Opera and Ballet Highlights

Opera and Ballet Highlights

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Gisela! Oder: Die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks (Gisela! or: The Strange and Remarkable Ways of Fortune) is the new music theatre piece by Hans Werner Henze for young performers and young audiences. Premiere performances of Gisela! on September 25 through October 8 are presented by the Ruhrtriennale/ruhr.2010. A new second production will be premiered on November 20 at Semperoper Dresden, who jointly commissioned the work. These performances are part of the Henze project of Cultural Metropolis 2010 which features Henze’s complete oeuvre in more than 200 concert, opera, and dance productions.

Poul Ruders’ fourth opera, Dancer in the Dark , was premiered in Copenhagen in September. The opera is based on Lars von Trier's heart-rending film by the same name which won the 2000 Palme D'Or in Cannes. In October, the NorrlandsOperan gives the Swedish premiere and in 2011, the Royal Danish Opera takes the work to North America.

A new production by Christof Nel of Aulis Sallinen’s most successful opera Kullervo will be presented at Frankfurt Oper with the opening night on June 5 2011. It forms the centre of the yearly festival OPER FINALE 2011 and will offer a great variety of events oscillating around the music of Aulis Sallinen

A new opera by Peter Maxwell Davies has been commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Juilliard School of Music, New York, for premiere March 2011 (at the RAM, conducted by Jane Glover) and November 2011 (at the Juilliard, conducted by Anne Mason). Kommilitonen! (Young blood!) will be directed by David Pountney (who is also the librettist). The UK premiere takes place on 18 March 2011. The US premiere takes place on 16 November 2011.

The Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera (ENO) will co-produce a world premiere production of composer Nico Muhly’s first opera. With a libretto by Craig Lucas, the opera is a fictionalised story based on a true story in which a teenager attempts to arrange his own murder via the internet. The new production, directed by Bartlett Sher, will debut at the ENO's London Coliseum in June 2011 and be presented during the Met's 2013-14 season. The creative team includes Sher's long-time collaborators set designer Michael Yeargan and costume designer Catherine Zuber, as well as the acclaimed London-based video designers Fifty Nine Productions and lighting designer Donald Holder.

Daniel Catán's fourth and newest opera Il Postino was premiered in September at the Los Angeles Opera. The opera, which is based upon Michael Radford's internationally adored film and an original novel by Antonio Skármeta, tells the tale of a postman in an Italian village, who finds inspiration to live out his dreams during his deliveries to the exiled poet Neruda. The leading role of Pablo Neruda is sung by LA Opera General Director Plácido Domingo (above). Read more about ll Postino and the LA Opera Production

The German premiere of the opera Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho will take place on March 12 2011 at Theater Osnabrück

Hollywood legend Bernard Herrmann’s rarely staged operatic telling of Wuthering Heights, based on Emily Brontë's gothic novel comes to the stage again this season. Minnesota Opera presents five performances April 16-23, 2011 in a brand new production by Eric Simonson, director with Michael Christie, conductor.

The Tell-Tale Heart for five singers and six musicians by Stewart Copeland has been commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House for their OperaShots series. Copeland crafted his own libretto from Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling tale. The Tell-Tale Heart, which joins Copeland’s earlier Poe chamber opera The Cask of Amontillado, premieres in April 2011.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a new production with music by Joby Talbot and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon will premiere at the Royal Opera House in London on February 28 2011, running until March 15. This full-length ballet is a co-production with The National ballet of Canada.
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