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Five premieres in Vienna State Opera's new season

12 april 2011, 18:42
Two operas never staged at the Vienna State Opera before will top the bill next season, AFP reports citing the head of the world famous opera house, Dominique Meyer.

Presenting the programme of the 2011/2012 season, which starts in September, the Frenchman said audience numbers had increased since he took over last year, with total seat capacity utilisation up a full percentage point at an enviable 99.76 percent.

Total annual revenues were also higher, rising by 1.0 million euros ($1.4 million) to 21.182 million euros.

The upcoming season will see five new productions, including Leos Janacek's "From the House of the Dead" in the first-ever staging at the Vienna State Opera.

The conductor will be Vienna's own general music director, Franz Welser-Moest, and it will be directed by German theatre and stage director, Peter Konwitschny.

Another work that has never been put on at the house on Vienna's famous Ringstrasse boulevard will be Kurt Weill's "Rise and Fall of the City Mahagonny", in a staging by Frenchman Jerome Deschamps and to be conducted by German Ingo Metzmacher.

"We've been in office just half a year and have already experienced a lot," Meyer told a news conference.

"It is a real joy to be able to work in this city where everyone lives and breathes opera and where the slightest hint of a singer catching cold can become an affair of state," said Meyer, who took over the running of the state opera last September.

The three other premieres include Verdi's "La Traviata" by Frenchman Jean-Francois Sivadier and conducted by compatriot Bertrand de Billy, with French soprano Natalie Dessay singing the role of Violetta.

German director Juergen Flimm will stage Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito" in a co-production with the Berlin State Opera, starring Latvian mezzo Elina Garanca, and Italian director Daniele Abbado will stage Verdi's "Don Carlo", starring German bass Rene Pape, Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas and British baritone Simon Keenlyside.

For the first time, the season will also include two brand new concert series: a chamber music series with the Vienna Philharmonic, whose members make up the Vienna State Opera orchestra; and a series of song recitals by top stars such as German baritone Thomas Quasthoff, Canadian-born tenor Michael Schade, German soprano Diana Damrau, Slovakian coloratura legend Edita Gruberova and German baritone Matthias Goerne.

There will be a total 229 performances next season, four more than in the current season, with revivals and repertoire performances of 52 different operas, including Wagner's four-opera "Ring" cycle, to be conducted by German maestro Christian Thielemann.

Another highlight will be four performances of Handel's "Alcina" in the sell-out production by Adrian Noble and conducted by Frenchman Marc Minkowski and his period-instrument band, Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble.

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