Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lots of Parsifal to come...

After so much exposure to the music/operas by Verdi, it's time to return to what I like the most -- Wagner.

Below is a list of important non-Ring new productions/concerts to come*.

December 11 2010: Parsifal in concert, live from Concertgebouw should be a blast. Jaap van Zweden has that astonishing chemistry with Radio Filharmonisch Orkest and their Wagner-concerts are regularly extraordinary: their Lohengrin is by far the best recording of that opera to date, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a top level recording too. The cast for this Parsifal includes Klaus Florian Vogt, Falk Struckmann, Robert Holl, Katarina Dalayman, Ante Jerkunica and others.
Live radio broadcast will start at 15:00 (cet) on this link.

Dec 2010 - Jan 2011: Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House [dir- Tim Albery, cnd- Semyon Bychkov]. If Tim Albery decides "not to please everyone" this should be a good new production. Even if he doesn't the cast is already great: Johan Botha, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Michaela Schuster, Christian Gerhaher etc.

Jan-Febr 2011: Parsifal at La Monnaie [dir- Romeo Castellucci, cnd- Hartmut Haenchen] which could be close to the level of brilliance of Warlikowski's Macbeth. Andrew Richards will again be Parsifal, and the cast also includes Thomas Johannes Mayer, Tómas Tómasson, Anna Larsson etc. Romeo Castellucci is a famous name in the world of theater, but I don't think he directed an opera before. Could easily be the best Parsifal in 2011.

Jan-Feb 2011: Tannhäuser at Opernhaus Zürich [dir- Harry Kupfer, cnd- Ingo Metzmacher] Cast: Michael Volle, Peter Seiffertt, Nina Stemme, Vesselina Kasarova, Christoph Strehl...
Feb-Mar 2011: Parsifal at Liceu Barcelona [dir- Claus Guth, cnd- Michael Boder] should be good too (although I'm not entirely convinced Guth has something new to bring to Parsifal, but I've been wrong before...) Superb cast: Klaus Florian Vogt, Alan Held, Hans-Peter König, Simon O’Neill, Anja Kampe etc. The same production then goes to Zurich where it will be presented in Jun-Jul 2011 but with maestro Daniele Gatti conducting and Stuart Skelton, Thomas Hampson, Matti Salminen, Yvonne Naef the cast.

Apr-Jun 2011:  Parsifal at 'the best theater in the German speaking world' --Theater Basel [dir- Benedikt von Peter, cnd- Mario Venzago]. Not much is known about the cast, but Benedikt von Peter is my latest fave director, and I'm pretty confident the show will be great.

Jun 2011: Tristan und Isolde [dir- La Fura dels Baus, cnd- Kirill Petrenko] Apparently Jossi Wieler (new intendant of the Stuttgart Opera) and Sergio Morabito could not produce this show. Hopefully La Fura dels Baus will make the show interesting w/o too much pneumatics or segways. Kirill the great Petrenko knows this orchestra very well and since Gary Lehman will sing Tristan, this should be a top Wagner event in 2011.

*In addition to the on-going run of Die Meistersinger at Komische Oper in Berlin!

Other equally interesting events should be:

Jan-Feb 2011: Tristan und Isolde at Semperoper in Dresden [dir- Marco Arturo Marelli, cnd- Asher Fisch] Not a new production but it will be the first Tristan by Stephen Gould which is an event per se. Add to that our fave Katarina Delayman as Isolde and Christa Mayer as Brangäne, the show should be huge!

Feb-Mar 2011: Parsifal at English National Opera [dir- Nikolaus Lehnhoff cnd-Mark Wigglesworth] with Stuart Skelton, Iréne Theorin, Iain Paterson, Tom Fox and others. Production available on DVD, but watch out for Paterson's Amfortas!

March 2011: Tristan und Isolde at Deutsche Oper Berlin [dir- Graham Vick, cnd- Donald Runnicles]
Although a new production I'm not very convinced Peter Seiffert and Petra Maria Schnitzer fit the roles of T&I, but Eike Wilm Schulte must be passionate as Kurwenal.

March 2011: Parsifal in Stuttgart [dir - Calixto Bieito, cnd- Manfred Honeck] with Andrew Richards, Gregg Baker, Christiane Iven, Attila Jun... If you didn't see it, it's a must!

Jan-Feb 2011: Parsifal at Teatro Regio di Torino [dir- Federico Tiezzi, cnd- Betrand de Billy] Cast: Christopher Ventris, Kwangchul Youn, Jochen Schmeckenbecher, Christine Goerke etc. If it's on the line of his Boccanegra...

Apr 2011: Parsifal at Wiener Saatsoper [dir- Christine Mielitz, cnd-Ingo Metzmacher] Cast: Falk Struckmann, Franz-Josef Selig, Christopher Ventris, Waltraud Meier

Apr 2011: Parsifal at BSO in Munich [dir-Peter Konwitschny, cnd- Kent Nagano] Cast: Michael Volle, Kwangchul Youn, Nikolai Schukoff, Angela Denoke...

Jan 2011: Hamburger Parsifal [dir-Bob Wilson, cnd- Simone Young] with Klaus Florian Vogt, Angela Denoke, Peter Rose...

May-Jun 2011: Parsifal in Düsseldorf [dir - Kurt Horres, cnd- Axel Kober] with Michael Weinius, Ryan McKinny, Susan Maclean...

Apr 2011: Parsifal in Helsinki,  old production of Harry Kupfer's with Michael Weinius, Matti Salminen, Tommi Hakala...

Apr 2011: Tristan und Isolde at Oper Frankfurt [dir - Christof Nel, cnd- Sebastian Weigle] Cast: Frank van Aken, Catherine Foster...

Nov 2010:  Tristan und Isolde at DKT in Copehagen [dir- Stig Andersen, cnd- Cornelius Meister] Cast: Iréne Theorin, Stig Fogh Andersen, Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, Stephen Milling

Jan 2011: Tristan und Isolde  in Leipzig [dir- Willy Decker, cnd- Axel Kober] with Stefan Vinke, Jennifer Wilson, Anton Keremidtchiev, Susan Maclean

Jan-Feb 2011: Tristan und Isolde in Oviedo with Robert Dean-Smith, Elisabete Matos...


  1. and also Parsifal at ENO in February and March with Irene Theorin in English. 12 year old production , however.

    I heard Elisabete Matos as Turandot in Ghent. Should be fine in a smallish theatre and there are not many Portugese Wagnerian singers.

  2. Many thanks John! I KNEW I've missed something important and geographically close :)

    I listened to Matos as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) and she was very good. Now Isolde is completely different a thing...

  3. Did I miss something? Is Parsifal the opera of the year? Or is everyone doing the entire ring cycle the next year?

  4. I have booked the ENO and Zürich Parsifals,ROH Tannhauser and Lyons Tristan. Sadly unless I win the Euro Lottery that will be it as I am hoping to complete the Bastille Ring.

    Still shuddering at the memory of the horrible Bastille Trittico fortunately compensated for by the fine Hollander.

    Good article on Iain Patterson here:

  5. Hi schmup53! No but it looks like it is (the Parsifal year). There're some Tristan and a couple of Tannhauser productions, but it's apparently all about Parsifal.

    As for the Ring, I'll be back to that later in November when we start tuning into the season opener at La Scala - Die Walküre (which will be live broadcast in the movies and on Arte).

  6. LOL John. I won't say "I told you so!" ;)
    To see Puccini right after Wagner is not a good idea in any configuration and especially not when Il Trittico is directed by Ronconi.
    I thought the Holländer was good (Vogt and Pieczonka excellent). The orchestra was very good on the night I saw the show but I was told that Schneider was quite uneven during the run: one show would be great and the next sloppy and so on...

    I hear you! These trips do hemorrhage one's budget. I try and combine with my business trips when possible.

    I'll certainly go to see Parsifal in Brussels and in Basle [and hopefully the one in Barcelona.] To that add Tristan in Lyon and Tannhäuser in London, and I'm done ;)

  7. Why not Guth? His Tannhäuser and Tristan were both so good, I'm tempted to go to Barcelona if I can get a cheap flight.

  8. Will be at ROH Tannhaeuser and ENO Parsifal. It's true the production is the previous one from the 1990s - we'll see if it's worn well!

  9. Hi Zerbinetta! When you see 2-3 shows by Guth it all starts to look the same. His Tristan was scenically interesting but it's the trick with Tristan that if you try to make it too spectacular or explicit you kill the depth of the piece -- which is what he did, IMHO. Similar thing may happen with Parsifal, I'm afraid. Olivier Py also killed Tristan by his "pleasant to see" show in Geneva.

    It's hard to see Parsifal after you saw the Herheim's production in Bayreuth. This is why I admired Bieito's show in Stuttgart. It was almost entirely different.

    Guth is brilliant in Mozart, Strauss... but Wagner is a different beast. Having said that I still put his show among those that should be good ;) I too hope to go to Barcelona.

    Thanks Leonora. Do let us know more about the ENO Parisfal.