Opera Warhorses

An appreciation and analysis of the 'Standard Repertory' of opera

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Select April-May 2014 Opera Performances in Zurich, Geneva and Torino

March 18th, 2014

This feature highlights selected performances of operas in the Alpine cities of Geneva, Zurich and Torino.

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed beginning April 2014. These are Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” in San Francisco in June, 1014 [See In Quest of Italian Opera Core Repertory Masterpieces in the American Southwest, January, June 2014]; Kern’s “Show Boat” in San Francisco and Bizet’s “Carmen” in Santa Fe [See Popular Opera Offerings in Southwestern Vacation Destinations – March-September, 2014and “Don Quichotte” in San Diego, “Thais” in Los Angeles, “Fidelio” in Santa Fe and “Ariadne auf Naxos” in Glimmerglass, New York [See Selected French and German Opera Offerings Coast to Coast April-August, 2014]; and “Roberto Devereux in Toronto, “Don Pasquale” in Santa Fe and “Norma” and “La Cenerentola” in San Francisco [See “Bel Canto” Italian Works in Toronto and the American Southwest – April-October, 2014.]

Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky), Zurich Opera, April 6, 11, 13, 16, 27, May 3, 6, 11, 18, 2014

Jiri Beholavek conducts Robert Carsen’s production of Tchaikovsky’s “Pique Dame”, which Zurich has co-produced with the National Opera of the Rhine in Strasbourg.

[Below: the Countess (Doris Soffell, seated) prepares for bed; edited image of a Monika Rittershaus photograph, courtesy of the Opernhaus Zurich.]


Mischa Didyk is Hermann, Tatiana Monogarova is Lisa. Doris Soffel is the Countess, Brian Mulligan is Yeletsky and Alexei Markov is Tomsky. The sets are by Michael Levine, the costumes by Brigitte Reiffenstuel.

[For my reviews of other Robert Carsen productions, see: World Treasure: Carsen’s Magnificent “Mefistofele” Returns to San Francisco Opera – September 6, 2013 and Night at the Museum: “Iphigenie en Tauride” Springs to Life in S. F. – June 17, 2007.]

[For my performance review, in which Aleksandrs Antonenko sang Hermann, see: Robert Carsen’s Brilliantly Refocused “Pique Dame” – Zurich Opera, May 3, 2014.]


Andrea Chénier (Giordano), Zurich Opernhaus, April 12, 15, 27(m), May 4 and 10, 2014.

Conductor Nello Santi and Producer Grischa Asagaroff are teamed again at the Opernhaus for a revival of Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier”

[Below: the costuming scheme for the guests in the first act of the Zurich Opernhaus production of “Andrea Chénier”; edited image, based on a Suzanne Schwiertz photograph, courtesy of the Zurich Opernhaus.]


Yonghoon Lee is Chénier, Martina Serafin the Maddalena di Coigny. Lucio Gallo is Carlo Gérard. Reinhard von der Thannen created the sets and costumes.

[For my review of a previous Santi-Asagaroff collaboration in Zurich, see: Zurich and San Francisco: A Tale of Two “Forzas”.]


Götterdämmerung (Wagner), Grand Théâtre de Genève, April 23, 26, 29 and May 2, 2014.

This Spring Grand Théâtre de Genève is presenting Dieter Dorn’s “Ring of the Nibelungs” (co-produced with Heinz Wanitschek). I am scheduled to review the final opera, “Götterdämmerung” whose sets and costumes are by Jürgen Rose

[Below: the hall of the Gibichungs; edited image, based on a Carole Parodi photograph for the Grand Théâtre de Genève.]


Ingo Metzmacher conducts. John Daszak is Siegfried, Petra Lang is Brünnhilde. The Hagen is Jeremy Milner, and his father Alberich is John Lundgren. Johannes Martin Kränzle sings Gunther, Edith Haller his sister Gutrune. Michelle Breedt is Waltraute.

[For my performance review, see: Petra Lang’s Brünnhilde Leads Strong Cast for Dieter Dorn’s “Götterdämmerung – Grand Théâtre de Genève, May 2, 2014.]


Guillaume Tell (Rossini), May 7, 9, 11(m), 14 and 18(m), 2014.

British director Graham Vick creates a new production of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” for the Teatro Regio Torino. The sets and costumes are by his frequent collaborator Paul Brown.

[Below: Production Designer Graham Vick, OBE; resized image of a publicity photograph.]


Carlos Alvarez is Tell, John Osborn is Arnoldo and Angela Meade is Matilde. (An alternate cast will be led by haritone Fabio Capitanucci and soprano Elena Mosuc)

[For my reviews of other Graham Vick productions, see: Dessay’s Lucia di Lammermoor Delights in San Francisco – June 29, 2008 and Charismatic S. F. “Tannhauser” – October 12, 2007.]

 [For my performance review, in which Dalibor Jenis replaced the previously announced Carlos Alvarez, see: Osborn, Meade and Jenis in Graham Vick’s Mounting of “Guglielmo Tell” – Teatro Regio Torino, May 7, 2014.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations