Everything You Need to Know About the Opera National de Paris’ 2017-18 Season

By David Salazar

The 2017-18 season announcements just keep on coming in. After Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence announced their upcoming schedules, the Paris National Opera has finally unveiled its hotly anticipated season. In sum there are a grand total of 21 operas to see, including nine new productions.

Opening Night

The Merry Widow” kicks off the proceedings on Sept. 9. The production feature Véronique Jens in the title with Valentina Naforniţa as Valencienne. Thomas Hampson plays his signature role of Count Danilo while Stephen Costello plays the dashing Camille de Rosillon. The opera will be conducted by Jakub Hrůša and Marius Stieghorst. The run will last 14 performances with the last one being on Oct. 21.

The New Productions

There will be nine new productions including “Don Carlos,” Philippe Boesmans’ “La Ronde,” Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Handel’s “Jephtha,” Kaija Saariaho’s “Only the Sound Remains,” Herctor Berlioz’s’ “Benvenuto Cellini,” Wagner’s “Parsifal,” Mussorsky’s “Boris Godunov” and Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale.”

“Don Carlos” will be presented in the full French version that will last around five hours in length. The production, which will be directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, opens on Oct. 10 and ends its run on Nov. 11. Jonas Kaufmann leads a stellar cast that also includes Sonya Yoncheva, Ludovic Tézier, Elīna Garanča and Ildar Abdrazakov.

“La Ronde” opens on Nov. 2 and will be followed by Claus Guth’s new production of “La Bohème,” which will bow on Dec. 1. Sonya Yoncheva, Aida Garifullina, Attala Ayan, Benjamin Bernheim and Artur Ruciński lead a cast conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Handel’s “Jephtha” will become the company’s first new production of 2018, starting its run on Jan. 13. Claus Guth directs a cast that includes Ian Bostridge and Katherine Watson among others.

On Jan. 23, a new production of “Only the Sound remains” will premiere. Peter Sellars is slated to direct a cast lead by Philippe Jaroussky. “Benvenuto Cellini’s” set of performances kicks off on March 20 with a cast that includes John Osborn, Pretty Yende and Maurizio Muraro. Famed film director Terry Gilliam directs.

April 27 will be the date on which a new “Parsifal,” directed by Richard Jones, takes the stage. Petter Mattei, Anja Kampe, Günther Groissböck and Evgeny Nikitin play the supporting cast to Andreas Schager’s take on the title role.

Then it will be Ildar Abdrazakov’s turn to take on the title role in Mussorsky’s “Boris Godunov” starting on June 7th in a production by Ivo Van Hove.

The final new production, Damiano Michieletto’s take on Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” will open on June 7 with a cast that stars Nadine Sierra, Lawrence Brownlee, Michele Pertusi and Florian Sempey.

The Big Stars

Anna Netrebko and Plácido Domingo will join forces on Feb. 21 for three performances of “La Traviata,” while Bryn Terfel reprises his role as Verdi’s “Falstaff” on Oct. 26, alongside Aleksandra Kurzak who is making her role debut as Alice Ford.

Three major tenors will take on the title role in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” They includes Marcelo Alvarez, Roberto Alagna and Yusif Eyvazov. Sondra Radvonovsky, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Anita Rachvelishvilli and Željko Lučić are the major stars featured in the seminal Verdi opera.

Anja Harteros and Radvanovsky will alternate the role of Amelia in “Un Ballo in Maschera,” which will also feature Marcelo Alvarez.

Vittorio Grigolo will turn heads in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” which will be paired with Ravel’s “L’heure Espagnole.”

Other Repertoire

Additionally, the company will revive productions of “Così Fan Tutte,” Pelléas et Mélisande,” “La Clemenza di Tito,” “From the House of the Dead,” The Barber of Seville,” “Bluebeard’s Castle” and “La Voix Humaine.”