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Noteworthy & Now

By Eloise Giegerich

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Savage Winter
© David Bachman
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Lydia Steier
© Sandra Then
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Anita Rachvelishvili
© Dario Acosta
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Gerald Finley
© Sim Canetty-Clarke

American director Lydia Steier stages a new double bill of Iolanta and Oedipus Rex at Oper Frankfurt (Oct. 28–Dec. 1), with conductor Sebastian Weigle pacing Asmik Grigorian in the title role of the Tchaikovsky and Peter Marsh in the title role of the Stravinsky. In January, Steier directs a new production of Kát’a Kabanová at the Staatstheater Mainz.

For its 2018 Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music offers the New York premiere of Savage Winter (previously Ashes and Snow), from composer Douglas J. Cuomo and director Jonathan Moore, co-commissioned by American Opera Projects and Pittsburgh Opera and featuring tenor Tony Boutté (Nov. 7–10). Also on offer at BAM this month is the U.S. premiere of Tilde Björfors’s Satyagraha staging, which runs October 31 to November 4.

Following her run as Amneris to Anna Netrebko’s Aida at the Met last month, Anita Rachvelishvili travels to Monte Carlo for Dalila in Jean-Louis Grinda’s new Samson et Dalila staging (Nov. 19–25). Aleksandrs Antonenko sings Samson and Kazuki Yamada conducts. In December, the Georgian mezzo returns to New York, for the Principessa in David McVicar’s Adriana Lecouvreur staging, before taking over Dalila at the house in Darko Tresnjak’s new Samson production.

⓸  Gerald Finley sings Iago in Amélie Niermeyer’s new Otello staging at Bayerische Staatsoper (Nov. 23–Dec. 15). Jonas Kaufmann (Otello) and Anja Harteros (Desdemona) are Finley’s costars; Kirill Petrenko conducts. In January, Finley travels to New York, singing Bluebeard in the Met’s Iolanta/Bluebeard’s Castle double bill, directed by Mariusz Treliński.

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Eric Owens
© Cory Weaver

Eric Owens  sings Wotan in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Siegfried, part of the company’s ongoing new Ring cycle from director David Pountney (Nov. 3–16). Burkhard Fritz sings the title role, and Christine Goerke sings Brünnhilde; Andrew Davis conducts. In January, Owens sings Porgy in James Robinson’s staging of Porgy and Bess at Dutch National Opera. In April, the baritone travels to New York, for Hagen in Götterdämmerung, part of the Met’s Ring cycle. 

Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins makes his San Francisco Opera debut singing Harry Bailey in the West Coast premiere of Leonard Foglia’s It’s a Wonderful Life staging (Nov. 17–Dec. 9). William Burden sings George Bailey alongside Golda Schultz (Clara) and Andriana Chuchman (Mary Hatch), both of whom also make their company debuts. Later, Hopkins heads east, for Valentin in Washington National Opera’s Faust. 

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Lidiya Yankovskaya
Courtesy of COT

Russian–American conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, who earlier this year was named music director of Chicago Opera Theater,paces Iolanta for the company (Nov. 10–18); Paul Curran directs. In January, Yankovskaya heads to Washington National Opera, where she’ll make her company debut conducting the world premiere of Kamala Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents, as part of the American Opera Initiative Festival.

Turner Prize-winning photographer Wolfgang Tillmans makes his English National Opera debut, designing the sets for the house’s new production of Britten’s War Requiem (Nov. 16–Dec. 7), by director Daniel Kramer. ENO music director Martyn Brabbins paces soprano Emma Bell, tenor David Butt Philip and baritone Roderick Williams.

Russian mezzo Margarita Gritskova sings Anna in David McVicar’s new Troyens staging at Wiener Staatsoper (Oct. 14–Nov. 4). Alain Altinoglu paces the Berlioz, which also features Brandon Jovanovich (Enée), Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandre) and Joyce DiDonato (Didon). In December, Gritskova makes her role debut as Fenena in Günter Krämer’s Nabucco staging at Wiener Staatsoper.

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San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
© William Perry/Agefotostock

NN10 1118 This season, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions announced their debut in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In 2019, for the first time, Mexico will join MONCA, and district auditions will be open to all U.S., Canadian and Mexican citizens. Over the past year, MONCA volunteers and sponsoring organization Pro Música have organized and fundraised for the country’s inaugural auditions. Visit for more. spacer 

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