Booking is now open for this year's Glyndebourne Festival which not only presents three new productions this summer, but also welcomes its new music director, Robin Ticciati, who conducts two of them.
The season opens on 17 May with Ticciati conducting Richard Jones's new staging of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier which hasn't been seen at Glyndebourne in over a generation. Strauss is not a composer that one might readily associate with this country's most ingenious yet maverick opera director, but we can probably expect that Marie-Thérèse will have the finest wallpaper in all of Vienna.
Honouring the composer's intention that the Marschallin is a woman in her early thirties, Glyndebourne has cast acclaimed British soprano Kate Royal in the role – this will be her role debut. She is joined by Irish mezzo Tara Erraught as Octavian, another first for this hugely promising your singer who has been creating waves on the continent, wowing audiences and critics alike in Vienna, where she triumphed in the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola at the tender age of 26, and in Munich where she is a member of the ensemble.
The next new production, again conducted by Ticciati and a first for Glyndebourne, is Mozart's early opera La finta giardiniera. Directed by the young up and coming British director Frederic Wake-Walker and designed by Anthony MacDonald, this would seem to be perfect Glyndebourne fare. With a top-notch cast including Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke and Christiane Karg, this new staging promises to be one of the highlights of the season.
The final new staging is Verdi's crowd-pleaser, La Traviata. Tom Cairns, who's been absent from opera houses for too long, directs, and Mark Elder conducts a cast that includes Venera Gimadieva as Violetta, and Michael Fabiano, one of the fastest rising stars in the operatic firmament, as Alfredo.
Revivals include Jonathan Kent's production of Don Giovanni, with a promising cast of young talent, Graham Vick's classic staging of Eugene Onegin which boasts not one but two Cardiff Singer of the World winners: Ekaterina Scherbachenko as Tatyana and Andrei Bondarenko in the title role, and a revival of Robert Carsen's schoolroom Rinaldo. Conducted by Ottavio Dantone and starring four countertenors, this Handel revival promises to waft audiences into falsetto heaven.
- Read our Brief Encounter with Michael Fabiano here.