The top lyrical venue in the country this week announced its programming for the next year, an unpretentious lineup, which, although generally unlikely to jolt Colón habitués into a frenzy of subscription purchases, features a rather balanced agenda and some impressive highlights. At the top of the list of must-see performers are Anna Netrebko, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Juan Diego Flórez, Bryn Terfel, Marianela Núñez, and the Misha Maisky trio.
The Colón’s 2018 opera season will kick off in March with Péter Eötvös’ 1998 opera Three Sisters, which was suspended in 2017. The operatic menu is otherwise made of traditional picks, from Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with Canarian mezzosoprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera in the title role, Verdi’s Aida starring Latonia Moore, Nadia Krasteva and Ricardo Massi, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Puccini’s La bohème, Haydn’s The Seasons oratorio, and closing up with Bellini’s Norma. The centrepiece will be, nonetheless, Wagner’s ultimate opera Tristan und Isolde, performed by the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra under the powerful baton of Daniel Barenboim, with Peter Seiffert and Anja Kampe in the title roles.
The highly successful Barenboim Festival brings a new arrangement this year: as previously announced, Martha Argerich will not be attending forthe ever-sold out concerts with Barenboim, and the Argentine conductor will not be directing his West-Eastern Divan orchestra as in previous editions, but will arrive at the head of the Staatskapelle Berlin. In addition to doing Wagner at the Colón, they will be performing a series of symphonic concerts at the CCK, playing Brahms, Debussy and Stravinsky. The chamber opera programming includes such works as Scarlatti’s The Triumph of Honour, Piedade, by Brazilian composer João Guilherme Ripper, and Powder Her Face, by Britain’s Thomas Adès.
The ballet season features five titles: it opens with Le Corsaire, with choreography by Anne- Maria Holmes, supervised at the Colón by Julio Bocca and Lorena Fernández, starring ABT principal dancers Herman Cornejo and Daniil Simkin. Also scheduled are Coppelia, The Merry Widow starring Argentine ballerina and Royal Ballet principal dancer Marianela Núñez, Romeo and Juliet, with special guest Iñaki Urlezaga in the title role, and wrapping up with no less than 11 performances of The Nutckracker, which the theatre likely intends to set up as their customary Christmas extravaganza.
As for the must-see artists and performances, the list includes Venezuela’s Gustavo Dudamel with the Vienna Philharmonic in March, soprano Anna Netrebko with two concerts in August, followed by Welsh bassbaritone Bryn Terfel and then Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez in September. Also looming large in the Colón’s programming for next year are cellist Misha Maisky’s trio, Argentine pianists Bruno Gelber and Sergio Tiempo, and Swiss conductor Baldur Brönnimann with a programme of works by Gubaidulina and Lutoslawski.