La Scala Kicks off its 2010 Opera Season with Wagner’s “Die Walküre”


Richard Wagner’s tale of the struggle for power tangled with familial love and incest will open Milan’s La Scala opera season tonight.   

The opening night at Milan’s famed opera house is one of the world’s most popular events to see and be seen for the global glitterati, who will be treated to a production of Wagner’s Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), which is filled with stars and technological wizardry.  The production is directed by Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim. 

After the “prologue” of Das Rheingold we arrive at the “first day” of The Ring of the Nibelung. 

Die Walküre marks the start of the saga and the fatal weaving of the plot between the world of the gods, Wotan and Valkyrie rebel Brünnhilde, and the more dramatically human world of heroes, the world of Siegmund and Sieglinde. 

Unravelling the plot in this production are director Guy Cassiers, aided by some of the very latest theatrical technology, musical director Daniel Barenboim and a cast that includes the finest Wagnerian voices of today: Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), Waltraud Meier (Sieglinde), Vitalij Kowaljow (Wotan) and Ekaterina Gubanova (Fricka).  Together with Nina Stemme, Simon O’Neill  (Siegmund) and John Tomlinson (Hunding) make their La Scala debuts. 


Courtesy Associated Press

The opening night of Die Walküre will be broadcast live on television by Rai5 and by the French channel Mezzo.  It will also be broadcast by Servus TV (Austria) on December 19th.  As in previous years, the opening night will be shown live in Italian cinemas and in movie theatres all over the world (the broadcast time varies according to time zones).  It will also be transmitted live on a giant screen at the center of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.  Click here to find a broadcast in your area. 

The opera will be sung in German with electronic libretto in Italian, English, and German.  Running time is 4 hours 55 minutes.

Teatro alla Scala was inaugurated on August 3,1778 and was originally known as Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala [The New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala].  The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri’s Europa Riconosciuta

Most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists and many of the world’s finest singers have appeared at La Scala during the past two centuries.  The theatre is recognized as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra.  The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy, which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management. 

La Scala’s season traditionally opens on December 7th — Saint Ambrose’s Day — the feast day of Milan’s patron saint.  All performances must end before midnight and long operas start earlier in the evening if needed. 

Courtesy Visual Italy
This season’s performances include:
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake
  • Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Jules Massenet’s L’histoire de Manon
  • Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca
  • Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
  • Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot
  • Luca Francesconi’s Quartett
  • Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette
  • Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila
  • Gioachino Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri
  • Richard Strauss’s Arabella
  • Claudio Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria
  • Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier
  • Gioachino Rossini’s La Donna del Lago




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