Weekend Preview (12/16-18) – International: Anna Netrebko Returns to ‘Macbeth’ and Renee Fleming Opens ‘Der Rosenkavalier’

By Francisco Salazar

The weekend is upon us and that means many operas will be presented around the world. Many theaters will offer holiday presentations while some of the greatest singers return to the stage such as Renee Fleming, Simon Keenlyside, Rolando Villazon, Anna Netrebko, Rene Pape and Nina Stemme.


Simon Keenlyside returns to the Vienna State Opera for Verdi’s “Macbeth” with the dramatic soprano Martina Serafin. Jorge de Leon also joins the cast that is conducted by Evelino Pido.

Peter Grimes also returns to the company with Stephen Gould in the title role and Elza van den Heever as Ellen Orford.


This weekend the Paris National Opera will continue its run of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Poulenc’s “Sancta Susanna.” The performances will see a new cast in the roles of Santuzza and Turiddu. Marco Berti and Elena Zhidova will take over the run while Anna Caterina Antonacci will continue in Poulenc’s work.

The weekend will also see Rolando Villazon in recital. The recital will include music by Verdi, Bellini and Rossini. Carrie-Ann Matheson will accompany him at the piano.


Anna Netrebko returns to the  stage of the Bayerische Staatsoper for a sold out performance of Verdi’s “Macbeth” She sings Lady Macbeth alongside an all-star cast that includes Yusif Eyvazov, Franco Vassallo and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo.

The weekend also sees Nina Stemme continue her run as “Turandot” in Munich. The sold-out performance is the final one in the run and the Swedish diva is joined by Stefano da Colla in the role of Calaf.

Munich also kicks off its Holiday presentations of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” and they run through Dec. 26.

At the Deutsche Berlin Oper, Verdi’s Aida opens with Tatiana Serjan in the title role. She is joined by Anna Smirnova and Alfred Kim. The famed theater will also present Wagner’s Lohengrin” with Peter Seiffert, Annette Dasch and Elisabete Matos. The weekend performance marks the final one in the December run.

Finally the weekend concludes with the opening night of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” Like Munich, the company will celebrate the holiday season with the classic tale based on the Grimm brothers.

Anna Nechaeva and Riccardo Massi continue the run of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” at the Berlin State Opera. The cast also includes Roman Trekel.

The company will also perform Puccini’s “La Boheme with Aleksandra Kurzak in the title role and Anna Samuil in the role of Musetta and concludes its weekend with Mozart’s “Die Zauberflaute” with Rene Pape and Anna Prohaska.

In Hamburg the company celebrates the holiday season with a production of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” The company’s production by Peter Beauvais stars Dorottya Láng in the role of Hansel and Christina Gansch as Gretel.

 At the Teatro Communale di Bologna Massenet’s “Werther” continues with Celso Albelo in the title role and Jose Maria Lo Monaco as Charlotte. The two takeover for Juan Diego Florez and Isabel Leonard, who premiered the production Thursday.
The theater will also perform a special holiday concert.
“Oh, che armonico fracasso!” will be the Teatro Massimo Palermo‘s offering for the weekend. The opera, which is based on the short opera “Il Maestro di Cappella” by Domenico Cimarosa, stars Francesco Vultaggio and Salvatore Grigoli alternating dates.
At the Teatro alla Scala, the company will continue its run of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” However, this time with a twist as Liana Aleksanyan will take over the Friday performance making her Teatro alla Scala Role debut. Maria Jose Siri will return on Sunday in the production by Alvis Hermanis which was hailed by critics.
Irina Lungu opens the Teatro di San Carlo‘s production Puccini’s “La Boheme” with Francesco DeMuro. The production will be presented the whole weekend with alternating casts that also include Olga Busuioc and Giordano Lucà
The famed Bolshoi theater continues its run of Handel’s “Rodelinda” with Dina Kuznetsova in the title role. Ruxsandra Donose also stars in the production which Bolshoi warns is only for Adults.
Meanwhile in St. Petersburg, the Mariinsky will perform Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with Sergei Skorokhodov as Il Duca. The performance will be conducted with Vladislav Karklin.
Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Hollander” opens at the Teatro Real. The production, by Alex Olle from La Fura dels Baus, stars Evgeny Nikitin in the title role. The production is part of the theater’s 200th anniversary celebration and is slated to be live streamed later this month on Facebook.

United Kingdom

The Royal Opera House continues its run of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” with Anita Rachvelishvili, who is receiving raves for her role debut as Azucena and Maria Agresta.

The company will also open its new production of Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.” The production, which premieres at the Metropolitan Opera in the spring, stars Renee Fleming and is directed by Robert Carsen. Tickets are limited as most of the performances are sold out.