What’s on in town for the rest of the year?

Richard Wagner

Melbourne is braced for a return of Opera Australia’s controversial Der Ring des Nibelungen. Lots of

information about the upcoming production from the Sydney Morning Herald and OA. The 2013

performances are reviewed by Michael Shmith (“much to admire and celebrate”) and Simon Plant 

(“…a journey that is surprising, thrilling and profound.”)

Importantly for our course, in October, the Met screens its new Tristan und Isolde, with as Isolde the amazing Nina Stemme, as Brangäne Ekaterina Gubanova, and yes – as Tristan, Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton. Conducted by Simon Rattle. The course will discuss Tristan und Isolde  before this production screens. (Screenings at the Nova from Nov 5th to 16th) Not to be missed under any circumstances! Reviews: NY Times (Tommasini, politely circumspect) and Guardian (intelligently scathing).

… and other composers - light relief?

The Met Opera Live in HD offers Mozart and Mozart! Così fan tutte is at Nova Oct 15-19. It was pretty good apparently, including Matthew Polenzani, Isabel Leonard, and Melbourne’s Danielle de Niese (What a career! - and don’t miss her website). Here’s a detailed review from Latinpost. Don Giovanni is in December - Simon Keenlyside makes his Met role debut as the Don and the rest of the cast isn’t bad either. Nova screenings between 3rd and 14th Dec . Palace Opera provides several splendid productions from ROH Covent Garden. They are not currently listed at Balwyn but we’re assured they will be there. Bellini’s Norma is in Cinemas 28, 29, 30 Oct & 2 Nov - from a Catalan group - wow! And Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte in Cinemas 18, 19, 20 & 23 Nov. It will be interesting to compare it with the Met’s production. Less jolly, Opéra de Paris does Saint-Saën’s Samson et Dalila  in Cinemas 25, 26, 27 & 30 Nov. And in December, Diana Damrau is the Countess in La Scala’s The Marriage of Figaro, in Cinemas 9, 10, 11 &14 Dec. For Christmas, ROH does Offenbach ‘s Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Vittorio Grigolo as Hoffmann, and Thomas Hampson as all four villains! In Cinemas 16, 17, 18 & 21 Dec. (There’s a rival production from Opéra de Paris with Jonas Kaufmann coming up in March next year.)