The soprano brings her Mimì to the London stage, while Aussies fill out the ranks of the Covent Garden season.

Nicole Car will help open the Royal Opera House’s 2017/18 season as Mimì, in a new production of Puccini’s La Bohème directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Antonio Pappano. The soprano made her house debut as Micaëla in Carmen in 2015 and returned later in the year as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, both performances meeting with considerable acclaim. Her Rodolfo will be rising tenor Michael Fabiano, who debuted with Opera Australia as Faust in 2014 and has been making waves with his Alfredo in the Metropolitan Opera’s La Traviata.

“I am utterly delighted to be singing Mimì at Covent Garden later this year”, Car told Limelight. “The chance to work once again with my colleague Michael Fabiano (in a new production by Richard Jones) is a wonderful opportunity for me. I look forward to catching up with all the folks at home during Thaïs – in Sydney this July”.

Car’s 2017 has been characterised by a string of exciting international engagements. She will be making her Paris National Opera debut in Eugene Onegin in June, sharing the run with superstar soprano Anna Netrebko after Sonya Yoncheva withdrew from the production. Car will also be singing Mimì with the company in December, while Australian audiences will get the chance to hear her in Massenet’s Thaïs, alongside partner Etienne Dupuis.

In other Covent Garden news, Aussie director Barrie Kosky will also have a hand in the new season, directing a new production of Bizet’s Carmen. It will include some music not normally performed, and the traditional spoken dialogue will be replaced by narration. Oliver Mears, the new director of opera, said that Kosky’s production “goes back to the opéra comique roots” of Bizet’s popular work.

Other Australian singers to appear with the Royal Opera include soprano Siobhan Stagg as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and mezzo Catherine Carby as Minerva in Monteverdi’s rarely heard The Return of Ulysses.

A previous student of the Jette Parker Young Artist Program, baritone Samuel Dale Johnson will sing Silvio in Pagliacci, while another past student, tenor Samuel Sakker, will appear in Verdi’s grand opera Les Vêpres Siciliennes as Mainfroid. Emily Edmonds, a current member of the Jette Parker program, enters her third year with the company.

To see the full 2017/2018 season, visit the Royal Opera House website