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Reviews

08 Apr 2017

The Royal Opera House announces its 2017/18 season

Details of the Royal Opera House's 2017/18 Season have been announced. Oliver Mears, who will begin his tenure as Director of Opera, comments: “I am delighted to introduce my first Season as Director of Opera for The Royal Opera House. As I begin this role, and as the world continues to reel from social and political tumult, it is reassuring to contemplate the talent and traditions that underpin this great building’s history. For centuries, a theatre on this site has welcomed all classes - even in times of revolution and war - to enjoy the most extraordinary combination of music and drama ever devised. Since the time of Handel, Covent Garden has been home to the most outstanding performers, composers and artists of every era. And for centuries, the joyous and often tragic art form of opera has offered a means by which we can be transported to another world, in all its wonderful excess and beauty.”

New productions:

The Royal Opera’s Season includes six new productions at the Royal Opera House.

A new production of La bohème will be directed by Richard Jones. David Alden will direct Semiramide and Lohengrin : the latter, which will be conducted by Andris Nelsons - returning to the House after his outstanding performances of Der Rosenkavalier earlier this season - is the first staging of the opera at the Royal Opera House since 1977. Barrie Kosky, returning to the House after his critically acclaimed 2016 production of The Nose will direct Carmen . One of the Season’s highlights’ will surely be From the House of the Dead directed by Polish theatre director Krzysztof Warlikowsi, making his UK debut - a production which will initiate a complete survey of Janáček’s operatic oeuvre during the next six years. The Season will also see the world premieres of George Benjamin ’s new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence directed by Katie Mitchell and Donizetti’s L’ange de Nisida , conducted by Mark Elder 179 years after it was completed.

Antonio Pappano will conduct two new productions as well as revivals of Macbeth (starring Serbian baritone Željko Lučić in the title role and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko as his ambitious, scheming wife) and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

In La Bohème, Australian soprano Nicole Car and former Jette Parker Young Artist Romanian soprano Simona Mihai will share the role of Mimì, and American tenor Michael Fabiano will tackle the role of Rodolfo for the first time at Covent Garden, following his debut as Lensky in 2015. Joyce DiDonato will take the title role in Semiramide, which she created for Alden’s production when it was given its premiere by the Bavarian State Opera in February 2017. Semiramide was last seen at Covent Garden in 1885 when Adelina Patti sang the title role; a concert performance of the opera was given by the Royal Opera House in 1986.

Pappano, now in his 16th season with The Royal Opera, will also conduct the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a concert performance with baritone Christian Gerhaher, and give a recital with Joyce DiDonato.

Revivals:

The Season’s programme also includes first revivals of Olivier Award-winning Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci (Simon Keenlyside sings his first Tonio), the much-discussed Lucia di Lammermoor (Michele Mariotti conducts, American-Cuban soprano Lisette Oropesa debuts as Lucia), Les Vêpres siciliennes and Philip Venables’ UK Theatre Award-winning 4.48 Psychosis .

The Season will also see revivals of Rigoletto, Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni (as directed by Kaspar Holten, and featuring Mariusz Kwiecień in the title role, which he created in this production in 2014).

Outside the House:

The Season also includes four premieres away from the Royal Opera House in collaboration with a range of partners, co-producers and co-commissioners: the world premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage ’s new opera Coraline at the Barbican Centre; Mamzer Bastard by Guildhall School of Music & Drama/Royal Opera Composer in Residence Na’ama Zisser; and a new work by Tansy Davies produced by London Sinfonietta in association with The Royal Opera.

The Return of Ulysses will be performed at theRoundhouse, andLa tragédie de Carmen will be performed at Wilton’s Music Hall by members of the Jette Parker Young Artist programme.

The Royal Opera will collaborate with the V&A for an exhibition covering almost 400 years of operatic history: Opera: Passion, Power and Politics , which opens in September 2017.

Looking ahead to the 2018/19 Season, four full cycles of Keith Warner’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen will be performed between September and November 2018; booking details will be available in autumn 2017.

During the 2017/18 Season, 12 productions — six from The Royal Opera and six from The Royal Ballet — will be relayed live from Covent Garden to cinemas around the world. The programme features a mixture of new productions and classic works. Find your nearest cinema.

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