The new mission of opera companies is to fox their customers with unreadable and/or incomplete season announcements. Or so it seems. After Barcelona's irritating Twitter drip-feed comes Zurich's online magazine - spread over 246 (!) pages, illegible on any screen smaller than laptop size, and impossible to auto-translate for anyone who doesn't read German. I can only hope they get their act together and stick it all up on the website soon.
Opera houses, all we need is a list of productions like this one, copy/pasteable, complete with dates and casting, and, ideally, Outlook calendar-compatible. The rest is for the souvenir brochure. And while we're at it, can you split up the opera and ballet? Two separate announcements mean twice the publicity, if you need tempting.
(UPDATE - all dates are now on the website.)
Back to Zurich, who seem to be untroubled by the financial strictures binding other houses. Their nine premieres include two contemporary operas (one for kids) and a Vivaldi rarity amongst the more obviously commercial offerings. And there's the usual quota of stardust sprinkled throughout the season.
The full list of premieres:
- Lohengrin - Simone Young, Andreas Homoki - with the great Klaus Florian Vogt in his signature role and Elza van den Heever as Elsa.
- The Turn of the Screw - Constantin Trinks, Willy Decker - with Pavol Breslik rounding those vowels as Quint
- Robin Hood by Frank Schwemmer - a children's opera
- Die Zauberflöte - Cornelius Meister, Tatjana Gürbaca
- Juliette - Fabio Luisi, Andreas Homoki - Annette Dasch takes the title role
- Rote Laterne by Christian Jost - Alain Altinoglu, Nadja Laschky
- La traviata - Marco Armiliato, David Herman - Anita Hartig/Ailyn Perez, Pavol Breslik/Matthew Polenzani, Quinn Kelsey
- La verità in cimento - Ottavio Dantone, Jan Philipp Gloger - a Vivaldi obscurity with an impressive period-specialist cast
- I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Fabio Luisi, Christof Loy - Anita Hartig and Joyce DiDonato are the lovelorn couple
The revivals throw up a few interesting names too. One person I never expected to return to Zurich is Alexander Pereira - not least because of his Milan responsibilities. But he takes his turn on stage again as the Majordomo in a revival of the Guth/Luisi Ariadne auf Naxos. Another familiar face is Cecilia Bartoli on her annual visit, this time partnering Lawrence Brownlee in La Cenerentola.
Claus Guth's Tristan und Isolde reappears conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, and features Nina Stemme and Stephen Gould. But the hottest ticket is likely to be Anna Netrebko taking another bash at Anna Bolena, this time with Luca Pisaroni. To end the season, the reigning no.1 Elektra Evelyn Herlitzius is joined by Emily Magee in a revival conducted by Lothar Koenigs.