The Royal Opera's 2007/8 season has been revealed. In Antonio Pappano's sixth season as Music Director, the company presents one world premiere, two new productions, three co-productions being seen for the first time at the Royal Opera House, three first revivals and the entire Ring Cycle.
John Tomlinson, the recipient of the Special Award at the 2007 Laurence Olivier Awards, returns to the Royal Opera House to play the eponymous role in the world premiere of The Minotaur in April 2008. The Harrison Birtwistle opera, commissioned by the Royal Opera, tells the mythological tale of the Minotaur from the perspectives of Ariadne and Theseus, but also from the viewpoint of the maze-dwelling monster.
Tomlinson, who received his Laurence Olivier Award for his contribution to British opera, also appears in the three stagings of Wagner's complete Ring Cycle. The four operas of the cycle are staged in the correct order over a number of days through October and November. Also among the large cast appearing in the productions are Bryn Terfel and Placido Domingo. Wagner's Ring Cycle is celebrated with a number of events held around the Royal Opera House this autumn.
The season's two new productions mark returns to the Royal Opera for British directors David McVicar and Nicholas Hytner. McVicar directs Strauss's Salome in February 2008, and in June 2008 Hytner directs Rolando Villazón, Marina Poplavskaya, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Simon Keenlyside in Don Carlo.
The season opens in September with a co-production new to the Covent Garden venue. Robert Carson's production of Iphigénie En Tauride was first seen in Chicago in 2006 and will be staged in San Francisco in June 2007. It stars Keenlyside as Oreste opposite Susan Graham as Iphigénie.
The second new co-production follows the Ring Cycle in November. Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore is directed Laurent Pelly, who took charge of La Fille Du Regiment earlier this year. The Rake's Progress, the final new co-production, takes to the stage in July 2008. Canadian director Robert Lepage leads the production.
Among the other operas announced for the 2007/8 season are: Parsifal, which includes Tomlinson and Willard W White in its cast; La Cenerentola and La Traviata, which combine to create an Italian Christmas repertoire; McVicar's 2003 production of Die Zauberflöte; Eugene Onegin; Carmen; Simon Boccanegra; Tosca; Ariadne Auf Naxos starring Deborah Voigt; Le Nozze Di Figaro; and La Bohème.
In the Linbury Studio the Royal Opera presents two chamber operas by British composers; the revival of Olivia Fuchs's A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a new production of Thomas Adès's Powder Her Face.
Following the success of last season's BP Summer Big Screens, 2007 also sees two operas beamed live onto giant screens around the UK. On 13 June, Don Giovanni gets the big screen treatment, while on 3 July Tosca is screened.