The season opens on September 15 with a revival of Gounod's Faust starring Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite.
A number of singers will make role and house debuts next season. Bryn Terfel will make his role debut as the lead character in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi; Natalie Dessay will make her role debut as Marie in La Fille du r_giment. Other role debuts include John Relyea as M_phistoph_ls in Faust and Larissa Diadkova as the Countess in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. Royal Opera debuts include Matthew Polenzani as Ferrando in CosÐ fan tutte.
The company will stage La finta giardiniera for the first time, in a new production directed by Christof Loy. John Eliot Gardiner conducts; sets are by Herbert Murauer; lighting is by Reinhard Traub.
Francesca Zambello directs two casts in a new production of Carmen, with sets by Tanya McCallin and lighting by Paule Constable. Music director Antonio Pappano shares the podium with Philippe Auguin. Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Don Jos_ in Carmen, alternating with Marco Berti.
Singing alongside Dessay in La fille du r_giment will be Juan Diego Fl‹rez. The staging is a co-production with the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera; Laurent Pelly directs; Bruno Campanella conducts.
Antonio Pappano will conduct a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and L'Heure espagnole, in a new production directed by Richard Jones with sets by John Macfarlane and costumes by Nicky Gillibrand.
Co-productions include Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, which opens in April at the Salzburg Easter Festival in Austria. Pappano will conduct Karita Mattila in the J‹rgen Flimm production of Beethoven's Fidelio. which has appeared at New York's Metropolitan Opera since 2000.
The Linbury Studio, Covent Garden's smaller stage, will premiere Dominique Le Gendre's Bird of Night, a Royal Opera commission, which will be directed by Irina Brown. Britten's Owen Wingrave will be performed in a new chamber version by David Matthews.
Ren_e Fleming will sing concert performances of Massenet's ThaÇs with Thomas Hampson and conductor Andrew Davis.