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Noteworthy & Now

By Eloise Giegerich

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© Simon Pauly (DiDonato); © Julia Wesely (Welser-Möst); © Decca/Timothy White (Fleming); © Anthony Tahlier (Jovanovich); Frankenstein Costumes by Lluc Castells/Courtesy La Monnaie

⓵ Curious about how the virtuoso worlds of sports and performance overlap? Join Joyce DiDonato and Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen on Sunday, March 31, at National Sawdust, for a conversation on training, improvisation, adapting to the moment and more. The mezzo appears in Brooklyn between performances at the Met, where she sings Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito (Mar. 30–Apr. 20). In May, she travels to Europe for a series of concert Agrippinas, beginning in Madrid and ending at the Champs-Élysées.

⓶  Franz Welser-Möst paces Yuval Sharon’s new Zauberflöte staging at the Staatsoper unter den Linden, February 28–March 16. Kwangchul Youn (Sarastro), Julian Prégardien (Tamino), Anna Prohaska (Pamina) and Florian Teichtmeister (Papageno) star. Later, the Austrian conductor heads to Milan for Frederic Wake-Walker’s new Ariadne auf Naxos production (Apr. 23–Jun. 22), in which he conducts Krassimira Stoyanova in the title role and Sabine Devieilhe as Zerbinetta. 

⓷ On March 23, Renée Fleming celebrates twenty-five years at Lyric Opera of Chicago with a special anniversary concert and gala. Patrick Summers paces the star soprano as well as a cast of world-renowned guest singers, including Sondra Radvanovsky, Susan Graham, Quinn Kelsey, Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Owens, Christian Van Horn and more. For tickets and more information, visit

⓸  Brandon Jovanovich is Dick Johnson in Andreas Dresen’s new staging of La Fanciulla Del West at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Mar. 16–Apr. 29). Anja Kampe (Minnie) and John Lundgren (Jack Rance) also star, paced by James Gaffigan. Later, the American tenor takes on the title role in Philipp Stölzl’s Parsifal staging at Deutsche Oper Berlin, alongside Markus Brück’s Amfortas, Günter Groissböck’s Gurnemanz and Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Kundry. 

⓹ The world premiere of Mark Grey’s Frankenstein takes form at the Monnaie, in its first full-length staging by La Fura dels Baus’s Àlex Ollé (Mar. 8–20). Based on the Mary Shelley classic, the opera will feature Scott Hendricks as the conflicted doctor, Topi Lehtipuu as the Creature and Eleonore Marguerre as Elizabeth. Bassem Akiki paces the cast, with costumes by Lluc Castells.

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© Dario Acosta (Nézet-Séguin); © Shervin Lainez (Brownlee); © Fay Fox (Luna); © Monika Rittershaus (Forza); Met Opera (Jorne); © Eloise Giegerich (score)

Starting March 21, Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin kicks off a three-stop European tour, pacing bass Mikhail Petrenko and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler’s Totenfeier and Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 13—first in Rotterdam, then in Paris, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and ending at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, in Germany. In May, Nézet-Séguin returns to the Met, for Dialogues des Carmélites.

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee joins bass-baritone Eric Owens on March 13 at the LA Philharmonic for a night of spirituals and arias, a world premiere by composer George Walker, and more, to be announced. Later, Brownlee and Owens continue on a joint tour, giving duo recitals at the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor (Mar. 16) and Emory University (Mar. 22). On March 30, the tenor arrives in New York for “Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration” at Carnegie Hall (Mar. 30).  

Audrey Luna  sings Hermione in Manfred Trojahn’s new Orest staging at the Wiener Staatsoper (Mar. 31–Apr. 13). Thomas Johannes Mayer (title role) and Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra) also star, paced by Michael Boder. In May, the American soprano heads to Hamburg for Le Grand Macabre at the Hamburg International Music Festival, where she’ll join a cast that includes countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, bass John Relyea, soprano Heidi Melton and more. Alan Gilbert conducts.

Christof Loy’s Forza del Destino production, coproduced with Dutch National Opera, has its premiere at the Royal Opera House, March 21–April 22. Anna Netrebko (Leonora), Jonas Kaufmann (Don Alvaro) and Ludovic Tézier (Don Carlo di Vargas) star, paced by Antonio Pappano.

In 2018, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts acquired more than 1,500 of diva Marilyn Horne’s personal scores, sheet music, arrangements, concert tour notes, diction notes and more. The collection, which includes everything from one of the American mezzo’s marked-up high-school scores (The Merry Widow) to scores from roles that defined her career (L’Italiana in Algeri,Ghosts of Versailles, Rinaldo), will be available to the public for free. For more information, visit 

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