Sunday 11 April 2010

New season at Covent Garden

The programme for the Royal Opera's 2010/11 season has been announced. The new productions certainly cover an interesting range. Agostino Steffani's Niobe makes its UK debut in a production from the 2008 Schwetzingen Festival. Steffani was an older contemporary of Handel's. Steffani was Kapellmeister at the Hanoverian court and may have been responsible for Handel getting his job there. Niobe was first produced, in Munich, in 1688. The Covent Garden production will include Veronique Gens as Niobe and a Polish high counter-tenor, Jacek Laszczkowski as Anfione.

Receiving its first production at Covent Garden since 1902 is Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. The title role requires a real diva and Covent Garden have engaged the services of the diva du jour, Angela Gheorghiu, with Jonas Kauffman as Maurizio. David McVicar produces and Mark Elder conducts. Certainly an unmissable evening.

Another rarity, Massenet's Cendrillon is receiving its first ever Covent Garden production, with a fabulously enticing cast. Alice Coote as the Prince, Joyce DiDonato as Cendrillon and Eglise Gutierrez as the Fairy Godmother. Betrand de Billy conducts and Laurent Pelly produces.

Just as rare, but in a rather different style is Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride. Mark Elder conducts again and Paul Curran makes his debut as director with the Royal Opera. The cast is mainly Russian and includes Marina Poplavskaya, who made an impression as Elisabeth in Don Carlo.

The final new production is Wagner's Tannhauser with Johan Botha and Eva-Maria Westbroek. Semyon Bychkov conducts with Tim Albery directing. This is the first time the opera has been given at Covent Garden since 1987, when Gwynneth Jones sang Elisabeth. Its not my favourite Wagner opera, but its rarity makes it unmissable.

There is actually one other new production, this time of a new opera. Mark Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole. The libretto is by Richard Thomas, one of the creators of Jerry Springer the Opera. Richard Jones directs, with Eva Maria Westbroek as Anna Nicole, Antonio Pappano conducts. Promises to be an interesting evening.

Over in the Linbury there are two further premieres. ETO bring Alexander Goehr's new opera Promised End, based on King Lear. Another unmissable evening. And James MacMillan is developing a new opera for the Linbury in May 2011.

As regards revivals, we have Charles Mackerras conducting Don Pasquale and Hansel and Gretel, with Christine Rice and Ailish Tynan in the title roles. Simon Keenlyside makes his debut as Macbeth, certainly an interesting piece of casting. McVicar's Aida returns with Roberto Alagna as Radames (memories of his Milan walk-out well behind him I hope). Ben Heppner is heading a revival of Peter Grimes (perhaps I'll like the production a little more this time). And Rolando Villazon and Sophie Koch appear in Werther, at least we hope that Villazon will appear. And it will be lovely to hear a native French speaker as Charlotte.

1 comment:

  1. what seems like forever for the caovent garden, will hopefully not make me nuts!


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