Preview of the 2012/2013 Season at Zurich Opera

SwitzerlandSwitzerland Major Changes in the New Season (JR)

Three major changes take place at Zurich Opera next season: Intendant Alexander Pereira will by then have departed for Salzburg, his place taken by Andreas Homoki. Homoki comes fresh from the Komische Oper Berlin and is an opera director of note. Daniele Gatti makes way as General Music Director to Verdi specialist Fabio Luisi, whose first step is to re-name the opera orchestra the Philharmonia Zurich. Purely orchestral concerts both within Switzerland and abroad are planned. Christian Spuck (a former John Cranko dancer, then ballet director in Stuttgart) takes over as Ballet Director from Hans Spoerli.

The season opens on 23rd September 2012 with a new production of Jenufa; conductor is Fabio Luisi, Kristine Opolais (Mrs. Andris Nelsons) sings the role of Jenufa, with Christopher Ventris as Laca. Dmitri Tcherniakov is the director.

The Flying Dutchman will premiere on 9th December 2012 with Bryn Terfel singing the Dutchman at some performances. Matti Salminen sings Daland, Anja Kampe signs Senta. Alain Altinoglu conducts, Andreas Homoki directs.

Luisi conducts a new production of Rigoletto with its première on 3rd February 2013. The director is Tatjana Gürbaca, Rigoletto is sung by Quinn Kelsey, Gilda by Aleksandra Kurzak.

Contemporary music lovers are not ignored: Three Sisters by Peter Eötvös premieres on 9th March; the opera was a great success when first performed in Lyon in 1998.

Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk opens on 7th April, conducted by Teodor Currentzis, directed by Andreas Homoki. Tatjana Serjan sings the title role as Katerina.

Don Giovanni (première on 26th May 2013) is conducted by Robin Ticciati and directed by Sebastian Baumgarten. Peter Mattei sings the Don.

A Bellini rarety, La Straniera, premieres on 23rd June and is directed by Christof Loy with Fabio Luisi in the pit. Edita Gruberova sings Alaide.

There are revivals of Salome; Roberto Devereux (Donizetti) with Gruberova as Elisabetta; Tosca (with Luisi conducting) and Thomas Hampson and Lucio Gallo sharing the role as Scarpia; Lucia di Lammermoor; Marriage of Figaro (under Christopher Hogwood) with Christopher Maltman as Count Almaviva; a David Pountney production of Un Ballo in Maschera with Nello Santi in the pit and with Ramon Vargas as King Gustav.

Also reviving are Il Seraglio; Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (Waltraud Meier as Santuzza, Zoltan Todorovich sings both Turiddu and Canio); Harry Kupfer’s production of Tannhäuser with Peter Seiffert in the title role; La Scala Di Seta (Rossini); La Bohème with Fabio Luisi conducting; Carmen (Kate Aldrige in the title role); Madama Butterfly with Carlo Rizzi conducting; Parsifal with Stuart Skelton as Parsifal; Handel’s Rinaldo under Ivor Bolton; Falstaff under Nello Santi; La Traviata; Rusalka; and Rosenkavalier (Luisi conducts and Nina Stemme sings the Marschallin).

Orchestral concerts will focus on Schumann (symphonies 1,2, and 4), with a Messiah on December 23rd, a Shostakovich 4th Symphony on 12th May 2013 (in the Tonhalle) and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, also in the Tonhalle, on 7th July 2013.

These are the highlights; for more details, dates and prices visit the Zurich opera house website at Surtitles, incidentally, for all operas are in German and English.

John Rhodes