OPERA NEWS - The Year in Opera
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The Year in Opera

The hottest tickets of the 2019–20 Season.
By Eloise Giegerich 

Year in Opera Chicago Walkure hdl 919
Die Walküre returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago in April, as part of three complete Ring cycles
© Cory Weaver
SOME OF opera’s biggest stars make iconic role debuts, from Pretty Yende in Paris to Sondra Radvanovsky in Toronto, and new productions dazzle at houses across the world. Plus, don’t miss world premieres at LA Opera, Philadelphia’s O19 Festival, and in Berlin, Munich, Vienna
and more. There’s plenty to discover!

North America 

   Boston    

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA 
blo.org 


Boston Lyric Opera’s Pagliacci production, which opens the house’s 2019–20 season, received a $30,000 Art Works grant from the NEA this year. Tenor Rafael Rojas stars as Canio and Lauren Michelle as Nedda. Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers also arrives, along with Giulio Cesare

Don’t Miss: Rising soprano Elena Stikhina sings the title role in Norma, directed by Stephanie Havey. 

Year in Opera Met Macbeth hdl 919
Anna Netrebko and Željko Lučić are reunited in Macbeth at the Met in October
© Beth Bergman

   New York City    

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA 
metopera.org 


Five new productions arrive in New York—Porgy and Bess, headlined by this month’s cover stars (see "Strength of Character" and "Feeling the Roar"); Akhnaten, paced by Karen Kamensek in her house debut; Wozzeck, from director William Kentridge; Agrippina, starring Joyce DiDonato; and Der Fliegende Holländer, with Bryn Terfel. 

Don’t Miss: Lisette Oropesa returns to the Met in Laurent Pelly’s Manon staging.

   Philadelphia    

OPERA PHILADELPHIA
operaphila.org
 


Two world premieres arrive at the O19 festival—Philip Venables’s Denis & Katya and Joseph Keckler’s Let Me Die (see p. 10). Other premieres at the fest are James Darrah’s Semele staging, starring Amanda Forsythe in her house debut, and The Love for Three Oranges, directed by Alessandro Talevi, also in his house debut.

   Washington D.C.    

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
kennedy-center.org 


Russell Thomas headlines the WNO premiere of David Alden’s Otello staging; Leah Crocetto sings Desdemona and George Gagnidze Iago, the latter in his company debut. Plus, J’Nai Bridges makes her WNO debut as Dalila in Peter Kazaras’s Samson et Dalila production. 

Don’t Miss: Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue, which had its premiere at Glimmerglass Festival this past summer, arrives in Washington for its company premiere.

   Chicago    

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO
lyricopera.org 


Catch the company premiere of Götterdämmerung, the fourth installment of Lyric’s David Pountney Ring cycle staging; the company presents three full Ring cycles later in its season. Stay for Sondra Radvanovsky, who gives a Donizetti-themed semistaged concert and headlines the house premiere of Richard Jones’s Queen of Spades production. Plus, Patricia Racette makes her role debut as Sister Helen in the Lyric premiere of Dead Man Walking.

   St. Paul, Minnesota    

MINNESOTA OPERA
mnopera.org
 


Lidiya Yankovskaya leads the world premiere of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo. Plus, don’t miss Keturah Stickann’s Don Giovanni staging, conducted by Karen Kamensek.

   Detroit, Michigan    

Year in Opera Sweeney Todd hdl 919
Detroit will welcome Ron Daniels’s production of Sweeney Todd
© Ken Howard/Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

MICHIGAN OPERA THEATRE
michiganopera.org 


Take in Sweeney Todd, with Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba as Mrs. Lovett and Stephen Powell as the barber. For more, try Don Giovanni, starring Daniel Okulitch.

Don’t Miss: Michael Fabiano headlines the season-opening gala, with Leah Crocetto.

Year in Opera hdl 919
Barrie Kosky’s realization of Saul comes to HGO
© Bill Cooper

   Houston    

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA
houstongrandopera.org 


Head south for the U.S. premiere of Phelim McDermott’s Aida staging, starring Tamara Wilson and Russell Thomas. Barrie Kosky’s Saul staging also makes its Houston debut, featuring Christopher Purves. 

Don’t Miss: Jamie Barton and Lawrence Brownlee headline the company premiere of Kevin Newbury’s Favorite production.

   Los Angeles    

LA OPERA
laopera.org 


Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice has its world premiere at LA Opera; Danielle de Niese creates the title role, alongside the Father of Rod Gilfry and Orpheus of Joshua Hopkins; Mary Zimmerman directs. Plus, Kate Lindsey and Yunpeng Wang appear in the house premiere of David McVicar’s Pelléas et Mélisande staging.

Don’t Miss: Eun Sun Kim paces Ramón Vargas, Davinia Rodrïguez, Alice Coote and Plácido Domingo in Roberto Devereux.

   San Francisco    

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA
sfopera.com 


Michael Grandage’s Billy Budd production has its San Francisco premiere; John Chest (title role), William Burden (Captain Vere) and Christian Van Horn (John Claggart) star. Plus, Michael Cavanagh directs a new Marriage of Figaro staging, paced by Henrik Nánási. 

Don’t Miss: Christopher Alden directs the rarely performed Partenope, which stars Louise Alder, in her house debut, as the title character.

   Seattle    

SEATTLE OPERA
seattleopera.org 


Lester Lynch headlines Lindy Hume’s Rigoletto staging, alongside the Gilda of Madison Leonard. For something different, try “Three Singing Sisters,” a mixed-genre program featuring (you guessed it) three sisters—Ginger, Marina and Miriam Costa-Jackson. Plus, September cover star Angel Blue sings Mimì in Peter Kazaras’s Bohème production.

   Toronto    

CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY 
coc.ca 


Tamara Wilson headlines two productions—Robert Wilson’s Turandot staging, in its COC premiere, and Aida, alongside Russell Thomas (Radamès) and Clémentine Margaine (Amneris). 

Don’t Miss: Sondra Radvanovsky makes her title-role debut in David McVicar’s Rusalka production.

   Schools    

OPERA AND BALLET THEATER INDIANA, THE CURTIS INSTITUTE, JUILLIARD SCHOOL OF MUSIC & MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC
operaballet.indiana.edu; curtis.edu; juilliard.edu; msmnyc.edu  


Three new productions arrive in Indiana—Le Nozze di Figaro, coproduced by Opéra de Montréal, Parsifal and La Traviata, directed by Francesca Zambello. Head to Curtis Opera Theatre for Albert Herring, La Clemenza di Tito and The Barber of Seville; plus don’t miss the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in “Yannick at the Opera,” a program led by maestro Nézet-Séguin. In New York, catch The Mother of Us All at Juilliard, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, along with opera classics and a recital by mezzo Samantha Hankey; or visit Manhattan School of Music for Saverio Mercadante’s Due Figaro, Flotow’s Martha, paced by Daniela Candillari, and Shostakovich’s operetta, Moscow, Cheryomushki, Op. 105

   DALLAS     

Year in Opera Golden Cockerel hdl 919
Paul Curran’s staging of The Golden Cockerel arrives at Dallas Opera in October
© Paul Horpedahl for Santa Fe Opera

DALLAS OPERA
dallasopera.org 


Paul Curran’s Golden Cockerel staging, coproduced with Santa Fe, makes its Dallas debut. Plus, catch Patricia Racette as Elle in a double bill of La Voix Humaine (which she also directs) and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, newly staged in collaboration with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Don’t Miss: Leah Crocetto (Elisabetta di Valois), Jamie Barton (Princess Eboli) and Robert Watson (title role) star in a new Don Carlo concert production.

COMPOSERS 
Year in Opera Prestini 919 Year in Opera Neuwirth lg 919 Year in Opera Aucoin lg 919 
1.
PAOLA PRESTINI Inspired by Kate DiCamillo’s novel of the same name, Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane, which has its world premiere at Minnesota Opera next March, tells the story of a toy rabbit who becomes separated from his family. Jack Swanson stars as the titular Edward, singing the words of librettist Mark Campbell.
2.
OLGA NEUWIRTH
Through the lens of Virginia Woolf, Olga Neuwirth explores gender boundaries and identity with Orlando, which has its premiere at the Wiener Staatsoper this December. Kate Lindsey creates the title role, with actor/director Fiona Shaw acting as Narrator.
3. 
MATTHEW AUCOIN 
In February, Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice arrives at LA Opera. Partnered by playwright/librettist Sarah Ruhl, Aucoin reimagines the myth through the eyes of Eurydice. Originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program, the opera will travel to the Met in a later season.

 

International 

   VIENNA    

Year in Opera Vienna Frau hdl 919
Evelyn Herlitzius and Camilla Nylund, the Nurse and the Empress in Vienna State Opera’s Frau
© Wiener Staatsoper GmbH/Michael Pöhn

WIENER STAATSOPER
wiener-staatsoper.at 


Head to Vienna for Vincent Huguet’s Frau ohne Schatten revival, starring Andreas Schager, Camilla Nylund, Tomasz Konieczny and Nina Stemme. Stay for a new staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Così Fan Tutte, paced by Riccardo Muti and directed by his daughter, Chiara Muti; Piotr Beczała in Lohengrin; and more!

Don’t Miss: The world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Orlando, with a libretto by Catherine Filloux, opens in December.

   Berlin    

DEUTSCHE OPER, KOMISCHE OPER & STAATSOPER BERLIN 
deutscheoperberlin.de; komische-oper-berlin.de; staatsoper-berlin.de 


At the Deutsche Oper, catch Nina Stemme as Tosca, Sabine Devieilhe as Dinorah in concert, and Sondra Radvanovsky in The Queen of Spades. New productions abound at the Komische Oper, including Barrie Kosky’s Bassarids staging, Andreas Homoki’s Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeifer staging, Richard Jones’s Jephtha staging, and Kirill Serebrennikov’s Rake’s Progress staging. For even more, head to the Staatsoper for star-studded new productions of Nicolai’s Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Samson et Dalila, Der Rosenkavalier and Idomeneo

   Munich    

BAYERISCHE STAATSOPER
staatsoper.de 


Jonas Kaufmann headlines Simon Stone’s new Tote Stadt staging in Munich, as Paul to Marlis Petersen’s Marietta. Diana Damrau sings Amalia in Johannes Erath’s new Masnadieri production, which also features Charles Castronovo (Carlo) and Mika Kares (Massimiliano). 

Don’t Miss: 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, featuring direction, sets and more by performance artist Marina Abramović, explores seven iconic roles—and deaths—sung by the star soprano.

   Zurich    

OPERNHAUS ZURICH
opernhaus.ch 


Cecilia Bartoli and Stéphane Degout star in Andreas Homoki’s new Iphigénie en Tauride staging; Jan Philipp Gloger directs Emmerich Kálmán’s Csárdásfürstin; Calixto Bieito stages a new Vespri Siciliani; plus, Stefan Wirth’s Girl with a Pearl Earring has its world premiere, starring Lauren Snouffer (Griet) and Thomas Hampson (Vermeer). 

   Milan    

TEATRO ALLA SCALA 
teatroallascala.org 


La Scala offers an array of starry new productions including Salome, from director Damiano Michieletto, with Malin Byström; Mario Martone’s Fedora staging, headlined by Sonya Yoncheva alongside the Loris of Roberto Alagna; and Giulio Cesare, directed by Robert Carsen and starring Bejun Mehta.

   Amsterdam    

DUTCH NATIONAL OPERA
operaballet.nl  


Ivo van Hove’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, which had its premiere at the Aix Festival earlier this summer and is coproduced with the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Vlaanderen and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, makes its Netherlands debut. Thomas Oliemans, Alan Oke and Willard White star.

   Paris    

OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS & THÉÂTRE DES CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES
operadeparis.fr; theatrechampselysees.fr 


Calixto Bieito directs two new Ring cycle installments at the Bastille: Die Walküre, starring Jonas Kaufmann as Siegmund, and Das Rheingold, starring Iain Paterson as Wotan. Plus, catch a new Prince Igor staging by Barrie Kosky, starring Evgeny Nikitin and Anita Rachvelishvili (Konchakovna), as well as a new Indes Galantes, directed by Clément Cogitore and featuring Sabine Devieilhe as Hébé.

Don’t Miss: Pretty Yende makes two role debuts in two new productions—Violetta in Traviata and the title role in Manon

   Wexford    

WEXFORD
wexfordopera.com 


This season, Wexford offers a mix of not-so-standard rep, from Massenet’s Don Quichotte, Vivaldi’s Dorilla in Tempe and Bizet’s Doctor Miracle to Viardot’s Cendrillon, Rossini’s L’Inganno Felice and a double bill of Rossini’s Adina and Andrew Synnott’s Cucina.

Year in Opera Royal Opera Lucia hdl 919
Katie Mitchell’s staging of Lucia di Lammermoor returns to Covent Garden
Stephen Cummiskey/Royal Opera House/ArenaPAL

   London    

ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA & ROYAL OPERA HOUSE 
eno.org; roh.org.uk 


Director Tatjana Gürbaca makes her ENO debut with a new Rusalka production, paced by Antony Hermus—also making his house debut. Corinne Winters appears as the title nymph. Also on offer is Emma Rice’s new Orpheus in the Underworld staging, starring Ed Lyon, Claudia Boyle and Lucia Lucas. At Covent Garden, Shaun Tan’s Lost Thing makes its company debut in a new staging by Ben Wright; other new productions include Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, directed by Antony McDonald, and Jenu˚fa, directed by Claus Guth, starring Asmik Grigorian. 

Don’t Miss: Nina Stemme sings Elektra to Karita Mattila’s Klytämnestra, and Lise Davidsen and Jonas Kauffman headline a new Fidelio staging, both at Covent Garden.

SURPRISE GUESTS 
Year in Opera Abramovic lg 919 Year in Opera Karen Ziemba lg 919 Year in Opera Cameron lg 919 
1.

MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ
Performance artist Marina Ambramović arrives in Munich for 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, serving as codirector, with Lynsey Peisinger, set designer and actor. Marko Nikodijević contributes to the score, which includes scenes from the operas most associated with Callas.

2.

KAREN ZIEMBA 
Karen Ziemba, who won a Tony for her performance in Contact (2000), heads to Michigan for Sweeney Todd, where she’ll sing Mrs. Lovett to Stephen Powell’s Sweeney in Ron Daniels’s production, which had its premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

3. 

DOVE CAMERON
Actress Dove Cameron, who is known for her roles on Disney Channel and, more recently, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., makes her LA Opera debut alongside opera icon Renée Fleming in Daniel Evans’s Light in the Piazza staging in October.

 

   Madrid    

Year in Opera Lear hdl 919
Madrid will welcome Calixto Bieito’s production of Reimann’s Lear
© Elisa Haberer/Opera National de Paris

TEATRO REAL
teatro-real.com 


Aribert Reimann’s Lear has its Madrid premiere in Calixto Bieito’s staging; Bo Skovhus sings the title role. Also on offer are a new production of George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill, directed by Marcos Morau of La Veronal; the house premieres of Emilio Sagi’s Pirata staging and David Pountney’s Passenger staging, the latter starring Amanda Majeski; and Francesco Corselli’s Achille in Sciro, newly staged by Mariame Clément. 

DON'T MISS: Steve Reich’s Three Tales makes its debut at the house under the baton of conductor Nacho de Paz. spacer 



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