Arts & Culture: Something old and one thing very new in a diverse programme for 2010/2011
Monte Carlo Opéra season launched
The Opéra de Monte Carlo is returning to a long-held tradition to create new works in a diverse programme that also includes two crowd-pleasers and three solo recitals. Verdi’s heart-rending “Rigoletto” is at the heart of a season which ends in April 2011 with a brand new opera commissioned by the company’s director Jean-Louis Grinda.
With the exquisitely decorated Salle Garnier opera house interior behind him, Mr Grinda spoke with passion and eloquence of what lies in store for opera lovers this season. Also present was Daniel Benoin from Nice Opéra, the man chosen to stage Die Marquise Von O… in April 2011, a new work being written as we speak by composer René Koering and the young German playwright Gabriele Hoffmann, based on a novel by Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). It tells the story of a marquise who falls pregnant in scandalous circumstances, “a worthy subject for opera” believes Mr Grinda, and an intimate tale ideal for the compact 150-seat Salle Garnier. The marquise will be played by the Dutch soprano, Barbara Haveman.
Rigoletto based on the Victor Hugo play Le roi s’amuse takes to the stage for seven performances in March 2011 with the superb Romanian baritone, George Petean, in the lead role for the second cast (there will be two casts as there was for last month’s excellent production of La Bohème). February sees Richard Strauss’ one act Salomé in the opera house with Nicola Beller Carbone in the title role, a change from the “well covered” older divas who normally take on this challenging persona. And in January Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera.
For the traditional launch of the season on Monaco’s National Day in November, the company has trod the fine line between choosing a work that is both accessible and familiar “but not too familiar”. Tchaikovsky’s Eugène Onéguine will fill the Grimaldi Forum’s Salle des Princes for three performances.
Finally, there are three solo concerts – a gala with the mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli on 21st December; a concert by the highly acclaimed tenor Juan Diego Florez on 27th January in the Auditorium Rainier III; and a recital by Albert Dohmen on 26th March in the Salle Garnier. CL