Weekend Preview – International (2/10- 2/12): Joyce DiDonato Headlines Rossini’s ‘Semiramide’ In A New Production

By Francisco Salazar

It’s Feburary so all companies are in full swing. This weekend Verdi and Strauss highlight major houses and Joyce DiDonato returns to the stage with a new role. Here is a look!


Audiences are in for a triple Verdi weekend at the Wiener Staatsoper starting with “Otello” starring Kristian Benedikt, Carlos Álvarez and Olga Bezsmertna. It will be followed by “Nabucco” with Leo Nucci and Anna Smirnova and will conclude with “Il Trovatore” starring Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna and Ludovic Tezier.


At La Monnaie Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” continues with Amanda Echalaz and Alexia Voulgaridou sharing the title role. The opera will be shown on Friday and on Sunday.


At the Paris National Opera, audiences will have the option of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” or “Cosi Fan Tutte” on Friday and Wagner’s “Lohengrin” starring Stuart Skelton, which will be shown on Saturday.


In Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper the weekend will commence with Strauss” “Elektra” starring Nina Stemme and Doris Soffel and will continue with the final performance of Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” starring  Anne Schwanewilms. Finally the weekend ends with the premiere of Rossini’s “Semiramide” with Joyce DiDonato in her role debut. The opera will also star Lawrence Brownlee and Daniela Barcellona.

The Staatsoper Berlin will present Puccini’s ‘Tosca” twice with a starry cast that includes Liudmyla Monastyrska, Yonghoon Lee and Erwin Schrott. Another Puccini work will also be performed – “La Boheme” starring Anita Hartig, Piotr Beczala, Anna Samuil and Alfredo Daza.

Meanwhile at the Semperoper Dresden, Puccini’s “La Boheme” will be the only offering starring Maija Kovalevska.

At the Hamburg State Opera Berg’s “Lulu” will premiere starring  Barbara Hannigan and legendary mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter. The house will also present Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”


The Teatro alla Scala will showcase two Verdi masterpieces, “Don Carlo” with Francesco Meli and “Falstaff” starring Ambrogio Maestri and Carmen Giannattasio.


The weekend begins with Marianna Pizzolato starring in the title role of Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” at the Royal Opera Muscat. The production also stars Maxim Mironov and​ Marko Mimica.


At the Bolshoi Theatre Mieczysław Weinberg’s “The Idiot” will be presented.

Meanwhile at the Mariinsky Theatre Strauss’ “Salome” will premiere with Yevgenia Muravieva in the title role. The company will also present Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”


Felicity Lott kicks off the weekend at the Teatro Real with a recital of music by Antonio Caldara, Giuseppe Giordani, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Francesco Durante, Felix Mendelssohn, Piotr Illich Tchaikovsky, Joseph Horovitz, Benjamin Britten, Marshall Palmer, Madeleine Dring, Steven Sondheim, Alan Murray and John Mais Capel.

The company will also show Britten’s “Billy Budd” starring Jacques Imbrailo in the title role.

United Kingdom 

At the Royal Opera House Angela Gheorghiu continues her run of Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” which also stars Brian Jagde.