“Alcina,” Bolshoi Theater Symphony Orchestra and Bolshoi Opera
Select dates, Oct. 17-23
A sorceress lures men onto her beautiful, lush island; seduces them; and, when she grows bored, turns them into beasts or rocks or whatever — and moves on. Handel’s opera fell into obscurity after its 1735 London premiere, but whenever it returns, critics rave. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times called a 2014 Carnegie Hall staging “Handel heaven.”
“Les Troyens,” Vienna State Opera
Select dates, Oct. 14-Nov. 4
Joyce DiDonato, the American soprano whom The New Yorker called “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation,” is Didon (Dido, queen of Carthage) in Berlioz’s 1858 five-act grand opera about war, the Trojan horse and love versus duty. When Ms. DiDonato performed the role in Strasbourg, France, last year, ResMusica said her interpretation was masterly.
“Otello,” Bayerische Staatsoper
Select dates, Nov. 23-Dec. 21
In June 2017, at a sold-out Royal Opera House performance in London, Jonas Kaufmann made his debut in the title role of Verdi’s 1887 four-act drama and “calmly, confidently sang it for the ages,” Zachary Woolfe wrote in The New York Times. Now Mr. Kaufmann, the lauded German tenor, will repeat his performance as Shakespeare’s commanding military hero and violently jealous husband.
“Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Opera Australia
And now for something much lighter — Wagner’s heartwarming comedy about art, creativity and medieval cobblers who fancy themselves songwriters. Hans Sachs, a kind and deserving oldster, hopes to win Eva’s hand in the guild’s song competition (yep, that’s the prize), but Walther, a young out-of-towner, has some new ideas. Kasper Holten’s elaborate staging was created last year as his farewell to the Royal Opera House in London. Pietari Inkinen conducts Orchestra Victoria.
“Carmen,” New National Theater Tokyo
Select dates, Nov. 23-Dec. 4
Bizet’s French tale of flirtation and jealousy in 19th-century Seville has a truly international cast. Ginger Costa-Jackson and Timothy Renner, both Americans, play Carmen and her favorite bullfighter. Oleg Dolgov of the Bolshoi is her new lover; Ryoko Sunakawa, the local star, is his furious girlfriend. Jean-Luc Tingaud conducts the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.