First impressions about the season of 2013 / 2014 in Teatro Real


Last Thursday, February 7th., the Royal theatre provided the 2013 season program / 2014; you already have it on its website in the link I attach below. It seems that the theme of the season is going to be love, with what this entails. I’m going to discuss my first impressions, starting with the part that most interests me, the operas. And at the end of the article I will pass to make a final impression.

The operas that will be set are twelve in total:

– Seasson will start with «Il barbiere di Seviglia», possibly the best-known piece of Rossini, paradigm of the composer, will be a success, without hesitation; It also comes with a scene of Emilio Sagi, which, in particular, often convincing. Bad, part is, if something can be said, that this opera has been done many times recently, and having so many works of this composer… Suggestion, «William Tell», for the years to come.

– The next, will be a contemporary composition by the German composer Wolfgang Rihm, «Die Eroberung von Mexico», with texts by Antonin Artaud; I have no operistic references of this prolific composer with hundreds of works to his credit, what I do know is that within most current is rather against Boulez or Stockhausen, is unknown by now.

– The duo well known since the arrival of Mortier: Currentzis address and Sellars to the scene, will bring us «The Indian Queen», a composition by the fantastic Purcell, which this year will be two operas, despite not having anniversaries to celebrate. Baroque of the highest quality, especially in the second «Dido and Aeneas», in concert version, with the direction of the ubiquitous Greek and where you can enjoy the famous «lament of Dido», a highlight of universal music.

– The following will be «L’Elisir de Amor», a major and perhaps the best-known Donizetti, is always a pleasure to hear «Una furtiva lagrima» live, cast, seems also more than convenient, especially for the star presence of (Ex)Celso Albelo and Schrott baritone or soprano Camilla Tilling. The worst thing: that has already been done several times since Theatre premiered, and would be nice to remember other operas of the composer. It is also true that it is one of the few belcantistas that Mortier programs, and is well known its only comparable hate towards them, Orly comparable to the one that he feels forPuccini and the verismo.

– The duo I mentioned earlier returns to repeat with that mystical love song that is «Tristan und Isolde», of the great Wagner, to commemorate its two hundred years of its birth, and what better to do it with this monument to humanity. Singers, Urmana, and Dean Smith, unfortunately are not guarantors of the quality that would be needed, Smith is interesting but insufficient for the role of Tristan; Urmana, is, I’m afraid, rather limited, to play a role of this style. We will have to see her, however, to reach a conclusion.

– «Brokeback Mountain» is the world premiere of American composer Charles Wuorinen on the text of the writer Annie Proulx, another of those current composers that has much already under his belt, but nevertheless is not well known to the general public. It is a premiere commissioned by the own Mortier and themed well known for the film by Ang Lee; controversia to come? We will have to see.

– The third centenary of the birth of Christoph Willibald Gluck meets in 2014, and for the occasion will bring two of his operas, the first will be «Alceste», a small delight, a pleasure for the senses which also brings a cast of excellent and suitable for the type of repertoire, Willard White, Antonacci, Paul Groves… and the direction of Ivor Bolton will make a good show. «Orphee et Eurydice» will be an experiment in the form of danza-opera with the splendid music of Gluck, direction of Hengelbrock scenic Assembly of Pina Bausch with the Ballet of the Paris Opera, can be interesting, for July

– The second Wagner is one of the romantics, «Lohengrin», the Magic Swan opera, will have direction of Hartmut Haenchen and will possibly be another triumph; Wagner, live, works swimmingly, and its duration does not usually interfere in this perception. It is a grand opera and very accessible to the general public. We’ll see if König or Ventris manage to reach excellence in a precious role like this. Polaski and Zajick will cover note to Ortrud, I don’t know what to think about the ones that will make Elsa or Telramund.

– One of the highlights will be undoubtedly «Les contes d’Hoffmann» of the fantastic Offenbach, Cambreling to address and a deal with Arteta, Von Otter, Eric Cutler… should offer the best of a master opera. We could enjoy, and I much, depending on a scene that raises us Marthaler

– Only need to comment «I vespri siciliani», a little-known Verdi and, however, is terrific, as almost everything the Italian composed; the pity, that is coming in version of concert, a wasted for a magnificent work and that it would leave a good memory in the Madrid Coliseum.

Certainly cannot be denied that the opera program has variety, we have good Baroque, classical, a little belcantismo, Verdi and Wagner, homage to Gluck, World Premiere and contemporary representation and also something of French opera. But yes it is true the lack of verismo, there’s nothing of them, neither Puccini of course; Mortier is faithful to its principles. There is also little French opera, taking into account all the possibilities that exist, only Offenbach. The more unforgivable is that he programmes so many Purcell taking into account that 2013 is the 100 year anniversary of another English composer, Benjamin Britten, totally denied this season, which should have had a sample of his works, so great would have been a «Billy Budd»… leaves me a somewhat bittersweet feeling of the program.


The coming season I will discuss a little more each one of the operas. This is advance.


Mariano Hortal