Category Archives: lists

“revival adriana lecouvreur roh 2016-2017”

Dear all, I’m very heartened to notice the blog has been running itself – ie it is being read – even though I have been less active recently. The most attractive were the posts (especially the last one, which skyrocketed to the top 3) about the 2016-17 ROH season. Earlier today I checked the wiki page where I got my initial info (out of curiosity whether anything new was added).

For whatever reason my last post didn’t mention anything about the Adriana Lecouvreur revival which is supposed to happen sometime next year, with Gheorghiu in the title role and Ekaterina Gubanova (rather than the other EG) as her nemesis and one of my favourite mezzo roles. Anyway, it’s there so we – the person who found my blog via this search, I and anyone else who likes this opera – can only hope everything will go well and no divas will be dropping out at the last minute. I would like to see Gheorghiu live but I’m not into Puccini.

I also notice there is a Don Carlo next year in May (very specific dates, too), with Vargas, Stoyanova and Tezier. I might give it a try as I have started to thaw towards widening my operatic horizons.

ROH rumours 2016/17

Mr Plow, factotum della cita

Winter, end of another year, time to plow ahead! (though around here snow is not even a speck in a cloud’s eye – currently 14C).

Way better than ROH productions are ROH rumours. I love them, though these were posted last July I think. Who cares? Let’s see:

Otello (Verdi) – 2017 – JK returns

The Nose (Shostakovich)  Oi, the music is tedious BUT! it really fits the story. Soooo… I might just suffer.

Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart) – Autumn 16 – Wolfie’s back!
Production: Barrie Kosky
Production: Jan Philipp Gloger
Ferrando: Daniel Behle – the new darling of ROH? JK must be getting old or something
Fiordiligi: Corinne Winters – who?

Der Rosenkavalier (R Stauss): Dec 2016 – Jan 2017 – one can never have enough Marie Theres’ and Quinquin
Conductor: Andris Nelsons
Production: Robert Carsen
Marschallin – Renee Fleming – nobody else available?
Octavian – Alice Coote / Anna Stéphany – does AS have volume enough for 3 hours of Strauss? Also she seems to have a very dispersive voice.
Sophie – Aleksandra Kurzak – yay!

Semiramide (Rossini) – YAY! YAY! YAY! but who’s Arsace? (see comments bellow)
Semiramide – Joyce “I’m a soprano now” DiDonato
Assur – Ildebrando D’Arcangelo – eh

Norma (Bellini) Autumn 2016 – at long last but…
Norma: Anna Netrebko – nooooooo!!!! I thought she had moved on to Verdi 😦
Pollione: Joseph Calleja
Adalgisa: Sonia Ganassi
Oroveso: Brindley Sherratt

Königskinder (Humperdick) Production from Oper Frankfurt (2016)
Conductor: Sebastian Weigle
Original Director: David Bösch
Stage Designer: Patrick Bannwart
Costume Designer: Meetje Nielsen
Der Königssohn: Daniel Behle – see what I mean?
Die Gänsemagd (Goose Girl): Amanda Majeski – interesting

The Exterminating Angel (Thomas Ades)
Director: Tom Cairns

Mitridate, Re di Ponto (Mozart) – rock!
Conductor: Christophe Rousset
Mitridate: Michael Spyres – who dat?

It’s ROH new season(s) rumour time

The rumours. The ROH season is usually announced at the end of March. But who can wait? Not me. So (off that rumour list) here’s my should see listicle:

  1. JDD returns to ROH as Werther‘s Charlotte which I think will work well for the both of us (I tried and tried with Werther via a number of favourite mezzos and I still find it/Massenet a bore). Maybe the trick is live and with JDD.
  2. Lemieux in Enescu, that’s going to be interesting. I think? With Fura del Baus it’ll be a show all right.
  3. Angela Gheorghiu + Adriana Lecouvreur – I say yes! but er, no! to the predicted Principessa de Bouillon. I know most of you will disagree and be very happy with her… for my part I hope EG drops out so I can see the show [evil laughter]. Or I can just go see the alternative lady whom I don’t know. But she can still drop out 😉 Ladies aside, it’s also supposed to have Marcello Alvarez.
  4. La Damrau returns with her Lucia which I will have to see. There haven’t been enough damsels in distress lately.
  5. I’ve been meaning to see Sophie Koch for a good while now (just how much Strauss did I miss her in?), preferably not in Wagner, although in Tannhauser her 15min are at the beginning so it could be done 😉 must be a £10 ticket then. I can be one of those people who don’t return after the intermission…
  6. There’s also Mitridate, which is only mentioned as an aside in that link but it will apparently happen (heard this rumour before), to which I will of course make room left and right almost without regards to who’s in it – within reason, of course. Actually, nah, I’ll go even unreasonably 😉 If somehow Lezhneva sneaks her tail in you’ll have to pray for me, is all. Like you will have to in June with Don Giovanni, where it was recently pointed out to me that she’s going to be Zerlina. Hey, at least she’s not Donna Anna!

Good times at the opera in 2014


2014 turned out to be a fun, busy year. I hit most eras, from Monteverdi to Adams, lieder and Masterclasses, the Proms, two festivals and a good number of local venues, many of them for the first time. I ended up changing my mind about ROH’s starry cast Ballo but apparently it wasn’t such a bad decision on my part. Skipping L’elisir because I didn’t like Grigolo was the worse idea, judging by the rather fun broadcast. Oops.


Theodora | Barbican – concert performance – live Handel at last.
Don Giovanni | ROH – rather controversial production at the time but Veronique Gens was lovely to listen to.


Brigitte Fassbaender | Wigmore Hall/Masterclass – lieder singing introduction from one of the lieder legends.
La fille du regiment | ROH – old, still fun. I like Ciofi a lot. Ewa Podles and Dame Kiri were cameo-ing as well.
Die Frau ohne Schatten | ROH – what a monster: staggering noise level, tremendous music and Guth’s production really appealed to me.


Ann Hallenberg | Wigmore Hall/Farinelli recital – the woman owns this repertoire.
La traviata | ROH – Damrau’s fault.


Le nozze di Figaro | ROH – this one was Boni’s fault but I’m glad I heard Gerald Finley as well.


Der Rosenkavalier | Glyndebourne – like with Le nozze, nobody needs an excuse to go. Plus the very funny Erraught.
Dorothea Roschmann | Wigmore Hall/lieder recital – what a goddess!


Anne Sofie von Otter | Wigmore Hall/song recital – semi-legendary lyric mezzo = yes, please.
Ariadne auf Naxos | ROH – dude, Ariadne. Matilla and Donose were very good.
Maria Stuarda | ROH – this one has grown on me enormously since then. It’s silly, it’s fun. JDD and Giannatassio sparing ftw.
JPYP | ROH youth – should we hope for the future? We should.


Coronation of Poppea | Grimeborn Festival – who knew Poppea in English would be so much fun? Clever staging as well.
Salome | Proms concert performance – Strauss, Nina Stemme and Rattle for £5.


Anna Nicole | ROH – colourful! And sometimes they even sang 😉
Griselda | Cadogan Hall – concert performance – Griselda is up there with the best of Baroque opera.
Franco Fagioli | Wigmore Hall/Porpora recital – you should hear Franco live if you enjoy the Baroque repertoire.
Xerxes | ENO – in English, of course; that old production everyone knows; Alice Coote acting like a brat. All around winner.


L’incoronazione di Poppea | Barbican – concert performance – no self respecting lyric mezzo lover misses Sarah Connolly in a fun Baroque role.
Alcina (part I and part II) | Barbican – concert performance – 3 mezzos in Alcina! Mind = blown.
Il mondo della luna | Hackney Empire – hilarious ETO production.
Ottone | Hackney Empire – excellently performed Handel.
I due Foscari | ROH – Domingo, nuff said.
Lawrence Zazzo | RCM/Masterclass – Zazzo is one funny chap.


Idomeneo 3 November and 24 November | ROH – controversy! Mozart opera seria!
Judas Maccabaeus – Handel oratorios need no recommendation. I think one can just press the book ticket button.
La mort de Cléopâtre and other French sh…tuff | Bozar, Brussels – Cléopâtre, VK and an outing abroad = just what the mood doctor ordered for mid November.
La clemenza di Tito | St. John’s at Waterloo/Midsummer Opera – I scoured the internet hoping when I realised I’d missed the concert performance at Cadogan Hall earlier in the year. You know I loved it.
The Gospel according to the other Mary | ENO – a lot more engrossing than I thought.


Messiah | Wigmore Hall – cosy, lovely performance.

I’ll be very happy if 2015 will be just as much fun 🙂

Opera characters at work

You may or may not remember last month’s Carmen promotes smoking!!!! Aussie brouhaha but it got me thinking about characters’ jobs or lack thereof. It turns out they’re more diverse than I thought:

Carmen: factory worker. Carmen is honest, independent, working class; basically “good people”. She has to die.

Griselda: shepherdess. She wins the social status lottery.

Female cast of Dialogues des Carmelites: nuns. Nuns also have to die, they’re otherworldly already.

Theodora, Alessio, Poliuto: saints. They die too. Duh.

Countess Almaviva, aka Rosina: homemaker. Rosina had potential once but alas, the easy livin’ with that no good aristocrat has spoiled her chutzpah…

Count Almaviva: sleazy diplomat

Bartolo, Dulcamara, Lorenzo: medics/”medics”. Opera takes a dim view of the medical profession…

Vitellia, Servilia, Poppea, die Marschallin, Eboli, various Countesses and Princesses, Fiordiligi and Dorabella: socialites; we should sick Carmen on the lot of them 😉

Norma, Alcina, Armida, Sarastro, Melisso, (o, mio) Fernando, Inquisitors, other monks, high priests and priestesses: clergy. Either evil or coming to a bad end. Or both. Interesting commentary, composers and librettists.

Cavaradossi, Manrico, Rodolfo and his friends, Andrea Chenier, Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreur, Orfeo, Benvenuto Cellini, the Composer, Zerbinetta and her boys, Il pittor parigino: artists. I hadn’t realised there were so many of them! I bet there’s even more.

Sesto, Annio, Octavian, Ottone, Arsamene, Alfredo: dandies/consummate lovers. (With the exception of Octavian) they come off a bit naff but they get to sing some of the best music in their respective opera, so we love them anyway.

Cenerentola, Cherubino and other pages, Nemorino, la serva pedrona: house servants. They tend to come better off at the end.

Figaro: barber/PA. He has many skills, but one wonders why he accepted the Count’s job offer in the sticks if his barbershop in bustling Sevillia was doing so well?

Publio, Leporello, Susanna, Arnalta, Nutrice: PAs. Resilient, they always survive.

Lulu, Violetta: call girls; come to a heavily foreshadowed bad end.

Mimi: seamstress. Could be Carmen’s younger, frumpier sister. Working class, and apparently independent but only assertive until a kind young man appears. She has to die so Rodolfo can write his tearjerking blockbuster (Act V). In contrast with:

Minnie: business owner. Liberated all right.

Ulrica Arvidson: astrologer. Not quite clergy, is she? You’d think opera would have more astrologers.

Ernani, Dick Johnson, the smugglers in Carmen, Les brigands, I masnadieri: outlaws. These are fun, there should be more of them.

Escamillo: bullfighter (athlete or entertainer? – which brings us to:)

Megacles: Olympic medal winning athlete

Tito, Serse, Nerone, Mitridate, Idomeneo, other ancient royalty, Boris Godunov, Filipo II, Dom Sebastien, Agrippina, various belcanto queens: politicians. Rule of thumb is if they survive they are evil.

Orlando, Rinaldo, Ruggiero, Ariodante, Arsace, Tancredi, Don Jose, Il Commendatore, Guglielmo and Ferrando, Radames: military personnel. They tend not to be the sharpest tools in the shed…

Please feel free to remind me of anything interesting I’m sure I forgot.

Blogspot’s robot test makes me question my identity

My good friend blogspot seems obsessed with the possibility that robots are slowly taking over the universe, one blog reply at a time. Luckily, it has already found their weakness: they are poor-sighted.

yousuckSee what I mean? sms 135?… 7?… something else altogether? It’s bad enough that the text is so blurred it makes me slightly queasy. That on top of feeling a short circuit coming on.

I don’t disagree, robot replies are idiotic enough; you’d think blogspot has a spam capture device like wordpress does.

…but you might be wondering what my reply was about. Miah’s version is here and DR’s is here.

The R. Strauss Challenge

R. Strauss is another composer who excelled at opera but didn’t write a humongous amount. Which means I should be able to complete this challenge before the year is out (2 works every month and I’m done):

  • 1876: Der Kampf mit dem Drachen
  • 1892-93, 1940: Guntram (partially done 11 September; way too Romantic)
  • 1900-01: Feuersnot (done 13 August)
  • 1903-05: Salome
  • 1906-08: Elektra 
  • 1909-10: Der Rosenkavalier 
  • 1911-12, 1915-16: Ariadne auf Naxos 
  • 1914-17: Die Frau ohne Schatten 
  • 1918-23: Intermezzo
  • 1923-27: Die Aegyptische Helena
  • 1929-32: Arabella (partially done 28 May)
  • 1933-34: Die schweigsame Frau
  • 1935-36: Friedenstag
  • 1936-37: Daphne (done 29 May)
  • 1938-40: Die Liebe der Danae (done 5 August)
  • 1940-41: Capriccio 
  • 1947-48: Der Eseis Schatten

On this month’s list: Arabella (currently listening – in English) and Daphne. Henceforth Wednesday is Strauss Day.