Wednesday 26 March 2008

Next season at Covent Garden (2)

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of casting in the 2008/09 season is the appearance of Alfie Boe as the young servant in Elektra. Now this appearance might simply be the result of a stray piece of contracting left over from years back, but I presume not. In which case it would seem to signal an intention on Boe's part of developing his career as an opera singer. Since his appearances in Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme on Broadway, Boe has rather developed the more cross-over side of his career, though he has continued to perform stage roles (and will be singing in The Merry Widow at the Coliseum this year). What the small role in Elektra seems to show, is that he wants to take his voice in directions additional to the matinee idol role; more power to his elbow.
The title role in the opera will be sung by Susan Bullock (Hurrah), Chrysothemis by Anne Schwanevilms and Jane Henschel is Klytemnestra, so that whilst I was not overly enamoured of the production I can see that we will be wanting to re-visit it.

Amongst the other revivals, some highlights of the casting; Diana Damrau will be singing Adina (L'Elisir d'Amore), Joyce di Donato and Simon Keenlyside will sing in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (definitely a pairing to look out for); Renee Fleming makes an appearance as Violetta and Tosca comes back with Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani and Bryn Terfel.
None of the above makes me sick with desire, but it does represent some interesting, and worthwhile casting.

Joyce di Donato is also singing Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) sharing the role with Emma Bell, and Ian Bostridge as Don Ottavio. With Sir Charles Mackerras and Antonio Pappano sharing the conducting, Simon Keenlyside and Kyle Ketelson sharing the title role and Rebecca Evans as Zerlina these revivals of Don Giovanni look promising indeed.

John Sclesinger's Les Contes d'Hoffmann is coming back, with Rolando Villazon in the title role. But the press release makes no mention of the edition being used, so I presume that we are going to get the old traditional version with sung recitative. I think I'll keep this on ice until we get a re-thought musical edition, perhaps they should let Sir Charles Mackerras take charge of a revival.

Anna Netrebko scheduled to sing Giulietta in I Capuletti e i Montecchi, lets hope she does appear.

Anne Schwanewilms crops up again as Elsa, with Johan Botha in the title role of Lohengrin and Petra Lang as Ortrud - another revival to keep an eye on. Semyon Bychkov conducts.

In the new productions, La Calisto will see Sally Matthews, Veronique Gens, Guy de Mey, Dominique Visse and Lawrence Zazzo performing, sounds like a production worth hearing for the cast alone, especially when galvanised by producer David Alden.
And Dido and Aeneas will feature Sarah Connolly, Sara Fulgoni and Lucy Crowe, quite a cast.

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