Musings and updates at

Tuesday 17 May 2011

New ENO season announced

And what a fantastic season it is. For obscurists like myself it's an absolute dream, and provides a brilliant contrast to the Royal Opera House's ultra traditional season (which I've come round to and am also greatly looking forward to). There's almost nothing I don't want to see.

Outrageous claims are made for Weinberg's music (for instance that he should be considered as the third of the "great three" Soviet composers), but though he's very inconsistent (something he does share with Shostakovich and Prokofiev), at his best he writes music of genuine pathos and beauty. I don't know The Passenger, but I certainly am looking forward to it... maybe one to look out before seeing it live - the story sounds extremely interesting, though I'm wary of another concentration camp setting. We'll see!

Figaro is possibly my favourite Mozart opera overall and I never mind seeing what a new director has to say in this piece. Kate Valentine has recieved what might be described as rave reviews for her Countess at Scottish Opera, so it'll be great to see her in London.

Rameau is always a favourite with me, probably my favourite Baroque opera composer. Amazing that the ENO have never staged a Rameau before, and Castor and Pollux is a great one. Looking forward to seeing Roderick Williams on stage - have only heard him in lieder recordings thus far.

Eugene Onegin is another one of my all time favourites, it's just a magnificent score, a brilliant piece of dramaturgy and is probably my favourite piece by Tchaikovsky. Don't recognise any of the cast, but it's hard for this score not to be enjoyable. (Apparently the Royal Opera House have it slated for January 2013)

I like the way the ENO calls their revival of Tosca a "classic revival"! Not sure I'll be attending either this or Butterfly later in the season - the only things that don't really appeal.

Naturally I cannot wait for the Rosenkavalier with Sarah Connolly as Octavian, Sophie Bevan as Sophie, Amanda Roocroft as the Marchallin and God as Ochs. I always sort of dread looking down the cast list for who the Marschallin will be in Rosenkavalier productions - if that piece of casting isn't just right, the whole thing will fall flat. No need to worry though - Amanda Roocroft is both a magnificent singer (this is her role debut) and a fantastic actress, so I'm very happy. Amongst singers that the ENO can afford, especially English ones, they couldn't have chosen better. One thing though. Why on earth did they use such a hideous picture of Connolly as the image for the production?! (UPDATE 26/06: after hearing Roocroft in the ROH's Peter Grimes, I'm now not so ecstatic at the prospect of her assumption of the role. Ho-hum)

Never seen an Offenbach opera, so will be good to see Tales of Hoffmann which strikes me as potentially being one of his most interesting.

Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer is a great score in my opinion, definitely one of Adams' better operas. Only know it from the recording so looking forward to seeing it realised on the stage.

Jacob Lenz, Caligula and Doctor Dee again completely unknown by me - did I mention I was excited by the obscurity of this season! - not many details on any yes, but looking forward to all.

And finally Billy Budd and Dutchman - the former yet another favourite, the latter again new to me on the stage.

The only thing wrong with this season is no Janacek (there's none at the ROH either), but with so much that's exciting, I'm just cavilling.

ENO 2011/12 season

The Elixir of Love, Donizetti , opens 15 September 2011

The Passenger, Weinberg, opens 19 September 2011

The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart, opens 5 October 2011

Castor and Pollux, Rameau, opens 24 October 2011

Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky, opens 12 November 2011

Tosca, Puccini, opens 26 November 2011

Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss, opens 28 January 2012

The Tales of Hoffmann, Offenbach, opens 10 February 2012

The Death of Klinghoffer, John Adams, opens 25 February 2012

Jakob Lenz, Wolfgang Rihm, opens 17 April 2012, Hampstead Theatre

The Flying Dutchman, Wagner, opens 28 April 2012

Madam Butterfly, Puccini, opens 8 May 2012

Caligula, Detlev Glanert, opens 25 May 2012

Billy Budd, Britten, opens 18 June 2012

Doctor Dee, Damon Albarn, opens 25 June 2012

Click here to check it out for yourself.

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