Thursday, December 24, 2009

Opera Directors (and Conductors) in 2009

This was a great year, marked by some outstanding theatrical Opera productions. The stage directors made this art alive by providing a different or entirely new view on the works they directed. The theatrical brilliance, wittiness and ability to take us "beyond"... those guys deserve a huge THANKS from us, the operagoers and fans. I know that a top-5 list is petty, but hey! :)
The Top-5 opera directors who really made me love this art more or in a different way are:






To pick just 5 (out of many!) outstanding orchestral moments in Opera in 2009 is hard: each of them did not only depend on the conductor, but of course on the orchestra, on the work being played, on the theater and its acoustics, on my own mood that evening... Subjective as it is (and I KNOW it may change in a few days -heh!) my Top-5 would look something like this:

1. Daniele Gatti, Parsifal (BFS, Bayreuth) and Simon Rattle, Gotterammerung (Aix)

2. Esa-Pekka Salonen, Wozzeck (TCE, Paris)

3. Daniel Barenboim, Lohengrin (DSO, Berlin) & Antonio Pappano, Tristan und Isolde (ROH, London)

4. Kazushi Ono, Krol Roger (ONP, Paris) and Elektra (DOB, Berlin)

5. Andrew Litton, Aegyptische Helena (DOB, Berlin) & Kent Nagano, Lohengrin (BSO, Munich)

That already makes 8 great conductors to which I should include other 8, just en epsilon below the level of the above top 5. In no particular order:

Jiri Kout, Tristan und Isolde (KOC, Copenhagen)

Leo Hussain, Le Grand Macabre  (Monnaie/Munt, Brussels)

Ingo Metzmacher, Al gran sole carico d'amore (SFS, Salzburg)

Sebastian Weigle, Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg (Liceu, Barcelona)

Louis Langrée, Fortunio (OC Paris)

John Eliot Gardiner , Carmen (OC Paris)

Marc Minkowski, Die Feen (Chatelet Paris)

Manfred Honeck, Rosenkavalier (DOS, Stuttgart)

Thomas Hengelbrock, Idomeneo (ONP, Paris)


  1. In the entry :

    >Carmen (OC,Paris) Peter Minkowski

    as copied out of one of your blogs

    the name Marc Minkowski should probably appear

    I am Peter (physicist) and not to be identified with Marc (composer)

    regards, Peter Minkowski

    >Sebastian Weigle, Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg >(Liceu, Barcelona) Louis Langrée, Fortunio (OC Paris)
    >John Eliot Gardiner ,

    >Carmen (OC Paris) Peter Minkowski,

    >Die Feen (Chatelet Paris) Manfred Honeck, >Rosenkavalier (DOS, Stuttgart) ...

  2. Many thanks Peter! Corrected it and sorry for that.

    What an AMAZING coincidence! :)