Perhaps not unexpectedly the Metropolitan Opera has announced the cancellation of the balance of their 2020/21 season. They took the opportunity to announce the 2021/22 season at the same time. It’s quite interesting. There’s the first opera by an African-American composer; Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Looks like an all African American cast for that and the co-director and choreography is also African-American. There’s also Brett Dean’s Hamlet in the Glyndebourne production and with most of the Glyndebourne cast but not Barbara Hannigan. Brenda Rae sings Ophelia. I’m curious to see how the “surround sound” elements of Dean’s music work in such a big house. There’s also Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice that premiered in Los ngeles in February and was thus probably the last new major opera before the storm hit. So three new(ish) operas in one season. I don’t think I’ve seen that from the Met before.
In the more standard rep there’s some interest. Nina Stemme and Lise Davidsen team up for Elektra. Davidsen also appears in Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Meistersinger. There’s the original two and a quartet hours without an interval Boris Godunov with René Pape. There’s a revival of Glass’ Akhnaten with Rihab Chaieb as Nefertiti and Karen Kamensek conducting; one of several women conductors appearing. Nathalie Stutzmann conducts Gluck’s Iphigênie en Tauride, Jane Glover conducts the holiday/kids version of The Magic Flute and Susanna Mallki is on the podium for The Rake’s Progress. There’s also a shedload of Puccini!. The full line up is here.
Meanwhile Vancouver Opera has gone digital for 2020/21. They are producing four chamber operas; La Voix Humaine, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Music Shop and La tragédie de Carmen, The productions are designed for streaming, rather than live staging and will largely feature the company’s young artists. There will be a premiere date for each show after which they will be available on demand for the rest of the season. They are ticketing this one with a $99 season subscription. I’m curious to see how it’s received. There’s so much on-line free content available including productions from top houses around the world. Will people be willing to pay to see Vancouver’s young artists programme? We shall see. More details here.