Apparently the excitement about The Dream Team [Netrebko - Garanca] and Anna Netrebko's debut as Anna Bolena at the Wiener Staatsoper is growing so fast that the scarce tickets are nowadays negotiated on the Internet for 800 €/tic (sic!) [in spite of the TV broadcast scheduled for April 5.]
It will be interesting to see if this show will be any good. Staatsoper is a very conservative house where the surprises are rare but possible (La forza del destino, Macbeth, Lohengrin...) Eric Génovèse will certainly not rock the boat, but will most probably opt for something relatively subtle, even if totally conventional. It will however be interesting to see whether or not he'll manage to make any drama actually work [libretto is hopeless unless the director gives it some spin].
This will be the 3rd Bolena premiered this year in Europe. Elina Garanca already sang Giovanna Seymour role in Barcelona and was apparently wonderful, although the limelight was fully focused on Edita Gruberova [who btw looked and sang as if seriously hammered, c.f. video below] The production was not particularly interesting but the Gruberites were there to electrify GTL every night ;)
The above photo refers to another production of Anna Bolena premiered last February in Lucerne (still running at Luzerner Theater) It looks as if the director really tried to make this opera dramatically work.
It is a long story about the belcanto repertoire, but it all comes down to a conclusion that they are notoriously difficult to produce if one wants to ensure a minimum of dramatical viability. Most producers give up hope when they realize that the belcanto freaks couldn't care less about the stage action as long as the divas are wearing Elizabethan costumes...
Tobias Kratzer, 31 year old director from Munich, seems to have taken the more difficult route (bless him!) and --inspired by Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage-- apparently succeeded in making Anna Bolena work marvelously well [if you trust to always reliable WdO.] Please read this review and then see the trailer below: