Geneva Grand Théâtre in 2019-20

17/05/2019

Aviel Cahn’s Forthcoming 2019-20 Season in Geneva is Reminiscent of Gérard Mortier’s Radical Approach at La Monnaie

Grand Théâtre de Genève

The next season of the Geneva Grand Théâtre has been announced. It is the first under the directorship of Aviel Cahn, whose Antwerp Opera House has just been awarded the prestigious ‘Best Company Award’, beating Vienna, London, Munich, Paris, …

This is more than a new season; it is definitely the start of a new dawn.

Aviel Cahn’s predecessor Tobias Richter will be remembered for running a balanced and competent house and for successfully managing the transfer between the Grand Théâtre to the Théâtre des Nations during the course of several seasons.

But overall, Tobias Richter ran the Geneva Théâtre with the model of various German houses in mind, whereas opera in Geneva was a world unto itself. Aviel Cahn is bringing opera to Geneva, blending his choices to the various parts of the city and with an overall outreach.

The repertory is very different from past directors. One world première, Voyage vers l’espoir on the theme of refugees, Saint-François d’Assise, Messiaen’s monumental opera receiving its Swiss première under the baton of Jonathan Nott, Music Director of the Swiss Romande Orchestra and former Music Director of Boulez’s ensemble Intercontemporain; Philip Glass’s minimalist Einstein on the Beach will be performed by musicians from the Geneva High School for Music, while we will also see baroque works and a baroque conductor performing Mozart … only Rossini’s La Cenerentola looks like an easily accessible classical work.

Unlike in the past season, there are several top box-office names mixed in with local artists. Many musicians, directors and conductors are new names. Only Iván Fischer, who will conduct two performances of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with his Budapest players and will be in Geneva on a multi-year partnership, has star power.

There will be political undertones. Cahn understands that opera should be an art form which allows audiences to understand topical issues. The Mozart looks fascinating: the dialogue has been updated by the human rights activist Aslı Erdoğan. When one thinks about what is happening in Turkey, no longer a democracy, Cahn is making us aware that musicians can use their art to speak more freely than the neighbouring United Nations ambassadors are allowed to.

Cahn is also adding a series of initiatives, the beach – La Plage – to reach new audiences (no relation to Glass’s Opera). These are a series of conferences, presentations, meetings between artists and audiences to ensure that opera houses do not become museum but open forums. This is very much needed in Geneva, where the average age of operagoers is high.

In this respect, Cahn is following in the footsteps of Gérard Mortier.

All of this will not be easy.

Like Mortier, Cahn will encounter resistance and tradition and like Mortier, not all of his choices may be flawless. But there is a new enhanced sense of art not being a luxury item but rather central to life and for everyone.

There is a new logo, new works, new artists, a new website (click here), and a social media handle: #WeArtGTG.

This is a radical departure that has the potential to be truly exciting.

Here are the details of the new season:

  • Glass: Einstein on the Beach – T Engel, Orchestra of the Geneva ‘Haute Ecole de Musique’/D Finzi Pasca
  • Verdi: Aïda – A Fogliani, Swiss Romande Orchestra/P McDermott, Y Lee/N Mavyanov, S Farnocchia/E Stikhina, M Prudenskaya /A Smirnova, A Markov, L Li, D Thomson
  • Monteverdi: Orfeo – I Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra, E Barath, V Contaldo, M Czerniawsky, C Auvity, F Fernández-Rueda, N RIal, L Mancini
  • Rameau: Les Indes Galantes – L García Alarcón, Cappella Mediterranea/L Steier, K Mkhitaryan, R Mameli, C de Sévigné, A Edris
  • Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail – F Biondi, Swiss Romande Orchestra/L Perceval, M Grazia Schiavo/R Nelsen, C de Sévigné, J Behr, D Delaere, N di Pierro
  • Meyerbeer: Les Hugenots – M Minkowski, Swiss Romande Orchestra/J Wieler and S Morabito, A Durlovski, J Osborn · M Süngü, M Pertusi, L Desandre, L Alvaro, R Willis-Sørensen, A Duhamel
  • Jost: Voyage vers l’espoir – G Fletz, Swiss Romande Orchestra/ K Mundruczó, K Karagedik, R Chaieb, V Le Texier, D Thomson
  • Rossini: La Cenerentola – S Montanari, Swiss Romande Orchestra/L Pelly, A Goryachova, E Racha, R Novaro, C Lepore, C de Sévigné, M Viotti
  • Messiaen: Saint François d’Assise – J Nott, Swiss Romande Orchestra/A Abdessemed, K Ketelsen, C de Sévigné, A Briscein, M Kraus, J Bridges, D Delaere

Antoine Lévy-Leboyer

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • UPDATED ONLINE NEWS! IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC __________________________________
  • NEW! BBC Proms turns 125 years old – 17 July to 12 September 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera North in 2020-2021 – postponements and plans __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich 2020-2021 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Glyndebourne Festival Opera opens for a 2020 summer season __________________________________
  • NEW! Baritone Federico Longhi’s Rigoletto is part of Parma’s June Verdian renaissance __________________________________
  • NEW! 69th Wexford Festival Opera – 11 to 18 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Dresden’s Semperoper reopens with Anna Netrebko on 19 June __________________________________
  • NEW! Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal in 2020-21 __________________________________
  • NEW! LMP’s first UK chamber orchestra performances since Covid-19 struck __________________________________
  • NEW! Oxford Lieder Festival – 10-17 October 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Metropolitan Opera (2020–)2021 season update __________________________________
  • NEW! Royal Opera House announces first live concert since beginning of lockdown __________________________________
  • NEW! Semi-staged Das Rheingold on Deutsche Oper Berlin’s parking deck from 12 June __________________________________
  • NEW! A breath of fresh air: Opera Holland Park announces 2021 season __________________________________
  • NEW! Grange Park Opera’s 2020 Found Season – 4 June to 12 July __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2020 Salzburg Festival – 1 to 30 August __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival’s 2020 online series of concerts and talks __________________________________
  • The Singapore Symphony in 2020-2021 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Search S&H

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! We’ll be back! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra weathering the Covid-19 storm __________________________________
  • NEW! World Ballet School Day – inaugural edition 7 July 2020 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Longborough Festival Opera launches podcast and extraordinary generosity of the audience __________________________________
  • NEW! The Music Critics Association of North America Best New Opera Award to Blue __________________________________
  • NEW! Lincoln Center honors Pride with a light installation on its iconic plaza __________________________________
  • R.I.P. Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020): Did we really need Vera Lynn during the war? __________________________________
  • NEW! What price Sherlock Holmes? __________________________________
  • NEW! BBC to show the ROH’s first post-lockdown performance and their other recent music news __________________________________
  • NEW! Woody Allen comes back fighting with a book and A Rainy Day in New York __________________________________
  • NEW! Educating Rita, says who? __________________________________
  • NEW! 2020 Three Choirs Festival – postponed __________________________________
  • NEW! ACCOMPANIST OR PARTNER? PIANIST SUSIE ALLAN IN CONVERSATION WITH JOHN QUINN __________________________________
  • NEW! Need to escape reality? Enter into the magical world of composer David Hertzberg __________________________________
  • NEW! BTHVN2020 – Beethoven anniversary goes into overtime __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month