News round-up – 26 August 20109:45, 12th February 2013
MELBOURNE TO STAGE CITY’S FIRST RING CYCLE
Opera Australia announces 2013 production
Opera Australia has announced plans to present Melbourne’s first ever staging of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Created in collaboration with Houston Grand Opera and the Victorian Government, this new production will be led by Australian director, Neil Armfield, and Australian conductor, Richard Mills. Three complete cycles at Melbourne’s State Theatre are being planned to mark the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth in 2013. The same production will then be staged in Houston over four seasons, beginning in 2014.
NEW BOLSHOI MUSIC DIRECTOR APPOINTED
Vassily Sinaisky to replace Leonid Dessiatnikov
Vassily Sinaisky has been named as the new music director at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. The 63-year-old Russian conductor will replace avant-garde composer Leonid Dessiatnikov, who has held the position since September 2009. Sinaisky will also hold the post of chief conductor, while Dessiatnikov is expected to continue composing a new ballet for the theatre based on Balzac’s novel Lost Illusions.
NEW YORK MET SETS NEW TICKET SALES RECORD
Tickets worth US$2.6m sold on box office opening day
The Metropolitan Opera in New York has set a new record for its box office opening day, selling more than US$2.6m (£1.6m) worth of single tickets for the new season. More than 24,000 tickets were sold, beating last year’s total of US$2.5m. This promising start follows the announcement in June that US$144m had been wiped off the net value of the company’s assets over the past year due to investment portfolio losses coupled with rising expenses. The season will open on 27 September with a new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, directed by Robert Lepage and starring Bryn Terfel and Stephanie Blythe.
BARENBOIM TO CONDUCT AIDA AT THE TEATRO COLÓN
Conductor turns 60 with concert performances in Buenos Aires
Argentine-born pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim, will celebrate his 60th birthday at the Teatro Colón on 31 August, conducting a series of programmes including Aida and Verdi’s Requiem. The spectacular 2,478-seat theatre in Buenos Aires was recently re-opened following extensive refurbishments that cost US$100m and took four years to complete.
BAYREUTH FESTIVAL DIE WALKÜRE NOW ONLINE
Streamed version available until 5 September 2010
Tankred Dorst’s production of Die Walküre from this year’s Bayreuth Festival is now available to view online via the Siemens Festival Night 2010 website. Opera lovers from 40 countries across the world can log in any time until 5 September to watch a streamed version of the production, which was transmitted live from the Festspielhaus on 21 August.
MINNESOTA OPERA FINISHES SEASON IN THE BLACK
Company budget balanced for the eighth year in a row
Minnesota Opera has announced that the company finished its 2010 fiscal year on 30 June with a balanced budget. A modest surplus on the company’s operational budget of US$9m was also achieved through sales amounting to 90.5% capacity across the season. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative, launched in 2008-09 to support productions of new operas, has already attracted US$5m towards its goal of US$7m.
NEW JERSEY STATE OPERA’S US$230K BILL FOR PORGY AND BESS
Vendors and contract workers still not paid months after production
The New Jersey State Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess in May this year was hailed as a success by critics but has left the company with bills amounting to US$230,000. A variety of vendors and contract workers are still waiting for payment, including the 52 members of the orchestra and conductor Jason Tramm. Their union has now filed a suit demanding fees totalling US$56,000 plus pension benefits
LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO CHORUS MASTER QUITS
Conductor Donald Nally leaving company to run his own choir
Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus Master, Donald Nally, has decided to leave his post in 2011 to concentrate on running his own choir in Philadelphia. He will also continue as music director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati.