New Year’s Day Concert, Vienna
January (single performance)
Fidelio by Beethoven
March (three performances)A definitive and powerful performance from Glyndbourne (1979), correctly set in and costumed for the 18th Century. The production values are true to the composer’s intentions and a strong cast is headed by Elizabeth Söderström in the lead role of Leonore. Bernard Haitink conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Italian Girl in Algiers by Rossini
June (three performances)From the Schwetzingen Festival of 1987, here is proof that great productions can come from small opera houses. The cast are all unknown and only the Stage Director Michael Hampe is an international figure. However from the first note of the overture, this is pure Rossini and each of the performers exactly captures the spirit of this comic opera.
Der Fliegender Holländer by Wagner
July (single performance)This comes from the Bayreuth Festival of 1985. Directed by Harry Kupfur, it is an acclaimed interpretation that still stays broadly in period. The Dutchman is powerfully played by Simon Estes.
September (three performances)Parma 2001. To coincide with the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, a succession of opera stars perform items from a wide selection of his operas. The stars include José Carreras, Placido Domingo, José Cura, Marcelo Alvarez, Leo Nucci, Barbara Frittoli, Daniela Dessi and Ruggero Raimondi. Zubin Mehta conducts the Orchestra dei Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Ballet: La Fille Mal Gardée, Music by Hérold
November (single performance)A delightful ROH production from 2005, choreographed by Frederick Ashton with set designs by Osbert Lancaster. The principal dancers are Marianela Nuñez (Lisa) and Carlos Acosta (Colas).
Die Csárdásfürstin (The Gipsy Princess) by Kálmán
November and December (three performances)From the Mörbisch Festival of 2001, this is full of Hungarian gipsy tunes, dances, great songs, beautifully authentic costumes and magnificent sets.