Ann Petersen, Christopher Ventris & Michele Losier Highlight Royal Danish Opera’s 2019-2020 Season

By Sebastien Turgeon

The Royal Danish Opera announced its 2019-20 season, a well balanced season which will feature two world premieres, a musical, a concert version of a Wagner opera, modern rarities, and several favorites.

The season opens with Barrie Kosky’s production of “Carmen,” which was previously seen in Frankfurt and in London. French Canadian soprano Michele Losier will sing her first staged Carmen, alternating with Elisabeth Jansson. Migran Agadzhanyan and Niels Jørgen Riis will share the role of Don Jose while Michaëla will be sung by Gisela Stille and Sofie Elkjaer Jensen. Anatoli Sivko sings Escamillo and Alexander Vedernikov, the company’s Chief Conductor, will conduct. 

Performance Dates: Sept. 14, 2019 – Feb. 15, 2020

A revival of Martin Lyngbo’s production of Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Seviglia” will feature baritone Luthando Qave as Figaro, Anna Kasyan as Rosina, tenor Ruzil Gatin as Almaviva, Per Bach Nissen as Bartolo and Simon Duus as Basilio. Vincenzo Milletari conducts.

Performance Dates: Sept. 21, 2019 – Nov. 21, 2019

The company will world premiere of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen “Snedronningen (The Snow Queen),” based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The cast will include Sofie Elkjaer Jensen, Melis Jaatinen, Johanne Bock, Johan Reuter, Sibylle Glosted, Gert Henning-Jensen, Jens Christian Tvilum and Morten Grove Frandsen. The opera will be directed by Francisco Negrin and conducted by Michael Boder.

Performance Dates: Oct. 13, 2019 – Dec. 3, 2019

A concert version of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” will get three performances with Christopher Ventris and Ann Petersen in the title roles, Kyungil Ko as King Marke, Hanne Fischer as Brangäne and Egils Silins as Kurwenal. Lothar Koenigs will be on the podium.

Performance Dates: Oct. 27, 2019 – Nov. 14, 2019

Director Tim Albery brings his vision to Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte.” Performances will be conducted by Paul Goodwin and will include Anna Kasyan as Fiordiligi, Kari Dahl Nielsen as Dorabella, Sine Bundgaard as Despina, Matteo Macchioni as Ferrando, Magnus Ingemund Kjelstad as Guglielmo and William Dazeley as Don Alfonso.

Performance Dates: Dec. 12, 2019 – March 3, 2020

The Den Jyske Opera company will offer its take on Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” Tecwyn Evans conducts a cast that includes baritones Jens Søndergaard and Leif Jone Ølberg in the title role, sopranos Tanja Christine Kuhn and Elin Pritchard alternating as Tatiana, tenors Dmitri Bashkirov and Philippe Do as Lenski as well as Valerian Ruminski as Gremin.

Performance Dates: Nov. 19-20, 2019

Director James Brining will produce Steven Sondheim’s musical “Sweeney Todd,” starring Palle Knudsen and David Kempster in the title role. The cast will also include Susanne Resmark, Johanne Bock, Nicholas Morton, Simon Duus, Cassandra Lemoine and Renate Ekerhovd. Ian Ryan conducts.

Performance Dates: Nov. 23, 2019 – Feb. 22, 2020

A revival of David Radok’s production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” will star Francesca Dotto and Gisela Stille as Violetta. Italian tenors Francesco Castoro and Matteo Lippi will alternate the role of Alfredo while baritone David Kempster will sing Germont. British conductor Richard Farnes will conduct.

Performance Dates: Jan. 18 – June 7, 2020

Canadian director Robert Carsen and video artist Will Duke will present a production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” Julia Jones will conduct a cast that will include Niels Jœgen Riis, Sine Bundgaard, Margaux de Valensart, and Michael Kristensen. The role of Idamante will be sung by a tenor, Gert Henning-Jensen.

Performance Dates: Feb. 29 – April 28, 2020

Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” will get a production by Concerto Copenhagen, conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen and staged by Jetske Mijnssen. French tenor and baroque specialist Marc Mauillon will sing the title role. Sofie Lund-Tonnesen, Ellen Larsson, Mia Bergström, Kyungil Ko and Mark Milhofer round out the cast.

Performance Dates: March 7 – 21, 2020

The Opera Academy will present the rarely played “Postcard from Morocco” by American composer Dominick Argento, in a production by Ebbe Knudsen. The cast will include Renate Ekerhovd, Amanda Larsson, Hedvig Haugerud, Mathias Monrad Møller, Fredrik Bjellsäter and Martin Villbrand.

Performance Dates: March 14 – 21, 2020

Den Jyske Opera will return to present a couple of performances of Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail,” in a version with a reworked libretto by Philipp Kochheim, in a co-production with Theater Münster. The cast will include Lina Johnson and Clara Cecilie Thomsen as Konstanze, Silvia Micu as Blonde, Alexander Geller and Bo Kristian Jensen alternating as Belmonte, Andrew Dickinson and Conny Thimander as Pedrillo and Hakan Tirasoglu as Osmin. Claus Efland will conduct.

Performance Dates: March 27 – 28, 2020

Soprano Ann Petersen will sing the title role of Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” in a production by English director Katie Mitchell. The cast will also include Swedish tenor Daniel Johansson as Bacchus, Heather Engebretson as Zerbinetta and Elisabeth Jansson as The Composer and Michael Kraus as the Music Master. Alexander Vedernikov will conduct.

Performance Dates: March 31 – April 25, 2020

“The Merchant of Death” will get its premiere. The new opera is composed by Peter Bruun and will take on Alfred Nobel and his discovery of dynamite and the contradiction between manufacturing weapons and working for peace. The title role of Alfred Nobel will be sung by Teit Kanstrup, along with Stina Schmidt as Bertha von Suttner and Frederikke Kampmann as Sofie Hess.

Performance Dates: March 31 – April 5, 2020

“The Handmaid’s Tale,” a successful modern opera by Danish composer Poul Ruders gets a revival. Originally performed in Danish in 2000 in Copenhagen, the opera has also been performed in English in London, Boston, Minnesota and Toronto. This production will be in English, directed by John Fulljames and conducted by Giedre Šlekyte. The cast will include Rachel Kelly, Sarah Champion, Jacob Andersen, Gisela Stille, Margaux de Valensart, Sofie Elkjaer Jensen, Hanne Fischer, and Johanne Bock.

Performance Dates: May 1 – June 6, 2020