Europe’s Opera Stages Next Season: What to See

Keeping up with opera in Europe is an almost impossible task. There never seems to be enough time or money to see everything the continent has to offer in its many historic homes. Many of its most important players have announced 2023-24 seasons. . Here are some highlights in chronological order.

London’s Royal Opera House is embarking on a multi-season initiative to present the first of Wagner’s four operas, The Ring of the Nibelungen (September 11-29) just as musical director Antonio Pappano enters his final season there. But while he’ll be back to helm his other three, it adds cohesiveness to this new staging by an undeniably entertaining Barry Kosky, starring Christopher Maltman as Wotan. Soon after, another major ‘ring’ begins with Monet in Brussels. It was there that the abstractionist Romeo Castellucci, who was content with symbols, produced his “Rheingold” (October 24th to November 9th) and “Valkyrie” (January 21st to February 11th) followed in quick succession.

When Berlin’s Komische Oper closes for renovations, the company enters a nomadic era familiar to the Berlin State Opera next door. The theater has been operating out of the Schiller Theater for many years, with many of Komische’s productions slated for next season. But inside a disused Tempelhof airport hangar, including a new staging by the sleek and smart Tobias Kratzer of Hans Werner Henze’s “Das Flos der Medusa” (“The Raft of Medusa”) also spreads (September 16th to October 2nd).

Provocateur Callisto Bieit’s production of Verdi’s Aida at the Basel Theater more than a decade ago has been described as an esoteric and even disturbing depiction of immigration in Europe. His new stage at the Berlin State Opera (October 3-29), more modestly billed as focusing on the intimacy of the work and digging up the tension between opera and the politics of the era. The role of Radames, Rene Pappe of the bus appeared as the role of Ramfis.

What was like a 17th-century variety show, a masquerade gets a modern treatment in this pastiche at Opera North.October 6th to November 16th). Hope gave Henry Purcell—one of his country’s essential composers and, in Pountney’s view, the greatest creator of stage music until Benjamin Britten—a duty as a theater playwright. to give. So rather than reviving Purcell’s only opera, Dido and Aeneas, Pounney gathered fragments from elsewhere in his output for a new show on topical contemporary themes.

After premiering in San Francisco this season, John Adams’ latest opera, a complex yet flowing adaptation of Shakespeare, will move to the Grand Teatro Liceu in Barcelona, ​​Spain (October 28th to November 8th). Written for the soprano Julia Bullock, one of the stars who missed her previous performances because she was pregnant, she will join the rest of the main cast for this revival directed by Elkanah Pulitzer. Adams, who is famous for correcting scores, will be on the conductor’s podium.

Yes, more “rings”. Conducted by General Music Director Gianandrea Anoseda and directed by its artistic leader, Andreas Homoki, Zurich His opera house series features elegant and powerful soprano Kamila Nielund in celestial voices with Brünnhilde. It concludes with the first performance of “Götterdämmerung” performed. Tenor Klaus Florian Vogt played Siegfried (November 5th to December 3rd). Then, in spring 2024, the entire Ring will be cyclically staged, starring Tomasz Koniecny as Wotan and Christopher Perves as Alberich (May 3-9, 18-26).

Gyorgy Ligeti’s only opera—a dizzying eclectic, post-apocalyptic dark comedy—was widely seen in the years immediately following its 1978 premiere. These days, that performance feels more like a special occasion. But next season he will have two to choose from. At the Vienna State Opera, Jan Lauwers, who directed a powerful revival of Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 at the Salzburg Festival, will conduct a new production conducted by Pablo Gerras-Cassado (November 11-23). At the Bavarian State Opera, the work will then be staged in a new staging by the intelligent Krzysztof Wallikowski, conducted by Kent Nagano, one of the house’s former general music directors (June 28th to July 7th).

Thomas Adès’ third opera — one of the greatest works of the century — seemed to have a future threatened by its own ambitions. With a massive (i.e. expensive) cast of major characters and a Wagner-sized orchestra, the revival wasn’t exactly inviting. It may have a less star-studded cast than earlier productions at the Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, but the new production of Callisto Bieito and conducting by Gustavo Dudamel, the company’s musical director, Ades. has a certain skill in the music of (February 29th to March 23rd).

After several seasons of successful world premieres of Michel van der Aer’s ‘Upload’ and Alexander Raskatov’s ‘Animal Farm’, the Dutch State Opera is pleased to announce Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid. I requested. The Shell Trial” will be presented at the Maison’s Opera Forward Festival (March 16-21). Inspired by a Dutch court’s 2021 ruling that held Shell legally responsible for her contributions to climate change, ‘Upload’ star Julia Bullock has embraced the dual role of law and artist. fulfill.

Everything on this list is a new production or premiere. But opera is an art form that thrives on the revival of classics in the repertoire, and hear today’s stars revisit works and productions of the past. Like Marschallin in “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Metropolitan Opera, she tends to surprise with her role debuts. She will soon appear more Strauss when she plays the title character in his “Salome” at the Paris Opera in a staging of Lydia Steyr, directed by Mark Wigglesworth (May 9-28).

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