And so 2009/10 draws to a close with the usual tourist-friendly summer fare from the Royal Opera House.
The highlight (especially since he had to cancel Tamerlano) is Plácido Domingo's appearance in and as Simon Boccanegra (29 June to 15 July). We've all found out by now that he's not exactly a perfect fit - but then these days, who is? And it might be his last appearance at Covent Garden. And WTF he's Plácido Domingo. That's enough to make it essential. A cast that includes Marina Poplavskaya, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Joseph Calleja with Maestro Pappano himself conducting should compensate for Elijah Moshinsky's tired production.
Running it close is a new Laurent Pelly production of Massenet's Manon (22 June to 2 July) with Anna Netrebko in the title role. Pappano conducts again, and gorgeous Vittorio Grigolo makes his Covent Garden debut.
David McVicar's slightly fussy but intelligent Le Nozze di Figaro (31 May to 17 June) makes a swift return, with Erwin Schrott and a delightful springer spaniel vying for the cuteness award. As if that's not enough, Sir Colin Davis conducts most dates, making it a must-see.
Another McVicar, Salome (3 July to 16 July), has its first revival, with Angela Denoke in the title role and Hartmut Haenchen conducting. "Contains scenes of nudity and violence" - but not where you'd think.
Angela Gheorghiu lovers will be flocking to La Traviata (8 July to 17 July), though it may be James Valenti and Zeljko Lucic who make it worth seeing. Richard Eyre's production is a fine and thoughtful one, though anyone who catches it in May with Ermonela Jaho doesn't really need to see it again.
The Bolshoi visit in August, with a critically-acclaimed production of Eugene Onegin the only opera amidst endless nights of ballet (which to be honest, is probably a safer bet).
Friends' booking opens on 3 March and general booking on 6 April.