Season 2018/19 at la Monnaie

Season 2018/19 at la Monnaie
Season 2018/19
at la Monnaie

Following months of boundless imaginings, pragmatic concretisation and meticulous planning, La Monnaie is proud to present its 2018-19 season. Sometimes magical, occasionally a little buffo, it is above all a season in which we are delighted to be able to play.
‘Masterpieces reveal new meanings when asked new questions’. These words of Jean Starobinsky are especially true for Die Zauberflöte, the opening production of the new season. After Parsifal and Orphée et Eurydice, the visionary all-round artist Romeo Castellucci now challenges us to look for the deeper layers in Mozart’s ultimate opera. He teams up with conductor Antonello Manacorda, who already conducted Mozarts Lucio Silla at La Monnaie.
The long-awaited world première of Frankenstein, which La Monnaie commissioned from the American composer Mark Grey, is reserved for March 2019. For his first full-length opera, Grey draws on the original novel by Mary Shelley, a modern Prometheus story reflecting on the technological possibilities which give man control over life and death. La Fura dels Baus carries this theme through to the staging and set using advanced audio and video technology, while the orchestra is in the safe hands of the young Lebanese-Polish conductor Bassem Akiki.
Leoš Janáček wrote his own libretto for his last opera, Z mrtvého domu (From the House of the Dead), after the semi-autobiographical novel in which Fyodor Dostoyevsky recounts the time he spent in a Siberian prison camp. With this modernist punch in the stomach, director Krzysztof Warlikowski has taken on the challenge of measuring up to his previous La Monnaie productions (Médée, Macbeth, Lulu, Don Giovanni) and to that end is joining forces with the young Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Created exactly 175 years ago, Don Pasquale is now one of the best loved comic operas of all times. Gaetano Donizetti managed to lift the farce with timelessly catchy music and characters that are still recognizable today. Right up Laurent Pelly’s street, you might say! Together with Alain Altinoglu, the director and a cast of bel canto specialists will bring 2018 to a joyous close.
In 2018, we are commemorating the centenary of the death of Arrigo Boito. The Italian, himself a composer, is best known as the driving literary force behind Verdi’s last operas, but he also wrote the libretto for Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Director Olivier Py has the task of evoking in January/February 2019 the full glory of the plotting and scheming 17th-century Venice, while Paolo Carignani nudges this grande opera all’italiana in the right direction musically.
From Venice to Richard Wagner is an easy transition to make. Not only did Wagner die in Venice, he also wrote the second act of his Tristan und Isolde there, perhaps the greatest monument ever erected in memory of an impossible love. For the most part, the monologues and dialogues of this opera look back, recount and peer into the beyond. To turn this into enduring images, we are bringing together film director Ralf Pleger and the artistic universe of Alexander Polzin. It gives Alain Altinoglu plenty of scope to engulf us in this cosmic combination of text and music, in May 2019.
We round off the opera season in a magical vein with The Tale of Tsar Saltan, a fairy-tale opera by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. The Russian composer was inspired audibly by the popular legend he had found in a Pushkin poem and produced a colourful score, with the ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ as earworm. Just as he did in The Golden Cockerel, Alain Altinoglu will be able to shine as orchestra magician. We also look forward to welcoming back Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov following his extraordinary Trovatore a few years ago.
In concert performances, we present two demonic pacts. Robert le Diable, Giacomo Meyerbeer’s archetypal grand opera à la française, will be under the musical direction of Evelino Pidò, and in association with the Klarafestival, we are also presenting a semi-staged version of The Rake’s Progress. La Monnaie audiences have already had a taste of Barbara Hannigan’s phenomenal singing and acting abilities; now she makes her debut as an opera conductor with this masterpiece of Igor Stravinsky’s neoclassical period.
The synergy with the federal institutions Bozar and the Belgian National Orchestra(BNO) reverberates in the Beethoven cycle which will largely dominate our concert programme. In June 2018 Alain Altinoglu will kick off the complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies with a performance of the Ninth Symphony. The other symphonies will then be performed over four further concerts. In each of those a contemporary creation will conduct a dialogue with one of the two billed Beethoven symphonies. Altinoglu will open the season with Modest Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and, building on the success of the previous edition, he will give another family concert. Fellow Music Director from the BNO, Hugh Wolff, will be in charge of musicians from both federal orchestras to round off the season in style with highlights from Wagner’s Ring and Hartmut Haenchen conducts Bruckner’s large-scale Te Deum.
In their recitals, Mark Padmore, Anke Vondung & Werner Güra, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Silvia Tro Santafé, Véronique Gens, Anne Sofie von Otter, Magdalena Kožená and Michèle Losier perform either the great Lied repertoire or a surprising, eclectic range of works that relate playfully to our ‘main’ programme.
In the new dance season, La Monnaie’s regular choreographers will be in attendance. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker will present the Belgian premiere of her new choreography to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and revises three of her iconic productions. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is bringing the long-awaited revival of Sutra, while another Belgian choreographer, Damien Jalet, makes his debut at La Monnaie with his Japanese-inspired production Vessel.
L’Homme de la Mancha, an American musical in the French translation by Jacques Brel
, was premièred at La Monnaie on October 4th 1968. Fifty years later, La Monnaie and the KVS are jointly preparing to reintroduce Brussels to this emblematic musical in a production by conductor Bassem Akiki and KVS director Michael De Cock.
His counterpart from the Théâtre National, Fabrice Murgia, will revisit the diaries and the poetry of American poet Sylvia Plath in Sylvia, a layered chronicle of her tragic life, coproduced by La Monnaie.
Push, finally, is based on the story of the Brussels-born Holocaust survivor Simon Gronowski, who, in 1943, escaped the fate awaiting him in the camps with one single ‘push’ from his mother. To stage this creation by composer Howard Moody, we will work closely with both professionals and amateurs of all ages and from all communities, as was the case with our previous community projects.