Javier Camarena, Plácido Domingo & ‘Dead Man Walking’ Among Highlights of Teatro Real’s 2017-18 Season

By David Salazar

The Teatro Real has finally announced its 2017-18 season, later than most other organizations. But the company has packed quite a punch for its upcoming showcase, with 13 operas on the docket.

It all starts on Sept. 13 with Mozart’s rarely performed “Lucio Silla” directed by Claus Guth. The cast will be led by Patricia Petibon, who will sing five of the nine performances of the work.

Carmen” opens on Oct. 11 in a new production by Calixto Bieito, which is a co-production with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. The lead role will be split between three mezzos, including Gaëlle Arquez, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, and Anna Goryachova. Eleonora Buratto and Olga Busuioc split the role of Michaëla and Francesco Meli and Andrea Carè will be Don José. There will be a whopping 18 performances of the iconic opera, the final one on Nov. 17, 2017.

A concert version of Donizetti’s “La Favorite” will arrive on Nov. 2 and 6 starring Javier Camarena and Jamie Barton.

The company will also premiere a new production of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” also in collaboration with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Starting on Dec. 11, the opera will be showcased for 19 performances, the final one coming on Jan. 8, 2018. Stephen Costello, Anita Hartig and Joyce El-Khoury headline the first cast.

On Jan. 26, 2018, the company will showcase Jake Heggie’s famous “Dead Man Walking” in a production by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This is the first time the Teatro Real performs this work which will star Joyce DiDonato, Michael Mayes, and Maria Zifchak, among others, for six performances.

Juan José Colmer’s “El Pintor” gets three performances in early February with Alejandro del Cerro playing Picasso.

Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” gets two runs, one in mid-February and another in late May. The new production, which is co-produced by the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and the Opera Köln, will be directed by John Fulljames and stars Patricia Racette, Joel Prieto, and Paulo Szot among others. There will be a total of 10 performances throughout the run.

A new production of “Aida,” directed by Hugo de Ana, will premiere on March 7, 2018, with Violeta Urmana, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Gregory Kunde and Ambrogio Maestri leading the cast. But subsequent performances will include such international stars as Ekaterina Semenchuk, Daniela Barcellona, Anna Pirozzi, Lianna Haroutounian, Alfred Kim, Fabio Sartori, George Gagnidze and Angel Odena. “Aida,” which will be conducted by Nicola Luisotti, will get 17 performances throughout March 2018.

March 18, 2018, will see a performance of Handel’s “Ariodante” with William Christie conducting and Kate Lindsey and Christophe Dumaux leading the cast.

A new production of Britten’s “Gloriana” comes to the Real on April 12, 2018, for nine performances. Anna Caterina Antonacci leads the cast in a production directed by David McVicar. This is the first time the theater will showcase the work.

Another Real first will be Zimmermann’s “Die Soldaten,” which will get seven performances starting on May 16, 2018. Stefan Vinke will lead the cast in a production by Bieito and Pablo Heras-Casado and Michael Zlabinger alternating in the pit.

Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” arrives on June 22, 2018, for 15 shows with Javier Camarena leading the first cast. His stage partner has not been announced, though Venera Gimadieva will lead the second cast alongside Ismael Jordi. Artur Rucinski and Simone Piazzola will alternate the role of Enrico. Daniel Oren conducts the production by David Alden.

It all comes to an end on July 26, 2017, with a concert performance of “Thaïs” with Plácido Domingo as Athanaël and Ermonela Jaho as the title character. Michele Angelini rounds out the cast as Nicias.


There will also be a series of concerts showcasing high-profile opera stars. Olga Peretyatko will perform one concert with the Vienna Philharmonic. As part of the regular season, opera lovers can catch Magdalena Kozená, Patrizia Ciofi, Ute Lemper, Angela Gheorghiu, George Petean, Patricia Racette and Jonas Kaufmann in concert and recital.