue in which Phoebus, the Sun God, in the company of Nereids, extols the arrival of Venus (spoken scene, poorly read). Then they dive into the "sea", a rectangular water tank; for quite a while we see rather beautiful aquatic choreography, that however has nothing to do with the plot. The exhibition of naked behinds as they climb out of the tank is quite superfluous. And then the opera starts, though it will be interrupted several times by extraneous matter. Waltz´s main idea is to duplicate each soloist singer with a dancer or two, so that theoretically the story is simultaneously told in two means of expression. It might have worked if the narrative had been intelligible, but it isn´t: the story is continuously veiled by groups that often make it hard to distinguish who is singing (especially in the case of Aeneas, I spotted him aurally, for Reuben Willcox has a powerful voice, but he was always lost in surrounding people). I found particularly galling a silly dance lesson in French and English (untranslated) and with no connection whatsoever with the plot. On the other hand, whilst there is a brief change of scene a boy or a girl executes a charming dance seen against the light. The crucial scene of the witches is badly mauled by the transformation into men and inadequate singers. To accentuate the positive: Christopher Moulds conducting the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (Academy for Old Music) got excellent historicist playing with authentic phrasing and speeds. And the Vocalconsort Berlin not only is a fine chamber choir but it moves with agility whenever it is needed (probably the best part of Waltz´s producing work). Aurore Ugolin was a correct Dido (much more can be expressed), whilst Debora York showed her affinity with the Baroque style. As intimated, Willcox was the best of the cast for he sings expressively. The dancers do well what they are asked, but the choreography rarely attracted me. An ugly wall was the scenery for the Palace and for the hunting scene...And the costumes gave us men in beige underpants or women in lurid colors. For Buenos Aires Herald
Willard W. White as Trinity Moses, Anne Sofie Von Otter as Leocadia Begbick and Peter Hoare as Fatty in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny © ROH 2015. Photograph by Clive Barda Each year on 25 May, the internet celebrates Geek Pride Day - 24 hours of tribute to those who revel in the minutiae of a hobby or intellectual pursuit. Opera, ballet and the Royal Opera House all have their own super-fans, so in tribute to them, here are some of our favourite in-depth facts and nuggets of trivia about the theatre and its art forms: The world's most dangerous instrument Angela Gheorghiu in Tosca © Catherine Ashmore/ROH 2010 During the 18th century, regular players of the glass harmonica reported tinnitus, disorientation and hysteria, leading it to be dubbed as the world’s most dangerous instrument . One early player, Marianne Kirchgessner , died at the untimely age of 39, with the instrument blamed for her demise. Curtain calls Royal Opera House auditorium © ROH / Ruairi Watson 2012 The iconic Royal Opera House velvet curtain weighs more than two tonnes. That's the weight of a family car or an elephant. Blitz spirit Daily Programme and Diary for Royal Opera House dances 1943 - front of card During the World War II, the Royal Opera House was used as a dance hall . Organizers hoped the evenings would boost morale for Londoners coping with the Blitz. The stalls floor was raised to the level of the stage and parquet flooring was installed. The theatre's use as a dance hall followed a short-lived stint as an ice-skating rink . A design revolution Costume designs by Attilio Comelli for the Smugglers in Act III of Carmen, 1903 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden © 2015 Royal Opera House Opera singers were once required to bring their own costumes to performances. That all changed when Attilio Comelli became the Artist-in-Chief at the Royal Opera House during the 1890s and revolutionized in-house design – before him, designer wouldn't even be credited in the production. The first global ballet superstar Anna Pavlova Early 20th century dancer Anna Pavlova was the world's first truly global ballet superstar and performed regularly at the Royal Opera House. It's estimated that between 1910 and 1925, she gave more than 3,500 performances and notched up more than 300,000 miles on tour (that's further than the distance from the earth to the moon). Speedy switch-overs Backstage at the Royal Opera House © Rob Moore/ROH 2007 Sets at the Royal Opera House are stored and switched using a huge automated wagon system. This system — which works in a similar way to a child's sliding puzzle — means that sets weighing up to ten tonnes can be switched in just 40 seconds . Clock-watching Karlheinz Stockhausen in the Electronic Music Studio of the WDR, October 1994. The world’s longest operatic work is Karlheinz Stockhausen ’s Licht cycle, which lasts 29 hours. The German composer spent 27 years composing the cycle, completing the work in 2003. The longest single opera in The Royal Opera's repertory is Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg , which lasts for five and a half hours. Do you have any opera or ballet facts you'd like to share for Geek Pride Day? Share them via the comments below.
English follows SMCQ – Derniers concerts de la série John Rea Dans une mise en scène de Denis Marleau, Walter Boudreau et Plaisirs du clavecin interprètent Le petit livre des Ravalet, atypique opéra signé John Rea, Instruments anciens, bande magnétique, chanteurs et narrateur se partagent la scène. Usine C, 16 mai, 19 h. www.smcq.qc.ca Le Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano, et Andreas Scholl, contreténor, se joignent au Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra de San Francisco pour célébrer le 30e anniversaire au podium de Nicholas McGegan, chef et directeur artistique de l’orchestre. Au programme : airs et duos d’opéras et d’oratorios de Haendel ainsi qu’une œuvre écrite par Arvo Pärt à l’intention de ces deux grandes voix. Présenté en collaboration avec le Club musical de Québec. Salle Bourgie, 18 mai, 19 h 30. www.sallebourgie.ca Les Violons du Roy : Rencontres Inédites Les Violons rencontreront pour la première fois Leonardo Garcia Alarcón, l’un des chefs baroques de l’heure, dans des œuvres de Haendel, incluant la Water Music et une cantate avec la soprano Joëlle Harvey. Maison symphonique, 21 mai, 19 h 30. www.violonsduroy.com Anne Sofie von Otter, photo Ewa-Marie Rundquist *** Final concerts in the SMCQ’s John Rea series Directed by Denis Marleau, Walter Boudreau and Plasirs du clavecin perform Le petit livre des Ravalet, an atypical opera composed by Rea. Period instruments, audio, singers, and actors take the stage. Usine C, May 16, 7 pm. www.smcq.qc.ca The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and countertenor Andreas Scholl join San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra to celebrate 30 years at the podium for Nicholas McGegan, the orchestra’s conductor and artistic director. On the program: opera arias and duos and Handel oratorios, as well as a work written by Arvo Pärt for these two great voices. Presented in collaboration with the Club musical de Québec. Bourgie Hall, May 18, 7:30 pm. www.bourgiehall.ca The Violons du Roy – First Encounters The Violons perform for the first time with Leonardo Garcia Alacrón, one of the Baroque conductors du jour. The program includes works by Handel, including Water Music, and a cantata with soprano Joëlle Harvey. Maison Symphonique, May 21, 7:30 pm. www.violonsduroy.com
On this day in 1994 Stephen Sondheim‘s Passion opened on Broadway. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOBodAd75W8 Born on this day in 1740 composer Giovanni Paisiello. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uXB7VTXMTk Born on this day in 1857 librettist Luigi Illica. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=526VWuG0uhc Born on this day in 1914 conductor Carlo Maria Giulini. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xe2OmhWBHA Happy 87th birthday tenor and director Nigel Douglas. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LJYPADRJD8 Happy 77th birthday baritone Giorgio Zancanaro. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH0jpMAibEU Happy 76th birthday tenor Ramon Remedios. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXgoOvn_m1U Happy 64th birthday mezzo-soprano Linda Finnie. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxfOuu9pwSk Happy 61st birthday mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRjNUQrdC-A On this day in 1982 Maury Yeston’s Nine opened on Broadway. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=du07DOkxHY8
Anna Netrebko © Dario Acosta, 2014 Norma NEW (12 September–8 October 2016) Vincenzo Bellini Conductor: Antonio Pappano Director: Àlex Ollé Antonio Pappano conducts an all-star cast led by Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja in a new production of Bellini’s operatic masterpiece, directed by Àlex Ollé of La Fura dels Baus. Norma – Anna Netrebko Pollione – Joseph Calleja Adalgisa – Sonia Ganassi Oroveso – Brindley Sherratt Flavio – David Junghoon Kim Clotilde – Vlada Borovko Live cinema relay: 26 September 2016 Il barbiere di Siviglia (13 September–11 October 2016) Gioachino Rossini Conductor: Henrik Nánási Director: Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier Henrik Nánási conducts a cast including Javier Camarena, Daniela Mack and Vito Priante in this revival of The Royal Opera’s sparkling production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Rosina – Daniela Mack Count Almaviva – Javier Camarena Figaro – Vito Priante (Sept) / Florian Sempey (Oct) Doctor Bartolo – José Fardilha Don Basilio – Ferruccio Furlanetto (Sept) / Carlo Lepore (Oct) Berta – Madeleine Pierard Fiorello – Gyula Nagy Così fan tutte NEW (22 September–19 October 2016) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Conductor: Semyon Bychkov (except 19 Oct) / Paul Wynne Griffiths (19 Oct) Director: Jan Philipp Gloger Semyon Bychkov conducts a cast of young and up-and-coming talent including American soprano Corinne Winters in a new production of Mozart and Da Ponte’s opera on the nature of love. Fiordiligi – Corinne Winters Dorabella – Angela Brower Ferrando – Daniel Behle Guglielmo – Alessio Arduini Don Alfonso – Johannes Martin Kränzle Despina – Sabina Puértolas Live cinema relay: 17 October 2016 Meet the Young Artists Week (St Clement Danes) The annual Meet the Young Artists Week gives audiences a chance to meet the new intake of the stars of tomorrow, and hear them perform with those continuing for their second season. Monday lunchtime recital – 3 October at 1pm Vlada Borovko , Francesca Chiejina , Jennifer Davis , Emily Edmonds , Angela Simkin , Thomas Atkins , David Junghoon Kim , Gyula Nagy and Simon Shibambu perform operatic arias and ensembles, accompanied by David Gowland . Tuesday lunchtime recital – 4 October at 1.30pm Francesca Chiejina and Thomas Atkins perform art songs, accompanied by David Gowland. Director’s workshop – 6 October at 1pm Richard Gerard Jones works with Angela Simkin, Gyula Nagy and Simon Shibambu on Handel’s Oreste, which the Programme will present at in November. Juke Box – 9 October at 12.30pm and 6pm Two separate events presented by all the available Young Artists: the audience at the lunchtime session choose the repertory for the evening recital, followed by an opportunity to meet the Young Artists over a glass of wine. A Man of Good Hope (Young Vic) (6 October–12 November 2016) Based on the book by Jonny Steinberg, adapted by Isango Ensemble Conductor: Mandisi Dyantyis Director: Mark Dornford-May Award-winning South African theatre company Isango Ensemble tell the true story of a young refugee’s journey through Africa, based on the book by Jonny Steinberg. Noluthando Boqwana, Ayanda Eleki, Zamile Gantana, Sifiso Lupuzi, Pauline Malefane, Bongiwe Mapassa, Zanele Mbatha, Katlego Mmusi, Zoleka Mpotsha, Busisiwe Ngejane, Sonwabo Ntshata, Luvo Rasemeni, Masakane Sotayisi, Luvo Tamba, Ayanda Tikolo The Nose NEW (20 October–9 November 2016) Dmitry Shostakovich / New English translation David Pountney Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher Director: Barrie Kosky Barrie Kosky makes his Royal Opera debut with a new production of Shostakovich’s surrealist satire, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher and translated by David Pountney. Platon Kuzmitch Kovalev – Martin Winkler Ivan Iakolevitch/Clerk/Doctor – John Tomlinson Osipovna/Pretzel Seller – Rosie Aldridge The Nose – Alexander Lewis District Inspector – Alexander Kravets Old Lady – Susan Bickley Iaryzhkin – Peter Bronder Pelageya Podtotschina – Helene Schneiderman Podtotschina’s daughter – Ailish Tynan Les Contes d’Hoffmann (7 November–3 December 2016) Jacques Offenbach Conductor: Evelino Pidò Director: John Schlesinger Vittorio Grigolo and Leonardo Capalbo share the title role and lead an excellent cast including Thomas Hampson, Sonya Yoncheva, Christine Rice and Sofia Fomina in Offenbach’s fantastical operatic drama The Tales of Hoffmann. Hoffmann – Vittorio Grigolo (except 28 Nov, 3 Dec) / Leonardo Capalbo (28 Nov, 3 Dec) Four Villains – Thomas Hampson Olympia – Sofia Fomina Giulietta – Christine Rice Antonia – Sonya Yoncheva Nicklausse – Kate Lindsey Spalanzani – Christophe Mortagne Crespel – Eric Halfvarson Four Servants – Vincent Ordonneau Spirit of Antonia’s Mother – Catherine Carby Nathanael – David Junghoon Kim Hermann – Charles Rice Schlemil – Yuriy Yurchuk Luther – Jeremy White Live cinema relay: 15 November 2016 Oreste NEW (Wilton’s Music Hall) (8 November–19 November 2016) George Frideric Handel Conductor: James Hendry Director: Richard Gerard Jones Southbank Sinfonia See the opera stars of tomorrow in a blackly comic production of Handel’s masterful pasticcio, in the atmospheric setting of Wilton’s Music Hall. Ermione – Vlada Borovko Ifigenia – Jennifer Davis Oreste – Angela Simkin Pilade – Thomas Atkins Filotete – Gyula Nagy Toante – Simon Shibambu Manon Lescaut (22 November–12 December 2016) Giacomo Puccini Conductor: Antonio Pappano Director: Jonathan Kent Antonio Pappano conducts Sondra Radvanovsky and Aleksandrs Antonenko in the first revival of Jonathan Kent’s thought-provoking production of Puccini’s first operatic triumph. Manon Lescaut – Sondra Radvanovsky Chevalier Des Grieux – Aleksandrs Antonenko Lescaut – Levente Molnár Geronte di Revoir – Eric Halfvarson Edmondo – Luis Gomes Dancing Master – Aled Hall Singer – Emily Edmonds Lamplighter – David Junghoon Kim Sergeant – David Shipley Naval Captain – Nicholas Crawley Il trovatore (4 December 2016–9 February 2017) Giuseppe Verdi Conductor: Richard Farnes Director: David Bösch The first revival of David Bösch’s new production for The Royal Opera, with two casts including Maria Agresta, Roberto Alagna, Lianna Haroutounian, Anita Rachvelishvili and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Leonora – Maria Agresta (Dec) / Lianna Haroutounian (Jan, Feb) Manrico – Roberto Alagna (Dec) / Gregory Kunde (Jan, Feb) Count di Luna – Quinn Kelsey (Dec) / Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Jan, Feb) Azucena – Anita Rachvelishvili Ferrando – Gábor Bretz (Dec) / Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Jan, Feb) Inez – Jennifer Davis (Dec) / Francesca Chiejina (Jan, Feb) Ruiz – David Junghoon Kim (Dec) / Samuel Sakker (Jan, Feb) Live cinema relay: 31 January 2017 Der Rosenkavalier NEW (17 December 2016–24 January 2017) Richard Strauss Conductor: Andris Nelsons Director: Robert Carsen Andris Nelsons conducts two starry casts including Renée Fleming, Alice Coote and Rachel Willis-Sørensen in Robert Carsen’s new production of Richard Strauss’s charming operatic comedy. Marschallin – Renée Fleming (17, 20 Dec, 8, 11, 14 Jan) / Rachel Willis-Sørensen (22 Dec, 17, 24 Jan) Octavian – Alice Coote (17, 20 Dec, 8, 11, 14 Jan) / Anna Stéphany (22 Dec, 17, 24 Jan) Sophie von Faninal – Sophie Bevan Baron Ochs – Matthew Rose Faninal – Jochen Schmeckenbecher Valzacchi – Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke Annina – Helene Schneiderman (except 8, 11, 14 Jan) / Angela Simkin (8, 11, 14 Jan) Italian Singer – Giorgio Berrugi Marschallin’s Major Domo – Samuel Sakker Faninal’s Major Domo – Thomas Atkins Marianne – Miranda Keys Inn Keeper – Alasdair Elliot Police Inspector – Scott Connor Notary – Jeremy White Written on Skin (13–30 January 2017) George Benjamin Conductor: George Benjamin Director: Katie Mitchell George Benjamin conducts a superb cast in The Royal Opera’s first revival of his and Martin Crimp’s highly acclaimed opera– an unmissable event in contemporary music. The Protector – Christopher Purves Agnès – Barbara Hannigan (13, 23, 30 Jan) / Georgia Jarman (18, 27 Jan) Angel 1/The Boy – Iestyn Davies Angel 2/Marie – Victoria Simmonds Angel 3/John – Mark Padmore La traviata (16 January–4 July 2017) Giuseppe Verdi Conductor: Daniele Rustioni (Jan, Feb) / Maurizio Benini (Jun) / Christopher Willis (Jul) Director: Richard Eyre Joyce El-Khoury, Ekaterina Bakanova and Corinne Winters lead three excellent casts in Richard Eyre’s much-loved production of Verdi’s most famous opera. Violetta Valéry – Joyce El-Khoury (Jan, Feb) / Ekaterina Bakanova (14, 17, 20, 23, 25 Jun) / Corinne Winters (27, 30 Jun, 4 Jul) Alfredo Germont – Sergey Romanovsky (16, 19, 25 Jan, 1 Feb) / Liparit Avetisyan (28 Jan) / Atalla Ayan (Jun, Jul) Giorgio Germont – Artur Ruciński (Jan, Feb) / Nicola Alaimo (14, 17, 20, 23, 25 Jun) / George Petean (27, 30 Jun, 4 Jul) Annina – Elizabeth Sikora (Jan, Feb) / Sarah Pring (Jun, Jul) Flora Bervoix – Angela Simkin Baron Douphol – Yuriy Yurchuk (Jan, Feb) / Gyula Nagy (Jun, Jul) Doctor Grenvil – David Shipley Gastone de Letorières – David Junghoon Kim (Jan, Feb) / Samuel Sakker (Jun, Jul) Marquis d’Obigny – Jeremy White BP Big Screen: 4 July 2017 Adriana Lecouvreur (7 February–2 March 2017) Francesco Cilea Conductor: Daniel Oren Director: David McVicar Angela Gheorghiu and Hrachuhi Bassenz star in the first revival of David McVicar’s sumptuous production of Cilea’s tragic opera. Adriana Lecouvreur – Angela Gheorghiu (except 21 Feb, 2 Mar) / Hrachuhi Bassenz (21 Feb, 2 Mar) Maurizio – Brian Jagde Abbé di Chazeuil – Krystian Adam Princesse de Bouillon – Ksenia Dudnikova Prince de Bouillon – Bálint Szabó Michonnet – Gerald Finley (except 27 Feb; 2 Mar) / Alessandro Corbelli (27 Feb; 2 Mar) Mlle Jouvenot – Vlada Borovko Mlle Dangeville – Angela Simkin Poisson – Thomas Atkins Quinault – Simon Shibambu Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg NEW (11–31 March 2017) Richard Wagner Conductor: Antonio Pappano Director: Kasper Holten Kasper Holten makes his farewell as The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera with Wagner’s comic opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Bryn Terfel. Hans Sachs – Bryn Terfel Walther von Stolzing – Gwyn Hughes Jones Eva – Rachel Willis-Sørensen Sixtus Beckmesser – Johannes Martin Kränzle Veit Pogner – Stephen Milling David – Allan Clayton Magdalene – Hanna Hipp Fritz Kothner – Sebastian Holecek Kunz Vogelgesang – Andrew Tortise Balthazar Zorn – Alasdair Elliott Konrad Nachtigall – Gyula Nagy Ulrich Eisslinger – Samuel Sakker Augustin Moser – David Junghoon Kim Hermann Ortel – John Cunningham Hans Schwarz – Jeremy White Hans Foltz – Brian Bannatyne-Scott Nightwatchman – David Shipley Madama Butterfly (23 March–25 April 2017) Giacomo Puccini Conductor: Antonio Pappano (Mar, 4, 7, 10 Apr) / Renato Balsadonna (13, 17, 20, 22, 25 Apr) Directors: Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna conduct two great casts led by Ermonela Jaho and Ana María Martínez in Puccini’s deeply poignant opera. Cio-Cio-San – Ermonela Jaho (Mar, 4, 7, 10 Apr) / Ana María Martínez (13, 17, 20, 22, 25 Apr) Pinkerton – Marcelo Puente (Mar, 4, 7, 10 Apr) / Teodor Ilincai (13, 17, 20, 22, 25 Apr) Sharpless – Scott Hendricks Goro – Carlo Bosi Suzuki – Elizabeth DeShong Bonze – Jeremy White Kate Pinkerton – Emily Edmonds Imperial Commissioner – Gyula Nagy Prince Yamadori – Yuriy Yurchuk Live cinema relay: 30 March 2017 The Exterminating Angel NEW (24 April–8 May 2017) Thomas Adès Conductor: Thomas Adès Director: Tom Cairns Thomas Adès conducts a huge ensemble cast of world-class singers in the UK premiere of his latest opera, inspired by Luis Buñuel’s iconic film. Leonora – Anne Sofie von Otter Blanca – Christine Rice Nobile – Charles Workman Lucia – Amanda Echalaz Raúl – Frédéric Antoun Doctor – John Tomlinson Roc – Thomas Allen Francisco – Iestyn Davies Eduardo – Ed Lyon Leticia – Audrey Luna Silvia – Sally Matthews Beatriz – Sophie Bevan Lucas – Hubert Francis Enrique – Samuel Sakker Seńor Russell – Sten Byriel Colonel – David Adam Moore Julio – Morgan Moody Pablo – James Cleverton Meni – Elizabeth Atherton Camila – Anne Marie Gibbons Don Carlo (12 May–29 May 2017) Giuseppe Verdi Conductor: Bertrand de Billy Director: Nicholas Hytner Bertrand de Billy conducts a cast led by Bryan Hymel and Krassimira Stoyanova in Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of Verdi’s opera on love, ambition and intrigue in 16th-century Spain. Don Carlo – Bryan Hymel Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa – Ludovic Tézier Elizabeth of Valois – Krassimira Stoyanova King Philip II – Ildar Abdrazakov Princess Eboli – Ekaterina Semenchuk Grand Inquisitor – Paata Burchuladze Frate – Andrea Mastroni Voice from Heaven – Francesca Chiejina Tebaldo – Emily Edmonds Count of Lerma – David Junghoon Kim Flemish Deputies – James Cleverton, Gyula Nagy , Simon Shibambu , David Shipley and Yuriy Yurchuk Ravi Shankar project (May 2017) The iconic Indian musician Ravi Shankar is celebrated in a major new touring project, a co-production between The Royal Opera and London Philharmonic Orchestra in association with Curve Theatre, Leicester. More details to be announced in due course. L’elisir d’amore (27 May–22 June 2017) Gaetano Donizetti Conductor: Bertrand de Billy Director: Laurent Pelly Laurent Pelly’s sunny production of Donizetti’s joyous opera returns with two world-class casts, led by Pretty Yende and Rolando Villazón, and Aleksandra Kurzak and Roberto Alagna. Adina – Pretty Yende (May, 3, 6, 11 Jun) / Aleksandra Kurzak (13, 16, 19, 22 Jun) Nemorino – Rolando Villazón (May, 3, 6 Jun) / Ivan Magrì (11 Jun) / Roberto Alagna (13, 16, 19, 22 Jun) Dulcamara – Alex Esposito Belcore – Paolo Bordogna (May, 3, 6, 11 Jun) / Adam Plachetka (13, 16, 19, 22 Jun) Giannetta – Vlada Borovko Otello NEW (21 June–15 July 2017) Giuseppe Verdi Conductor: Antonio Pappano Director: Keith Warner Antonio Pappano conducts a new production of Verdi’s thrilling Shakespeare-inspired opera directed by Keith Warner, starring Jonas Kaufmann and Gregory Kunde in the title role. Otello – Jonas Kaufmann (21, 24, 28 Jun, 2, 6, 10 Jul) / Gregory Kunde (8, 12, 15 Jul) Desdemona – Maria Agresta (21, 24, 28 Jun, 2, 6, 10 Jul) / Dorothea Röschmann (8, 12, 15 Jul) Iago – Ludovic Tézier (21, 24, 28 Jun, 2, 6, 10 Jul) / Željko Lučić (8, 12, 15 Jul) Cassio – Frédéric Antoun Roderigo – Thomas Atkins Emilia – Kai Rüütel Montano – Simon Shibambu Lodovico – In Sung Sim Live cinema relay: 28 June 2017 Mitridate, re di Ponto (26 June–7 July 2017) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Conductor: Christophe Rousset Director: Graham Vick Christophe Rousset conducts an excellent cast including Albina Shagimuratova, Bejun Mehta, Lucy Crowe and Michael Spyres in Graham Vick’s acclaimed production of Mozart’s early opera. Mitridate – Michael Spyres Aspasia – Albina Shagimuratova Farnace – Bejun Mehta Ismene – Lucy Crowe Marzio – Andrew Tortise Sifare – Anett Fritsch Arbate – Jennifer Davis Turandot (5 July–16 July 2017) Giacomo Puccini Conductor: Dan Ettinger Dir: Andrei Serban Christine Goerke and Lise Lindstrom take the title role in Andrei Serban’s striking staging of Puccini’s final opera. Turandot – Christine Goerke (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Lise Lindstrom (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Calaf – Aleksandrs Antonenko (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Roberto Alagna (8, 11, 14 Jul) / Alfred Kim (16 Jul) Liù – Dinara Alieva (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Aleksandra Kurzak (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Timur – In Sung Sim (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Brindley Sherratt (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Ping – Michel de Souza (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Zheng Zhong Zhou (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Pang – Aled Hall (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / Samuel Sakker (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Pong – Pavel Petrov (5, 9, 12, 15 Jul) / David Junghoon Kim (8, 11, 14, 16 Jul) Emperor Altoum – Robin Leggate Mandarin – Yuriy Yurchuk Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance (16 July 2017) Director: Richard Gerard Jones The annual summer showcase given by the Jette Parker Young Artists is an unmissable highlight for anyone interested in the work of some of the most talented emerging performers on the operatic stage. Sopranos – Vlada Borovko , Francesca Chiejina , Jennifer Davis Mezzo-sopranos – Emily Edmonds , Angela Simkin Tenors – Thomas Atkins , David Junghoon Kim Baritone – Gyula Nagy Basses – Simon Shibambu , David Shipley The Merchant of Venice NEW (Welsh National Opera ) (19–20 July 2017) André Tchaikowsky Conductor: Lionel Friend Director: Keith Warner André Tchaikowsky’s Shakespeare-inspired opera is an important rediscovery in 20th-century opera and receives its London premiere in Welsh National Opera’s production, directed by Keith Warner Shylock – Lester Lynch Antonio – Martin Wölfel Lorenzo – Bruce Sledge Duke of Venice – Miklós Sebestyén Bassanio – Mark Le Brocq Solanio – Gary Griffiths Gratiano – David Stout Jessica – Lauren Michelle Portia – Sarah Castle Nerissa – Verena Gunz
Great opera singers