NEW! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019


Zurich Opera have announced details of next season

Zurich Opera House

There are seventeen new productions:

Die Gezeichneten is one you probably haven’t heard of, even if I translate it into English: ‘The Stigmatized’ or ‘The Branded’. It’s by Franz Schreker, himself stigmatized by the Nazis. You may know Der ferne Klang, his better known opera. This rarity premièred in 1918 and was apparently very popular until the Nazis banned it. A misshapen aristocrat sets up an island off Genoa on which all possible pleasures can be enjoyed. Barrie Kosky is going to have fun as director. Vladimir Jurowski makes his debut in Zurich, Catherine Naglestad and John Daszak star. Opening night is 23 September 2018.

Così fan tutte needs no introduction. The choice of producer does, however, need comment, as it’s Kirill Serebrennikov, currently under house arrest in Russia for alleged misappropriation of funds for a new production. The Opera House Intendant Andreas Homoki went to great pains to stress that in the event of Serebrennikov being unable to leave Russia, his assistant will be up to the task. Young Armenian soprano Ruzan Mantashyan sings Fiordiligi, Anna Goryachova is Dorabella. Cornelius Meister conducts. Opening night on 4 November 2018.

Hänsel und Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck’s marvellous opera for children of almost all ages (the opera house says children from 8 years old just in case they are frightened by the witch). There are seventeen performances: Markus Poschner conducts many, and Fabio Luisi conducts just one, probably for the fun of it. Robert Carsen produces, luxury casting is Anna Stéphany as Hänsel and Olga Kulchynskaya as Gretel (Hamida Kristoffersen in some performances). Opening night 18 November 2018. Three performances are reserved exclusively for school kids, and prices for all children are substantially reduced.

Sweeney Todd, or The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, by Stephen Sondheim. Apparently when Bryn Terfel was singing the Dutchman in Zurich a few years ago, he convinced the management of the Zurich Opera to put on Sweeney Todd. I’m sure it will be a big success, Terfel sings in all 10 performances, over the Christmas period, and none other than Angelika Kirchschlager will be Mrs. Nellie Lovett. Andreas Homoki directs, David Charles Abell conducts. Sung in English, of course. Opens on 9 December 2018.

Le Grand Macabre by György Ligeti opens on 3 February 2019, conducted by Fabio Luisi, Tatjana Gürbaca directs. The plot involves a Breughelian end-of-the-world scenario complete with Sodom and Gomorrah and corrupt ministers. First performed in 1978 and described by Ligeti as an Anti-anti-opera. We shall see. Leigh Melrose stars as Nekrotzar.

La finta giardiniera (Mozart) which translates as ‘The pretend garden-girl’. Tatjana Gürbaca returns to direct, Gianluca Capuano conducts, Mauro Peter is Contino Belfiore, Myrtò Papatanasiu as Arminda. Opens on 17 February 2019, the orchestra is the Musikkollegium Winterthur.

Massenet’s Manon is up next, opening on 7 April 2019. Marco Armiliato in the pit, Floris Visser directs. Elsa Dreisig sings Manon Lescaut and Piotr Beczala as Des Grieux.

Rossini’s Il turco in Italia should be fun, opening on 28 April 2019. Conductor is Enrique Mazzola, director Jan Philipp Gloger. Julie Fuchs sings Donna Florilla.

There will be three concert performances of Bellini’s opera La sonnambula. Unsure why it is only a concert performance, but they will be popular as Pretty Yende will surely sparkle in the title role; Lawrence Brownlee also stars. First performance is on 5 May 2019.

Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia will play in Winterthur, with the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Antonino Fogliani conducts, Johannes Pölzgutter directs. Opens 15 May 2019 at Theater Winterthur.

Hippolyte et Aricie, by Jean-Philippe Rameau, opens on 19 May 2019. Emmanuelle Haïm conducts, Jetske Mijnssen directs. Stéphane d’Oustrac stars.

There will be a concert performance in Paris on 26 May 2019 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

For Verdi lovers, Nabucco conducted by Fabio Luisi, produced by Andreas Homoki. Michael Volle sings the title role, Catherine Naglestad as Abigaille. Opens 23 June 2019.

Revivals include:

La verità in cimento (Vivaldi), 25 September 2018.

Macbeth (Verdi) (a Barrie Kosky production) 27 September 2018.

La bohème (Puccini) 29 September 2018.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart) 21 October 2018.

Madama Butterfly (Puccini) cond. Luisi, 25 November 2018.

The Pearl Fishers (Bizet) 16 December 2018.

Semele (Handel), William Christie conducts, Cecilia Bartoli in title role. 31 December 2018.

Rigoletto (Verdi) with Quinn Kelsey in title role. 17 January 2019.

Der Rosenkavalier (Richard Strauss), Luisi conducts, Anna Stéphany as Octavian, Sabine Devieilhe as Sophie. 15 February 2019.

Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Nello Santi conducts, Diana Damrau as Lucia. 22 February 2019.

Tannhäuser (Wagner) in a Harry Kupfer production, Stephen Gould in the title role, with Lise Davidsen as Elisabeth. 23 March 2019.

Norma (Bellini), Luisi conducts, Michael Spyres and Maria Agresta star. 2 June 2019.

Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart) 10 June 2019.

La forza del destino (Verdi), Luisi conducts, Homoki produces. Anja Harteros returns as Donna Leonora for three of the five performances (30 June 2019).

Last – but by no means least – Richard Strauss’ Elektra with Waltraud Meier and Evelyn Herlitzius; Simone Young conducts (7 July 2019).

For details of ballet performances (including an intriguing Winterreise using the Hans Zender orchestral scoring, choreographed by Christian Spuck), recitals (including Thomas Hampson, Anna Stéphany, Lise Davidsen, Javier Camarena, Anja Harteros, Pavol Breslik, Angelika Kirchschlager and Rolando Villazón) and concerts by the opera-house orchestra Philharmonia Zurich (including  Shostakovich’s Fifth (Rustioni), Schubert’s Ninth and Beethoven’s Third (Luisi), Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances (Trevino), and two Beethoven piano concertos with Beatrice Rana (described by Fabio Luisi as ‘a shooting star’), may I refer you to the opera house website (click here).

John Rhodes

Print Friendly


Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews



Season Previews

  • NEW! The 2018 BBC Proms __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Nicolò Isouard’s Cinderella __________________________________
  • NEW! Pop-Up Opera’s 2018 Mozart Double Bill __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF) 2018 Celebrates its Eighth Year __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Chess at the London Coliseum from 26 April for 5 Weeks __________________________________
  • NEW! The Three Choirs Festival 2018: A Preview __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Season at the Royal Opera House __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018 Cheltenham Music Festival – 30 June to 15 July __________________________________
  • NEW! Staatsoper Unter de Linden in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! St Petersburg Ballet Theatre Bring Swan Lake to London in August __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet Announces its 2018-19 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2018-19 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Booking Open for Longborough Festival Opera 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Additional Tickets Now Available for Nevill Holt Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro __________________________________
  • NEW! Leeds Lieder’s Four-Day Celebration of Art Song in April 2018 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

  • NEW! Chelsea Opera Group Perform Massenet’s Thaïs at the Cadogan Hall on 23 June __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Carly Paoli Sings for Chelsea Pensioners, at Cadogan Hall, and Signs for Sony/ATV __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • NEW! A First Charity Classical Music Concert at Finchcocks on 27 May __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! Trinity Laban Moves to Abolish All-Male Composer Concerts __________________________________
  • NEW! Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella in Cinemas on 15 May with Live Q&A __________________________________
  • NEW! Newly Discovered Song by Alma Mahler to be Performed in Oxford and Newbury __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ANDREA CARÈ AS HE RETURNS TO COVENT GARDEN AS DON JOSÉ __________________________________
  • NEW! Rafael de Acha Introduces Some of Cincinnati’s New Musical Entrepreneurs __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month