There are a couple more things I’ll be making the trip to Graz for this season, one of them already mentioned (the revival of Herheim’s 2006 Carmen in June). The other is Elektra, which premieres this coming January. Iris Vermillion as Klytämnestra will be worth seeing: hers, even more so than Claudia Barainsky's, was the standout performance at a Konzerthaus event held for Aribert Reimann’s 75th birthday last season; she also made an uncommonly memorable impression with that tiny alto part in the Glagolitic (Cornelius Meister and the RSO Wien, also last season). Regie for the Graz Elektra looks promising too: Johannes Erath directed their Doppelgänger Don Giovanni, a production Die Presse’s inimitable critic described as having ‘the most embarrassing gangbangs’ (‘Rudelbumsen’ in German, great word). But elsewhere that staging and Erath’s Lulu (also Graz) got some good reviews. Of all the things to do before crossing over into Regietheater, Erath studied the violin with the Wiener Philharmoniker’s chief concertmaster. In 2008 he won the Götz Friedrich Prize (a.k.a. the Eurotrash stars of tomorrow award).
And if you’re in Graz before February, make sure to visit the Ai Weiwei exhibition on at the Kunsthaus (the modern building on the river that looks like an upturned udder). It’s a damning study into the destruction of communities and cultural heritage in modern day China, presented with an array of striking images and videos.