First stop for many ticket buyers will be Jonas Kaufmann's Winterreise on 6 April. Not the most obvious choice of repertoire, either for Kaufmann or for the venue, but any Jonas is better than none. Tickets are likely to go quickly.
Back in 2012, I looked at whether various classical venues' membership schemes were worth the money. Since then the environment has changed. Advance sales have declined. Last-minute discounting is now commonplace. The value of priority booking is no longer what it was.
Venues will start announcing their 2014-15 plans in January. So is it still worth forking out £40-£1,000 for membership privileges?
If you've seen Keith Warner's Wozzeck, you've seen one of the most spectacular special effects ever staged in the Royal Opera House. Whose jaw has not dropped at the sight of Simon Keenlyside immersed motionless in a tank full of water for several minutes? In front of 2,000+ people, after 90 hectic minutes on stage?
Many of you will have worked out the sneaky secret behind the stunt, but judging by my emails it seems not everyone.
So here - using only legit production photos to demonstrate - is how it's done.
I appreciate not everyone wants their illusions shattered, so IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW, STOP READING HERE.
I didn't think it was possible to screw up Wozzeck until I saw Carrie Cracknell's 'post-Iraq' ENO production earlier this year, a misreading that replaced the general with the specific, paranoia with logic, angst with social conscience, playing up to the London audience's TV-nourished passion for simple storylines in ultra-realistic settings, no matter how the underlying work is betrayed.
Keith Warner's 2002 ROH production is not perfect, but at least we see that Wozzeck's crisis is an existential one, not a social problem that can be solved by a few quid and a bit of counselling.
Les vêpres siciliennes - Royal Opera House, 17 October 2013 (first night)
It's preposterously plotted, dramatically unbalanced and musically uneven. It needs four exceptional singers, an expensively oversized chorus, and a ballet company. No wonder Covent Garden has never staged Les vêpres siciliennes until now.
If any opera justifies the knackered old theatre-within-a-theatre concept, this is the one. Most of the work's faults are directly attributable to the strictures of grand opéra under whichVerdi laboured. The expectations of the premiere's Parisian audience too - girls, glamour, gargantuan length - contributed to the shape of the final work.