What's on Stage: The Season's Best Operas
London: Fiona Shaw, the British stage and film actress (Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films), returns to the English National Opera to stage The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s classic bittersweet comedy (Oct. 5–Nov. 10).
Zurich: José Saramago’s novel Blindness was made into a film in 2008 starring Julianne Moore. Now German composer Anno Schreier, 32, has set it to music as Die Stadt der Blinden for the Zurich Opera (Nov. 12–Dec. 4).
San Francisco: Composer Christopher Theofanidis’s powerful work, Heart of a Soldier, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, is based on the life of Rick Rescorla, who helped guide thousands of people out of Tower 2 before it collapsed. Baritone Thomas Hampson plays Rescorla. (Sept. 10–30).
Minneapolis: The Minnesota Opera presents the world premiere of Silent Night, by the composer Kevin Puts, based on the film Joyeux Noël, about a Christmas Eve truce between soldiers in World War I (Nov. 12–20).
New York City: The multimedia project Portals features the violinist Tim Fain and video and choreography by Benjamin Millepied in Philip Glass’s seven-movement Partita for Solo Violin at Symphony Space (Sept. 24).
On September 26, the Metropolitan Opera opens its season with Donizetti’s rarely produced Anna Bolena, with soprano Anna Netrebko (pictured) as the ill-fated second wife of Henry VIII (through Oct. 28; also Feb. 1–4). Later, the company presents The Enchanted Island, a Baroque pastiche with music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau and starring David Daniels and Joyce DiDonato (opens Dec. 31).