Richard Wagner figures prominently in the Canadian Opera Company’s plans. Two Wagner operas, not one were announced for the future.
You may have missed any mention of the second opera. The announcement of the 2012-2013 season (a year of world-wide commemoration of the centennial of Wagner’s birth) mentions that the COC will be staging Tristan und Isolde.
But there’s another COC Wagner opera, a co-production.
This week, the Metropolitan Opera announced that among their new productions, François Girard will direct Wagner’s Parsifal. Their online brochure includes a brief interview with Girard and a glimpse of the design.
But the production will see the light of day long before next season. In fact in less than two weeks, on March 6th Opéra de Lyon will give the premiere. Their website includes the following magic words:
In other words the COC will be the third of the three partners to present the work. I’m excited by this for a number of reasons:
- The COC has never co-produced with the Metropolitan Opera before.
- Girard is the third high-profile Canadian director to make a recent Met debut (last season’s was Des McAnuff, while Robert Lepage takes on his sixth opera next season, since his debut in November 2008, an extraordinary output by any standard)
- Girard will renew his collaboration with Michael Levine, who designed Girard’s COC Siegfried and Oedipus Rex/Symphony of Psalms in the 1990s.
No, we don’t know what season it’s being presented. We don’t know who will play any of the parts. But I’m still thrilled.
As I remember the elegant simplicity of Girard’s ideas for Siegfried (as you can glimpse in the photo, in this NY Times review), his powerful Stravinsky double-bill from the 1990s, again informed by wonderful simplicity, I get very excited about the upcoming Parsifal. With luck, the Met will make Parsifal one of their high-definition offerings, and we’ll get a peek at Levine’s set. Even if the COC are the third to get the production, we’re in good company.
Not too shabby, I’d say.