Until we meet again!
A number of live events were planned for January, but none of them will take place as such. Audiences will continue to stay at home, and the opera house in Zurich has expanded its online programme with a variety of formats especially for those watching from home.
Starting Saturday, January 9, viewers can catch the broadcast of a concert with Thomas Hampson and the young singers of the International Opera Studio. The programme includes scenes and arias from Mozart’s Così fan tutte and selected songs by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. It is part of the Curtain Call series, which was recorded on the stage of the Opernhaus in December to mark the 60th anniversary of the Opera Studio. The series also features Diana Damrau, Anna Bonitatibus, and Benjamin Bernheim together with the young talents. Diana Damrau’s concert focused on romantic art song. Anna Bonitatibus worked on scenes and arias from Mozart’s operas La clemenza di Tito and Le nozze di Figaro, and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Opera Studio members. And Benjamin Bernheim and the IOS singers sang grand arias from Massenet’s Manon and Werther, and from Verdi’s Rigoletto. All of the Curtain Call concerts are available free of charge on the Opernhaus homepage through January 17. In addition to the concerts, the Opernhaus produced documentary films about the collaboration between the established singers and the budding professionals, which are also available.
And the show goes on with grand opera. Joining the online programme are two productions that were originally shown exclusively as a part of Oper für alle on the Sechseläutenplatz. This January, they will enjoy their online revival.
On the weekend of January 16-17, audiences can catch Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera in a production by David Pountney. Under the baton of general music director Fabio Luisi, the cast is torn between passion and drama: Otar Jorjikia is the Swedish monarch Gustavo III, George Petean is his rival Renato, Sondra Radvanovsky is Gustavo’s secret love Amelia, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux is master manipulator Ulrica.
The following weekend, from January 23-24, Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) will be available on screens at home, in a production by Robert Carsen recorded in summer 2016. Oksana Dyka and Eduard Martynyuk gave their Zurich debuts as Lisa and Hermann, respectively. Doris Soffel appeared in the role of the Countess. Musical direction for the performance was in the hands of conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky, who most recently headed Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in Zurich. Pique Dame is striking in its juxtaposition of a realistic portrayal of society with a gloomy atmosphere full of secretive, fantastical elements.
And through January 25, 2021, the Zurich production of Franz Lehár’s Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles) will be available on ARTE concert (in some countries though perhaps not all, so please check!). ‘Always smiling and always happy, always satisfied, as is always the case, smiling despite the pain of a thousand sorrows’, sings exceptional tenor Piotr Beczala as Prinz Sou-Chong, as he and his true love Lisa, Julia Kleiter, wallow in poignant melancholy. Masters of the house Andreas Homoki and Fabio Luisi helmed this production.The same is true for Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, which premiered in December 2020.
This production with Christian Gerhaher is available through March 5, free of charge and on demand at ARTE Concert.
All dates and further information can be found if you click here.