I have mentioned before - though probably both you and I had forgotten - that we seem to book up musical events well in advance. At the moment I'm holding tickets for La Traviata a year from today - how is that for optimism?
But looking at the calender a few things are being red circled as events to look forward to in the next few months.
Antonio Pappano and a bunch of the kids (Anja Harteros, Sonia Ganassi, Rolando Villazón, René Pape and our own beloved orchestra and chorus of Santa Cecilia) are getting together at the Parco del Musica to put on a show: the Verdi Requiem. Yes Parsi I said Rolando Villazón and René Pape.
Yuri Temirkanov, Opera Chic's Uncle Solly, will be giving us Russian goodies - Prince Igor and the Pathétique with the Academia Santa Cecilia orchestra and chorus.
Once again out to the Parco where Martha Argerich will be tinkling the ivories in the Beethoven #1.
Riccardo Muti returns to the Teatro dell'Opera for Gluck's rarely heard Iphigénie en Aulide. Love me some Gluck, love me some Muti so that one's got a big red circle.
Not musical but definitely magical - I saw the Piccolo Teatro di Milano do their signature piece Arlecchino, servitore di due padroni) back in 1959 when they toured North America.
In those days Arlecchino was the great Marcello Moretti but since his death in 1961 the role has been played by Ferruccio Soleri. Now in his 70s he restages Giorgio Strahler's production and still performs the incredible "lazzi" devised for him 47 years ago. This may well be my last chance to see him in action so I'm heading up to Milano for a day or two.
And then perhaps not all that musical but definitely nostalgical - Marianne Faithful in Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins. Apparently she's been doing this cantata in a few places in the past few years with great success. Marianne Faithful? Who would have thought?
Well we have a Zeffirelli Pagliacci (without Cavalliera Rusticana - budget cuts?)with Myrto Paptanasiu, Fabio Armiliato and Juan Pons. Yes Parsi I said Mytro and yes Shelia I said Fabio, though I have a feeling we may end up seeing the second cast on our subscription. May have to see this one twice.
The end of the month brings a return trip to Salzburg for the Whitsun Festival - again Muti and this time with an even rarer opera seria: Demofoonte by Jommelli. Plus some really great concerts including Marco Beasley and Accordione. And of course Salzburg itself - a city I never get tired off.
Another trip up to Milano this time for two 20th century operas back to back at La Scala - that's if the unions are good and if the Scala booking system works. I can't exactly see the tourists flocking to the two works in question so tickets may be readily available. Pizzetti's Assassinio nella cattedrale is based on T. S. Elliot's verse play and stars Ferruccio Furlanetto, like Solari in his twilight years, as Thomas à Beckett. Then Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Robert Carsen's famous production from Aix-en-Provence starring David Daniels. Friend Parsi was transported by this production when he saw it in Athens this past summer. Daniels! Carsen! Britten! Big red circle on that one.
And at month's end we get the Verdi Requiem again but this time with Daniel Barenboim, Barbara Frittoli, Ganassi, Marcello Giordani and Pape with the forces of La Scala. And at that point we're just mid-way through the year.
More goodies to come include the Rossini Festival in Pesaro (with Juan Diego Florez), Laurent's favorite opera Pelléas et Mélisande and that Traviata I mentioned with Daniela Dessi and Armiliato - yes Shelia I said Daniela and Fabio! Plus anything else that, in an effort to bankrupt me, my dear Opera Chic - its her fault I'm going broke -springs on me that I decided I really must see.
What is it that Lady Bracknell says? A life crowded with incident.
29 dicembre - San Tommaso Becket