The best new opera to book now for the festive seasonby Neil Norman / November 15, 2017 / Leave a comment
Royal Opera House, 29th November to 13th January 2018
Although Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (The Players) are Italian opera’s most famous double act they were written independently in the 1890s. Both masterpieces have much in common: dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy. Damiano Michieletto’s production, which sets both operas in the same village, was an Olivier-Award-winning hit on its debut in 2015. They will be conducted by Daniel Oren with bass-baritone Mark S Doss taking over the role of Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana.
The Cunning Little Vixen
Royal College of Music, London
Leos Janácek’s tragi-comic work combines dance, folk music and sensuous orchestral interludes in this beguiling and thought-provoking opera. Although lighter than most of his other works, it is far from a children’s opera. The life and death struggle for survival in the forest is conveyed with an underlying seriousness bolstered by Moravian folk music and interludes in mime and ballet. This masterpiece will undoubtedly receive the attention it deserves at the hands of the RCM International Opera School, under the leadership of conductor Michael Rosewell. Sung in English.
The Fiery Angel
Scottish Opera City Halls, Glasgow
Prokofiev’s demonic opera is replete with masochism, black magic, demons, orgies and exorcism. Singers from the Scottish Conservatoire’s opera course and student players join professional soloists and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera for a concert performance. Conducted by Mikhail Agrest, this is Scottish Opera’s first performance of the work. Think Ken Russell’s The Devils with better music.