The opera world's worst-kept secret is finally out. The 2014-2015 Paris Opera schedule released officially this morning largely confirms what was leaked on a Japanese website in January.
Although it will be Stéphane Lissner's first season in charge, the unadventurous programming bears the imprint of current incumbent Nicolas Joel. Yet again, the 19th century provides most of the goods. Although it's fair to say that other other Paris venues (notably the TCE) cover the baroque with expertise, the shortage of 20th (let alone 21st) century opera in Paris is staggering.
There are three completely new productions - Die Entführung aus dem Serail directed by Zabou Breitman, Tosca by Pierre Audi and a real rarity, Chausson's 1903 Le Roi Arthus by Graham Vick. The latter, amazingly never before performed at the Paris Opera, features Thomas Hampson, Roberto Alagna and Sophie Koch.
New to Paris are McVicar's Adriana Lecouvreur, Damiano Michieletto's Il Barbiere di Siviglia from Geneva, and Massenet's Le Cid, featuring Roberto Alagna and Anna Caterina Antonacci in the 2011 Marseille production by Charles Roubaud.
Bringing the total of Mozart productions to three are revivals of Robert Carsen's Die Zauberflöte and Haneke's Don Giovanni. Heaven knows what an anniversary year would look like.
Rounding out the revivals are La traviata, Hänsel und Gretel, La bohème, Ariadne auf Naxos (with 'Karina' Mattila, Sophie Koch and Klaus Florian Vogt), Robert Wilson's Pelléas et Mélisande, Faust, Rusalka and Olivier Py's Alceste.