The Short List Part 1
Time to start compiling the list of operas we might be able to do this year. We don’t program anything until we hear the singers, but there’s a process of winnowing that takes place concurrently with the auditions.
We start by determining which pieces we are unlikely to produce – namely, the ones that we’ve done in the last 5-6 years (History), and the ones that fall in “fringe” territory that we’ve recently traversed (Sondheim, Rameau, etc).
Of course, there’s a wide swath of rep that is never on any version of our list because it’s incompatible with our venue. The Barns is very small by opera standards – 380 seats – and the maximum forces we can use are 28-30 orchestra players and 16 choristers. And that’s stretching it.
What does that mean? No Verdi, Puccini, Strauss. Lots of Mozart, Handel, Rossini and contemporaries. Occasional Donizetti (but we have to trim the orchestra in order to do so). Contemporary chamber opera (some Britten, Stravinsky).
Some possibilities for 2006? (Warning! Subject to change! Caveat lector! Void where prohibited by law!)
Cavalli – La Calisto
Donizetti – La Fille du Regiment (huge stretch for The Barns), Linda di Chamounix
Handel – Alcina, Ariodante, Orlando, Partenope, Radamisto, Rinaldo, Semele
(can you tell I’m rooting for Handel? no telling if we can cast it, though)
Haydn – Il mondo della luna
Martin y Soler – La capricciosa corretta
Mozart – Il re pastore, Così fan tutte (last here in ’98), Le nozze di Figaro
Paisiello – Il re Teodoro in Venezia
Purcell – Dido and Aeneas (last here in /’89)
Rossini – Le Comte Ory, L’equivoco stravagante, La gazza ladra, L’inganno felice, La scala di seta, Il viaggio a Reims, La pietra del paragone (all new to us except Viaggio)
Strauss – Ariadne auf Naxos (dare we?)
Telemann – Orpheus (having trouble finding the materials)