Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

John F. Larchet's Complete Songs and Airs: in conversation with Niall Kinsella

Dublin-born John F. Larchet (1884-1967) might well be described as the father of post-Independence Irish music, given the immense influenced that he had upon Irish musical life during the first half of the 20th century - as a composer, musician, administrator and teacher.

Kirsten Flagstad Born This Day 125 Years Ago

On this day, the great Kirsten Flagstad was born 125 years ago.

New titles announced for Glyndebourne Open House

Glyndebourne has announced the next two opera titles in its virtual festival, Glyndebourne Open House - Britten’s Billy Budd and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

Les Talens Lyriques announces 2020-21 season with first modern performances of Salieri's Armida

Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques announce their 2020-21 season championing heroines, with the first modern performances of Salieri's breakthrough success Armida, 250 years after the work's premiere. A recording of Armida to be made during the season is complemented by the release of Mozart's Betulia liberate on Aparté this autumn. In June 2021, Les Talens Lyriques join the centennial Mozartfest Würzburg with performances of Idomeneo.

BBC Proms Announce 2020 Programme

From Bernstein to Benedetti, Haitink to Hvorostovsky, Mackerras to Kanneh-Masons, musical greats, from the past and the present, will be brought together in one extraordinary Proms season, 17 July - 12 September 2020.

Garsington Opera announces 2021 season

Next summer we return to celebrate our 10th Anniversary at Wormsley, in true Garsington style, using our distinctive indoor / outdoor theatre that offers so many opportunities for us to create wonderful performances in a safe environment for all.

UNMUTE: A Musical Reunion - Garsington Opera at Wormsley

Together with members of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Douglas Boyd conducts a programme of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Strauss with six soloists and readings by Samuel West.

Alfredo Piatti: The Operatic Fantasies (Vol.2) - in conversation with Adrian Bradbury

‘Signor Piatti in a fantasia on themes from Beatrice di Tenda had also his triumph. Difficulties, declared to be insuperable, were vanquished by him with consummate skill and precision. He certainly is amazing, his tone magnificent, and his style excellent. His resources appear to be inexhaustible; and altogether for variety, it is the greatest specimen of violoncello playing that has been heard in this country.’

Live from London: first-ever global online vocal festival announced

Live from London is a new, paid-for online festival from the VOCES8 Foundation, featuring some of the world’s finest vocal ensembles including VOCES8, I Fagiolini, Stile Antico, The Swingles, The Sixteen, Chanticleer and more.

Eboracum Baroque - Heroic Handel

Eboracum Baroque is a flexible period instrument ensemble, comprising singers and instrumentalists, which was founded in York - as its name suggests, Eboracum being the name of the Roman fort on the site of present-day York - while artistic director Chris Parsons was at York University.

Opera Rara at 50: Anniversary talk and Live Q&A

Artistic Dramaturge Roger Parker will be in conversation with musicologist Ditlev Rindom, introduced by Artistic Director Carlo Rizzi, on Thursday 25th June 2020 at 7pm BST.

Longborough Festival Opera launches opera podcast

Longborough Festival Opera is delighted to launch a new podcast, featuring today’s brightest stars for a series of conversations about the world of opera.

100 artists across 14 countries and 4 continents stage Guildhall School of Music & Drama digital opera double bill

This summer, Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s opera double bill has been transformed from the physical to the digital stage, with the creative team and artists from across the School bringing the productions to life from their homes using digital technology. It is now available to stream for free until Wednesday 1 July 2020.

Wexford Festival Opera: Waiting for Shakespeare…The Festival in the air

The 69th Wexford Festival Opera further develops its digital presence for 2020 to present a reimagined Festival: Waiting for Shakespeare…The Festival in the air, from Sunday, 11 October - Sunday, 18 October 2020.

First recipient of Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship to start at the Royal College of Music

Today the Royal College of Music (RCM) has announced that French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano will become the first recipient of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship. The scholarship means Clara will join the world-renowned RCM Opera Studio this September on the Artist Diploma (ArtDip) in Performance course at one of the world’s greatest conservatoires, ranked the top institution for Performing Arts in the UK for five consecutive years (QS World University Rankings).

English Touring Opera: In Conversation with Themba Mvula

English Touring Opera are starting a live series of conversations with the company's Artistic Director, James Conway. Each week James will be joined by a special guest and ETO Associate Artist Bradley Travis, and they hope listeners can join us and be part of the conversation.

Tête à Tête Airs Programme for a Real Opera Festival in an Imaginary World

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2020 is rooted in themes of unreal and fictional worlds, impending political doom and apocalyptic futures, reflecting a real world in a state of unease.

A Celebration of Aldeburgh Festivals, 12-28 June 2020

12 - 28 June 2020 would have been the 73rd Aldeburgh Festival and this is the first time in its history that it will not go ahead. During the period that the Festival would have taken place, Britten Pears Arts presents a celebration of the Festival’s unique programming over more than 70 years, in collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four, part of BBC Arts' Culture in Quarantine, keeping the arts and culture in the homes of the public despite the impact of lockdown which has seen festivals and performance venues unable to open.

English Touring Opera: Autumn 2020 Season Update

At English Touring Opera we are working to produce a live season of lyric theatre this Autumn, touring in October and November. This programme is being designed to observe social distancing guidelines in the interest of the safety of our artists and audience.

Opera Holland Park: Un ballo in maschera streaming postponed until Wednesday 3 June, 7.30pm

Opera Holland Park is aware of the #BlackOutTuesday movement among parts of the music industry that began to gather pace yesterday. For several weeks, we have planned to mark what would have been the opening night of the 2020 season with a streaming of our production from 2019 of Un ballo in maschera on our website and YouTube channel.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

Het Concertgebouw © Emmely Siebrecht
11 Mar 2018

Opera in Amsterdam in 2018-2019

The operatic tradition is not as old in the Netherlands as in other European countries, yet opera is a vital part of the Dutch classical landscape. Both Dutch National Opera & Ballet and the Concertgebouw are in Amsterdam, so the capital gets the lion’s share of the opera on offer.

Opera in Amsterdam in 2018-2019

A commentary by Jenny Camilleri

Above: Het Concertgebouw © Emmely Siebrecht

 

The Nederlandse Reisopera takes its productions on tour across the country and they also perform in Amsterdam, at the Royal Carré Theatre. Smaller touring companies such as Opera Zuid, Opera Trionfo and OPERA2DAY also visit the capital, with increasingly interesting productions and emerging talent. Not all their projects and performing dates for next season are public knowledge yet, but the big companies and venues have all announced their 2019-2018 season. Here’s a look at some of the vocal highlights.

Dutch National Opera (DNO) opens its season, an interesting mix of traditional and modern, with an “old” production, Simon McBurney’s darkly fascinating Die Zauberflöte. For those who have already seen it, there are at least three new casting reasons to return: sopranos Mari Eriksmoen (Pamina) and Kathryn Lewek (Queen of the Night) and tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Tamino). Robert Wilson’s minimalistic Madama Butterfly, inspired by Japanese Noh theatre, will also be revived. Russian soprano Elena Stikhina, whose star is on the rise, sings Cio-Cio-San. Two new productions, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, are marked out as family entertainment, with attractive pricing for the under-sixteens. This is the first time DNO is presenting Porgy and Bess and the cast includes Eric Owens, Adina Aaron and Latonia Moore. The Baroque era is served by a new staging of Vivaldi’s biblical oratorio Juditha triumphans. Floris Visser directs and Andrea Marcon conducts. The all-female cast is led by mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez. DNO Principal Conductor Marc Albrecht continues his Wagner series with Tannhaüser in a new production by Christof Loy. In the title role, tenor Daniel Kirch is torn between the Elizabeth of Svetlana Aksenova and the Venus of Ekaterina Gubanova. Co-productions making their way to Amsterdam include Àlex Ollé’s staging of George Enescu’s only opera, Oedipe. Johan Reuter and Sophie Koch are the incestuous couple and Amsterdam audience favorite Violeta Urmana sings the Sphinx. 

In March DNO organizes the Opera Forward Festival (OFF) to explore future directions in opera. Four new or very recent operas are programmed for 2019, including György Kurtág’s setting of Samuel Beckett’s play Fin de partie (Endgame), which gets its world premiere at La Scala in November of this year. For the Holland Festival, which takes place every June, DNO is putting on 15 hours of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s seven-opera cycle LICHT. Spread across three days, the performances are at the Gashouder, a circular industrial space within an old gasworks complex. Also on the Holland Festival programming is a new production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. Daniele Gatti conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO), in their single appearance at DNO, and Olivier Py directs. The cast is yet to be revealed.

The Nederlandse Reisopera kicks off its season with Puccini’s Tosca. As usual, this imaginative company has put together a short but assorted season. Their other two travelling productions will be Erich Korngold’s Die tote Stadt and Stephen Sondheim’s musical A Little Night Music. Amsterdam has to do without staged Verdi next season, but the NTR ZaterdagMatinee series at the Concertgebouw includes a concert version of Nabucco conducted by Giancarlo Andretta. Franco Vassallo sings the title role and Tatjana Serjan is Abigaille. Other operatic matinees include Andrea Marcon conducting Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade and Mark Elder conducting A village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius. The NTR ZaterdagMatinee season opens with Mussorgsky’s masterpiece Boris Godunov under the leadership of Pablo Heras-Casado.

There are more full-length operas in concert at the Concertgebouw. Barbara Hannigan conducts the LUDWIG ensemble and a cast of young soloists in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Daniel Harding leads the RCO in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, with Hungarian bass Gábor Bretz as the Duke. The RCO will also perform non-operatic vocal works, including Arthur Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher. The conductor is Stéphane Denève and the cast includes celebrated soprano Christine Goerke. Mariss Jansons conducts Britten’s War Requiem with soloists Elena Stikhina, Mark Padmore and Michael Volle. Antonio Pappano is on the rostrum for the Grande Messe des Morts by Berlioz, with tenor Javier Camarena. Continuing their Eastertide passion tradition, the RCO have invited William Christie to conduct Bach’s St. John Passion. Holland around Eastertime becomes Passionland and there are several other Bach Passion performances, at the Concertgebouw and other venues.

The virtuosic Cecilia Bartoli returns to the Concertgebouw, as she does practically every year, for an evening of Vivaldi. The intimate Concertgebouw Recital Hall hosts great song interpreters such as Sarah Connolly, Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Maltman and Roderick Williams. Soprano Anna Lucia Richter and baritone Georg Nigl perform Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch. Soprano Renée Fleming is also performing a program of French and German songs, but will appear in the Main Hall. Two other American opera stars, Lawrence Brownlee and Michael Spyres, promise an evening of tenorial prowess during a joint program of operatic arias.

The art song series at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ complements the recitals at the Concertgebouw. Next season it features both of Schubert’s great song cycles. Tenor Michael Schade sings Die schöne Müllerin and baritone Florian Boesch takes on Winterreise. Anne Sofie von Otter visits with an intriguing Shakespeare-themed program. The season at this waterside concert hall opens on the 8th of September with a celebration of conductor and composer’s Reinbert de Leeuw’s 80th birthday. Soprano Barbara Hannigan performs Erik Satie’s Socrate. The rest of the program will be a surprise for both De Leeuw and the audience. In May 2019 the Muziekgebouw hosts a festival celebrating the 80th birthday of another Dutch contemporary great, Louis Andriessen, including a staged double bill of his operas Odysseus' Women and Anaïs Nin.

With so much going on, there is a good chance that a visit to Amsterdam can include a classical vocal event somewhere. For those who want to make music the main item on their itinerary, some weeks offer richer pickings. Here are some suggestions.

Season Opener Weekend 7-8 September, 2018:

Friday, September 7: Die Zauberflöte, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 19:30 hrs

Saturday, September 8: Boris Godunov, Concertgebouw at 12:00 hrs

Saturday, September 8: Reinbert de Leeuw 80th Birthday Concert, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ at 20:15 hrs

Midweek Opera 6-7 December, 2018:

Thursday, December 6: Oedipe premiere, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 20:00 hrs

Friday, September 7: Bluebeard’s Castle (+Dvořák’s Piano Concerto), Concertgebouw at 20:15 hrs

Vivaldi 7-9 February, 2019:

Thursday, February 7: Juditha triumphans, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 20:00 hrs

Saturday, February 9: L’Olimpiade, Concertgebouw at 13:00 hrs

Contemporary Opera at the Opera Forward Festival 7-10 March, 2019:

Thursday, March 7: The Second Violinist by Donnacha Dennehy, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ at 21:00 hrs

Friday, March 8: Caruso a Cuba by Micha Hamel, Stadsschouwburg at 20:30 hrs

Saturday, March 9: Girls of the Golden West by John Adams, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 19:30 hrs

Sunday, March 10: Fin de partie by György Kurtág, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 14:00 hrs

Opera and Oratorio May 1-4, 2019:

Wednesday, May 1: Tannhäuser, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 18:30 hrs

Thursday, May 2: Madama Butterfly, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 20:00 hrs

Friday, May 3: Grande Messe des Morts, Concertgebouw at 20:15 hrs

Saturday, May 4: Missa solemnis (Beethoven, conducted by René Jacobs), Concertgebouw at 14:15 hrs

Holland Festival June 1-8 2019:

Saturday, June 1: Die Gezeichneten (Schreker), Concertgebouw at 13:00 hrs

Tuesday, June 4, aus LICHT Part 1, Gashouder, Westergasfabriek at 19:30 hrs

Wednesday, June 5, aus LICHT Part 2, Gashouder, Westergasfabriek at 13:15 hrs

Thursday, June 6, aus LICHT Part 3, Gashouder, Westergasfabriek at 12:30 hrs

Saturday, June 8, Pelléas et Mélisande, Dutch National Opera & Ballet at 19:30 hrs

DNO performances are subtitled in English and Dutch, those of most other opera companies and the NTR ZaterdagMatinee only in Dutch. Printed text translations at concerts and song recitals, when provided, are in Dutch. Buying tickets ahead online is pain free. All venues accept credit cards, allow you to choose your seat and issue e-tickets for printing at home. Single tickets for the coming season at the Concertgebouw go on sale on the 1st of June, 2018. DNO staggers its single ticket sales throughout the season. Detailed information is available on their website. Tickets for the Opera Forward Festival are also sold via DNO. Muziekgebouw aan ‘I IJ single tickets are already on sale. Tour dates for the Nederlandse Reisopera will be published soon. Their website will have links to online ticket sales at the various venues.

Jenny Camilleri

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):