Top Five Opera to See This Weekend – International (2/23-25): Juan Diego Flórez, Michael Spyres & Sarah Connolly Showcase Their Talents

By Francisco Salazar

This weekend looks a bit interesting for opera lovers looking to leave the core repertoire. Baroque dominates our selections for what we recommend and there is also a French rarity that no one should miss. Here is a glimpse.

Saul & Ariodante – Wiener Staatsoper & Theatre an der Wien, Austria 

Austria audiences are in for a Handel double. At the Theatre an der Wien the composer’s oratorio “Saul” continues its run in Claus Guth’s production alongside Florian Boesch in the title role, Anna Prohaska, and Giulia Semenzato. Meanwhile, at the Wiener Staatsoper, William Christie leads the premiere of “Ariodante” with the exceptional Sarah Connolly in the title role and Christophe Dumaux.

Orphée et Euridice – Theatre du Capitole, France 

Frédéric Antoun stars in concert performances of Gluck’s masterpiece alongside Judith van Wanroij and Jodie Devos.  Christophe Rousset leads both concert performances scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

L’Africaine – Oper Frankfurt, Germany

Meyerbeer continues to have a renaissance in the modern opera world. Michael Spyres headlines the cast that also includes Brian Mulligan, Claudia Mahnke, and Kirsten MacKinnon. Antonello Manacorda conducts the new production by Tobias Kratzer which opens on Sunday.

Roméo et Juliette – Greek National Opera, Greece 

Ismael Jordi and Myrtò Papatanasiu headline the company’s French Opera Cycle celebrating Gounod’s 200 years. Lukas Karytinos conducts the opera’s first performance on Feb. 25 in a production by Nikos Mastorakis.  Dimitris Kassioumis, Artemis Bogri, Haris Andrianos, Antonis Koroneos, and Petros Magoulas also star.

 Orphée et Euridice – Teatro alla Scala, Italy 

Juan Diego Flórez returns to Milan for his signature Orphée alongside Christiane Karg as Euridice and Fatma Said as L’Amour. Michele Mariotti conducts Gluck’s masterpiece, which receives its first fully staged French version at La Scala. Hofesh Shechter and John Fulljames direct the production, which received acclaim at the Royal Opera House.