Typically at the beginning of a new year I start thinking about what I'm looking forward to. And generally speaking, the events I expect will be the greatest, the most exciting, the most important, turn out to be nothing of the sort, and the true highlights come from unexpected quarters. Not that my poor success rate prevents me predicting. So.
I expect The Makropulos Secret (as Opera Australia has chosen to translate the title) to be one of the Events of the year, even though it comes quite close to the end of the season. I expect not to attend My Fair Lady, but am grateful to it for funding things like the Janacek and Billy Budd. I expect as well that I'll love Billy Budd more than I think I will, too; no sopranos, it's true, but it is Britten after all. I very much hope that Rachelle Durkin, as both Donna Anna and Angelica, will live up to the stratospheric standard I've set based on her gorgeous Alcina. And I expect to fall in love, either again or for the first time, with at least one opera which right now I think myself immune to.
In the world outside the Opera House, I plan to spend more time with Mirella Freni, Patrizia Ciofi and the works (in every genre) of Francis Poulenc. I may or may not pursue Felicity Lott further. Natalie just happens, so no need to expect or resolve anything there. One of the most exciting musical events on my horizon is actually not operatic or even vocal: a visit in October from the fabulous Angela Hewitt, part of her Bach World Tour. The Musica Viva recital featuring Cheryl Barker, Peter Coleman-Wright and Piers Lane (and, apparently, a gigantic swan) looks pretty irresistible too. And I resolve to acquire a cat.
And 2008 will bring a few changes in this blog too. You may or may not recall, I began an experiment some months ago, establishing a second blog devoted exclusively to Opera Australia. It's been mildly successful, but not enough so to merit its separate existence, so it's being incorporated into this blog, meaning, in short, more Sydney content here. At the same time, there will be fewer actual reviews: beginning with La boheme tomorrow night (well technically tonight) I'll be reviewing Sydney performances for The Opera Critic. So that's where the reviews will be. But I've no doubt I'll still find plenty to write (read: bleat on) about here. There may be a few other changes here and there, but they're still in the planning stages, and none are drastic.
Is that everything? Not by a long shot, I shouldn't think. However it's all the occurs to me for now; and I have the rest of the year to remember the rest.