Teatro Alla Scala 2017-18 Opening Night- Anna Netrebko’s History at La Scala

By Francisco Salazar

On Dec. 7 Anna Netrebko returns to the Teatro alla Scala opening the season for the third time. This time the soprano will make her role debut in Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier” in a production by Mario Martone. It will also mark her third role debut of the year following successful first time showcases in the title role of “Aida” at Salzburg and “Adriana Lecouvreur” at the Mariinsky Theatre. In celebration of La Scala’s opening night, OperaWire takes a look at Netrebko’s history with the theater.

March 7, 1998 

Before becoming a major star, Netrebko sang with the La Scala Philharmonic in a concert with Valery Gergiev featuring music by Modest Mussorgsky. The concert was later transmitted on the radio on March 22, 1998.

Oct. 4, 2000

Netrebko was one of the famed interpreters of “War and Peace” in the early 2000s and during a tour with the Mariinsky Theatre, Netrebko first appeared in a staged production at La Scala. She would take on her iconic Natasha a total of two times on Oct. 4 and 5.

Dec. 7, 2011 

Only months after headlining opening night at the Metropolitan Opera in “Anna Bolena,” Netrebko went on to make her official La Scala debut in the role of Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni” on opening night. She was joined by a starry cast that included Peter Mattei, Bryn Terfel, Barbara Frittoli, Giuseppe Filianoti and Stefan Kocan in Robert Carsen’s production. Critics raved about Netrebko’s performance noting, “Anna Netrebko’s richly resonant voice is heard to seething effect.” The opening night performance is now available on DVD.

Oct. 19, 2012

That same season, Netrebko returned to La Scala for two performances of “La Bohème.” She essayed her signature Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved performance alongside her frequent on-stage partner Piotr Beczala. They were also joined by Massimo Cavalletti and Ellie Dehn. Daniele Rustioni conducted the acclaimed performances.

Dec. 7, 2015

After successfully making her role debut in Verdi’s “Giovanna d’Arco” at the Salzburg Festival, the soprano took on her first staged production of the opera in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production. The soprano was joined by Francesco Meli and Carlos Alvarez and Riccardo Chailly in the pit. It marked the first production of the opera at La Scala since 1865. Critics noted, “The result was the most vocally resplendent evening of Verdi singing heard here this century” and said “Netrebko combined timbral purity with tonal amplitude and a boldly sustained line across a very wide range.” The opening night performance was recorded and showcased live in cinemas.

March 9, 2017

After seven years of not singing “La Traviata,” Netrebko returned to the role that made her an overnight sensation at the Salzburg Festival and around the world. The theater revived Liliana Cavani’s production and for three nights Netrebko marveled audiences alongside Francesco Meli and Leo Nucci. Critics stated, “she appropriates Violetta’s music for her own artistic means, and transforms the way we conceive of one of opera’s most familiar characters.”

Dec. 7, 2017

Netrebko will perform Maddelena in “Andrea Chénier” alongside her husband Yusif Eyvazov and Luca Salsi. It will mark her third time opening the season and her second collaboration at La Scala with Riccardo Chailly. The opera is set to be broadcast around the world.