The Paris Opera is presenting nine new productions this season. The first may be the most poignant: From October 11 to November 14, there will be a staging of Berlioz's epic Les Troyens designed and planned by the late Herbert Wernicke, realized by his assistants and presented by the Op_ra to honor his memory. In the first cast, Jon Villars sings the hero, Aeneas, and Deborah Polaski takes on both leading female roles, the prophetess Cassandra and Queen Dido of Carthage. Jeanne-Michle Charbonnet and Yvonne Naef divide those roles on October 17 and 24, with Jon Ketilsson as Aeneas.
As the holiday season begins, Luc Bondy stages Mozart's Idomeneo (November 30-December 29), with stars Ram‹n Vargas, Joyce DiDonato, Camilla Tilling and Mireille Delunsch and conductor Thomas Hengelbrock.
Late winter will see three new productions in a row. La Fura dels Baus (roughly, "The Sewer Rats"), the famous theater troupe from Barcelona, stages a double bill of Bart‹k's Bluebeard's Castle and Janšcek's The Diary of One Who Disappeared from January 26 to February 16. The new Pierre Audi production of Hal_vy's La Juive (February 16-March 20) stars Neil Shicoff, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Annick Massis and Kwangchul Youn (March 27-April 19); Charpentier's Louise, directed by Andr_ Engel, stars Delunsch, Paul Groves and Jos_ van Dam.
Spring brings new stagings of four operas:
- Janšcek's The Makropoulos Case (April 27-May 18), by renowned Polish theater director Krzysztof Warlikowski and starring Angela Denoke;
- Salvatore Sciarrino's Da gelo a gelo, in its Paris premiere (May 23-June 10), directed by American choreographer Trisha Brown;
- Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (June 4-July13), directed by Gilbert Deflo and featuring Marcelo êlvarez, Angela Brown, Ludovic T_zier, Elena Manistina and Camilla Tilling with Semyon Bychkov conducting; and
- Verdi's La traviata by Christoph Marthaler with Christine Sch‹fer, Jonas Kaufmann and van Dam.
Also on offer during 2006-07 are -
- Catherine Naglestad in Strauss's Salome (September 18-October 18);
- Patrice Ch_reau's staging of Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte with Erin Wall, Elina Garanca, St_phane Degout, Shawn Mathey, Marie McLaughlin and Ruggero Raimondi (October 23-November 8);
- Heidi Grant Murphy and Charles Castronovo starring in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore (October 25-November 19);
- Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges in a Gilbert Deflo production (November 13-December 9);
- Wernicke's staging of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (December 2-30), with Anne Schwanewilms, Grant Murphy, Franz Hawlata, Vesselina Kasarova and Olaf B‹r;
- Peter Mattei as the titular villain in Mozart's Don Giovanni (January 20-February 17);
- Rolando Villaz‹n starring in Robert Carsen's production of Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann, with Patricia Petibon as Olympia the mechanical doll (January 25-February 15);
- former Paris Opera chief conductor James Conlon returning for Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the title role (April 10-May 10); and
- Valery Gergiev conducting Wagner's Lohengrin, with Ben Heppner, Mireille Delunsch, Jean-Philippe Lafont and Waltraud Meier (May 15-June 11).
More information on the 2006-07 season at the Op_ra National de Paris is available at www.operadeparis.fr.