A week after announcing next year’s Festtage lineup, the Berlin Staatsoper im Schiller Theater has unveiled its full plans for the 2016-17 season. There’s much here to be happy about, although the bulk of the offerings are co-productions that are known quantities by now, which somewhat dulls the excitement.
The season will open on October 3, 2016 with Harry Kupfer’s new production of Fidelio, with Daniel Barenboim at the pulpit. Barenboim will also conduct Richard Strauss’ Elektra, in the late Patrice Chéreau’s acclaimed production, which has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera and Aix-en-Provence. Berlin’s favorite filmmaker Wim Wenders will debut as an opera director with Georges Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles, also with Maestro Barenboim conducting. Speaking of filmmakers, Terry Gilliam’s acclaimed production of La damnation de Faust will arrive in Berlin two seasons after its ENO premiere, with Simon Rattle conducting. Another English import is Die Frau ohne Schatten, staged by Claus Guth, which was first seen at London’s Royal Opera House. After this season’s premieres of Figaro and Orfeo ed Euridice, outgoing intendant Jürgen Flimm will transfer his St. Petersburg production of Manon Lescaut, while Andrea Breth’s acclaimed production Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz arrives from Stuttgart. The Salzburg Festival’s Sven-Eric Bechtolf will stage Henry Purcell’s King Arthur for early music expert René Jacobs.