Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 114392 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7020
Re: Tenor Johan Botha has died
« Reply #680 on: September 08, 2016, 06:11:23 AM »
Tenor Johan Botha has died today, aged 51, after a grave illness.

http://diepresse.com/home/kultur/klassik/5082034/Osterreichischsudafrikanischer-Startenor-Johan-Botha-gestorben

Mr. Botha was one of the leading tenors in the Wagnerian repertoire over the past couple of decades. I saw him as Siegmund in Die Walküre in Bayreuth in 2013, where he was one of the vocal highlights of that year's Ring (even if his acting abilities were rather limited) and sometime earlier in the tenor part in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde here in Madrid. R.I.P.

Sad news. The first time I saw him was in a Robert Wilson  production of Aida for Covent Garden,  years ago now. It may have even been his premier at the Royal Opera, I can't remember.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 06:12:56 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Wendell_E

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 932
  • Location: Mobile, AL, USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    mostly opera and chamber music
Re: Tenor Johan Botha has died
« Reply #681 on: September 08, 2016, 11:43:06 AM »
Sad news. The first time I saw him was in a Robert Wilson  production of Aida for Covent Garden,  years ago now. It may have even been his premier at the Royal Opera, I can't remember.

According to the article on his death at the ROH website, he debut there was as Rodolfo in Bohème, in 1995, opposite Gheorghiu.  http://www.roh.org.uk/news/johan-botha-obituary
"Do you ever wonder where the producers of American Idol come up with the seemingly endless supply of people who can't sing but are deluded enough to get up in front of a national audience and screech out a song anyway?" — Sarah Palin, America by Heart

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2169
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #682 on: September 13, 2016, 07:30:19 PM »

jlaurson

  • Guest
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #683 on: September 14, 2016, 01:04:08 AM »
For readers of German, an essay on Jose (Josep) Carreras and a review of his, hopefully absolutely final, opera: El Juez.
Kindly unmentioned in the essay was the fact that Carreras was tastefully amplified throughout, because his voice and what's left of it couldn't even fill that small house anymore.
http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/

Offline zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2001
  • selig sind
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #684 on: September 14, 2016, 01:43:41 AM »
For readers of German, an essay on Jose (Josep) Carreras and a review of his, hopefully absolutely final, opera: El Juez.
Kindly unmentioned in the essay was the fact that Carreras was tastefully amplified throughout, because his voice and what's left of it couldn't even fill that small house anymore.
http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/

Interesting. He never had a huge voice anyway, but a very beautiful expressive instrument.
Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6980
  • An American Hero!
Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
« Reply #685 on: September 21, 2016, 03:26:25 AM »
A review (and not a positive one in general) of Bright Sheng's latest work, an opera based on "the Chinese War and Peace" from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson: the most positive comments are...

Quote
Mr. Sheng’s musical realization of the tale is puzzling. He uses occasional distinctive Chinese percussion effects, and there is a brief, tangy appearance by the qin, an ancient zither, but for the most part the score sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein. The vocal writing, especially in the first act, reaches for high notes so regularly as to become predictable, and the only character with a distinctive musical signature is the Machiavellian Lady Wang, who gets an ominous, Scarpia-like orchestral accompaniment. There are some musically gripping moments, most in the second act, as the clouds gather: the unsettled choral lament for the death of Granny Jia, the family matriarch; Bao Yu’s aria of self-assertion, when he stands up to his mother about his marriage; and Dai Yu’s mournful final aria.

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dream-of-the-red-chamber-and-andrea-chenier-reviews-opera-opts-for-old-over-new-1474404766
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9495
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #686 on: September 21, 2016, 03:29:24 AM »
Well, I would give it a go. I always think of the first Tannhauser crit that stated that there were NO tunes in it.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 37675
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #687 on: September 21, 2016, 03:50:24 AM »
. . . sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein . . . one hopes she means that positively.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6980
  • An American Hero!
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #688 on: September 21, 2016, 04:04:00 AM »
. . . sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein . . . one hopes she means that positively.

Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 37675
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #689 on: September 21, 2016, 04:38:44 AM »
Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."

I rather suspected.  Ah, well . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6980
  • An American Hero!
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #690 on: September 21, 2016, 07:31:02 AM »
Well, it did not seem to be positive: the opening paragraph gives the opinion that she was hoping for something original in an East-West Fusion way, but instead the composer "channeled Puccini."

I rather suspected.  Ah, well . . . .

So "influenced by" could be all right vs. "derivative of" or "imitating" or "channeling"...
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 8981
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
« Reply #691 on: September 21, 2016, 06:25:58 PM »
A review (and not a positive one in general) of Bright Sheng's latest work, an opera based on "the Chinese War and Peace" from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson: the most positive comments are...

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/dream-of-the-red-chamber-and-andrea-chenier-reviews-opera-opts-for-old-over-new-1474404766

Lady Wang is one of the most complex characters in literature, and reducing her to "Machiavellian" is a great disservice--although whether it is the reviewer or the librettist who is at fault, I can not say at this remove.

Come to think of it, War and Peace is not an apt comparison either. Dream of the Red Chamber aka Story of the Stone is a sprawling family saga that portrays all parts of Chinese society, but lacks the historical background of Tolstoy:. no equivalent of the Battle of Borodino, for instance.  Perhaps Buddenbrooks or the Forsyte Saga would be better, or better yet Proust.

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9495
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #692 on: September 21, 2016, 10:08:11 PM »
Jeffrey,

Interesting remarks: the critic makes it sound derivitave, a pastiche. But my superficial take was really that; being clueless about the quality and track record of the critic, I would give the piece a go. And I used the Tannhauser remark as am example of a clueless critic. This one may be reliable for all I know. But even the casual use of 'Machiavellian' sets my teeth on edge. It is used in such lazy shorthand and by people who have either never read him, or read him and totally misunderstood him and his work. So that makes me instantly want to give the composer the benefit of the doubt, possibly unjustly.

BTW, please don't read any of the above as even remotely combative. I am not countering any points, just sharing my thinking.

Cheers,

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2001
  • selig sind
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #693 on: September 22, 2016, 03:59:46 AM »
As there are no threads on Manuel Garcia and Cecilia Bartoli, I may as well put this comment here.

Yesterday there was a radio program about the brilliant Garcia family but featuring mainly the two above mentioned. I didn't catch everything as I was driving. As there were so many bright lights in that clan, I was loosely aware of them, did not know that Manuel (1775-1832) himself was a composer. His elder daughter was mezzo-soprano Maria Malibran, the 2nd daughter Pauline Viardot (also composed some songs), a son, Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García, a baritone, who became a world-famous vocal pedagogue.

They played examples from what seems to be a recording from 2007:
https://www.amazon.com/Cecilia-Bartoli-Maria-Hardcover-Malibran/dp/B000RPSVDQ

Though technically accomplished, some of it was rather hard on my ears. I got the idea in view of when he lived, Rossini's contemporary, though slightly older than him, that maybe he was the Spanish connection that eventually led to Bizet's Carmen. An aria featuring virtuoso castanets was played on the radio as well as this doozy of an aria: "Yo Que Soy Contrabandista".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BNFOWeWu44

Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
G. K. Chesterton

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3029
  • Nicolas de Staël: Le Concert (1955)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #694 on: September 26, 2016, 12:03:51 PM »
The aria (polo) Yo que soy contrabandista is from Manuel García's monodrama El poeta calculista. The whole poece is available on this CD:

I must confess I do not know this compostion, but is certainly looks appealing.

I do own CDs of two of García's full-length Italian operas, which were published in Spain (I think the Archiv issue of Il Califfo was only for the domestic market here). These are:

 

Both are very much in the Rossinan buffo vein, and quite accomplished and pleasant as I remember. The Quixote is available from AmES (here). Il Califfo is OOP AFAIK, and I haven't seen any copies anywehere as of late.  :(

I should relisten sometime soon. A rather interesting character, García (and his family as well).



Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Hannibal de Bréauté, mort ! Antoine de Mouchy, mort ! Charles Swann, mort ! Adalbert de Montmorency, mort ! ... »

Offline Spineur

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 860
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: General Opera News
« Reply #695 on: November 06, 2016, 06:14:41 AM »
For those interested in Prokofiev operas, "L'ange de Feu", a rarely performed opera, was staged at l'Opera de Lyon this fall.  This opera composed between 1919 and 1927, was in fact premiered in Paris in 1954 !!  The Opera de Lyon performance, was extremely well recieved - see Le Monde review - and Le Temps (Geneva)
https://www.letemps.ch/culture/2016/10/12/un-ange-feu-foudroyant-lyon
Particularly impressive was Ausrine Stundyte, a Lithuanian soprano, in the role of Renata, the heroine.
This performance will be broadcasted   on France musique Today Sunday Nov 6th at 20:00 and you can listen to it via streaming.  In the event you miss it, a catchup broadcast will be available on France Musique Web site
www.francemusique.fr/emission/dimanche-l-opera/2016-2017/l-ange-de-feu-l-opera-de-lyon-11-06-2016-20-00
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 08:10:29 AM by Spineur »
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK