A Night at the Opera

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La Monnaie, Brussels

Together provides a quick overview of the enticing programmes for 2023-2024

Belgium is home to three exceptional opera houses: La Monnaie (Brussels), Opéra Royal de Wallonie (Liege), and Opera Vlaanderen (Antwerp/Ghent). These distinguished institutions not only showcase masterful performances, they’re also famous for the quality and originality of their productions. We take a brief overview of what each has in store. 

Fate comes knocking at La Monnaie 

Are we just the toys of destiny? La Monnaie’s interpretation of this season’s motto, ‘there will be fate’ balances ‘divine’ inevitability and the ‘human’ power to act – can we be masters of our destiny? Who knows? 

Cassandra (Foccroulle, Jocelyn), Das Rheingold (Wagner), Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Haendel, concert performance), The Tale of Tsar Saltan (Rimski- Korsakov), Die Walküre (Wagner), Nostalgia e Rivoluzione (Verdi, based on highlights from his 12 early works), Ali (Filastine, Soler Mallol, made in collaboration with its subject: Ali Abdi Omar), The Turn of the Screw (Britten), Turandot (Puccini).

www.lamonnaiedemunt.be

Eye to eye  

Opera Vlaanderen is known for consistently pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and championing contemporary composers. It is also known for its outreach programmes to make opera more accessible to diverse audiences. It works with two opera houses: Opera Antwerp and Opera Ghent.

Eye to eye is a reference to the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, who devoted his philosophy to the encounter with the Other (with a capital O). Levinas, who had first-hand experience of the horrors of war, held that mankind is a “totalising” being, seeking to dominate his environment and making himself the centre of the universe. However, the moment we meet, the Other puts us in a position where we must act ethically: we can be guilty of totalising the Other from then on, or we can listen. We are head to head and eye to eye. 

La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart), Crusade (De Smet and Neyrinck), The Pearl Fishers (Bizet), Brodeck (Janssens), Jenůfa (Janáček).

www.operaballet.be

Projection

Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège has chosen ‘to project (itself)’ this season. Images projected onto faces display diversity, invite identification and create a link between the public and each work. The programme contains many classics.

Nine operas in stage version constitute the heart of the season: Idomeneo (Mozart), The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach), Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy), I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini), Rusalka (Dvořák – the Czech classic performed for the first time in Liège), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Falstaff (Verdi), Carmen (Bizet) and ‘L’Opéra en fusion’ which invites 80 young people to work and collaborate for fifteen months to create a show inspired by the lyrical repertoire. Conducting legend Zubin Mehta will also conduct Requiem (Verdi), bringing together the talents of the Choir of the Royal Opera of Wallonia-Liège with the Chamber Choir of Namur, for an exceptional evening.

www.operaliege.be