Five opera premieres and three for ballet will pepper next season at Vienna's State Opera, which continues to see its profits and spectators rise since French director Dominique Meyer took over.
Despite economic hard times, profits rose again this year to 20.6 million euros, from 19.7 million euros the previous season, while the average attendance increased to 98.84 percent from 98.51 percent, Meyer told a press conference Tuesday to present the programme for next year.
"We should count ourselves lucky that we live on a sort of island where culture is still considered important," said the director.
Looking ahead, he announced five opera premieres next season, starting with German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck's "Alceste" on November 12, performed for the first time at the Vienna Opera in French.
This will be followed by Richard Strauss's "Ariadne on Naxos," Gioachino Rossini's "La Cenerentola," Richard Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" and for the first time on the big stage, an opera for children by Hans Werner Henze, "Pollicino."
In all, the 2012-2013 season will include 236 opera performances, totalling 320 with ballet and operas for children.
The list of performers also reads like a who's who of the opera world, from Anna Netrebko, Elina Garanca and Rolando Villazon to Kiri Te Kanawa, Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo.
The ballet programme will also offer a few new gems, from Rudolf Nureyev's "The Nutcracker" to a "Dance Perspectives" evening featuring choreographers like David Dawson, Helen Pickett, Jean-Christophe Maillot and Patrick de Bana, culminating with the annual Nureyev Gala that showcases works by the prolific dancer-choreographer never before performed by the Vienna Ballet.
Meyer took over the Vienna Opera in 2010 with Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Moest as music director and former Paris etoile dancer Manuel Legris as ballet director, and has been largely credited with reviving the venerable institution.