Tuesday 23 March 2010


The latest issue of Opera magazine contains initial information about next season's plans from Opera North and Welsh National Opera, plus snippets of info about Covent Garden and ENO's plans.

Opera North are doing a season which includes the traditional favourites of Carmen, The Merry Widow and Fidelio, but also include Janacek's From the House of the Dead and Jonathan Dove's rather wonderful The Adventures of Pinocchio. They start their semi-staged Ring cycle with Das Rheingold. But the great rarity is The Portrait by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, the Polish born composer who spent much of his life in Moscow and was a friend of Shostakovich's. The Portrait was written in 1980 and is based on Gogol.

Over at WNO, the season includes plenty of old favourites: Fidelio, The Magic Flute, Cosi van Tutte, Die Fledermaus and Il Trovatora. But for novelties, we must be content with Ariadne auf Naxos (with Orla Boylan and Sarah Connolly in a production by Neil Armfeld) and Turandot (in a production by Christopher Alden).

Over at Covent Garden, it seems that Tim Albery will be directing a new Tannhäuser conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Its a long time since their last production of the opera so this outing is more than welcome. And Paul Curran will be doing a new production of Rimsky Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride.

More Wagner at the London Coliseum as ENO are reviving their production of Parsifal directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Stuart Skelton (who sang in their recent Peter Grimes) will sing the title role with John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz, and Irene Theorin as Kundry, conducted by Mark Wrigglesworth. I must confess that the production did not much appeal to me last time I saw it, but the cast sounds very promising.

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