The unveiling of the annual BBC Proms prospectus is always a cause for anticipation, even if, operatically, some of the key events have been open secrets for some time. Among the ‘known unknowns’ is Glyndebourne’s Le nozze di Figaro on 28th August. Conducted by Robin Ticciati, there’s a strong cast led by Vito Priante (Figaro), Lydia Teuscher (Susanna), Sally Matthews soprano (Countess Almaviva) and Audun Iversen (Almaviva). Dinner jackets and tiaras at the ready!
Sneaking a wooden horse past security at the Royal Albert Hall is the Royal Opera under Sir Antonio Pappano, bringing their new production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens for a concert performance on Sunday 22nd July. Starring Jonas Kaufmann (who made his sole Prom appearance so far as a soloist in Beethoven 9 in 2004) and Anna Caterina Antonacci, it’s a fair bet that this will be the first Proms to sell out once online booking opens on Saturday 12th May.
English National Opera makes a welcome appearance in the season with a concert performance of Peter Grimes on 24th August, starring Stuart Skelton in the title role. As it’s late in the season, might the David Alden production be heading for a September revival at the Coli? (ENO press launch eagerly anticipated next Tuesday). Ed Gardner conducts.
Opening weekend features Pelléas et Mélisande on Sunday 15th July, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and a cast featuring Phillip Addis (Pelléas), Karen Vourc’h (Mélisande), Laurent Naouri (Golaud) and Sir John Tomlinson (Arkel).
John Adams’ Nixon in China is performed on Wednesday 5th September, starring Kathleen Kim (Madame Mao), Alan Oke tenor (Chairman Mao), Gerald Finley bass-baritone (Chou En-Lai), Robert Orth baritone (President Nixon) and Jessica Rivera (Pat Nixon). The composer conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
G&S fans will welcome The Yeomen of the Guard on 19th August, the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Jane Glover.
For those inclined that way, My Fair Lady is on Saturday 14th July.
Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus is offered by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, strongly cast: John Mark Ainsley, Christopher Purves, Rosemary Joshua, Christine Rice and Tim Mead.
Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast is served up by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Tadaaki Otaka on 31st July, with Jonathan Lemalu the bass-baritone soloist.
Elgar’s The Apostles with the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder should be another season highlight, boasting a fantastic line-up of Rebecca Evans, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, Jacques Imbrailo, Iain Paterson and Clive Bayley. Will Sir Mark opt for the shofar?
Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder makes a welcome appearance on Sunday 12th August, featuring Angela Denoke, Simon O’Neill and Katarina Karnéus, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek.
Joseph Calleja sings operatic arias and songs from musicals at the Last Night on 8th September.
Which of the Prom concerts tickle your musical tastebuds?