Joyce DiDonato, René Pape & Asmik Grigorian Headline Top 7 To See This Weekend Internationally (10/4-6)

By Francisco Salazar

It is the first weekend of October, which means that it is one filled with opening nights, new productions, contemporary works, classics, and baroque works. Let’s have a go.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Wiener Staatsoper, Austria

Lawrence Zazzo, Erin Morley, Théo Touvet, Peter Kellner, Szilvia Vörös, Josh Lovell, Rafael Fingerlos, Rachel Frenkel, Valentina,  Naforniţa, Peter Rose, Benjamin Hulett, Wolfgang Bankl, Thomas Ebenstein, William Thomas, and Clemens Unterreiner star in a new production of Britten’s beloved “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The production by Irina Brook and is conducted by Simone Young.

Madama Butterfly – Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier, France

Karah Son stars in the title role of Puccini’s masterwork opening the Montpelier season. She is joined by rising stars Fleur Barron, Jonathan Tetelman, and Armando Noguera. Matteo Beltrami conducts the production by Ted Huffman.

The Merry Wives of Windsor – Berlin State Opera, Germany

Daniel Barenboim conducts Otto Nicolai’s rarely performed work with René Pape as Falstaff, Michael Volle, Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Pavol Breslik, Linard Vrielink, David Oštrek, Mandy Fredrich, Michaela Schuster, and Anna Prohaska. The new production is set to be directed by David Bösch.



Manon Lescaut – Oper Frankfurt, Germany

Asmik Grigorian sings the title role in Puccini’s early work in a highly new production. The star soprano sings the production by Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus) with a cast that includes rising star Joshua Guerrero and Iurii Samoilov. Lorenzo Viotti conducts the premiere.

Quartett – Teatro alla Scala, Italy

Luca Francesconi returns to La Scala in a production by Alex Ollé – La Fura dels Baus and conducted by Maxime Pascal. The contemporary work stars Allison Cook and Robin Adams in the roles they created. It is the first time the work returns to the theater since its world premiere in 2011.

Der Freischutz – Théâtre de la Ville, Luxembourg

Tuomas Katajala, Johanni van Oostrum, Chiara Skerath, and Vladimir Baykov star in Weber’s popular work with conductor Laurence Equilbey leading in the pit. Clément Debailleul and Raphaël Navarro direct the production.

El caserío – Teatro de la Zarzuela, Spain

The Spanish season opens with a production of Jesús Guridi’s beloved Zarzuela. The company has lined up two casts that include Raquel Lojendio and Carmen Solís, Àngel Òdena and José Antonio López, Andeka Gorrotxategi and José Luis Sola. Juanjo Mena conducts the production Pablo Viar.

Agrippina – Royal Opera House, United Kingdom

Joyce DiDonato sings the title role in Handel’s first masterpiece with a cast that includes Franco Fagioli, Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies, Gianluca Buratto, and Andrea Mastroni. Maxim Emelyanychev conducts the orchestra in a new production by Barrie Kosky.