I've created this new blog to chart my ambition to see EVERY opera in the Royal Opera's 2011/12 season. Yes that's right, every single opera, from Puccini's Il trittico in September through to Verdi's Otello in July next year. In between there are some exciting offerings, at least for an amateur opera fan such as myself. We've got the great Angela Gheorghiu appearing in Gounod's Faust in September, Placido Domingo performing a gala evening of scenes from some of Verdi's greatest works, Anna Netrebko in La traviata in January and the amazing Jonas Kaufmann in a new production of the Berlioz epic Les Troyens in the summer. Most of this season's productions are entirely new to me, in fact there will only be two repeat performances with La traviata and Don Giovanni - both with excellent casts this time round. Perhaps most interesting for me will be my first two Wagner operas in Der fliegende Hollander and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (an epic at 5hrs 40mins!). Good preparation i hope for next autumn's Ring Cycle, a fantasy marathon of an opera spread over four evenings and totalling 15hrs (think of the fat lady with a Viking hat on and you will get a rough idea).
I'll be reviewing each performance here as well as looking at the background to some of the performers, composers and the operas themselves. I expect there will be other productions that sneak in - the English National Opera's Tosca for example - and I may even be mad enough to attend some overseas productions as well (La Scala in Milan has a very tempting new production of Don Giovanni with Netrebko and Bryn Terfel!). So stay tuned. It's going to be an exciting season ahead for me exploring this surprisingly diverse art form that stole my heart with my first ever opera, Carmen, in 2007. Hopefully it might encourage some of you to also give it a dabble!
First opera: Il trittico (Puccini), Monday, 12th September
The Royal Opera's entire season for 2011/12 can be viewed here: