ROH Announces New Season

Classic Arts News   ROH Announces New Season
Wagner will dominate the Royal Opera's 2007-08 season, with three complete Ring cycles. Other highlights include soprano Deborah Voigt singing the title role in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos and Anna Netrebko singing Violetta in La Traviata.

The upcoming season is Antonio Pappano's sixth as music director; he will conduct seven productions, including the Ring cycles; the second revival of Johnathan Kent's production of Tosca (casting will be announced later) and the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's The Minotaur, which stars British bass John Tomlinson in the title role. The libretto is by David Harsent; designs are by Alison Chitty; Stephen Langridge directs.

The Ring cycles are scheduled for October and November this year in a staging by Keith Warner that received mixed reviews. Bloomberg quotes Pappano as saying, "We've had a chance to look at it again, and hopefully it's now less cluttered." Warner's set features designs by Stefanos Lazaridis and costumes by Marie-Jeanne Lecca.

Lisa Gasteen will be reprising her role as Br‹nnhilde in all three cycles, and she will be joined by Bryn Terfel, as Wotan for cycle one, and Placido Domingo, as Siegmund, in cycles two and three. Terfel makes his role debut as the Wanderer in Siegfried.

All tickets for the Ring reportedly sold out within hours of going on general sale. There will be a series of events, including films and lectures, accompanying the cycle.

Former music director Bernard Haitink returns to conduct five performances of Parsifal with Christopher Ventris in the title role and John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz.

Singing alongside Voigt in Christof Loy's 2002 production of Ariadne auf Naxos, to be conducted by Mark Elder, will be Elina Garanca as the Composer, Gillian Keith as Zerbinetta and Richard Margison as the Tenor/Bacchus.

The season opens with a new production of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride (a co-production with Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera) which stars Susan Graham and Simon Keenlyside in the title roles. Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Director Laurent Pelly and designer Chantal Thomas bring their production of La Fille du Regiment (first seen in Paris) to the ROH; the cast includes star Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon and Aleksandra Kurzak. Mikko Franck conducts.

A new (co) production of The Rake's Progress will be directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Thomas Ads; the cast includes Charles Castronovo as Tom Rakewell, Sally Matthews as Anne Trulove and John Relyea as Nick Shadow. Other new productions include Salome, directed by David McVicar and conducted by Philippe Jordan. Nadja Michael sings the title role.

Revivals include the complete 1881 version of Simon Boccanegra, with Lucio Gallo in the title role and Nina Stemme as Amelia Grimaldi. John Eliot Gardiner conducts.

Other revivals includes Francesca Zambello's production of Carmen, with Nancy Fabiola-Herrera in the title role and Marcelo Alvarez as Don Jos_, the Moshe Leiser/Patrice Caurier production of La Cenerentola, starring Magdalena Kozena as Angelina and Stephane Degout as Dandini; Richard Eyre's La Traviata, starring Anna Netrebko as Violetta, Jonas Kaufmann as Alfredo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Germont; and John Copley's La Bohme with Christina Gallardo-Domas as Mimi.

The production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, originally directed by Steven Pimlott who died recently of cancer at 54, will be revived under Elaine Kidd, who was his assistant when it was first staged. Gerald Finley sings the title role; Tatiana will be sung by Marina Poplavskaya and Hibla Gerzmava.

National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner returns to the ROH for the first time in 20 years to direct a new production of Verdi's Don Carlo, with Rolando Villaz‹n in the title role. As Elisabetta Marina Poplavskaya will sing a role originally earmarked for Angela Gheorghiu, who withdrew on the grounds that it did not suit her voice.

Meanwhile, the upcoming ballet season will feature a new production of George Balanchine's Jewels (which comprises three ballets named after different gemstones) as well as six full-length performances including Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake.

New works by Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Kim Brandstrup and a revival of the award-winning Chroma are also on the lineup. McGregor will produce a short ballet for the November gala, while Wheeldon will create his fourth one act piece for the Royal Ballet in February 2008, as part of a mixed bill that includes Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun and Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country. Brandstrup will produce his first one-act piece for the company in April 2008, as part of a triple bill with Balanchine's Serenade and Ashton's Homage to the Queen.

Long-term guest star Sylvie Guillem will never again perform with the company. The Guardian quotes Royal Ballet director Monica Mason as saying, "I did invite her to appear with us but she has chosen not to do so. I understand that now she wants to give herself completely to contemporary work."

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