This morning the Vienna State Opera put their entire 2014-15 season on sale at the same time they announced it, in case you were wondering why their website's been slow or completely down all day. Well done, Wieners.
The chaos disguises an average 5% price increase, which Intendant Dominique Meyer says is necessary to compensate for the static public subsidy. Unlike standard UK practice, the price rise is helpfully weighted towards the more expensive tickets.
As usual, it's a busy season, with 223 staged opera performances, few of which are even 20th century, let alone modern. There will be six new productions:
- Idomeneo 5 October 2014 c: Christoph Eschenbach, d: Kasper Holten, with Michael Schade, Margarita Gritskova, Maria Bengtsson, Chen Reiss
- Khovanshchina 15 November 2014 c: Semyon Bychkov, d: Lev Dodin, with Ferruccio Furlanetto, Christopher Ventris, Herbert Lippert, Andrzej Dobber, Ain Anger, Elisabeth Kulman, Norbert Ernst
- Rigoletto 20 December 2014 c: Franz Welser-Möst, d: Pierre Audi, with Piotr Beczala, Simon Keenlyside, Valentina Nafornită, Elena Maximova
- Elektra 29 March 2015 c: Franz Welser-Möst, d: Uwe Eric Laufenberg, with Anna Larsson, Nina Stemme, Anne Schwanewilms, Falk Struckman
- Don Pasquale 26April 2015 c: Jesús López-Cobos, d: Irina Brook, with Michele Pertusi, Juan Diego Flórez, Alessio Arduini, Valentina Nafornită
- The Tempest (Austrian premiere) 14 June 2015 c: Thomas Ades, d: Robert Lepage, with Adrian Eröd, Audrey Luna, Stephanie Houtzeel, David Daniels
Vienna maintains its reputation for attracting the top conductors, with an Ariadne auf Naxos from Christian Thielemann, and a couple of Ring cycles from Simon Rattle. Kirill Petrenko conducts a Rosenkavalier with Soile Isokoski and Alice Coote, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin a fliegende Holländer revival featuring Bryn Terfel.
Vienna wouldn't be Vienna without a sprinkling of stardust, and it welcomes Juan Diego Florez in L'Elisir d'Amore and La Cenerentola, Domingo as Nabucco, Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena and Angela Gheorghiu (together with Ramon Vargas and Ludovic Tézier) in Werther.
My casting pick however is a revival of Claus Guth's Tannhäuser. Myung-Whun Chung conducts the unbeatable line-up of Kwangchul Youn, Robert Dean Smith, Christian Gerhaher, Camilla Nylund and Iréne Theorin.
Detailed dates, casts and everything else you might want to know are already (yay!) on the website.
They've even got a list of the shows which will be livestreamed (€€€ applies).