A feast of Holy Week - and nearly-Holy Week - opera awaits, along with some equally mouthwatering concerts:
First, in London, the Royal Opera's first ever production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride opens on Thursday, under the baton of Sir Mark Elder. Paul Curran directs. I caught a glimpse of a rehearsal the other day; in terms of stage design, at least, it is not 'traditional'. (The rumour is that it was to have been, but finances would not permit. Why do I have a feeling that we might have been spared Francesca Zambello...? Pure speculation, I hasten to add...) Further details may be found here on the Royal Opera's website; there are still plenty of tickets available.
I am very sorry not to be seeing Bayreuth poll-winner Stefan Herheim's new Salome (with the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle, and a starry cast) at the Salzburg Easter Festival. Entartete Musik will be there though, so do check for a report. However, there will also be a new Salome opening in Berlin, at the Komische Oper, whose second night I shall be seeing on Friday. Here are a couple of production pictures to whet the appetite:
Then it is across town to the Schiller-Theater, where the Staatsoper has found its temporary home. Daniel Barenboim will conduct two premieres: Wozzeck (director, Andrea Breth) Die Walküre (director Guy Cassiers, already seen at La Scala; here is a review of the Rheingold). For more details on the Staatsoper's Holy Week Festtage, click here. Finally in Berlin, a concert from Klangforum Wien and Marisol Montalvo at the Konzerthaus: Dowland's Lacrimae and Birtwistle's extraordinary Pulse Shadows.
A little later in the week, I shall be in Leipzig, where I shall hear the St John Passion at the Thomaskirche (Maundy Thursday; click here for a review of the performance two years ago) and a Good Friday Parsifal from Oper Leipzig (which production I also saw, click here, two years ago).
Back in London, the end of the month will bring Konstantin Lifschitz's Art of Fugue at the Wigmore Hall and, the perfect south-of-the-river antidote to nuptial sentimentality on The Day itself, Maurizio Pollini at the Royal Festival Hall, playing Boulez's Second Piano Sonata, along with Chopin and Debussy. (Click here for a review of the same programme performed in Berlin last year, one of my performances of 2010.)