Don’t cry for me Vancouver

2011-09-21-Rigoletto-2073There were two big 2015/16 season announcements yesterday.  On the west coast Vancouver Opera unveiled a four production season.  there’s fairly conventional fare; Verdi’s Rigoletto (d) Nancy Hermiston (c) Jonathan Darling and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (d) Michael Cavanagh.  Less conventionally they are offering Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters.  It’s about conflict in a breakaway Mormon community.  Anthony Tommasini gave the original production a somewhat mixed review in the NYT but it sounds like it’s not without interest.  It’s presented here in a new production by Amiel Gladstone and Kinza Tyrrell will conduct.  Rounding out the season is Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Evita in a production by Kelly Robinson.  Casting information is sparse but Simone Osborne will sing Gilda in the Rigoletto.

Over on the other coast New York’s Metropolitan Opera also announced.  Not content with doing a rehash of Puccini’s greatest hits they are doing pretty much all of them!  There are five in all.  Manon Lescaut gets a new production by Richard Eyres set in Occupied France.  The main interest here may be the casting with Jonas Kaufmann and Kristine Opolais as the lovers.  The Turandot is a revival of Zeffirelli’s much {insert adjective of choice here} production.  There’s an interesting line up of Turandots with Nina Stemme, Christine Goerke and Lise Lindstrom all getting a crack.  Revivals of Tosca, La Bohème and Madama Butterfly round out the Puccininess.  Sondra Radvanovsky will sing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens, a feat last essayed in New York by Beverley Sills at NYCO.  David McVicar is responsible for a new production of Roberto Devereux joining his two previous efforts.  Some starry casting here with Polenzani, Kwiecien and Garanca joining Radvan.

There’s a small hat tip to modernity with Patrice Chéreau’s production of Strauss’ Elektra, previously presented in Aix and Milan, with a very strong cast headed by Nina Stemme.  She will be joined by Waltraud Meier, Adrianne Pieczonka and Eric Owens.  Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducts.  This is joined by a new William Kentridge production of Berg’s Lulu with Marlis Petersen in the title role.  James Levine conducts.

The other new productions are Verdi’s Otello in a production by Bartlett Sher and Bizet’s
Les Pêcheurs de Perles in Penny Woolcock’s production transplanted from ENO.  The rest of the season is made up of revivals of pretty standard late 18th and 19th century rep.

It’s a glass half full sort of season in my view.  Nothing pre Mozart and nothing later than 1935 gives a pretty narrow view of what opera is and can be.  On the other hand there are lots of stars.  It’s an expensive steak house sort of season.  More for the gourmand than the gourmet perhaps?

The cinema broadcast series features all six new productions in a ten production schedule.  They are joined by revivals of Il Trovatore, Madama Butterfly, Turandot and Tannhäuser.  The first three have already featured in the HD series and are available on DVD/Blu-ray though there’s some interest in the soprano casting with Netrebko, Opolais and Stemme starring.  The Wagner features Petter Mattei’s Wolfram (worth “any amount of medieval kitsch” according to @singingscholar) but also will force one to watch Johan Botha in an orgy; a truly frightening prospect.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t cry for me Vancouver

  1. Otello is one of my favorite operas and Lucic aside (what does the Met casting department see in this guy) it looks exciting musically but Sher directing. I thought of something I read many years ago. After the German defeat at Stalingrad Hitler said something like “this is a disaster of unimaginable consequences.” I saw Opolais in Butterfly and you should try to make the HD–it is a truly great performance (also a beautiful production). The Lulu (another favorite of mine) looks exciting except that I am the only person on the planet who didn’t like Kentridge’s production of the Nose. KO and JK in Manon Lescaut should also be great even if it is in another boring Eyre production (can’t be worse than the one they did at ROH). Elektra is the only production I can get really excited about. Rad in the Three Queens should be fun but McVicar seems to be channeling Schenck. The Pearl Fishers????? I am also waiting for the Met to get on the broadway musical bandwagon–say a special run of Domingo in Fiddler On The Roof?

    • Yes, the Minghella production is maybe the only Butterfly production I’ve seen that I really liked. No secret that I have issues with that piece! The Elektra and Lulu are both must sees for me. I may even brave McSchenk for Sondra. She was brilliant as Elisabetta in Toronto. I love your Fiddler idea. Maybe Placido could conduct it too?

  2. Wondering if the Met has some kind of long-term contract with Sher??? I enjoyed his Barber in HD the first time it was shown but have to say neither Hoffmann nor Ory really did much for me and reports of his Elisir weren’t great. Given the abundance of US and international talent in directing [when is the Met going to bring back Tim Albery???], you wonder why they keep hiring the likes of Sher, Zimmerman etc.
    Anyway…just a little correction – pretty sure Sills did her Queens trifecta at New York City Opera, not the Met. It would be a thrill to hear Radvan essay all three next season. Looking forward (in HD at least) to the Manon Lescaut – it’s full of great tunes and in a way, one of Puccini’s rawer efforts. I thought the Woolcock Pecheurs got pretty good notices at ENO? The Elektra also seems a must – nice to see Pieczonka back at the Met!

  3. Pingback: The Met’s HD season for 2015/16 | operaramblings

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