The Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, having celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, has announced a very attractive season for 2013/14. Staged operas include Spontini's La Vestale, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites and Rossini'...
The Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, having celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, has announced a very attractive season for 2013/14. Staged operas include Spontini's La Vestale, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites and Rossini's Otello, Tancredi and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, plus two further Rossini operas in concert as well as concert performances of opera and oratorio by Bellini, Handel, Donizetti, Vivaldi, Strauss and Beethoven. All complemented by a programme of orchestral and chamber music concerts.
La Vestale (15 -28 October) gives us a rare chance to hear Spontini's 1807 in its original French. Spontini's neoclassical style was an important influence on Berlioz. Ermonela Jaho plays the vestal virgin of the title role, Julia, with Andrew Richards as her lover Licinius, and Béatrice Uria-Monzon as La Grande Vestale. Eric Lascade directs and Jérémie Rohrer conducts his own ensemble, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie (see my review of their recent recording of Cherubini's Lodoiska).
Another great treat follows in December. Dialogues des Carmelites (10 - 21 December 2013) allows us to hear Poulenc's 1957 opera performed by a very cast which is strongly Francophone: Sophie Koch is Mère Marie, Patricia Petibon is Blanche,
Véronique Gens (see my review of her recent recital of French song) is Madame Lidoine, Sandrine Piau is Soeur Constance, Rosalind Plowright is Madame de Croissy, Topi Lehtipuu is Le Chevalier de La Force and Philippe Rouillon is Le Marquis de La Force. Again Jérémie horer conducts, this time the Philharmonia Orchestra, with Olivier Py as director. It is a co-production with Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels.
The season of staged operas is completed with three by Rossini. Otello (7 - 17 April 2014) with another strong cast, John Osborn as Otello, Edgardo Rocha as Rodrigo and Barry Banks as Iago, but perhaps the greatest interest will be Cecilia Bartoli as Desdemona. Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducts the Ensemble Matheus; Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier direct so expect something stylish and perhaps set in the 1950's. It is a co-production with Zurich Opera. Il Barbiere di Siviglia (28, 29 April) has Jean-Claude Malgoire conducting his ensemble, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy; Christian Schiaretti and Arnaud Décarsin direct. It is a co-production with Malgoire's Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing. Finally Tancredi (19 - 27 May), with Marie-Nicole Lemieux in the title role, Patrizia Ciofi as Amenaide, Antonino Siragusa as Argirio (see my review of his recent Rosenblatt Recital) and Sarah Tynan as Roggiero. Enrique Mazzola conducts and Jacques Osinski directs. The performance will be recorded by France Musque.
Gioachino Rossini, photographed by Étienne Carjat, 1865
The three staged Rossini operas are complemented by two in concert. L'Italiana in Algeri (10 June 2014) conducted by Sir Roger Norrington with Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Antonino Siragusa; La Scala di Seta (13 June 2014) with Enrique Mazzola conducting and Désirée Rancatore as Giulia
Other Opera in concert includes Wagner's Der fliegende Hollander (18 September 2013) with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting, Evgeny Nikitin in the title role and Emma Vetter as Senta; Bellini's Norma (15 Novembe 2013) with Carmen Gianattasio in the title role, Sonia Ganassi as Adalgisa and Massimo Giordano as Pollione; Evelino Pido conducts the orchestra of Opera de Lyon; Donizetti's La Favorite returns in concert this time (18 December 2013) with Daniela Barcelona in the title role and Juan-Diego Florez as Fernando, but this time in the 1840 version in Italian, conducted by Jacques Lacombe (see my review of the theatre's recent production of the French version with Alice Coote); Vivaldi's Catone in Utica (10 January 2014) is performed by Alan Curtis and his Il Complesso Barocco with Topi Lehtipuu, Sonia Prina and Ann Hallenberg; Harry Bickett conducts the English Concert in Handel's Theodora (10 February 2014) with Rosemary Jos