New Year’s Day Concert, Vienna
January (single performance)
Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss
March (three performances)This classic performance dates from 1962 and has been fully restored and digitally remastered. It comes from the Salzburg Festival and is considered to be a masterpiece with a cast of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as The Marschallin, Sena Jurinac as Octavian, Anneliese Rothenberger as Sophie and Otto Edelmann as Baron Ochs. With Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, this version is described as ‘a shining example of a performance style and a musical art form that is truly immortal’.
Carmen by Bizet
June (three performances)From the Met. Opera, New York (1987). This is a definitive version of this powerful and dramatic opera, with lavish authentic sets and costumes. The cast are faultless with Agnes Baltsa as the passionate and free spirited Carmen, perfectly matched against José Carreras as the infatuated Don Jose. A young Samuel Ramey gives total conviction in the toreador role of Escamillo, with James Levine conducting.
Tannhauser by Wagner
July (single performance)Met (1983) Richard Cassidy/Tannhauser, Eva Marton/Elisabeth, Venus/Tatiana Troyanos.
The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart
September (three performances)Met. Opera (1999). A dream cast of Bryn Terfel as Figaro, Cecilia Bartoli as Susanna, Susanne Mentzer as Cherubino and Renee Fleming as the Countess. Terfel and Bartoli are full of vitality and cunning with the whole production achieving a perfect account of this sharply observed period social comedy.
Ballet: Romeo & Juliet, Music by Prokofiev
November (single performance)Royal Ballet, with Nureyev and Fonteyn, produced by Paul Czinner.
Der Vogelhandler (The Birdseller) by Carl Zeller
December (three performances)A Morbisch production from 2002. This show is filled with delightful and original melodies that gently distinguish Zeller from his contemporaries like Lehar and Kalman. It has a strong cast with some regular Morbisch performers and a spectacular tenor who even manages to briefly stop the show at one point!