It’s that time when I go through the ultimately pointless exercise of trying to predict what the COC season for 2019/20 will be. In some ways it’s an interesting intellectual enterprise not unlike what an Intelligence Officer would do. What do past patterns reveal? What can we glean from published sources? What have prisoners told us? (No I don’t really interrogate captured opera singers tempting as it might be).
The usual place to start is outstanding COC co-productions. I’m aware of two at present. There’s a Verdi La forza del destino out there. I think it’s the Bieito one cancelled by the Met but I could be wrong about that. Seems like a high probability bet. There’s also a Saariaho Only the Sound Remains. Given the reshuffle/reschedule of La Reine Garçon and The Old Fools this seems like it would make a good fill for the “modern/contemporary” slot.
Another thing to look at is recurring patterns. La Bohème for example runs every five years with a great deal more predictability than the King streetcar. The same thing has been true for Madama Butterfly and it’s due this year but I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no”. In the current climate few operas are as hard to justify and the COC’s tired old production certainly doesn’t cut it. I suppose one could get someone to do a “feminist Butterfly“. Katie Mitchell might be interesting. I think it’s unlikely though… and Turandot hasn’t been done since the new house opened. That’s my guess anyway.
There’s not been any Czech rep for quite a while. I’ve heard a few whispers about Rusalka. Let’s pencil that in.
So we seem to be missing something big and German and something Mozartish. I’ll hazard a guess that we’ll see B&G skipped this year, assuming the hors saison Parsifal is still a thing. That would leave room for a Barber of Seville which would serve nicely as the “bums on seats” show and it’s about due. If there is B&G then Rosenkavalier hasn’t been seen in a while.
So Mozart… arithmetic says Don Giovanni but a revival of the Tcherniakov production would seem unlikely given it’s reception last time (FTR I like it if no-one else did). It’s too soon too for pretty much anything else except Idomeneo (and please God, not that potato sack production). A new production of either would not be a huge surprise or there’s the lower cost option of reviving the Carsen Orfeo ed Euridice. It’s a toss up but I’m going to plump for Idomeneo.
So, La forza del destino, Only the Sound Remains, Rusalka, Turandot, Barber of Seville, Idomeneo. It’s a plausible season. But it’s more guesswork than usual and if I’ve got three right I’ll be happy.