The Latvian National Opera and Ballet begins a beautiful and diverse season
In the new 2023/2024 season, the Latvian National Opera and Ballet will present four new productions: Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Don Carlo," Gaetano Donizetti's opera "L’elisir d’amore," Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold's ballet "La fille mal gardée," and ballet "The Jungle Book" by Kārlis Lācis. Two audience favourites will return to the repertoire – "The Birds’ Opera" by Jānis Lūsēns and opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod.
The only performance of Gioachino Rossini's opera "La cenerentola" this season will take place on August 25th. This production has been created in collaboration with the Toulouse Opera, Théâtre du Capitole, where it will be premiered this season. The leading roles in the August 25th performance will be sung by Svetlina Stoyanova and Pablo Martinez.
At the beginning of the season, several debuts and guest artist performances are expected. On August 27th, the internationally acclaimed conductor of symphonic and operatic music, Artistic Director of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Ayyub Guliyev, will conduct Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni." On August 31st and September 3rd, in the performances of Leoš Janáček's opera "Jenůfa," the role of Laca will be sung by Andris Ludvigs for the first time. On September 6th, Justīne Teličena will perform the solo role in Edward Clug’s ballet "Carmina Burana". On September 7th, the renowned Spanish conductor Pedro Halffter will take the conductor's podium for Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly." On September 9th, Jānis Liepiņš will conduct Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen," and the title role will be performed by the excellent Romanian mezzo-soprano Ramona Zaharia, who will also make her debut as the Princess de Bouillon in “Adriana Lecouvreur” at LNOB in October. On September 10th, two role debuts are expected in the Alexander Rodin and Radu Poklitaru’s ballet "Viy." The Nights of Horror" – Antons Freimans will dance the role of Homa Brut and Paulīna Druka will perform The Young Lady. On September 13th, in Francesco Cilea's opera "Adriana Lecouvreur," the role of Maurizio will be sung by the notable Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antoņenko, and for the first time, Irma Pavāre will take on the role of the Princess de Bouillon.
The first new production of the season will be Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Don Carlo," with its premiere on October 5th. This visually impressive production of "Don Carlo," directed by German director Klaus Guth and featuring Etienne Pluss' set design and Petra Reinhardt's costumes, is a co-production with Teatro San Carlo in Naples. "Don Carlo" is considered Verdi's most ambitious opera, having undergone several revisions over the years and being performed in both Italian and French versions. In Riga, this extensive artistic work will be performed in Italian. The role of Philip II in the first three performances will be interpreted by the world-renowned bass Günther Groissböck, who was introduced to our audience in a solo concert last May. The main roles will be portrayed by Jūlija Vasiļjeva, Inna Kločko, Eglė Wyss, Arnold Rutkowski, James Lee, Tadas Girininkas, Rinalds Kandalincevs and Jānis Apeinis, among others.
Mezzo-soprano Ilona Bagele's jubilee concert "That’s Life..." will take place on October 6th in the Great Hall. In this cabaret-style music concert of the legendary composer Kurt Weill, she will perform alongside musicians of the Latvian National Opera.
On October 24, the outstanding American baritone Thomas Hampson will give a solo performance in the Great Hall. Accompanied by pianist Wolfram Rieger, he will sing a special program of songs by Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt and Gustav Mahler. Concert will take place in the Great Hall of the Latvian National Opera with lowered iron curtain, thus creating unique acoustics for chamber music.
On November 10th, a new production of the ballet "La fille mal gardée" is anticipated. This is one of the most vibrant and joyous works of the English choreographer Frederick Ashton, which premiered at the Royal Ballet of London in 1960. The notable French choreographer Jean Dauberval's 1789 work served as a source of inspiration for Ashton’s ballet, with Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold’s score, arranged by John Lanchbery. This gleeful story of pastoral love continues to delight admirers of the refined art of ballet all around the world. This performance will please ballet enthusiasts of all ages.
Soprano Inga Šļubovska invites to her solo concert “Solveig in Cabaret” on November 19 at the Dress Circle Hall. Together with pianist Ilze Ozolina, the artist will perform vocal music by Latvian composer Janis Ķepītis and cabaret songs by William Bolcom.
Welcoming the New Year, the festive atmosphere will be traditionally created by the splendid and celebratory New Year Gala at the Opera.
On January 4th, Latvian soprano Ļubova Karetņikova will debut in the role of Zerlina in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni". The singer completed her master's degree at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg and successfully participated in the International Music Competition Mozart. This will be her first performance at LNOB.
On January 11th, "The Birds’ Opera" by Jānis Lūsēns and Māra Zālīte will return to the stage of LNOB. It is one of the most beloved productions for children in Latvia, having been performed over 150 times. The kindhearted Doctor Doolittle and his friends are always ready to help someone in need. The opera was created by the Stage Director Baņuta Rubesa, Choreographer Elita Bukovska, Set Designer Ieva Jurjāne, Costume Designer Kristīne Jurjāne, and Lighting Designer Pauls Matisons. "The Birds’ Opera” was first staged in 2000 and has seen several revivals.
Charles Gounod's opera "Faust" will return to the repertoire on February 22nd. Stage Director Aik Karapetian has put together a production in the late-gothic aesthetic, also employing silent movie techniques in the style of German expressionism. The set design was created by Kristaps Skulte, costumes by Kristīne Pasternaka, lighting design by A.J. Weissbard, and video by Artis Dzērve. The production of “Faust” received The Great Music Award of Latvia as the Best Musical Production 2016. The recording of the production was shown on the European cultural channel ARTE.
On April 12th, the world premiere of the ballet "The Jungle Book," composed by Kārlis Lācis and choreographed by Raimonds Martinovs, will take place, inspired by the collection of stories of the same name by English author Rudyard Kipling. The creative team includes Set Designer Didzis Jaunzems, Costume Designer Elīna Milta-Niedrāja, and Lighting Designer Kārlis Kaupužs. In the jungle, where life flows in accordance with rules of the animal kingdom, a human child appears unexpectedly. He’s discovered by Mother Wolf, who knows human nature all too well. But she decides to protect and raise the boy because "who knows, maybe this one will be different?" This ballet is recommended for children aged 7 and older.
The premiere of the new production of Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera "L’elisir d’amore" will take place On May 23rd. It will be directed by the German Stage Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf, with set and costume design by Julian Crouch. Nemorino is madly in love with the Adina, but he lacks the courage to confess his feelings to her. Oh, if only there was a magical potion that could open Adina's beautiful eyes and let her see Nemorino's undying love! Alas, the travelling salesman Dr. Dulcamara happens to have the necessary concoction in his collection. However, the effect of the potion isn’t quite what Nemorino had in mind... The amusing misunderstandings, portrayed in the opera, will lead one to the conclusion that true love is a celestial force that overcomes all obstacles.
In remembrance of the victims of Communist genocide, on June 14th, Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem will resound at the Latvian National Opera. For the third year already, the season will conclude with splendid Gala Concerts, which will take place on June 20th in the open-air concert hall “Mītava” and on June 21st in the Great Hall of the Latvian National Opera.
After several years of hiatus, the season book of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet has been published again. A limited quantity of this publication is available for free at the box office of LNOB.
Tickets for performances and concerts of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet can be purchased at the LNOB box office as well as online.