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Covent Garden Season to Feature Debuts

March 28, 2006

LONDON (AP) _ Bryn Terfel will sing the title role in Puccini’s ``Gianni Schicchi″ for the first time and Natalie Dessay will make her role debut as Marie in Donizetti’s ``La Fille du Regiment″ next season at the Royal Opera.

Covent Garden will present new productions of Bizet’s ``Carmen,″ Mozart’s ``La Finita Giardiniera,″ ``La Fille du Regiment″ and a double bill of ``Gianni Schicchi″ and Ravel’s ``L’Heure Espagnole,″ the company announced Tuesday.

There also will be co-productions of Debussy’s ``Pelleas et Melisande,″ which opens next month at the Salzburg Easter Festival in Austria, and Beethoven’s ``Fidelio,″ a staging that has appeared at New York’s Metropolitan Opera since 2000.

Renee Fleming will sing concert performances of Massenet’s ``Thais″ on June 27 and 29, 2007, with Thomas Hampson and conductor Andrew Davis. The trio collaborated on staged performances of the work at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the 2002-3 season.

The season opens Sept. 15 with a revival of Gounod’s ``Faust″ starring Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite. ``La Finita Giardiniera″ debuts Sept. 21 in a Christof Loy production with John Eliot Gardiner conducting Camilla Tilling, Sophie Koch and Genia Kuehmeier.

``Carmen″ opens Dec. 8 in a production by Francesca Zambello starring Anna Caterina Antonacci and Jonas Kaufmann. Philippe Auguin conducts.

Dessay stars in ``La Fille du Regiment″ starting Jan. 11, 2007, in a Laurent Pelly staging that is a co-production with the Vienna State Opera and the Met, where it is to appear during the 2007-8 season. In London, it features Juan Diego Florez as Tonio and Bruno Campanella conducting.

The Ravel/Puccini double bill debuts March 30, 2007, with music director Antonio Pappano conducting and Richard Jones directing, and ``Pelleas″ begins May 11, 2007, with Simon Rattle on the podium. The Stanislas Nordey production features Simon Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager in the title roles. Pappano conducts Karita Mattila in the Juergen Flimm production of ``Fidelio″ starting May 27, 2007.

At the smaller Linbury Studio, there will be stagings of Dominique Le Gendre’s ``Bird of the Night,″ which was commissioned by Covent Garden (starting Oct. 19) and Britten’s ``Owen Wingrave″ (May 23, 2007) in a new chamber version by David Matthews.


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