So 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).