Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 183048 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2273
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #780 on: December 18, 2018, 11:55:13 AM »
Meanwhile, a world premiere at the opera museum Staatsoper in Vienna


How political should opera be? And, at a minimum, how good?



http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2018/12/johannes-maria-stauds-opera-die-weiden.html

&

World-Premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s Die Weiden: Opera from the Echo Chamber (ClassicsToday)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8586
  • An American Hero!
Re: General Opera News:Operas "prism" and "4.48 Psychosis"
« Reply #781 on: January 14, 2019, 11:33:33 AM »
From the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson: reviews of the operas prism (sic) by   Ellen Reid and 4.48 Psychosis byPhillip Venables


Quote


The opera-theater pieces of the Prototype Festival tackle unconventional subjects, often in uncomfortable ways, and two big shows of its seventh season are no exception. At La MaMa, Ellen Reid’s gripping “prism” (it had its world premiere in November at the LA Opera) starts out mysteriously. Who are these two women, Bibi (Anna Schubert) and Lumee (Rebecca Jo Loeb), snuggled in bed together in a cozy white room whose door has multiple locks? Bibi can barely stand. Lumee tries to get her to take medicine; she spits it out. They recite a sequence of nonsense words and enact rituals. There’s talk of memory and forgetting; that yellow is safe, but blue, which is outside the door, is not; that Bibi is getting worse, and her bones will soon turn to dust. Is Lumee Bibi’s protector, or something more sinister?

The strangeness of Roxie Perkins’s libretto turns out to be deliberate. This is an internal struggle, a depiction of PTSD following a sexual assault, and the things ricocheting around inside the sufferer’s head probably don’t make sense to anyone else. However, Ms. Reid’s urgent, kaleidoscopic music clearly supplies the turbulent emotional soundtrack of Bibi’s world: the sweet, Copland-like melodies with strings, harp and flute that evoke the safety of forgetting; the horn and percussion that accompany her will to remember and heal; the alluring offstage chorus that tempts her to stand up and open the door. The music gets wilder, with infusions of rock and electronics, in the flashback Act II, which depicts the precipitating event—a sexual assault in a club. Act III is a swifter, grittier replay of Act I, ending with Bibi’s escape.

Ms. Schubert’s pure, naked soprano gave a piercing intensity to Bibi’s pain, and her acting of physical impairment was persuasive; Ms. Loeb’s mezzo, alternately soothing and threatening, made her an intriguing foil. (It’s not clear if Lumee is really Bibi’s mother, who left her child alone to be assaulted and is now overcompensating, or simply a voice in Bibi’s head, but the ambiguity is interesting.) The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and the instrumental ensemble Novus NY, conducted by Julian Wachner, were splendid.

James Darrah’s elaborate production provided this mental world with a vivid, concrete shape. Designer Adam Rigg’s creepy all-white room gave way to 24 hanging disco balls to represent the club, and then to the messy squat of Act III; Pablo Santiago drenched the sets with colored light; Molly Irelan did the costumes, which included a childish baby-doll nightgown for Bibi in Act II. Four dancers, in writhing choreography by assistant director Chris Emile, represented the danger and excitement of the world outside the room of forgetting.

As an experience of psychological disturbance, Philip Venables’s “4.48 Psychosis,” at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, makes “prism” look like a walk in the park. Based on the final play of Sarah Kane, who suffered from mental illness and killed herself at age 28 in 1999, “4.48 Psychosis” is 90 relentless minutes of raw pain and mental chaos.

Six women, headed by soprano Gweneth-Ann Rand, speak and sing as the voices of the protagonist; they are often drowned out by the heavily amplified 14-member orchestra (Contemporaneous, conducted by William Cole), which includes saxophones and an accordion. Mr. Venables varies his techniques, but even the musically calmer moments are full of agony. A Baroque-like lament is overwhelmed by strings that wail like sirens; texts of conversations between the patient and her doctor, projected on the wall of the set, are violently pounded out by two percussionists (at one point, the doctor is represented by a snare drum, at another, a saw). A long list of drugs, with their terrible side effects and ultimate failure to make any difference, becomes a litany, accompanied by a rollicking orchestra, that is almost comic in its grotesqueness. A blast from an organ ushers in a moment of religious contemplation and clarity, soon exploded into a vocal and instrument cacophony so extreme that the only recourse is electroshock therapy. Yet through the noise you hear the patient’s longing, however hopeless, for some connection that will allow her to stay alive.


This Royal Opera House, Covent Garden production, originally staged at the Lyric, Hammersmith in London in 2016, was directed by Ted Huffman.Hannah Clark’s simple set is a shallow white box with three doors, a few chairs and a table (the orchestra is positioned above); D.M. Wood’s stark lighting alternately floods and shadows this bleak world. The six women, all in the same gray sweater, jeans and sneakers, convincingly portray the protagonist’s fragmented mind, whether they are challenging and throttling each other or singing in ensemble. It’s a place where no one could want to live. If 90 minutes is too long, it’s excruciating to imagine what it would be like for years.

—Ms. Waleson writes on opera for the Journal and is the author of “Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America” (Metropolitan).


See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/portraits-of-pain-at-the-prototype-festival-11547070607


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4064
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #782 on: January 29, 2019, 01:55:03 AM »
Wilma Lipp died last Saturday, aged 93 - arguably the best queen of the night ever ...

https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/kammersaengerin-und-koenigin-die-sopranistin-wilma-lipp-ist-tot-ld.1455471
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2273
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #783 on: January 29, 2019, 03:20:04 AM »
Wilma Lipp died last Saturday, aged 93 - arguably the best queen of the night ever ...

https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/kammersaengerin-und-koenigin-die-sopranistin-wilma-lipp-ist-tot-ld.1455471


#morninglistening to #WilmaLipp who died two days ago. RIP. ♡ her in Böhm’s #Zauberflöte w/@Vienna_Phil but also #Klemperer’s Vienna #LvB 9th @philharmonia

MF: http://a-fwd.to/2I7KDKr
B9: http://a-fwd.to/1PHDd2p

#soprano #QueenOfTheNight


And she died in a village just a short bike ride away from where my parents live. Had I known, I'd have made a pilgrimage, said Hello and maybe asked her to sign my well-worn Magic Flute -- one of the first classical CDs I ever got.

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6456
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #784 on: January 29, 2019, 06:36:23 AM »
This Böhm Zauberflöte is my favourite overall and Lipp is excellent in it. The Queen of the Night was her signature role throughout the fifties, singing it in just about every german/austrian opera house.

TBH I thought she had died a long time ago... :-[

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11360
  • Koala Greg
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #785 on: January 29, 2019, 07:14:11 AM »
Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced their 2019/2020 season, including Götterdämmerung and 3 performances of the Ring Cycle in April. I was able to see their Die Walküre last year, but would really love to see the cycle together.


https://www.lyricopera.org/concertstickets/1920-lyric-opera-season

Offline Papy Oli

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3553
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #786 on: April 15, 2019, 01:20:26 AM »
BBC Four broadcast a documentary/interview with Janet Baker last night. For those who can access it, it is available on Iplayer :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00048q7/janet-baker-in-her-own-words
Olivier