david mcvicar


Role: Cleopatra
Singer: Danielle de Niese
Opera: Giulio Cesare (G. F. Händel)

Staged at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2005, stage direction by David McVicar. de Niese is definitely not my favourite Cleopatra, and to be honest I feel that both her singing and her movements during “V'adoro, pupille” were far, far too exaggerated… but it’s a nice stage outfit.

Savonlinna Opera Festival 2017

New Productions

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Directed by Katariina Lahti
Premiere cast includes Mirella Bunoaica as Konstanze, Lucrezia Drei as Blonde, Tuomas Katajala as Belmonte and Jyrki Korhonen as Osmin
Running 6.7.-21.7.

Verdi: Rigoletto
Directed by David McVicar (originally for ROH Covent Garden)
Premiere cast includes Kiril Manolov as Rigoletto, Tuuli Takala as Gilda, Rame Lahaj as Mantua and Mika Kares as Sparafucile
Running 10.7.-22.7.

Sallinen: Castle in the Water
World premiere to honour Finland’s centenary and the Olavinlinna castle
Conducted by Ville Matvejeff, sung by Tiina-Maija Koskela, Tuija Knihtilä, Jussi Myllys and Tommi Hakala
Performances 8.7. and 9.7.


Sallinen: Kullervo
Ville Rusanen takes on the title role in this revival of an acclaimed production by Kari Heiskanen, first seen in 2014. Hannu Lintu returns to the castle to conduct.
Running 8.7.-17.7.

Visitor: Teatro Real Madrid

Bellini: I puritani
Evelino Pidò conducts the beautiful production by Emilio Sagi.
Running 31.7.-4.8.

Sibelius: Kullervo
Real life siblings Ville Rusanen and Johanna Rusanen-Kartano will sing the parts of Kullervo and his sister in Sibelius’s early symphonic masterpiece.
One performance 2.8.

Visitor: Bolshoi Theatre

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta
Directed by Sergey Zhenovach
A symphonic suite of Nutcracker is performed as a prologue.
Running 25.-29.7.

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Cast includes Anna Nechaeva as Tatyana, Igor Golovatenko as Onegin and Bogdan Volkov as Lensky
One performance 26.7.


30 Day Opera Challenge, Day 5

Who’s your favorite opera stage director?

This is really tough, because I have 3 directors that I really adore (well, 2 and then a partnership of directors), but I think I have to go with David McVicar as my top favorite.  His insight into the characters of an opera is just superb and the way he executes it on stage is thrilling.  He’s also brilliant at casting, as all great directors are.  I love most of all his productions of La Clemenza di Tito (seen above) and Giulio Cesare.

He’s followed very closely by Ursel & Karl-Ernst Herrmann and Peter Sellars.

Video: Sarah Connolly singing Sesto’s “Parto, parto” from McVicar’s production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito.  Carmen Giannattasio seen as Vitellia.

Challenge Master Post


Mezzo Sarah Connolly sings “Va tacito e nascosto” from Handel’s Giulio Cesare

I love this staging of the aria.  David McVicar really did a great job with his production of this opera.  I adore it. :)

Also, Sarah Connolly ROCKS, especially as Cesare. <3



New video from the McVicar Agrippina (Barcelona, 2013) by YouTube user operarally. It’s only two minutes and kind of awkwardly cut but in that time you get some of the best of:

  • Supercilious / recalcitrant Agrippina (Sarah Connolly)
  • Crass / immature Nerone (Malena Ernman)
  • Sonorous Claudio (Franz-Josef Selig)
  • Bubbly baroque conductor (Harry Bicket)

Incidentally, I finished reading the Agrippina libretto on the plane, snickering to myself half the time. Good stuff, Grimani. I like a librettist who’s not above writing a suggestive line about a man’s sword. And I am looking forward to seeing what McVicar does with all the situational stuff.

It was also kind of interesting to read a story where two women were the prime movers of the plot and the men around them were largely instrumental.

At the end I wondered idly whether this script would pass the Bechdel test. It fulfills the first two criteria, but the tricky thing is to say what Agrippina and Poppea have a conversation “about,” in a script so full of duplicity and misdirection.