Nostradamus predicts…

stephen-colbert-chicken-flight-3701So the COC 2015/16 season announcement looms and, as promised, I shall make the annual futile attempt to outguess Alexander Neef.  Actually it’s getting easier as the COC seems to be dropping into a pattern of doing runs of related operas and a lot of coproductions; none of which seem to start life in Toronto.  So, it’s become rather a case of when rather than whether.

Let’s start with the easy stuff.  Die Walküre this season was billed as the start of a Ring cycle so we ought to get  in 15/16 though I suppose that if one can skip Das Rheingold one could also skip Siegfried.  I doubt that though.  We’ve also had it broadly hinted that following Cosí fan tutte and Don Giovanni we might reasonably expect a Marriage of Figaro.  Oh yes, and a certain Georgian mezzo tweeted somewhat indiscreetly about returning to Toronto to sing the title role in Carmen in 15/16.

Then there are the co-pros.  These include Arabella and Maometto II from Santa Fe, Richard Jones’ Ariodante from Aix and a rather dull looking La Traviata shared by Houston and Chicago Lyric.  There’s also the Girard Parsifal but surely that will not be seen until after the Ring cycle.  Other data suggests that a Radvanovsky Norma is in the works and, in the completist category, after Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux one might expect the ER1 prequel, Anna Bolena.

“Sources” strongly suggest that Arabella and Maometto II are for sure (for some value of “sure”).  Ariodante is (or at least was) listed on the Aix website as coming to Toronto in the fall of 2016 so we can scrub that for now.  So with Arabella and Siegfried we can probably rule out anything else German and, on current form, anything else “modern” since anything post Puccini seems to count as daring enough these days.  Maometto II probably rules out  Anna Bolena and Norma.  Which appears to leave La Traviata, which would be about due in the normal run of things anyway, and Marriage of Figaro, since Mozart or Handel seems to feature every year.

That would leave the line up as Maometto II, Arabella, Siegfried, Carmen, La Traviata and Marriage of Figaro.  My gut reaction is that those last three in one season is rather overriding the opera pops but then I reflect that this season sees Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni and Barber of Seville.  The COC also has serviceable productions of Carmen and Marriage of Figaro that could be revived maintaining the pattern of three new productions and three revivals.

Wiggle room?  Of course, but nothing’s screaming at me that it’s obviously missing.  The Stravinsky Nightingale ought to be due for a revival given its initial success and could perhaps bump the Traviata or Figaro into 2016/17 but I doubt it.  We will see!

(no chickens were harmed during the research for this post).

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9 thoughts on “Nostradamus predicts…

    • I’ve been hearing “2018 at the earliest” for a while now. There are issues doing it in rep with another piece too. i.e the “blood” gets everywhere. I think it’s a great production but I really wonder whether we will ever see it.

      • That would be a shame. I guess I’ll have to plan on a trip to NYC when the Met revives it.

  1. Let’s hope that the eurotrash/ concept opera era of the COC ends sooner rather than later. In the meantime, no subscription for me. Mine was cancelled not long after Neef came to town. That awful production of Aida several years ago was the kicker for me.

    • Well we are going to disagree on that. I think museum piece productions of museum piece operas will be the death of the art form. I look forward to seeing Calixto Bieito direct in Toronto. The conservatism of Toronto theatre audiences was a total shock to me when I first moved here. Liverpool 40 years ago was about 20 years ahead of where Toronro is even now.

    • These are all just opinions of course, but correct me if I’m wrong but the Albery Aida was in the works well before Alexander Neef became AD of the COC (not that it matters either way – for me, it’s still one of the best COC productions of recent years – in this day and age, how else do you bring any credibility to this story without acknowledging the plight of the conquered nation?) Also, in the current roster of opera directors, Albery has to be one of the least self-involved – witness also his superb COC War and Peace and Gotterdamerung – no one currently stages big, grand operas like these better than him.

      • I went with Sabs because the Lemur was not interested in seeing Aida at all. We both thought it was exactly what needed to be happening at COC. It’s curious how polarising that production was as, one scene aside, there wasn’t that much about it that was particularly radical. I guess the kind of people who objected loudly feel that they own certain operas and have a right to see them done their way.

  2. Pingback: COC and the season announcement teasers | Definitely the Opera

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