Diana Damrau, Bryn Terfel, Cecilia Bartoli & Anja Harteros Lead Opernhaus Zurich’s 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Zürich has announced its 2018-19 season slate, which is among the largest in the world. It will feature a whopping 12 new productions, among a glut of exciting revivals. Let’s dive in.


Gisbert Näther’s “Konrad oder das Kind aus der Konservenbüchse” gets a new production by Claudia Blersch.  Ann-Katrin Stöcker conducts two cast which will include Irène Friedli, Katharina Peetz, Flurin Caduff, Valeriy Murga, Hamida Kristoffersen, and Sinéad O’Kelly.

Performance Dates: Sept. 22, 2018-Jan. 16, 2019

Barrie Kosky directs a new production of Schreker’s “Die Gezeichneten” with  Vladimir Jurowski and Giedrė Šlekytė sharing conducting duties. Catherine Naglestad and John Daszak lead the work with Christopher Purves and Thomas Johannes Mayer.

Performance Dates: Sept. 23-Oct. 23, 2018

Kirill Serebrennikov directs a new production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” with a cast Ruzan Mantashyan, Anna Goryachova, Andrei Bondarenko, Frédéric Antoun, Rebeca Olvera, and Michael Nagy. Cornelius Meister conducts the Mozart masterpiece.

Performance Dates: Nov. 4-Dec. 1, 2018

Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel” comes to life in a new production by Robert Carsen. The opera will star three separate casts including Anna Stéphany and Deniz Uzun as Hansel and Olga Kulchynska, Sandra Hamaoui, and Hamida Kristoffersen sharing the role of Gretel.

Performance Dates: Nov. 18, 2018-April 25, 2019

Bryn Terfel sings the title role of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd.” Angelika Kirchschlager, Elliot Madore, Brindley Sherratt, and Barry Banks also star in the new production by Andreas Homoki.  David Charles Abell conducts the beloved musical.

Performance Dates: Dec. 9, 2018-Jan. 11, 2019

Ligeti’s “Le Grand Macabre” returns to the stage conducted by Fabio Luisi. Tatjana Gürbaca will direct a new production with Alina Adamski, Sinéad O’Kelly, and Michael Laurenz starring the opera.

Performance Dates: Feb. 13-March 2, 2019

Piotr Beczala and Elsa Dreisig headline a new production of Massenet’s “Manon.”  Floris Visser directs the production which will be conducted by Marco Armiliato.

Performance Dates: April 7-May 15, 2019

Jan Philipp Gloger directs a new production of Rossini’s “Il Turco in Italia” starring Julie Fuchs, Edgardo Rocha, Pietro Spagnoli, and Nahuel Di Pierro. Enrique Mazzola conducts.

Performance Dates: April 28-May 29, 2019

Johannes Pölzgutter directs a new production of Rossini’s beloved “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.” Antonino Fogliani conducts a cast of young ensemble singers.

Performance Dates: May 15-22, 2019

Rameau’s “Hippolyte et Aricie” gets a new production by Jetske Mijnssen. The production is to be conducted by Emmanuelle Haim and star Mélissa Petit, Cyrille Dubois, Stéphanie D’Oustrac, and Jean-François Lapointe.

Performance Dates: May 19-June 14, 2019

Michael Volle sings the title role of Verdi’s “Nabucco” in a new production by Andreas Homoki. Fabio Luisi conducts a star-studded cast that also includes Veronica Simeoni, Georg Zeppenfeld, Catherine Naglestad as Abigaille and Benjamin Bernheim.

Performance Dates: June 23-July 12, 2019

Sinéad O’Kelly, Alina Adamski, and Dean Murphy lead the cast of Michael Pelzel’s “Last Call.”  Isabel Ostermann directs the production which closes out the season.
Performance Dates: June 28-July 6, 2019


Vivaldi’s “La Verità in Cimento” returns to the stage with Julie Fuchs and Christophe Dumaux, and Richard Croft.

Performance Dates: Sept. 24- Oct. 4, 2018

Markus Brück and Tatiana Serjan lead Verdi’s “Macbeth” with David Kim as Macduff and Wenwei Zhang as Banco.

Performance Dates: Sept. 27 – Oct. 19, 2018

Puccini’s tragedy “La Bohème” returns with Benjamin Bernheim and Guanqun Yu in the two leads as Rodolfo and Mimì.

Performance Dates: : Sept. 29-Oct. 14, 2018

Brenda Rae takes on the role of Konstanze in Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” with Daniel Behle as Belmonte.

Performance Dates: Oct. 21 – Nov. 3, 2018

Hui He will take on her signature role in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly ” under maestro Fabio Luisi. Piero Pretti rounds out the cast as Pinkerton.

Performance Dates: Nov. 25- Dec. 14, 2018

Sergey Romanov and Brian Mulligan play rivals for the affection of Olga Kulshynska’s Leïla in Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles.

Performance Dates: Dec. 16, 2018- Feb. 1, 2019

Cecilia Bartoli and Sir William Christie team up for “Semele” as part of the New Year’s Eve celebration. Rebeca Olvera, Frédéric Antoun, and Christophe Dumaux also star.

Performance Dates: Dcc. 31, 2018 – Jan. 8, 2019

In mid-January, audiences will get a shot at “Rigoletto” with Quinn Kelsey and Rosa Feola as father and daughter in Verdi’s perennial masterwork. Ismael Jordi rounds out the cast as the Duke.

Performance Dates: Jan. 17- Feb. 9, 2019

Rosa Feola leads Mozart’s early work “La Finta Giardiniera” with Kenneth Tarver, Myrtò Papatanasiu, Rebeca Olvera, Adrian Timpau, and Margarita Gritskova.

Performance Dates: Feb. 17-March 8, 2019

Diana Damrau and Venera Gimadieva share the title role in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Ismael Jordi, Nicolas Testé, and Roman Burdenko round out the cast which will be conducted by legendary conductor Nello Santi.

Performance Dates: Feb. 22-March 19, 2019

Wagner’s “Tannhauser” returns to the stage with Stephen Gould singing the title role. Lise Davidsen, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, and Mika Kares round out the cast conducted by Axel Kober.

Performance Dates: March 23-April 5, 2019

Krassimira Stoyanova, Christof Fischesser, Anna Stéphany, and Sabine Devieilhe lead Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.” Fabio Luisi conducts the romantic work in Sven-Eric Bechtolf’s production.

Performance Dates: Feb. 15-March 3, 2019

Bellini’s “Norma” comes to the stage with Maria Agresta in the title role and Michael Spyres as Pollione. Anna Goryachova sings Adalgisa while Fabio Luisi conducts.

Performance Dates: June 2-20, 2019

Audun Iversen, Golda Schultz, Regula Mühlemann, Alexander Miminoshvili, and Samantha Hankey star in Mozart’s masterpiece “Le Nozze di Figaro” with  Ottavio Dantone conducting.
Performance Dates: June 10-July 6, 2019

Anja Harteros and Yonghoon Lee star in Verdi’s epic “La Forza del Destino” alongside Elena Maximova and George Petean. Maria Pia Piscitelli also sings two performances as Leonora. Fabio Luisi conducts the Verdi masterpiece.

Performance Dates: June 30-July 13, 2019

Evelyn Herlitzius brings her acclaimed Elektra to a revival of Strauss’ early masterwork. She is joined by the legendary Waltraud Meier and soprano Tamara Wilson. Simone Young conducts.

Performance Dates: July 7-14, 2019