Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Anna Netrebko & Nino Machaidze Highlight Opera Royal De Wallonie’s 2019-20 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liege has announced its 2019-20 season featuring nine operas, six of which are new productions.

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” opens the season in a new production by Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera. Two casts will be led under the baton of Speranza Scappucci, featuring Svetlana Aksenova and Yasko Sato sharing the title role, Alexey Dolgov and Dominick Chenes as Pinkerton and Mario Cassi as Sharpless.

Performance Dates: Sept. 13-28, 2019

Guy Van Waas conducts Gluck’s “Orphée et Eurydice” a version orchestrated by Berlioz. This new production will be a co-production with six international theaters and will be directed by Aurélien Bory. Varduhi Abrahamyan is set to take on the role of Orphée with Melissa Petit and Julie Gebhart.

Performance Dates: Oct. 18-26, 2019

Maestro Michel Plasson conducts a revival of Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” with Annick Massis, Pierre Doyen, and Cyrille Dubois.

Performance Dates: Nov. 8-16, 2019

Maestro Speranza Scappucci conducts Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” with Karrine Deshayes, Levy Sekgapane, Enrico Marabelli, and Bruno De Simone.

Performance Dates: Dec. 18-31, 2019

Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera will stage Verdi’s “Don Carlos” in its original five-act French version. The opera will be conducted Maestro Paolo Arrivabeni featuring an international cast that includes Gregory Kunde, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Yolanda Auyanet, Kate Aldrich, Lionel Lhote, and Roberto Scandiuzzi.

Performance Dates: Jan. 30-Feb 14, 2020

Nino Machaidze makes her role debut as Amina in Bellini’s “La Sonnambula.” The new production by Jaco Van Dormael will be conducted by Speranza Scappucci and will also star René Barbera as Elvino and Marko Mimica.

Performance Dates: March 13-21, 2020

Giuseppe Verdi’s rarely performed work “Alzira” makes its company premiere in a co-production with the Operas of Lima and Bilbao. The Peruvian director Jean Pierre Gamarra directs the production with Gianluigi Gelmetti conducting. The cast is set to include Hui He in the title role, Riccardo Massi as Zamoro, Luca dall’Amico as Alvaro and Giovanni Meoni as Gusmano.

Performance Dates: April 17-25, 2020

Delibes’ “Lakmé” will return to the house for the first time since 1994 with Philippe Talbot, Jodie Devos, Pierre Doyen, Alexise Yerna, and Lionel Lhote. The new production will be directed by Davide Garattini Raimondi and conducted by Patrick Davin.

Performance Dates: May 22-30, 2020

The season comes to a close with Verdi’s “Nabucco” in a revival of Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera production. Massimo Zanetti conducts a distinguished cast that includes Anna Pirozzi as Abigaille, Amartuvshin Enkhbat in the title role, Riccardo Zanellato and Mattia Denti as Zaccaria, and Rinat Shaham as Fenena.

Performance Dates: June 17-27, 2020


Italian bass Ildebrando D’Arcangelo will take the stage for a concert of arias by Verdi and works featuring Devils in opera. He will be accompanied by Speranza Scappucci.

Performance Date: Oct. 6, 2019 

Anna Netrebko makes her Belgium debut in a concert with Yusif Eyvazov and Speranza Scappucci.

Performance Date: Feb. 28, 2020

Pretty Yende will take on a program of Bel Canto masterworks.

Performance Date: May 29, 2019 


“Anna Bolena” will travel to the Royal Opera House Muscat in a production directed by Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera. Giampaolo Bisanti conducts the production, which is set to star Olga Peretyatko, Sofia Soloviy, Maxim Mironov and Erwin Schrott in the lead roles.

Performance Dates: Nov. 28 & 30, 2019

The company will tour to the legendary Champs-Élysées Theatre, with maestro Paolo Arrivabeni accompanied by tenor Saimir Pirgu and soprano Vannina Santoni, in a programme dedicated to love duets.

Performance Date: Jan. 7, 2020

Special Events

Coproduced with several partners from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Bernstein’s “Candide” be performed in a semi-staged version with Thomas Blondelle, Sarah Defrise, Patti Helen-Kent, and Leandro Lopez Garcia. Patrick Leterme conducts.

Performance Date: Nov. 15, 2019

A free interpretation of the work of Léo Delibes, “L’Histoire (en)chantée de Lakmé” will take children aged five and above on an exotic journey with a young lady with a velvety voice. The work is adapted and staged by Marie Neyrinck.

Performance Dates: Dec. 9-18, 2019

The composer Stefano Guagnini and director Davide Garattini Raimondi will create a performance based on the well-known fairy tale “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” by the Brothers Grimm. Made up of a cast from the Higher Institute of Music and Pedagogy of Namur (IMEP), this lyrical fairy tale will take the young spectators (6 years of age and above) into a forest.

Performance Dates: Feb. 4-12, 2020