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RO 2018/19 season, any thoughts?


MAB
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Pages of comment regarding the forthcoming ballet season but nothing so far about the opera, is it that dull?  Personally I'm very happy about Billy Budd but all the rest is pretty predictable.  I'm a little surprised there is no Richard Strauss as his works become out of copyright in 2019, thought companies would be taking advantage of that.

 

What would you like the company to do, anyone have a wish list?

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I think, yes, it is that dull!  I understand that funding* and scheduling the Ring reduces their leeway, but aside from the very starry Forza and the long overdue return of Britten and Janacek (and really why should they be praised for programming two such important operatic composers?) there's not a huge amount of meat there.

 

Aside from that, much as I love Queen of Spades I'm not convinced by the casting; I'll be pleased to catch Simon Boccanegra but again I'm not too fussed about the personnel; I look forward to Camarena in Fille du Regiment and am hoping that the as-yet-unannounced Duchess of Krakenthorp will be a star turn; and might revisit Andrea Chenier for Alagna and Rosalind Plowright's sake.  On the subject of Rosalind Plowright, I'm astonished that Richard Jones and Ed Gardner discarded her from the new Katya Kabanova in favour of Susan Bickley (as documented at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rosalind-plowright-playing-demented-harridans-and-old-crones-thats-my-career-now-br8vrf8pr). Nothing against Susan Bickley, but I don't see that as worth breaking a contract for!

 

Also: no Calleja ;(

 

*On which subject: can someone explain to me why this is?  I get that there are large forces and overtime involved but is it really *so* expensive?  After all, it's an old production, the ticket prices are high, the run is not long (only 4 cycles) and it's a guaranteed sell-out.

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8 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

Oh, one other thing: I'm not happy about the decision to cast a countertenor as Cherubino.

 

As a massive fan of counter tenors this casting intrigues me, however I hope it doesn't become a habit!

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2 minutes ago, MAB said:

 

As a massive fan of counter tenors this casting intrigues me, however I hope it doesn't become a habit!

 

I think in order to justify that piece of casting he'll have to be pretty sensational.

 

I'm less and less keen on countertenors as I get older: very often I think more allowances are made for them than other voice types, and where it's a countertenor vs mezzo situation I believe in casting purely on merit.  It also bothers me when casting a countertenor in e.g. Handel is seen as more "authentic" than casting a mezzo, as if the countertenor and castrato voices are somehow the same thing.

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The whole POINT of Cherubino is that he is played by a woman in drag, or you lose the point of the jokes when he is later dressed as a woman.  See also Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.

 

It seems a regressive step to have no repertoire at all that's later than the mid-20th-century.  And I'm puzzled by the short length of some of the runs - only 5 Hansel und Gretels, surely a prime family show around Christmas time?  And only 5 Billy Budds, of which one is a Student Performance, so only 4 accessible to the public.

 

Lizbie1, I share your reservations about the casting of Queen of Spades.

 

There's some splendid revival casting though.  The second cast of Carmen looks excellent so I'll have to grit my teeth and bear that horrid production again.  Boccanegra actually looks to be a lovely cast; Amelia should suit Hrachuhi Bassenz beautifully.

Edited by RuthE
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Not much to add to the above except to point out that Jaho is back, good news. And I too support Forza: I continue to go each time it is put on in the hope of one day seeing a production which works. 

 

As to the countertenor business, this is presumably something to do with JEG. Hope we get an explanation.

 
 
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Delighted also to see Ailyn Perez making a return after a FIVE YEAR absence from the stage of the ROH (after having sung three major roles there in the space of five months).  Pity it's only as Micaela though.

 

As regards Forza, I'm seeing the current touring WNO production next Saturday...

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On 28/03/2018 at 16:11, Geoff said:

Not much to add to the above except to point out that Jaho is back, good news. And I too support Forza: I continue to go each time it is put on in the hope of one day seeing a production which works. 

 

As to the countertenor business, this is presumably something to do with JEG. Hope we get an explanation.

 
 

 

I totally agree regarding Jaho and Forza. As to the countertenor business, and excluding the output of Iestyn Davies and others in new works, could this partly be down to the fact that the ROH feels that it ought to give a belated nod to the European enthusiasm for casting them in baroque? Witness the inappropriate use of Fagioli in Idomeneo a few years back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tony Pappano was on BBC Radio 3's In Tune this afternoon, talking a bit about the next season and the current Macbeths. From about 15 minutes in, for about quarter of an hour.  Nothing terribly in-depth, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

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