Both the Wiener Staatsoper and the Bayerische Staatsoper announced their 2011/12 seasons last Tuesday. The highlight will surely be the BSO’s new Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Kent Nagano, directed by Andreas Kriegenburg (yes, all of it in one season, insanity!). The Munich season also includes new productions of Hoffmann (Rolando Villazón?!?) and Turandot. Rep looks good too, check out the schedule here. Only in German, but if you click the opera titles you will get the cast lists. Rep is just under “Spielplan.”
Note that the Munich Ring does not include consistent casting across installments. This means that you can see the whole cycle on almost consecutive days in July, but you will have three Brünnhildes and two Siegfrieds and two Wotans. The cast is a formidable collection of Wagnerians, though. Woe to any other house wanting to put on a Ring in early July… wait, none of the other big Wagner houses are in business in early July. Very clever.
Vienna’s premieres are Traviata with Natalie Dessay (from Aix), From the House of the Dead (from Zurich, Konwitschny), Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (co-production, I think with the Opéra-Comîque, Ingo Metzmacher conducts), La Clemenza di Tito (dir. Jürgen Flimm, co-production with Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden, with Elina Garanca), and Don Carlo (directed by Daniele Abbado, with René Pape and Krassimira Stoyanova). My early report was correct with the exception that I had heard Beczala was singing Don Carlo, but it’s Ramon Vargas.
Vienna will be reviving their Ring in November under Christian Thielemann with a solid cast, who will hopefully let you forget the dismal production. Other notable revivals include Die Frau ohne Schatten (Welser-Möst conducts), the return of the legendary Peter Konwitschny French Don Carlos,
Anna Netrebko’s first Tatiana,* Nina Stemme as Tosca (intriguing?) and the Marschallin, and Heldentenoren Peter Seiffert and Ian Storey doing Cav/Pag duties. That last one may not be notable for a good reason. The ensemble looks to be receiving new blood, meaning that a few of this season’s less successful members are nowhere to seen, particularly in the mezzo-soprano division. Here is the complete rep list and schedule.
No secret about which of these two I would rather frequent–and it’s not just because one’s orchestra is woman-challenged and the other’s orchestra fields a women’s football team called Die Ballküren. Though that helps.
*Though Anna Netrebko announced she would be Tatiana-ing next season, it appears that she is not. Sorry, and is this not odd? Thanks to commenter Bogda for the correction.