Opera Warhorses

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

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In Quest of European Opera Performances (Part Two) Mid-May 2016

April 13th, 2016

Later this Spring, I begin another Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour (this trip with eight performances in 16 days). The last four performances are described below:


Carmen (Bizet), Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Germany, May 13, 17 and 20, 2016.

The fifth stop on my Self-Directed Live Opera Performance Tour will be the famous Lina Wertmüller production of Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Bavarian State Opera, with Elena Maximova in the title role.

[Below: A scene from Lina Wertmüller’s “Carmen” (sets by Enrico Job) in 2007 at the Bayerische Staatsoper; edited image of a production photograph for the Bayerische Staatsoper.]


Brandon Jovanovich appears as Don Jose, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Escamillo, Golda Schultz as Micaela, Matthew Grills and Dean Power as Dancairo and Ramendado and Eri Nakamura and Angela Brower as Frasquita and Mercedes. Dan Ettinger conducts.

[For my performance review, see: Review: An Engaging “Carmen” with Maximova, Jovanovich, Schultz and d’Arcangelo – Bayerische Staatsoper, May 13, 2016.]


Mefistofele (Boito), Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden, Germany, May 13, 16 and 19, 2016.

The sixth scheduled performance on our Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour will take place at the Baden-Baden (Germany) Festspielhaus. It will be a new Philipp Himmelmann production of Boito’s “Mefistofele” with sets by Johannes Leiacker.

The new production stars Erwin Schrott in the title role with Charles Castronovo as Faust and Alex Penda as Margherita. (Two seasons ago, the Festspielhaus presented Castronovo and Schrott in Gounod’s “Faust” in Bartlett Sher’s production.)

[Below: Doctor Faust (Charles Castronovo, left in skull’s eye socket) seeks to save Margherita (Alex Penda, right) as Mefistofele (Erwin Schrott, left) involves himself; edited image, based on an Andrea Kremper photograph for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.]


[For my performance review, see: Review: “Mefistofele” Impressively Performed by Schrott, Castronovo, Penda and Blue in New Philipp Himmelmann Production – Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, May 16, 2016.]


Das Liebesverbot (Wagner), l’Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg, France, May 8(m), 13, 17, 19 and 22(m), 2016.

For the seventh scheduled performance on our upcoming Self-Directed Opera Live Performance Tour, I return to Strasbourg’s l’Opéra national du Rhin for a performance of “Das Liebesverbot”, an opera-comique by a composer whose greatest fame rests in other genres than opera-comique – Richard Wagner. The opera is based on the Bard’s dark comedy “Measure for Measure”. The new production is by French director Mariame Clément.

[Below: the unit set for “Das Liebesverbot”; edited image, based on a Klara Beck photograph, courtesy of the l’Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg.]

STRAS (425) UNIT SET LIEBESVERBOTb_photo_KlaraBeck_7039

[For my performance review, see: Review: Mariame Clément Mounts Wagner’s “Liebesverbot”: Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, May 17, 2016.]


Iolanta (Tchaikovsky) and Perséphone  (Stravinsky), Opera de Lyon, France, May 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22(m), 24 and 26, 2016.

 The last stop on our Self-Directed Opera Live Performance tour will be the Opera de Lyon where we will see the Peter Sellars-George Tsypin double bill of Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” and Stravinsky’s “Persephone” that was originally created for the Teatro Real in Madrid (2012) and has since been seen at the 2015 Aix en Provence Festival.

[Photo: Eumolpe (Paul Groves, left) and Perséphone (Dominique Blanc, right) in Stravinsky’s “Perséphone”; edited image of a production photograph from the 2015 Aix-en-Provence Festival.


The second half of the Sellars/Tsypin double-bill production of Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” and Stravinsky’s “Perséphone” at Opéra De Lyon (the final moments of our eight evening Self-Directed Live Performance Opera Tour) stars Dominique Blanc as Perséphone and Paul Groves as Eumolpe.

This list is supplementary to previous lists in this “Quests and Anticipations” series of selected operas being performed from April 2016 through December 2016:

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the San Francisco Opera. [See In Quest of Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Butterfly” in the American Southwest – October 2015 to December 2016.]

Little’s “JFK” at the Fort Worth Opera, Barber’s “Vanessa” at the Santa Fe Opera and Ward’s “The Crucible” at the Glimmerglass Festival. [See In Quest of American Operas – October 2015 through August 2016.]

Wagner’s “Siegfried” at the Houston Grand Opera, Janacek’s “Jenufa” and “The Makropoulos Case” at the San Francisco Opera and Richard Strauss’ “Capriccio” at the Santa Fe Opera. [See In Quest of Operatic Masterpieces from the German and Czech Repertories – April- November, 2016.]

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” and Heggie’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Houston Grand Opera, Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” at the Glimmerglass Festival and Sheng’s “Dream of the Red Chamber” at the San Francisco Opera [See In Quest of Repertory-Expanding Operas – April-December, 2016.]

Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at the Opera National de Paris, Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino” at the Zurich Oper at Theater Winterthur, Debussy’s “Pelleas et Melisande” at the Zurich Oper and Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich [In Quest of European Opera Performances (Part One) April-May 2016.]

Tags: Quests and Anticipations