Zurich Opera presents new season 2013/2014

SwitzerlandSwitzerland Zurich Opera presents new season 2013/2014

The highlights next season in Zurich include nine opera premières and three ballet premières. In addition there will be 22 revivals, six concerts with the opera’s orchestra and nine Lieder recitals.

Opera Premières

The season kicks off, a little later than in previous years, on 22nd September 2013 with a première of “Die Soldaten” by Bernd Alois Zimmermann, conducted by Marc Albrecht, and produced by Catalan Calixto Bieito. Further premières will be Gounod’s “Faust” conducted by Patrick Lange, director Jan Philipp Gloger with Pavel Breslik in the role of Faust, Kyle Ketelsen as Mephistopheles and Amanda Majeski as Marguerite (Nov. 3, 2013). The first collaboration in Zurich between Music Director Fabio Luisi and General Director (Intendant) Andreas Homoki will be for Beethoven’s “Fidelio” (8th December 2013) with Brandon Jovanovich as Florestan and Anja Kampe as Leonore.

On 26th January 2014 Handel’s “Alcina” will be performed under the baton of Giovanni Antonini and directed by Christof Loy, with Cecilia Bartoli in the title role (in her role debut); she will sing the first six of a total of nine performances. Fabio Luisi’s second première on 2nd March 2014 will be Verdi’s “Aida”, Tatjana Gürbaca returns to direct, Latonia Moore sings Aida, Aleksandrs Antonenko sings Radames, both having their debut in Zurich. Luisi intimated there will be neither horses nor elephants on stage and that, given the smallish stage, the production would focus on the arias rather than the grand pieces.

Robert Carsen returns to Zurich to direct Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades” (“Pique Dame”) with Jiri Belohlavek in the pit in Zurich for the first time (6th April 2014).

Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria” is conducted by Ivor Bolton (17th May 2014) in a new production by Willi Decker giving Sara Mingardo and Kurt Streit their debuts in Zurich. Puccini’s “Fanciulla del West” (22nd June 2014) is conducted by Marco Armiliato, producer Barrie Kosky with Catherine Naglestad as Minnie.

Opera revivals

Revivals include “Don Giovanni” (25th Sept. 2013) (with Robin Ticciati in the pit), “Rigoletto” (27th September 2013), Bellini’s “La Straniera” (28th September 2013) with Edita Gruberova as Alaide, “Otello” (13th October 2013) under Paolo Carignani (producter Graham Vick) with Peter Seiffert as Otello, “The Mastersingers of Nuremberg” (10th November 2013) with Sebastian Weigle conducting, Harry Kupfer producing; Roberto Sacca sings Stolzing, Emma Bell sings Eva. “Jenufa” returns (22nd November 2013) with Patrick Lange conducting and Kristine Opolais once more in the title role.

Nello Santi, a Zurich regular, conducts “La Bohème” over Christmas and New Year. Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” returns on 14th Jan. 2014, “Cosi fan tutte” on 6th February and “Don Carlo” on 15th February 2014. The “Don Carlo” will be conducted by Fabio Luisi; vocal focus will be on René Pape as Philip II, Fabio Sartori as Don Carlo and Michael Volle as Rodrigo.

The Flying Dutchman” sails back down Lake Zurich on 11th March 2014 not, as this season, in the shape of Bryn Terfel but Finn Juha Uusitalo. Luisi conducts “The Tales of Hoffmann” on 21st March 2014 with Bryan Hymel as Hoffmann. “Andrea Chenier” is Santi’s second opera (12th April 2014), followed some days later by “Salome” (19th April 2014) with Alain Altinoglu in the pit. Nina Stemme sings the title role, Hanna Schwarz is Herodias, Evgeny Nikitin as Jokanaan.

Peter Grimes” makes a welcome return to Switzerland on 24th May 2014 in a Pountney production; Christopher Ventris sings Grimes, Emily Magee sings the role of Ellen Orford and Jan-Hendrik Rootering is Captain Balstrode; Pablo Heras-Casado conducts. Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux” is staged (27th June 2014) in a del Monaco production, Edita Gruberova as Elisabetta. Vasily Petrenko conducts “Carmen” (29th June 2014), Kate Aldrich sings the title role with Brandon Jovanovich as Don José.

Philharmonic concerts, recitals and ballet

Orchestral concerts, four of a total six of which will be conducted by Fabio Luisi, are performed on either the opera stage or in the Tonhalle, and include performances of Symphonie Fantastique, Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, Mahler’s First Symphony, Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony, and Beethoven’s Mass in C major. William Christie directs Zurich’s baroque orchestra La Scintilla in an all Mozart programme and Lise de la Salle, the artist in residence, will perform, over two years, all Rachmaninov’s piano concertos and the Paganini Variations. All concerts take place at the rather unconventional time of 11.15 a.m. on a Sunday!

There will be recitals by Waltraud Meier, Nina Stemme, Matthias Goerne and Dmitry Hvorostovsky.

Ballet premières will be “Woyzeck” by Zurich Ballet Director Christian Spuck, “Forellen Quintett” based on music by Schubert, and “Notations” by British choreographer Wayne McGregor. Hugely popular ”Romeo and Julia” is a Christian Spuck revival as is “Sleeping Beauty”.

Note: All dates refer to the date of the first performance.

For all details please visit the Zurich opera website www.opernhaus.ch.

John Rhodes