Top 10 Operas to See During Winter/Spring 2024

By Francisco Salazar

Happy New Year!

With 2024 in full swing, OperaWire is breaking down 10 opera productions that are must-sees for all opera lovers from around the world for the winter and spring season.

Ali – La Monnaie – April 21, 2024

La Monnaie continues bringing new operas to the world and this year the company will bring the true story of Ali Abdi Omar to the opera stage. Written by Grey Filastine and director Ricard Soler Mallol, the work was developed in collaboration with Ali himself. The work reconstructs all the stages of his journey and features a sensory experience where electronic music, voice, string and wind instruments, percussion, and dance pay tribute to the resilience of a young boy forced, like so many others, to leave his family and home to survive.

Animal Farm – Wiener Staatsoper – Opens on Feb. 28, 2024

Following its world premiere at the Dutch National Opera, Damiano Michieletto’s production of the new opera by Alexander Raskatov makes its Vienna premiere. The opera which is based on George Orwell’s famed book, will star Gennady Bezzubenkov, Wolfgang BanklMichael Gniffke, Andrei Popov, Stefan Astakhov, Karl Laquit, Artem Krutko, Margaret Plummer, Isabel Signoret, Elena Vassilieva, Holly Flack, Daniel Jenz, Aurora Marthens, and Clemens Unterreiner.

Beatrice di Tenda – Paris Opera – Opens Feb. 9, 2024

Bellini’s rarely performed work was first performed at Venice’s La Fenice in 1833 and has been little performed since. Making its Paris Opera debut, the company will showcase a new production by Peter Sellars with a cast of Bel Canto singers that include Quinn Kelsey, Tamara Wilson, Natalia Kutateladze, Pene Pati, and Amitai Pati. Mark Wigglesworth conducts.

Raskatov’s “Animal Farm” stands out. It is an exceptional piece: musically, it is imaginative, accessible, and engaging; its narrative is well-crafted, gripping, and easy to follow; its underlying message on the dangers of totalitarianism is clearly presented; and its relevance to today’s world is impossible to miss. It is not an exaggeration to claim that this is a modern masterpiece.

The Big Swim – Houston Grand Opera – Opens Feb. 16, 2024

“The Big Swim” is a Houston Grand Opera commission in partnership with Asia Society Texas that tells a contemporary fable that fuses diverse influences into a single, compelling whole. Composed by Meilina Tsui and written by Melisa Tien, the new work is set to star Meigui Zhang, Sun-Ly Pierce, Alice Chung, Seiyoung Kim, Joseph Lim, and Zaikuan Song. Eiki Isomura conducts the new production by Mo Zhou.

Duke Bluebeard’s Castle/La Voix Humaine – Teatro San Carlo – Opens May 24, 2024

Edward Gardner conducts a new double bill that features Bartok’s masterful work and Poulenc’s one-woman opera. The new production is directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski with sets and costumes by Małgorzata Szczęśniak. Bartok’s opera will star John Relyea and Elīna Garanča while Barbara Hannigan will take on Poulenc’s opera, a role that she has garnered recognition for.

La Gioconda – Osterfestspiele Salzburg – Opens March 23, 2024

The Osterfestspiele Salzburg is always a special event that showcases some of the greatest musicians and which always puts on a highly anticipated production. This year is no different as Sir Antonio Pappano, Anna Netrebko, and Jonas Kaufmann reunite for a new production of “La Gioconda.” Netrebko will take on the title role for the first time and Kaufmann will sing his first staged performances of Enzo Grimaldi. They will be joined by Luca Salsi, Agnieszka Rehlis, and Tareq Nazmi. Oliver Mears conducts the production.

Médée – Teatro alla Scala – Opens on Jan. 14, 2024

The Milanese theater continues its celebration of Maria Callas’ 100th anniversary and to begin the year the company will present Cherubini’s masterpiece in a new production by Damiano Michieletto. Callas famously revived the piece in 1953 under Leonard Bernstein and in 1961 with Thomas Schippers. It instantly became one of her signatures.  The opera will be presented at La Scala for the first time in its original French version with Michele Gamba conducting and Marina Rebeka headlining the production. Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Nahuel Di Pierro, Martina Russomanno, and Ambroisine Bré, also star.

El Niño – Metropolitan Opera – Opens April 23, 2024 

John Adams returns to the Met after a decade-long hiatus for the company premiere of his acclaimed opera-oratorio. The production will be directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz and will make the long-awaited debut of legendary conductor Marin Alsop. The production will also see the debut of Julia Bullock, who headlines the evening and will be joined by Davóne Tines, J’Nai Bridges, and Daniela Mack. The opera will be broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.

Pique Dame – Bayerische Staatsoper – Open Feb. 4, 2024

Uzbek conductor Aziz Shokhakimov makes his Bayerische Staatsoper debut conducting Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. The new production will be directed by Benedict Andrews, director of such films as “Seberg” and “Una.” The opera will star a distinguished cast led by Brandon Jovanovich and Asmik Grigorian. They will be joined by Roman Burdenko, Boris Pinkhasovich, Violeta Urmana, and Victoria Karkacheva. Lise Davidsen sings two performances in the summer.

Tenorio – Teatro Real de Madrid – Opens May 13, 2024

After its premiere in concert version at Teatro Auditorio San Lorenzo de El Escorial in 2017, “Tenorio” by Tomás Marco will have its full stage premiere at the Teatro Real. The work, dedicated to Alfredo García, is set to star Joan Martín-Royo, Juan Franciso Gatell, Adriana Gónzalez, Juan Antonio Sanabria, Cristina Faus, and Sandra Ferrández. Santiago Serrate conducts the world premiere staging and Agrupación Señor Serrano will direct.


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