Category Archives: Opera 2

The Royal Opera – Faust, Gounod

Friday May 10th, 3pm
Wednesday May 15th 7pm

A delightful production of Gounod’s most celebrated opera. Among the most splendid sets evoking Paris in the Second Empire, David McVicar draws an artful parallel between the fate of Faust and Gounod’s life, torn between piety and popular success.

There are many versions of the story of Faust, who trades his soul with the Devil for youth and power, but Gounod’s opera remains one of the most enthralling. Michael Fabiano stars as Faust, with Diana Damrau as his beloved Marguerite and Erwin Schrott as the diabolical Méphistophélès. Virtuoso leading roles, a large chorus, sensational sets, ballet and an ecstatic finale make this the epitome of theatrical spectacle – the lavish scale of French grand opera is wonderfully in evidence in this production by David McVicar, set in 1870s Paris. Above all, the music includes several of popular opera’s most recognizable numbers, performed by a cast of great international singers and the Royal Opera Chorus.

OPERA IN FIVE ACTS

MUSIC
Charles Gounod

DIRECTOR
David McVicar

CONDUCTOR
Dan Ettinger

CAST
Michael Fabiano (Faust)
Erwin Schrott (Méphistophélès)
Diana Damrau (Marguerite)

DURATION
3 h 45 approx

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Opera National de Paris – Lady McBeth in Mzensk, Chostakovitch

Friday April 26th, 3pm
Wednesday May 1st 7pm

This striking opera by Chostakovitch is in perfect unison with the always exacting, often subversive work of Krzysztof Warlikowski. Acclaimed and then later censured, this scathing rebuke of patriarchy has taken new breath and gained a necessary reach.

Of Shostakovich’s initial undertaking – a trilogy on the tragic destinies of Russian women through the ages – only one opera was ever written: the hard-hitting Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Although one of the mainsprings of the work, the Shakespearean parallel is here bitterly ironic: unlike Lady Macbeth, Katerina Ismailova who, in the remote reaches of rural 19th century Russia, falls in love with one of her husband’s employees and is finally forced to commit suicide, is less a manipulator than a victim of a violent and patriarchal society. Krzysztof Warlikowski liberates all the subversive power of this scorching and scandalous work, which marked the early years of the Opéra Bastille.

MUSIC
Dmitri Chostakovitch

LIBRETTO
Alexandre Preis and Dmitri Chostakovitch

AFTER
Nikolaï Leskov

CONDUCTOR
Ingo Metzmacher

SET DESIGN
Krzysztof Warlikowski

COSTUME DESIGN
Małgorzata Szczęśniak

LIGHTING DESIGN
Felice Ross

CHOREOGRAPHY
Claude Bardouil

SCENOGRAPHY
Christian Longchamp

CAST
Dmitry Ulyanov (Boris Timofeevich Ismailov)
John Daszak (Zinovy Borisovich Ismailov)
Aušrinė Stundytė (Katerina Lvovna Ismailova)
Pavel Černoch (Serguei)

Orchestra and choruses of the Opéra national de Paris

DURATION
3 h 30 approx

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The Royal Opera – La Forza del Destino, Verdi

Friday April 12th, 3pm
Wednesday April 17th 7pm

Christof Loy’s popular productions are first and foremost imprinted with what the music conveys. The remarkable appropriateness between the scores and the spatial installation of this striking melodrama makes this show as brilliant as its performers, Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann.

Leonora falls in love with Don Alvaro, but when her father forbids their marriage, a fatal accident triggers a drama of obsession, vengeance and tragedy. Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Netrebko star in Verdi’s epic La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) an opera which demands the very best of singers for its powerful music and the fullest theatrical treatment for its story of bitter revenge pursued across miles and years. The production comes to The Royal Opera in a sensational staging from Amsterdam packed with colour and action. It is directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music director of The Royal Opera.

OPERA IN FOUR ACTS

MUSIC
Giuseppe Verdi

DIRECTOR
Christof Loy

CONDUCTOR
Antonio Pappano

CAST
Anna Netrebko (Donna Leonora)
Jonas Kaufmann (Don Alvaro)
Ludovic Tézier (Don Carlo Di Vargas)

DURATION
4 h 15 approx

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Teatro Real – Madama Butterfly, Puccini

Friday March 29th, 3pm
Wednesday April 3rd 7pm

By setting Madame Butterfly in a 1930s movie studio complete with cameras and screens, Mario Gas allows a rare intimacy, a delicate gaze on the actors. In Ciné-spectacle, cinema within the cinema adds yet another dimension to the fertile concept.

A temporary wife was a widespread practice in Japan at the end of the 19th century. The West – with the United States leading – had established diplomatic and commercial relations with the country in the mid-century and the fascination with the birthplace of geishas spread like wildfire. The influence of a distant (and imaginary) Orient would take form in works by a variety of European and North American artists that continued well into the 20th century. In this way, Butterfly is a crass embodiment of the conflict between two irreconcilable civilizations, one which dominates the other. A man of a subtle theatrical spirit, Puccini portrayed brilliantly the fragility of a geisha in love who naively believed the dashing North American navy officer also loved her. The musical score evokes agreeably harmonized traditional Japanese melodies. Mario Gas places the story in a 1930s film studio. He narrates this moving drama from three simultaneous perspectives: the opera itself, the film being made of the opera, and its projection in black and white on the big screen.

OPERA IN THREE ACTS

CONDUCTOR
Marco Armiliato

DIRECTOR
Mario Gas

CAST
Ermonela Jaho (Madame Butterfly)
Enkelejda Shkosa (Suzuki)
Marifé Nogales (Mrs. Kate Pinkerton)
Jorge de León (B. F. Pinkerton)
Àngel Òdena (Sharpless)
Francisco Vas (Goro)
Tomeu Bibiloni (El príncipe Yamadori)
Fernando Radó (El tío Bonzo)

DURATION
2 h 25 approx

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Opéra National de Paris – Le Lac des Cygnes, Tchaikovski

Wednesday March 13th 7pm
Friday March 15th, 3pm

In Nureyev’s hands, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece was transformed from a scenic children’s fairy tale to a dark, radical, grave work, delving deep into the unconscious. It is his unmistakable reading that the Opéra national de Paris ballet proposes.

In Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky took up the legend of the immaculate bird to create some of the most beautiful music ever written for ballet. Choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov left their distinguished mark on this story of an impossible love between an earthly prince and a swanprincess, refashioning the myth of the swandancer, the ultimate ballerina. When creating his version for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1984, Rudolf Nureyev chose to give it a Freudian dimension, casting a light of profound despair on Tchaikovsky’s poetic dream.

BALLET EN QUATRE ACTES

MUSIC
Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski

LIBRETTO
Vladimir Begichev and Vassili Geltser

CHOREOGRAPHY
Rudolf Noureev

AFTER
Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov

SET DESIGN
Ezio Frigerio

COSTUME DESIGN
Franca Squarciapino

LIGHTING DESIGN
Vinicio Cheli

CONDUCTOR
Valery Ovsyanikov

DURATION
2 h 55 approx

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Comédie française – Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand

Friday Februay 22d, 3pm
Wednesday Februaay 27th 7pm

Seeing Cyrano at the Comédie-Française is truly an event in itself, but this production, saluted six times at Les Molières, adds to the experience with its masterful stage direction, the remarkable direction of the players, and its accomplished set design. A grand performance.

Cyrano is cursed with a prominent nose but gifted with words. He uses this talent to help handsome Christian win Roxane’s heart, whom he also loves…

“When we, actors of la Comédie-Française, stage plays, we consciously feel this desire to show off this theatre of ours, to show everyone why we love it and why we want to be here.” With these words in mind, award-winning director, stage and cinema actor Denis Podalydès takes over the historical stage. Opera buffa, tragedy, romantic drama, symbolist poetry, slapstick comedy… all genres are called upon to give life to this staging of one of the most emblematic texts of the French repertoire!

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
L’Institut français, France Inter


TEXT
Edmond Rostand

STAGE DIRECTOR
Stéphane Braunschweig

CAST
With the actors of the troop of the Académie de la Comédie-Française

DURATION
3 h 10 approx

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The Royal Opera – La Traviata, Verdi

Friday February 8th, 3pm

The most performed opera in the world, La Traviata has been the object of numerous classic production including Richard Eyre’s since 1994. Yet, far from being stale, this rich, colourful adaptation is all about finesse and dramatic integrity in this revival overseen by Andrew Sinclair.

From the thrill of unexpected romance to a heartbreaking reconciliation that comes too late – Verdi’s La Traviata is one of the most popular of all operas. Alfredo falls in love with the courtesan Violetta in glamorous Paris society, but underneath the surface run darker undercurrents, leading to a tragic ending. The opera’s wealth of melodies includes the famous “Brindisi” and the exuberant “Sempre libera” – both showing the lyricism of Italian opera at its most immediately appealing. Richard Eyre’s production for The Royal Opera brings out all the emotional colour, from the giddy discovery of love, through painful confrontation to the inevitable conclusion. Lavish period sets and costumes enhance the reality of a moving story based on true life.

OPERA IN THREE ACTS

MUSIC
Giuseppe Verdi

DIRECTOR
Richard Eyre

CONDUCTOR
Antonello Manacorda

CAST
Ermonela jaho (Violetta Valéry)
Charles Castronovo (Alfredo Germont)
Plácido Domingo (Giorgio Germont)

DURATION
3 h 35 approx

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Staatsoper unter den Linden – MacBeth, Verdi

Friday January 25th, 3pm
Wednesday January 30th 7pm

Plácido Domingo is an admirable force of nature and again astounds with the power, trueness and freshness of his interpretation even at the ripe old age of 77. The same goes for conductor Daniel Barenboim, who directs the Berlin orchestra with the spirit of a young prodigy.

Victorious on the battlefield, General Macbeth receives a prophecy that he will one day be King of Scotland. Driven by his wife, he literally stops at nothing to achieve this. But, ravaged with guilt, the Macbeths swiftly slip into madness and become victims of their own thirst for power. To remain as faithful as possible to the ever-so-celebrated Shakespearian spirit, Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth breaks away from the opera model of the day, making it one of the composer’s darkest and most intensely troubling pieces. Monumental chorus scenes, representing the rebellion and disillusionment of the dominated, oppressed and persecuted class, illustrate the social consequences of tyranny and despotism. To accentuate the theatrical effect, the vocal parts, rather than resorting to dazzling virtuosity, are designed to underscore the aspects of dramatic language, and are relentlessly subjugated to the psychological state of the characters.

OPERA IN FOUR ACTS

 MUSIC
Giuseppe Verdi

LIBRETTO
Francesco Maria Piave

AFTER
William  Shakespeare

CONDUCTOR
Daniel Barenboim

DIRECTOR
Harry Kupfer

SET DESIGN
Hans Schavernoch

COSTUME DESIGN
Yan Tax

LIGHTING DESIGN
Olaf Freese

VIDEO
Thomas Reimer

CHOREOGRAPHY
Helga Schiele

SCENOGRAPHER
Detlef Giese

CAST
Plácido Domingo (Macbeth)
Kwangchul Youn (Banquo)
Anna Netrebko (Lady Macbeth)
Evelin Novak (Kammerfrau)
Fabio Sartori (Macduff)
Florian Hoffmann (Malcolm)
Dominic Barberi (Doctor)
Jan Martinik (Murderer, appearance)

DURATION
2 h 40 approx

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Comédie française – Roméo and Juliette, Shakespeare

Friday Januray 11th, 3pm
Wednesday Januay 16th 7pm

In 2015, Éric Ruf risked the mythical destiny of Romeo and Juliet on the French stage from under nearly 60 years of dust. With the release of this other run of extra performances, his aim was as undeniably true as the performance of his two heroes.

In Verona, an old rivalry opposes the Capulet and Montague families. When Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall for each other, they know their love is meant to be eternal. However they already sense its tragic ending…

Probably Shakespeare’s best-known work, which, over time and the many adaptations it has undergone, has come to embody the absolute love story. This tragedy, which contains some delectable moments of comedy, is a play of contrasts, pitting the naivety of two lovelorn teenagers against the programmed violence of the Montagues and Capulets bloodying Verona.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
L’Institut français, France Inter


TEXT
William Shakespeare

STAGE DIRECTOR
Éric Ruf

CAST
With the actors of the troop of the Académie de la Comédie-Française

DURATION
3 h approx

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The Royal Ballet – The Nutcracker, Tchaikovski

Friday December 7th, 3pm
Thursday December 13th 7pm
Friday December 14th, 3pm
Saturday December 15th, 3pm
Sunday December 16th, 3pm

If Christmas is just not the same without the sound of the celesta, without many cinematographic adaptations of Hoffman’s tale, it’s because of the ballet! And this production by Peter Wright naturally stands as one of the most emblematic, along with that of Balanchine.

Peter Wright’s interpretation of The Nutcracker has been enchanting children and adults alike since its first performance by The Royal Ballet in 1984. Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet combined with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, iconic score are presented in a festive period setting with vivid designs to make this a charming and magical production.

Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet begins in the 19th-century German home of the Stahlbaums, where they are hosting a lively Christmas party. The period setting is captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs, which include authentic Christmas tree decorations that are magically brought to life. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.

MUSIC
Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky

ORIGINAL SCENARIO
Marius Petipa

CHOREOGRAPHY
Peter Wright from Lev Ivanov

PRODUCTION AND SCENARIO
Peter Wright

COSTUME DESIGN
Julia Trevelyan Oman

LIGHTING DESIGNER
Mark Henderson

PRODUCTION CONSULTANT
Roland John Wiley

DURATION
2 h 30 approx

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Comédie française – Lucrezia Borgia, Victor Hugo

Friday November 30th, 3pm
Wednesday December 5th 7pm

An unhoped-for opportunity for those who missed the performances of this success at the TNM within the framework Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Elsa Lepoivre and Éric Ruf, also set designer, render the writings of Victor Hugo in a most grandiose manner.

The criminal, adulterous and incestuous Lucrezia Borgia seeks to escape from the evil that is her condition, to be recognised and loved by Gennaro, the child she had with her brother. During a ball in Venice, Gennaro, who has an aversion to the Borgias, courts a beautiful masked lady before discovering, to his horror, that it is Lucrezia. Stung by the affront of Gennaro’s friends who insult her, and suspected of adultery by her husband, Lucrezia sets a heartbreaking act of revenge in motion.

Rarely has a dramatic work gone so far in its depiction of maternal love. Lucrezia is a moral monster but this monster is a loving mother. Victor Hugo wrote this play to reveal the pearl at the heart of every monster.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
L’Institut français, France Inter


TEXT
Victor Hugo

STAGE DIRECTOR
Stéphane Braunschweig

CAST
With the actors of the troop of the Académie de la Comédie-Française

DURATION
2 h 25 approx

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The Royal Opera – Die Walkürie, Wagner

Friday November 16th, 3pm
Wednesday November 21st 7pm

Admirably suited to Wagner’s work, Keith Warner’s stage production also asserts itself with powerful symbolic and indelible images. Unveiled in Bayreuth, Swedish bass-baritone John Lundgren returns to the imposing role of Wotan, left vacant by Bryn Terfel.

Wagner’s Ring cycle is one of the greatest works of all opera. Keith Warner’s production is conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music director of The Royal Opera, and this final revival is cast with an outstanding international array of Wagnerian specialist singers. The full cycle’s four operas journey from the beginning of a world to its destruction, with gods, heroes and monsters. This epic myth portrays every type of human emotion in music and ideas of extraordinary power.

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) is the second opera in the cycle, and features several of the Ring’s musical highlights – the sparkling “Magic Fire” Music and the electrifying “Ride of the Valkyries”. But among the musical fireworks and Norse mythology, at the centre of this opera are the unforgettable characters and the complex entanglements between them, including twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, and Wotan and his Valkyrie daughter, Brünnhilde.

OPERA IN THREE ACTS

MUSIC
Richard Wagner

DIRECTOR
Keith Warner

CONDUCTOR
Antonio Pappano

CAST
Stuart Skelton (Siegmund)
Emily Magee (Sieglinde)
John Lundgren (Wotan)
Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde)
Sarah Connolly (Fricka)

DURATION
4 h 50 approx

Back to the 2018-2019 season

 

Comédie française – Britanicus, Racine

Friday October 19th, 3pm
Wednesday October 23rd 7pm

This is already the third run of performances at the Salle Richelieu, for this House of Cards of the XVIIth century. The typically Racinian immoralities, political manipulations and torments are all-the-more troubling in this contemporary setting evoking the closed spaces of our parliaments.

Synopsis: A web of intrigue between political figures where personal stories, love interests and family relationships intertwine, this tragedy is the tale of how Nero took power and then turned into a tyrant…

Presentation: With the play by Racine, master of classical tragedy, Stéphane Braunschweig revisits the past against the backdrop of the present: a honed eye reviews the reading of the texts so that we may hear them anew, absolute respect of the words and the author, vision of the environment where the word is deployed.

TEXT
Jean Racine

STAGE DIRECTOR
Stéphane Braunschweig

CAST
With the actors of the troop of the Académie de la Comédie-Française

DURATION
2 h approx

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Wiener Staatsoper – Aïda, Verdi

Friday September 28th, 3pm
Wednesday October 3rd 7pm

After more than 100 performances, this sumptuous Wiener Staatsoper production signed Nicolas Joel is just as if not more beguiling than ever. Since 1984, it has brought together the greatest voices, and the cast of this production perpetuates this tradition of excellence.

Verdi wrote the four-act opera Aida – his third-to-last music theatre piece – at the behest of the Egyptian Khedive Ismail Pasha. Verdi imbued his music with apparent local colour by intermittently inserting passages that because of their instrumentation and melody have an exotic sound. The plot revolves around a love triangle, with two women loving the same man: the relatively powerful Amneris and the slave Aida both love the army captain Radames. Another important theme is, “Does love for another person transcend love for one’s fatherland or the laws that bind a community?”, along with the third theme of private happiness being shattered by the inexorable power apparatus of the influential.

CONDUCTOR
Evelino Pidò

PRODUCTION
Nicolas Joel

SET AND COSTUME DESIGN
Carlo Tommasi

CHOREOGRAPHY
Jan Stripling

CAST
Anita Rachvelishvili (Amneris)
Kristin Lewis (Aïda)
Jorge de Leon (Radamès)
Paolo Rumetz (Amonasro)

DURATION
3 h 15 approx

Back to the 2018-2019 season