OperaWatch Mattei HDl 1211
Mattei as Giovanni at the Met
© Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera 2011
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© Johannes Ifkovits 2011
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Salonen leads Shostakovich premiere
© Sonja Werner 2011

1. In October, PETER MATTEI stepped into the title role of Michael Grandage's new Met staging of Don Giovanni on three days' notice, after Mariusz Kwiecien injured his back during the final dress rehearsal. The Swedish baritone returns to the role for La Scala's opening night on December 7, which is being broadcast live to movie theaters by Opera in Cinema. Robert Carsen's new production for La Scala also features Anna Netrebko as Donna Anna, Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira and Bryn Terfel as Leporello. For locations and show times, visit www.operaincinema.com.

2. MINNESOTA OPERA has commissioned an operatic adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play Doubtto celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. Composed by Douglas J. Cuomo, the opera will have a libretto by Shanley, who also directed and wrote the screenplay for the 2008 Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. 

3. ESA-PEKKA SALONEN conducts the L.A. Philharmonic in the world premiere of the prologue to Shostakovich's unfinished satirical opera Orango, which playsDecember 2, 3 and 4 at Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall in a production by Peter Sellars. The piano–vocal score for the prologue, which was discovered in 2006, represents Shostakovich's only completed work on the projected three-act opera; it has been orchestrated for the premiere by English composer Gerard McBurney. For tickets and information, visit www.laphil.com, or call (323) 850-2000.

PLÁCIDO DOMINGO, who has not had an exclusive recording contract with a record label in more than forty years, has signed with Sony Classical. The first album of his contract is due in fall 2012. 

4. Music director PHILIPPE JORDAN has extended his contract with Opéra National de Paris through July 2018.He also succeeds Fabio Luisi as chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony — a position held over the past century by Furtwängler, Karajan, Sawallisch and Giulini, among others — serving as principal guest conductor in 2013–14 before assuming his full duties the following season.

In October, ROBERT M. HEUER, general director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera, announced his plans to retire at the close of the 2012–13 season.  

OpWatch SF HDL 1211
SFO's ball
© Drew Altizer 2011

5. SAN FRANCISCO OPERA kicked off its season on September 9 with a revival of David Hockney's production of Turandot, starring Iréne Theorin, Marco Berti and Leah Crocettoconducted by Nicola Luisotti. The performance was the centerpiece of the company's 2011 opera ball entitled An Evening in the Forbidden City.

6. LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO's opening-night Les Contes d'Hoffmann starred Matthew Polenzani as the poet of the work's title and Erin Wall, Anna Christy and Alyson Cambridge as the opera's three heroines (see In Review). The performance was followed by Lyric's opera ball, which began, as in years past, with The Grand March of the Stars. spacer 

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