So, apparently some glitch is preventing me from getting WNO emails anymore and I was also kind of oblivious last week, hence the tardy comment on their 2012-2013 season announcement, which goes something like this:
- Anna Bolena w/ SondRAD in her role debut
- Manon Lescaut w/ Pat Racette
- Norma w/ Angela Meade and Dolora Zajick
- Don Giovanni w/ Ildar Abdrazakov and Barbara Frittoli
- Showboat a la Zambello
The names are a decided improvement in casting glamour over the current season's modesty, but it's hard to read this lineup as anything other than WNO crawling even further back in its shell.
It wasn't always this way. They seem to have disabled the single page WNO performance history since the merger, but browse around this mess for a bit and you'll see a very different kind of WNO--one that produced a lot of chestnuts, sure, but also made room for at least one or two significantly off-the-beaten path works, especially American and post-1950 pieces, per season. Replacing this slot with (what is sure to be) a poorly put together musical, is all it takes to change the WNO from a company that pays the bills but still has something distinctive to say to one that just...you know.
I'll probably see everything except Showboat (a near-death-by-boredom experience during the tour of the Hal Prince version back in the day has turned me off of poorly-thought-out productions of that thing forever), and will be downright excited about Anna Bolena and Norma. But c'mon, WNO, throw us a bone.