OPERA NEWS - Noteworthy & Now
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Noteworthy & Now

By Eloise Giegerich

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© Sandrine Expilly (Piau); © Dario Acosta (Hymel, Brugger); John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Aucoin); © Suzanne Schwiertz (Bartoli)

Catch French soprano Sandrine Piau in concert with the Kammerorchester Basel on January 19 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where she’ll sing a selection of works from Torelli, Porpora, Handel and more. Later, Piau heads to Monte-Carlo, where she sings Dalinda in Christof Loy’s Ariodante. In June, she sings Morgana in the Salzburg Festival’s new Alcina staging by director Damiano Michieletto. 

In October, American tenor Bryan Hymel was named vice president of the Academy of Vocal Arts, of which he is an alumnus. Some of Hymel’s duties will include raising awareness of AVA across the country—and internationally—as well as helping to draw young artists to the Academy. This month, Hymelsings Énée in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new Troyens staging at Opéra Bastille (Jan. 22–Feb. 12), alongside Stéphanie d’Oustrac’s Cassandre and Stéphane Degout’s Chorèbe.

American composer/conductor Matthew Aucoin was recently named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. The former LA Opera artist-in-residence and American Modern Opera Company codirector, whose 2015 opera Crossing appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last season, is honored, among twenty-five fellows, with a $625,000 award. This month, Aucoin appears in various programs with the San Diego Symphony, where he will both conduct and play piano.

Cecilia Bartoli celebrates her thirtieth anniversary at the Zurich Opera House with two events this month: the first, on January 6, is a gala performance of Handel’s Semele (full performances of the Robert Carsen staging run Dec. 31–Jan. 8), followed by a dinner onstage; the second, on January 10, is a charity concert for Zurich’s International Opera Studio. In the latter, the mezzo will revisit selections from her Zurich roles, including works by Mozart and Rossini.

Soprano Anna Prohaska appears in two world premieres at the Staatsoper unter den Linden this month, creating the role of Silvia in Claus Guth’s staging of Violetter Schnee (Jan. 13–31) and singing the female lead in Michael Vogel’s production of Himmelerde (Jan. 17–Apr. 7). In between performances of the Vogel, she also sings Pamina in the Staatsoper’s new Zauberflöte production by Yuval Sharon.

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© Harald Hoffmann/DG (Prohaska); © Erik Madigan Heck (Dudamel); © Getty Images (Baker); Forster (Spades)

Gustavo Dudamel conducts this season’s final Otello performances at the Met, in his house debut (Dec. 14–Jan. 10), before returning to Los Angeles, where he paces a John Williams celebration with the LA Philharmonic (Jan. 24–27). In February, the Venezuelan conductor leads the U.S. premiere of Buddha Passion, a new oratorio from composer Tan Dun, of First Emperor fame.

Don’t miss Julia Bullock, current artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum, in Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine. The work, which had its premiere iteration at the Ojai Music Festival, was originally conceived by Peter Sellars. On January 16 and 17, on the steps of the Met’s Great Hall, Bullock channels Josephine Baker’s fearless spirit, singing texts by Claudia Rankine set to music by Tyshawn Sorey. Zack Winokur directs, with choreography by Michael Schumacher.

Stefan Herheim’s production of Queen of Spades makes its debut at London’s Royal Opera House, January 13–February 1. The staging, coproduced with Dutch National Opera, is conducted by Antonio Pappano, and stars Aleksandrs Antonenko (Gherman), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Lisa) and Felicity Palmer (Countess).

Soprano Janai Brugger sings Clara in Dutch National Opera’s Porgy and Bess staging by James Robinson (Jan. 16–31). The production had its premiere at English National Opera last year and moves to the Met next season. Later, Brugger heads to LA Opera for Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito.

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© Jack Malipan/Agefotostock (Sydney)

Noteworthy and now 10 William Kentridge’s Wozzeck production arrives at the Sydney Opera House, January 25–February 15. The staging, which had its premiere at the Salzburg Festival last season, comes to the Met in 2019. In January, Opera Australia also kicks off its annual “Great Opera Hits” concert series, which takes place on Sydney Harbor. spacer

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