GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 05:49:51 PM

Title: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 05:49:51 PM
Fans of the New York Metropolitan Opera might not be thrilled about the opinion expressed by Martin Bernheimer in this month's of Opera, but it feels so great to have a very knowledgeable person agree with my opinion, a simple opera lover!  :D

"The new regime at the Metropolitan Opera seems to have decided that opera needs hard-sell promotions to attract Everyman, or even anyman. The broadcasts invariably surround performances with dumbed-down self-congratulatory chatter, while advertisements, announcements and press releases gush overstated platitudes. Take the the case of Jenufa which returned on January 29. The Hollywoodish puff-machine described the vehicle as 'a lyrical and sharp-edged drama'. Karita Mattila, who again undertook the 'tour de force title role, was labelled 'electrifying' and 'glorious'. Anja Silja, cast as the Kostelnicka, had to be content with an all-purpose 'remarkable'. The harking and barking might have been justified had it sold a lot of tickets, but the house yawned with empty seats."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 06:01:06 PM
Simmer down, New York friends, it's not only an American opera house receiving arrows, Germany's Leipzig Opera made the news in this month's Opera in a review written by Bernd Hoppe, who attended a Lohengrin performance:

"A blue curtain, dark as night, with a mysterious eye in the centre created the right mood for a mystical production of Lohengrin. However, the illusion was soon destroyed when the curtain became transparent and a white swan floated into sight above landing lights shining on the floor - an ugly, naked bird, bereft of all poetry and fit only for the oven."

Mahlzeit!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 09:23:59 AM
Every spring Opera publishes a special issue listing most of the various musical festivals taking place all over the world. Most of them of course are operas, and of the multitude of temptations I would love to attend, there is one of special interest. Maybe our British friends will go there and then tell us all about it.

60th Aldeburgh Festival June 8 - 24. Thomas Adès is Artistic Director. Three events are scheduled, two operas and one recital by Simon Keenlyside. The Benjamin Britten opera Myfanwy Piper, based on the short story by Thomas Mann is directed by the Japanese actor, director and teacher Yoshi Oida. Now there is something out of the ordinary!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on April 13, 2007, 09:26:50 AM
Every spring Opera publishes a special issue listing most of the various musical festivals taking place all over the world. Most of them of course are operas, and of the multitude of temptations I would love to attend, there is one of special interest. Maybe our British friends will go there and then tell us all about it.

60th Aldeburgh Festival June 8 - 24. Thomas Adès is Artistic Director. Three events are scheduled, two operas and one recital by Simon Keenlyside. The Benjamin Britten opera Myfanwy Piper, based on the short story by Thomas Mann is directed by the Japanese actor, director and teacher Yoshi Oida. Now there is something out of the ordinary!

Yoshi Oida was the director of the Britten Curlew River I saw last night!  Very well done (see the Britten operas thread). 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 09:27:57 AM
The Benjamin Britten opera Myfanwy Piper, based on the short story by Thomas Mann

You mean the opera Death in Venice, Lis. Myfanwy Piper was the librettist.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 09:37:29 AM
Karl, valuable friend of mine, you sure solved a puzzle and stopped my head scratching ever since I read the announcement in Opera! I had no inkling where that Britten opera with the foreign language title was coming from, and of course no idea which of Mann's output was this supposed to be. Possible, because I am no expert on either Britten nor Mann!


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 10:05:09 AM
Very glad to be of assistance, Lis!  Of course, I am a great distance from being anything like expert in Britten's work . . . but I am preparing to listen to Death in Venice for the first time, next week.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on April 13, 2007, 10:54:32 AM
Fans of the New York Metropolitan Opera might not be thrilled about the opinion expressed by Martin Bernheimer in this month's of Opera, but it feels so great to have a very knowledgeable person agree with my opinion, a simple opera lover!  :D

"The new regime at the Metropolitan Opera seems to have decided that opera needs hard-sell promotions to attract Everyman, or even anyman. The broadcasts invariably surround performances with dumbed-down self-congratulatory chatter, while advertisements, announcements and press releases gush overstated platitudes. Take the the case of Jenufa which returned on January 29. The Hollywoodish puff-machine described the vehicle as 'a lyrical and sharp-edged drama'. Karita Mattila, who again undertook the 'tour de force title role, was labelled 'electrifying' and 'glorious'. Anja Silja, cast as the Kostelnicka, had to be content with an all-purpose 'remarkable'. The harking and barking might have been justified had it sold a lot of tickets, but the house yawned with empty seats."


With all due respect to Mr. Bernheimer, who may have a point about Gelb's changes, I think the problem with Jenufa was frankly, the opera itself -- no one knows it.  I have no problem with "the Hollywoodish puff-machine" describing it as a "lyrical and sharp-edged drama" -- well, that's what it is!

I think Jenufa is a masterpiece, but my hunch is that many opera fans simply have not heard the score.  In the lobby before one performance, I heard a guy who was about to go in say, with great authority, "I'm not sure I'm going to like this, since I don't care for atonal operas." 

I rest my case. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 21, 2007, 03:08:26 PM
Not sure if this is the kind of news everyone is after but tomorrow evening is the final concert of the Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition. The Polish Radio Channel 2 are transmitting it live and you can listen via webcast (you need Windows Media Player and I find these links work only on Internet Explorer):
(http://www.polskieradio.pl/_img/rss/logo_itvp.gif) (http://www.polskieradio.pl/sluchaj/play.aspx?p=i2) (the Polish TV server - I find it more reliable)
(http://www.polskieradio.pl/_img/rss/logo_pr.gif) (http://www.polskieradio.pl/sluchaj/play.aspx?p=r2) (the Polish Radio server - it works. Sometimes)

That's tomorrow (or, practically, today), April 22nd 2007 18:00 - 20:00 CEST (UTC+2).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 21, 2007, 03:23:20 PM
Thank you, Maciek! If my figuring is correct, that would be 1.00 PM US tomorrow, left coast. I shall listen!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 21, 2007, 11:16:50 PM
FYI, it is 10:15 AM as I am posting this, and the concert will start in 8 hrs.
 
I don't know much about this competition but it has a web page (http://www.itvp.pl/event/moniuszko2007/) (everything in Polish, as appropriate for an international competition ::)). I think you can listen to some of the singers there... (don't know, it doesn't work without Internet Explorer >:().

More info on the competition also here (http://www.teatrwielki.pl/show_book.php?book=centrum).

I'm sure there'll be lots of talking during the transmission. If I'm at home (which I doubt - I'm visiting my parents today, and they always make it very difficult to leave), I'll post summaries of anything important they say.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 07:28:36 AM
Well, I'm a little late but no matter: so far, they're only reading the names of the prize winners etc.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 07:42:35 AM
And now, apparently, the prize-giving is over and the concert is about to start...

UPDATE: The concert will start after a 20 minute intermission. :-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 08:11:58 AM
Finally, it has begun... 8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 22, 2007, 08:24:19 AM
My Dear Maciek: Have you given any thought to the fact that some of us don't speak, read or write Polish? I went all over the site to find something that tells me where to click to LISTEN. Haven't found it yet!

HELP!!!!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 09:44:32 AM
Which site do you mean, Lis? The webcast links should bring you to a page where you don't have to click anything - after a couple of seconds the broadcast should start by itself...? (at least that's how the first one works, the second one is more troublesome - I find there's no general rule on starting it :-\)

As for the second site - clicking on any of the images should open a new window with the media player but it seems there's no singing there, only talk. :-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 22, 2007, 09:51:32 AM
I must have been at the wrong site! Now I got the right one, - I think! - but there are little birdies twittering and a man and woman discussing something.  ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 10:11:47 AM
Unfortunately, the concert is over... :'( It was VERY short. First about an hour of talk - most of it about the jury and the sponsors, hardly anything about the music or the prize winners. Then a long intermission, and then a very quick concert: each of the 6 six winners sang two arias (one by Moniuszko and one by a foreign composer). It was over in about 50 minutes!!!

Anyway, I recorded the webcast - still haven't checked how it came out - but I can upload it and post links here.

FYI, here is a list of the winners:

Maria Fołtyn Grand Prix - not awarded

in the female vocal category:

First Prize - Oxana Shilova, soprano, Russia

Second Prize - Kristina Kapustynska, mezzo-soprano, Ukraine

Third Prize - Małgorzata Olejniczak, soprano, Poland

in the male vocal category:

First Prize - Alexey Markov, baritone, Russia

Second Prize - Rafał Bartmiński, tenor, Poland

Third Prize - not awarded

Award of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera: participation in an opera production - Małgorzata Olejniczak, soprano, Poland

Special Awards

Ada Sari Award for the best soprano: Oksana Shilova, soprano, Russia

Wanda Wermińska Award for the best mezzo-soprano - Krystyna Kapustynska, mezzo-soprano, Ukraine

Jan Kiepura Award for the best tenor - Rafał Bartmiński, tenor, Poland

Adam Didur Award for the best bass-baritone - Alexey Markov, baritone, Russia

Ignacy J. Paderewski Award for the best performance of a lied by this composer - Anna Markarova, mezzo-soprano, Ukraine

Marcella Sembrich-Kochańska Prize for the best Polish prize-winner - Rafał Bartmiński, tenor, Poland

Special Award funded by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association - Agnieszka Piass, soprano, Poland

Prize funded by the Polish Club of the Opera Fans „Trubadur”- Oksana Shilova, soprano, Russia
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 10:20:45 AM
Sounds like the Eurovision Song contest went well this year, but poor old Finland got nerry a mention!

What does 'International' mean in this context as clearly the winners all come from a certain group of countries? I see you allowed Russia some first prizes....very wise.

Mike


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 10:28:24 AM
Actually, since Moniuszko is required repertoire here, it seems no one from the Western countries was brave enough to even try... "International" means it's open to contestants from everywhere. It's not my fault if they are all sissies... :P
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 10:44:16 AM
Perhaps they do not want to travel for the prize....is it the complete works of Moniuszko by any chance?

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 11:17:38 AM
Well, with the kind of pronunciation you usually hear from Western singers in Slavic operas (Janacek, Tchaikovsky) I don't think they'd have the slightest chance of winning.

And Mike, the fact that you've never heard of the Competition does not make it a minor one. In fact, this is one of the most prestigious vocal competitions in this part of Europe, even if the prizes aren't enormous (Grand Prix - $ 12,000, First Prize - $ 8,000, Second Prize - $ 6,000, Third Prize - $ 4,000). Also, contrary to what you obviously believe, Moniuszko is NOT an obscure composer in this part of Europe. He's obscure in the West but then the West is generally ignorant of most of the things happening in these parts - be it Russian concentration camps or Polish opera composers...

FYI, here's a list of the countries:

Quote
The 6th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition attracted 253 candidates representing 26 countries:

POLAND - 107
RUSSIA - 55
UKRAINE - 36
UNITED STATES - 6
KOREA - 6
BELARUS - 5
LITHUANIA - 4
KAZAKHSTAN - 4
GERMANY - 3
BULGARIA - 3
MOLDOVA - 3
GEORGIA - 3
ISRAEL - 2
CZECH REPUBLIC - 2
VIETNAM - 2
AZERBAIJAN - 1
ARMENIA - 1
SLOVAKIA - 1
ROMANIA - 1
SERBIA - 2
UNITED KINGDOM - 1
NETHERLANDS - 1
FINLAND - 1 JAPAN - 1
AUSTRALIA - 1
LATVIA - 1


A total of 117 candidates from 19 countries qualified for the competition, including:

POLAND - 65
RUSSIA - 18
UKRAINE - 10
UNITED STATES - 4
KOREA - 3
BELARUS - 1
KAZAKHSTAN - 3
GERMANY - 1
MOLDOVA - 1
GEORGIA - 1
ISRAEL - 2
AZERBAIJAN - 1
SLOVAKIA - 1
SERBIA - 1
UNITED KINGDOM - 1
NETHERLANDS - 1
FINLAND - 1
AUSTRALIA - 1
LATVIA - 1

NOTE: by 19 March 2007, 4 candidates (Poland) had officially withdrawn from the competition due to professional commitments, and 1 candidate (Russia) for other reasons. As of 19 March 2007, the number of participants was 112. Finally 88.

Yes, Poland is in the majority but isn't that the case with the hosting country of any competition?

The only Brit didn't even get past the first stage I'm afraid. Re your question about Finland: I understand the only contestant from that country (tenor Mika NISULA) had a really ghastly pronunciation. He wasn't felled until the 3rd stage nontheless...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 12:10:25 PM
Well, that's me told.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 12:32:56 PM
Hey, I hope I wasn't harsh or something? I'm in a lousy mood this evening. Not a single person bid in my auctions [edit: the spell-checker suggested "auditions" but I know better] today. :'( :'( And I need the money to pay those damn wonderful taxes! (Just remembered where you work ;)).

Cheers,
Maciek
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 02:00:13 PM
No sweat.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 22, 2007, 02:12:23 PM
I also have several auctions ending Tuesday and soon after the above post someone finally bid in one of them, which is a bit of a relief...

Anyway, I just posted a link to mp3s of that final concert in The Broadcast Corner (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,42.msg8703.html#msg8703). Feel free to peruse them.

They complained on the radio the that overall level of the contestants this year was not as high as expected but they did say that at least one of the prize winners (Oxana Shilova) was definitely a star in the making, and that some of the others (Alexey Markov especially) were also worth watching. Overall, the concert is quite pleasant to listen to - even though I recorded it via webcast so sound is not perfect (the typical webcast distortions plus a minor glitch in two or three places).

Cheers,
Maciek
Title: April 23, 2007 Met Future Seasons Update
Post by: Wendell_E on April 23, 2007, 07:11:24 PM
2009-10

Dolora Zajick sings the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. That should be fun.

A revival of Benvenuto Cellini, with Marcello Giordani.

The Met premiere of Shostakovich's Nose, conducted by Gergiev and staged by William Kentridge. Also a revival of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.

2010-11

The new Robert LePage Ring kicks off with Rheingold on the opening night.

A new production of La Fanciulla Del West, scheduled to open on December 11, 2010, one day after the 100th anniversary of its world premiere at the Metropolitan. Not to complain, but the last production just premiered in 1991, and only got 20 performances spread over two seasons. No casting/production team details, other than the conductor, Nicola Luisotti.

The Met premiere of Le Comte Ory, with Juan Diego Flórez

A first revival of Capriccio

2011-12

A new Robert Wilson production of Norma, with Fleming.

www.metmaniac.com/future.html (http://www.metmaniac.com/future.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 10:34:29 PM
The Nose, frankly I am surprised they are still trumpeting it about. I could get nothing out of it. I have had a better time with toothache.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on April 24, 2007, 01:23:50 AM
The Nose... I could get nothing out of it.

 ;D

I gotta admit the percussion interlude's probably my favorite part.  Though that scene with the high-singing policeman's pretty fun, as well.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 24, 2007, 01:27:50 AM
Heard on the radio today that the oldest opera house in Bejing is going to be pulled down because otherwise it would fall apart on its own... :(

(Not that I know anything about Chinese opera... ::))
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on April 24, 2007, 04:52:58 AM
The Gramophone website is offering a review of a DVD of a Moniuszko opera.

Hey, they like it 0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 24, 2007, 10:06:19 AM
The Gramophone website is offering a review of a DVD of a Moniuszko opera.

Hey, they like it 0:)

Wow! Thanks for the heads up. :D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 24, 2007, 10:18:30 AM
Ahem. Could someone with access to the site copy the review, paste it into a PM and send it to me? I'd very much like to read it. Thanks. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on April 24, 2007, 10:49:43 AM
Ahem. Could someone with access to the site copy the review, paste it into a PM and send it to me? I'd very much like to read it. Thanks. ;D

Done!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on April 24, 2007, 01:13:30 PM
Wendell_E to the rescue! Thanks so much, I'm much obliged! :D 8)

It's an interesting read. Though it only shows what I already knew - namely that I should finally purchase this DVD. ;) But seriously - it's nice to see the opera travelled that far. Now all I want is for someone to make a DVD of The Haunted Manor (and all the other Moniuszko operas after that). Not that I'm very old - but I wonder if this will ever happen in my lifetime. ;D :-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 28, 2007, 05:12:26 PM
Thomas Adès has been active on the London concert and opera scene. Barbicon Hall premiered his latest orchestral piece Tevot, but what I am mostly interested - and correctly on topic here  :P - is the revival of the 2004 production of his The Tempest at the ROH, conducted by the composer. I would like to know if anybody here attended the performance and if yes, if there have been some revisions of the original version available on DVD.

Jon, you here? Where you there? How was it? Please speak to us, I miss you.  :)

BTW.: How is 'Strindberg?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on May 21, 2007, 01:52:22 PM
Another one from Alex Ross in the May 21 The New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2007/05/21/070521crmu_music_ross
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on May 23, 2007, 02:06:41 PM
OK, maybe you'll read this good news:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/5bf70814-0887-11dc-b11e-000b5df10621.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on May 24, 2007, 03:37:04 AM
Another one from Alex Ross in the May 21 The New Yorker:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2007/05/21/070521crmu_music_ross

Who wrote this 'Disturbia' he mentions?

Is it a modern opera?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on May 24, 2007, 04:41:24 AM
I think it's a movie he is ref. to, not an opera. In the multiplex a movie was running at the same time the opera from the Met was in another section. Maybe somebody more familiar with current movies can answer your question.  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on May 24, 2007, 05:14:26 AM
Who wrote this 'Disturbia' he mentions?

Is it a modern opera?

It is a recently released film that has actually gotten pretty good reviews, being compared (cautiously) to Rear Window.

Disturbia (http://www.disturbia.com/)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on May 30, 2007, 10:57:06 AM
You like Salome? Read what Nigel wrote about his last experience:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on May 30, 2007, 11:04:48 AM
You like Salome? Read what Nigel wrote about his last experience:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Lis!  I might have missed that...

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 02, 2007, 05:56:58 PM
A bunch of news gleaned from this month's Opera issue!

"We hear Simon Keenlyside will sing his first Rigoletto at WNO in 2008-9"

"We hear Bryn Terfel will sing his first Hans Sachs in ..... Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for WNO in 2009-10"

Opera Broadcasts at BBC Radio 3:

June 9th Pelléas et Mélisande with Angela Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside. A recording of the performance conducted by Simon Rattle.

June 23rd The recording of Thomas Adès's The Tempest with he composer conducting.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 04, 2007, 06:15:12 AM
A beautifully written new review from Nigel:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/06/rossini-tancredi.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on June 04, 2007, 06:26:10 AM
A beautifully written new review from Nigel:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/06/rossini-tancredi.html

Ya beat me to it!  I see it's also being recording by Harmonia Mundi:

http://www.liberation.fr/culture/musique/257861.FR.php (http://www.liberation.fr/culture/musique/257861.FR.php)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 06, 2007, 05:30:25 PM

Opera Broadcasts at BBC Radio 3:

June 9th Pelléas et Mélisande with Angela Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside. A recording of the performance conducted by Simon Rattle.


A reminder!

And a disclaimer because I just read a review of this performance in the June 1 edition of TLS and I am not sure it will be what I expected. The well respected critic Andrew Porter calls it the 'quirkiest' show he has ever seen. Porter also says: "Stanislas Nordey, directing, had scrapped Debussy's libretto for one of his own". In Act two there is no well, Mélisande tosses her ring into the orchestra pit. I always have an open mind to new directing, costumes, sets, lighting, whatever, as long as they keep the notes and the words of the composer. Well, this one must have believed he can do better than Debussy's librettist. Simon Rattle was complimented by Porter for holding to the score. "He didn't introduce musical changes to tickle a modern audience".

I think I'll listen and enjoy the music and Keenlyside, Finley, and Kirschschläger!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on June 07, 2007, 12:10:05 AM
I think I'll listen and enjoy the music and Keenlyside, Finley, and Kirschschläger!

... and Rattle and the orchestra!

I'm really looking forward to the broadcast.  It does seem that we're lucky not actually having to see it.   ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on June 07, 2007, 02:46:42 AM
A reminder!

And a disclaimer because I just read a review of this performance in the June 1 edition of TLS and I am not sure it will be what I expected. The well respected critic Andrew Porter calls it the 'quirkiest' show he has ever seen. Porter also says: "Stanislas Nordey, directing, had scrapped Debussy's libretto for one of his own". In Act two there is no well, Mélisande tosses her ring into the orchestra pit. I always have an open mind to new directing, costumes, sets, lighting, whatever, as long as they keep the notes and the words of the composer. Well, this one must have believed he can do better than Debussy's librettist. Simon Rattle was complimented by Porter for holding to the score. "He didn't introduce musical changes to tickle a modern audience".

I think I'll listen and enjoy the music and Keenlyside, Finley, and Kirschschläger!

Yet again it has been the production that has received all the critical flak. Nordey has dropped or altered the stage directions, no long hair dropping from the balcony, for example, and this is probably what AP means.

However, the musical side has come in for general critical praise which, as far as I'm concerned, is what matters most, with Keenlyside, the orchestra and Rattle coming in for particular plaudits.

It cannot be any worse than the Glyndebourne production of a few years back set in a Victorian dining room!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 07, 2007, 05:03:36 AM
Andrew Porter did give praise to everything on the musical side, as I quoted him in the last sentence of my post. He also gave high praise to Kirchschläger. Keenlyside's and Finley's occasional barking Porter blamed on the acoustics of the NOH.

If you have the chance, Hector, please read Porter's article in the Times Literary Supplement of the first of June. Very informative!  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 08, 2007, 05:32:39 AM
This Lohengrin must have been a disappointment. Good reading of Nigel's review anyhow!

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/06/wagner-lohengrin.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 12, 2007, 10:43:03 AM
Any of our New York friends attended this by any chance? I just got this from Nigel:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4e4bc06c-1839-11dc-b736-000b5df10621.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on June 12, 2007, 10:46:26 AM
Any of our New York friends attended this by any chance? I just got this from Nigel:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4e4bc06c-1839-11dc-b736-000b5df10621.html

Yes, I did, and quite liked it (contrary to the Financial Times writer and the New York Times).  I am writing a review for MusicWeb, but in a nutshell: the Cherubini was a revelation, the Beethoven less so but Lang Lang continues to impress me, and the Hindemith Sancta Susanna was great fun.  (Makes you want to see it staged, although I can't imagine that anyone is seriously considering it at the moment.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 12, 2007, 11:53:27 AM
Look forward to your review, Bruce! The Hindemith piece a bit too much for the New York/New England audience? Nigel's comment went something like: 'This too is Hindemith?" or words to that effect.  ;)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: springrite on June 12, 2007, 11:55:39 AM
Look forward to your review, Bruce! The Hindemith piece a bit too much for the New York/New England audience? Nigel's comment went something like: 'This too is Hindemith?" or words to that effect.  ;)



Well, Hitler did not ban Hindemith for his concert music, you know.  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2007, 12:03:38 PM
I'd be content to hear that music sans staging  0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: springrite on June 12, 2007, 12:08:35 PM
I'd be content to hear that music sans staging  0:)

I remember at the end of Fiery Angel where the person next person commented that he'd prefer the last act sans music -- just staging plus 50 stripping nuns.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2007, 12:10:29 PM
I remember at the end of Fiery Angel where the person next person commented that he'd prefer the last act sans music -- just staging plus 50 stripping nuns.

I worry about people like that on the loose . . . wacko scenarists, I mean  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Joan on June 21, 2007, 04:58:11 PM
Woody Allen - Opera director!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19360440/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19360440/)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on June 21, 2007, 08:26:26 PM
“To have Woody Allen direct ‘Gianni Schicchi’ is a match made in heaven,” said Friedkin in a statement.

It will probably turn out to be grim....if he so much as raises a smile I will be surprised.

Mike

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 05:36:56 AM
Sounds as if our friend Nigel had a grand time attending The Rape of Lucretia:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/06/britten-rape-of-lucretia.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on June 27, 2007, 06:19:40 AM
Look forward to your review, Bruce! The Hindemith piece a bit too much for the New York/New England audience? Nigel's comment went something like: 'This too is Hindemith?" or words to that effect.  ;)



Here is the review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2007/Jan-Jun07/nypo0906.htm).  The audience seemed to like the Hindemith -- perhaps surprisingly, but Muti is very persuasive.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 02:32:47 PM
Very lively and interesting review, Bruce! Thank you. Muti does have his way with musicians, doesn't he? It's the Italian Labour Unions he can't tame.

I wonder if the program was recorded and we get a CD some day? No, I won't dream about a DVD, New York events are rare on DVD, small German towns like Schwetzingen are commonly available!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on June 27, 2007, 02:39:20 PM
Very lively and interesting review, Bruce! Thank you. Muti does have his way with musicians, doesn't he? It's the Italian Labour Unions he can't tame.

I wonder if the program was recorded and we get a CD some day? No, I won't dream about a DVD, New York events are rare on DVD, small German towns like Schwetzingen are commonly available!

Thank you, Lis!  You can tell by the musicians' faces that they really like working with him.  There was some speculation that he was the number one choice to follow Maazel, but I don't get any indication Muti wants to conduct full-time over here.  (Supposedly that's the main reason he left Philadelphia, i.e., to spend more time with his family.)

The program might show up on iTunes -- some of the New York Philharmonic's concerts have.  (I didn't notice any cameras for a DVD, alas.) 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: MishaK on June 27, 2007, 02:46:23 PM
Thank you, Lis!  You can tell by the musicians' faces that they really like working with him.  There was some speculation that he was the number one choice to follow Maazel, but I don't get any indication Muti wants to conduct full-time over here.  (Supposedly that's the main reason he left Philadelphia, i.e., to spend more time with his family.)

He's also being frequently mentioned as a potential successor to Barenboim here in Chicago. I don't see either of those happening. One of the main reasons so meany US orchestras are leaderless or looking for successors is the amount of extramusical work with which US orchestra administrations have burdened the position of music director. They will have to scale that back considerably if they want to attract and retain top international talent. I don't see Muti or Chailly or Barenboim or even Rattle or any of those guys coming back permanently to these shores.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on June 27, 2007, 02:49:14 PM
He's also being frequently mentioned as a potential successor to Barenboim here in Chicago. I don't see either of those happening. One of the main reasons so meany US orchestras are leaderless or looking for successors is the amount of extramusical work with which US orchestra administrations have burdened the position of music director. They will have to scale that back considerably if they want to attract and retain top international talent. I don't see Muti or Chailly or Barenboim or even Rattle or any of those guys coming back permanently to these shores.

Yes, I agree.  Why would they want to, when they can zip in, get tons of praise for guest-conducting for a few weeks and then leave, without all that extra work? 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 02:54:55 PM
top international talent. .

Does it have to be international talent? I'll get a bit personal here, but a friend of mine, chief conductor and artistic director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra for 25 years, is sitting in Arizona, unemployed! Even his Italian name does not help him getting a job!  :'(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 27, 2007, 03:06:22 PM
Add on - and maybe OT - part of the collection:

http://www.bpolive.com/

That's only part of the concert repertoire, he has been praised as a great 'Italianate' opera conductor; whatever that implies.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on June 28, 2007, 04:53:29 AM
Does it have to be international talent? I'll get a bit personal here, but a friend of mine, chief conductor and artistic director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra for 25 years, is sitting in Arizona, unemployed! Even his Italian name does not help him getting a job!  :'(

Well, he's hardly likely to get a top-notch conducting job in Arizona, now, is he?

Tell him to move back to Europe (has the WNO appointed a new Music Director yet?).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 30, 2007, 08:38:29 AM
Benjamin Britten fans: Death in Venice is being broadcast here, start in a few minutes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/classical/index.shtml

Ian Bostridge is starring, his first time in this difficult role.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 05, 2007, 11:04:40 PM
"SOUR Angelica" was the first opera to be presented in Puccini's "Trittico" (New Israel Opera, Tel-Aviv June 21-July7) reversed in its usual order with "Tabarro" (the "Cloak") second. "Gianni Schicchi" was the delightful third after the horrors of the first two.  When first seeing the advert about "bitter" Angelica (though she had every right to be) in the local press, I did a double take but "sour" was duly reprinted in big red letters in the program.

The decided unimportance of the words was reflected in the performances as well but not surprising in a tower-of-babble country where everyone speaks a few languages badly. Except for those male performers who either were in the main, natives, one born and bred Italian and a very competent Romanian who from childhood were used to open vowels, the language was the weakest link, leaving one wondering whether they were supposed to understand one another onstage.

The women on the whole were awful. The mangling of the Italian language would probably not be tolerated in any European Opera house. It was practically unrecognizable coming out of the mouths of the women mainly from the former Soviet Union. (And they sing with TOTAL confidence!!).  Also their style of gut screaming (none of the women could produce a pianissimo let alone a piano) was practically unbearable.

The Mother Superior and the second female supporting role In Tabarro had the same aggressive production and unclean vowels. The latter sounded and looked like she just walked out from Onegin as Tatiana's nurse with more or less the same costume.

A perusal of the program showed a preponderance of Russian names. Having to depend largely on locals from the Russian invasion of the past 20 years is probably the reason for Moskovization of the Israel Opera. (Issac Stern said "those coming off the plane from Russia without violins are pianists"-- also wannabe singers, I guess.) Opera being a huge undertaking with large numbers of people involved is why it can only be as strong as the weakest link. But really they should sing in any other language but Italian, even Hebrew.

All the above to me was a severe distraction since opera is singing and music. Direction seems to be much better than before though. The kind of exhibitionism still alive and well in Europe fairly kept people away from "taking their kids to the Opera" for years so perhaps they cleaned up this act. The "Tales of Hoffman" 20 years ago in its utter kinkiness was simply embarrassing.

"Sister Angelica" had the nuns sing lying face down and the protagonist herself on her back and also with her arms attached to a pole as on a cross towards the end of the opera in "expiation". Those non-Christians who were the bulk of the audience will walk away thinking that nuns live in black holes and are not allowed to pet or keep sheep--not exactly the rustic monastery from the "Sound of Music". (Angelica's aunt was also dressed up like a female Darth Vader and sang like a cross between Ulrica and Azucena on a bad day.) But if there is any visual misrepresentation, it is Puccini's fault who was exploiting perhaps the dark side of monastery life for its shock value on stage. Strangely enough, though, in Schicchi, keeping the money out of the hands of "fat monks" was the reason for futzing the will. I wonder if anyone else noticed that contradiction. Oh well.

The turbulent, even violent dramaticism of the operas, especially the first two do not lend themsevles to singing in the conventional sense, rather intense shrieks and shouts except for short monologues. This is "verismo" where life becomes art and art supposedly becomes life. So if one didn't hear a lot of Bel Canto the fault can also be ascribed to Puccini.

The orchestra deftly accompanied throughout and kept a good pace but in the "O Mio Babbino Caro" a short aria for a young girl in "Schicchi" simply drowned her out. Due to her lack of development, she had no business on an opera stage but people in the audience applauded her "college try".

One wonders WHAT THE POINT is in expending so much effort and capital for this kind of "entertainment", whether it is supposed to be educationally uplifting or something to see live performances rather than much better examplars on film. But "Opera" itself is problematic especially for the alleged need to trot out the SAME relatively few operas that have been written 100-200 years ago but are repeated as nauseam. The New Israel Opera is as largely conventional and tradition bound as the Old one in their choice of repertoire.

ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 13, 2007, 06:55:36 AM
Nigel's review of the last of this year's season:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/2007/07/verdi-un-ballo-in-maschera.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: MishaK on July 13, 2007, 07:45:25 AM
Does it have to be international talent? I'll get a bit personal here, but a friend of mine, chief conductor and artistic director of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra for 25 years, is sitting in Arizona, unemployed! Even his Italian name does not help him getting a job!  :'(

Of course it doesn't have to be "international", though that word should include all countries. I have frequently said that, e.g., Spano should be given a more prestigious orchestra to lead.

Maybe your Arizonan friend with the Italian name should look in Europe again. They love American conductors there. In my former neck of the woods in Germany it seems every other conductor was American. We had Larry Foster in Duisburg for many years, John Fiore now heads the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Steven Sloane is in Bochum, Hugh Wolff was at the RSO Frankfurt for a number of years, James Conlon was at the Gürzenich for many years, etc...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 13, 2007, 07:52:34 AM
True! Thank you for your input. There is always the issue of the Agency! He is on the list of a British, German and American agency; independent applications for a job are frowned upon by the agencies, after all, they too want to make money, lots of it!

In the mean time another collection of his recordings with the Budapest PO, plus his autobiography will be on the market in time for xmas shopping!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 13, 2007, 11:20:10 AM
"SOUR Angelica" was the first opera to be presented in Puccini's "Trittico" (New Israel Opera, Tel-Aviv June 21-July7) reversed in its usual order with "Tabarro" (the "Cloak") second. "Gianni Schicchi" was the delightful third after the horrors of the first two.  When first seeing the advert about "bitter" Angelica (though she had every right to be) in the local press, I did a double take but "sour" was duly reprinted in big red letters in the program.

The decided unimportance of the words was reflected in the performances as well but not surprising in a tower-of-babble country where everyone speaks a few languages badly. Except for those male performers who either were in the main, natives, one born and bred Italian and a very competent Romanian who from childhood were used to open vowels, the language was the weakest link, leaving one wondering whether they were supposed to understand one another onstage.

The women on the whole were awful. The mangling of the Italian language would probably not be tolerated in any European Opera house. It was practically unrecognizable coming out of the mouths of the women mainly from the former Soviet Union. (And they sing with TOTAL confidence!!).  Also their style of gut screaming (none of the women could produce a pianissimo let alone a piano) was practically unbearable.

The Mother Superior and the second female supporting role In Tabarro had the same aggressive production and unclean vowels. The latter sounded and looked like she just walked out from Onegin as Tatiana's nurse with more or less the same costume.

A perusal of the program showed a preponderance of Russian names. Having to depend largely on locals from the Russian invasion of the past 20 years is probably the reason for Moskovization of the Israel Opera. (Issac Stern said "those coming off the plane from Russia without violins are pianists"-- also wannabe singers, I guess.) Opera being a huge undertaking with large numbers of people involved is why it can only be as strong as the weakest link. But really they should sing in any other language but Italian, even Hebrew.

All the above to me was a severe distraction since opera is singing and music. Direction seems to be much better than before though. The kind of exhibitionism still alive and well in Europe fairly kept people away from "taking their kids to the Opera" for years so perhaps they cleaned up this act. The "Tales of Hoffman" 20 years ago in its utter kinkiness was simply embarrassing.

"Sister Angelica" had the nuns sing lying face down and the protagonist herself on her back and also with her arms attached to a pole as on a cross towards the end of the opera in "expiation". Those non-Christians who were the bulk of the audience will walk away thinking that nuns live in black holes and are not allowed to pet or keep sheep--not exactly the rustic monastery from the "Sound of Music". (Angelica's aunt was also dressed up like a female Darth Vader and sang like a cross between Ulrica and Azucena on a bad day.) But if there is any visual misrepresentation, it is Puccini's fault who was exploiting perhaps the dark side of monastery life for its shock value on stage. Strangely enough, though, in Schicchi, keeping the money out of the hands of "fat monks" was the reason for futzing the will. I wonder if anyone else noticed that contradiction. Oh well.

The turbulent, even violent dramaticism of the operas, especially the first two do not lend themsevles to singing in the conventional sense, rather intense shrieks and shouts except for short monologues. This is "verismo" where life becomes art and art supposedly becomes life. So if one didn't hear a lot of Bel Canto the fault can also be ascribed to Puccini.

The orchestra deftly accompanied throughout and kept a good pace but in the "O Mio Babbino Caro" a short aria for a young girl in "Schicchi" simply drowned her out. Due to her lack of development, she had no business on an opera stage but people in the audience applauded her "college try".

One wonders WHAT THE POINT is in expending so much effort and capital for this kind of "entertainment", whether it is supposed to be educationally uplifting or something to see live performances rather than much better examplars on film. But "Opera" itself is problematic especially for the alleged need to trot out the SAME relatively few operas that have been written 100-200 years ago but are repeated as nauseam. The New Israel Opera is as largely conventional and tradition bound as the Old one in their choice of repertoire.


This arrogant and insulting “review” is disgusting.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 14, 2007, 02:12:57 PM
He better not!!!  $:)

Just read in this month's Opera that Peter Sellars has produced Tristan und Isolde! Is this already a done deed and is anybody familiar with it? Semyon Bychkov will conduct it in Japan next July and at the Opéra Bastille in November 2008.

There are some Sellar's productions I even like, but if he messes with MY Tristan und Isolde he is in a heap of trouble!  $:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 15, 2007, 06:22:28 PM
In the mean time I have been informed that Sellars's production of Tristan und Isolde is Kalter Kaffe, already happened long time ago, but my senior moments interfered. Here is the review our absent friend Nigel wrote:




Wagner – Tristan und Isolde
Opéra National de Paris – Bastille, April 28 2005

Conductor: Esa Pekka Salonen. Production: Peter Sellars. Stage design: Bill Viola. Lighting: James F. Ingalls. Costumes: Martin Pakledinaz. Chorus master: Peter Burian. Tristan: Ben Heppner. König Marke: Franz-Josef Selig. Isolde: Waltraud Meier. Kurwenal: Jukka Rasilainen. Brangäne: Yvonne Naef. Ein Hirt/Ein junger Seemann: Toby Spence. Melot: Alexander Marco-Buhrmester. Ein Steuermann: David Bizic. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris.

Remember Anna Russell? Like Brünnhilde in her 20-minute Ring, it sometimes seems to me that Peter Sellars, the former enfant terrible of opera productions, has in recent years completely gone to pieces, espousing a sententious, sentimental, old hippie/new age, vaguely moralising style (El Niño, L’Amour de loin…) And now, in Bill Viola, he’s found a friend. Well, I’m an old hippie too, but I grew out of it. OK, I’ve given up smoking, but I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t wear Birkenstocks or homespun tunics, I don’t collect pebbles and light candles around the house, I don’t hug trees…

So these videos of Viola’s that are supposed to be the bee’s knees in this production did little for me. They were best at their grainiest and most abstract, worst when they looked like a Nina Ricci commercial. However, they were uninteresting enough not to be a distraction. The otherwise bare, black platform and dark clothes, neat blocking, tidy lighting and well-rehearsed movements made for a good, chic semi-staging; but, with Sellars’ and Viola’s fees and technical costs, presumably the most expensive semi-staging in the history of opera.

The last time I saw Tristan was in Vienna, with Voigt. I admit I can see, now, why people have said she “is not really Isolde.” She was noble, imperious and defiant, visibly in control, and the silvery voice was gleaming and confident, with ringing top notes. Waltraud Meier plays a more vulnerable, “broken” character more in keeping with the tortured texts. The voice, of course, is totally different: coppery bronze, with gorgeous sounds in the medium and upper medium and enough experience to turn trouble at the top to dramatic effect. If Meier has been through a sticky patch (I was told her voice, at a recital not so long ago, was “in ribbons”), she has certainly emerged triumphant. The one minor problem was the lack of contrast with Yvonne Naef’s resounding (occasionally squally) Brangäne: you had to “read their lips” to check who was singing.

After his well-known ups and downs, Heppner also seems to have emerged better than ever. The last time I heard him at the Bastille, the voice was rather ethereal. It has taken on body, and the rest… well, everyone knows what a marvellous voice it is, and for once we hear the role sung: shaped and phrased and nuanced and coloured – and acted.

The rest of the cast was strong, with the possible exception of a braying Kurwenal, and included the surprising, very English tones of Toby Spence, appearing on a balcony high up at the sides - as did the chorus, the cor anglais and the fanfares: Sellars had at least to do something to earn his fees!

Salonen went for his customary clarity and transparency of texture – you might even say a deliberately French sound, in contrast with the all-enveloping Vienna velvet - but also for some slow tempi – the Prelude, for a start. The orchestra was not as at home, I thought, in Wagner as in the recent War & Peace. The audience, having coughed their lungs out without reserve and received phone calls as if they couldn’t give a damn, roared their approval. One loan boo for the conductor, soon shouted down, but the players stayed in the pit to applaud the stage: always a good sign
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 15, 2007, 09:37:41 PM

This arrogant and insulting “review” is disgusting.

Excuse me, paying the equivalent of $75 to hear Russo-Italian is disgusting.
Having less than a handful of professionals interact with rank amateurs is putting the wool over the eyes of the public, or is it "cloak"?
 
ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 16, 2007, 01:15:36 AM
Excuse me, paying the equivalent of $75 to hear Russo-Italian is disgusting.
Having less than a handful of professionals interact with rank amateurs is putting the wool over the eyes of the public, or is it "cloak"?

I have no intention in analyzing your post line by line. I also attended the NIO performance of Il Trittico. You think that the performance was awful with many unprofessional singers. As someone who knows the opera very well, I think that your review is awfully unprofessional and petty and gives a very poor and distorted impression of the show that was directed by Giancarlo del Monaco, a very well known opera director. You are of course entitled not to like what you have heard and seen but I hope that I have the right not to like what I have read.

But what I find the most disgusting of all are those stereotypical generalizations: in this tower-of-babble country everyone speaks at least one language correctly. Most Israelis speak very good HEBREW, others speak very good RUSSIAN a.s.o. Many speak more than one language fluently.

I resent your use of the term "Russian invasion" for the immigration of Jews from Russia to Israel. There are plenty of very talented musicians among the immigrants, singers too. Your nasty disrespect for them as a group is outrageous. Many of them perform all over the globe and are desirable artists. I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev. All the cast of about 17 solo singers, sing in Italian with a very prominent Russian pronunciation. But this performance was not recorded in Tel-Aviv but at the center of the world: Le theatre du Chatelet in Paris…

But anyhow if you suffer so much from the unprofessional nature of the singers at the NIO why did you spend $75 for a ticket? You can get a very good recording of Il Trittico for much less. I can recommend a few options…
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 04:44:03 AM

I have no intention in analyzing your post line by line. I also attended the NIO performance of Il Trittico. You think that the performance was awful with many unprofessional singers. As someone who knows the opera very well, I think that your review is awfully unprofessional and petty and gives a very poor and distorted impression of the show that was directed by Giancarlo del Monaco, a very well known opera director. You are of course entitled not to like what you have heard and seen but I hope that I have the right not to like what I have read.

But what I find the most disgusting of all are those stereotypical generalizations: in this tower-of-babble country everyone speaks at least one language correctly. Most Israelis speak very good HEBREW, others speak very good RUSSIAN a.s.o. Many speak more than one language fluently.

I resent your use of the term "Russian invasion" for the immigration of Jews from Russia to Israel. There are plenty of very talented musicians among the immigrants, singers too. Your nasty disrespect for them as a group is outrageous. Many of them perform all over the globe and are desirable artists. I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev. All the cast of about 17 solo singers, sing in Italian with a very prominent Russian pronunciation. But this performance was not recorded in Tel-Aviv but at the center of the world: Le theatre du Chatelet in Paris…

But anyhow if you suffer so much from the unprofessional nature of the singers at the NIO why did you spend $75 for a ticket? You can get a very good recording of Il Trittico for much less. I can recommend a few options…


Get a grip, T-C. I'm sure you speak many languages well but maybe you can't recognize some good natured irony.

As for the "Russian Invasion", there are only about 1 million of them who on the whole didn't immigrate for the love of Zion but to get OUT of the former Soviet Union and get better social rights. Why should I respect them or any social group for that matter? People in groups are simply meant to be satirized. But joking aside, I 've been in quite a few institutions where they more or less take over and operate according to Bolshie norms. I've never seen such a group of people who know how to work a system for their own benefit, step on anyone else who gets in the way, lie like a rug as a matter of course to promote themselves, are extremely competitive and manipulative, use all the animilistic survival techniques that one needs in order to avoid going to labor camps in Siberia. Humanistic, liberal values were not exactly the norm over there for 70 years.

A friend of mine singing in New York no less was telling me how several of the abovementioned were purposely tripping her up by giving false cues in an opera. One English dancer for that matter, in a film about herself in Russia on Mezzo TV several months ago says it is STILL a whole different artistic world over there--cutthroat competition. The women all come to class completely made up. (Come to think about it, that is the way they go to the supermarket.)

But in general the professional baggage (that I'm familiar with in teaching) they come with is authoritarian and unsuited for the 21st century. Most of those who have had Russian teachers complain about their strictness and closemindedness. Maybe these traits worked in an authoritarian society but they don't pan out very well in the West.
The Soviet Union was caught in a time warp and closed off from the outside world for more than half a century. What can one expect anyway?

Vocally, and that is my area of expertise, closed Russian vowels do not go with Italian. Maybe you didn't notice but for me it was waving a red flag anytime those Russiot sang. Of course, SOME may have overcome their training and went on to become great as you mentioned. (English speakers have to be trained out of diphthongs, etc., so this is nothing surprising or new.) But I just felt those who sang with such unclean vowels didn't bother to do their homework, in other words, humbly learn what one needs to do in order to sing in another language with respect. But if it didn't make any difference to you, then most probably it didn't bother the majority either who also don't know.

HOWEVER, there would be NO WAY this "Triptych" could be done AS IS in Europe and the US without being taken to the cleaners and MUCH WORSE than what I have written.

ZB

PS A modest estimate is that more than 50% of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union are NOT Jewish.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 05:12:20 AM
I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev. All the cast of about 17 solo singers, sing in Italian with a very prominent Russian pronunciation.

Dio mio! Russified Italian! Why not sing Italian opera with thick English accents as well? I don't know WHAT the reasons for finally putting out the DVD. It might have had to do with honoring contracts and not being able to find replacements for 17 soloists. Rossini surely would have died a second time. If ANY composer KNEW how to meld the Italian language to singing, it was he. In a broadcast film Schwartzkopf was trying to impress upon a student in a masterclass the INDISPENSIBLE NECESSITY of respect towards the language in German Lied. Comme il faut.

ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 05:44:14 AM
If this makes you feel better, T-C, the singing in "Marriage of Figaro", "Faust", "Tales of Hoffman" was comme il faut in the NIO. But that was more than 15-20 years ago. Strangely enough several years ago in "Onegin" a friend complained about some of the Russian pronunciation. But really, turnabout should be fair play...

ZB

edited uffeviking
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 16, 2007, 06:47:11 AM
Get a grip, T-C. I'm sure you speak many languages well but maybe you can't recognize some good natured irony.

It is possible.


Quote
Why should I respect them or any social group for that matter? 

More generalizations. Even if it is true for the majority it hardly justifies treating badly a person you really don’t know because he/she belongs to a certain group. This is some kind of racism which I think is totally invalid.


Quote
But in general the professional baggage (that I'm familiar with in teaching) they come with is authoritarian and unsuited for the 21st century. Most of those who have had Russian teachers complain about their strictness and closemindedness.

The fact is that Russian singers are singing all over the world. They are part of casts in the most distinguished opera houses. Some of them are the most cherished opera singers today.


Quote
Vocally, and that is my area of expertise, closed Russian vowels do not go with Italian.

I would like to know what Hvorostovsky has to say about it…


Quote
But I just felt those who sang with such unclean vowels didn't bother to do their homework, in other words, humbly learn what one needs to do in order to sing in another language with respect.

I have a collection of 700 DVDs of opera productions from all around the world. I have a few examples of Italian singers singing VERY badly in excellent Italian. Pronunciation is not everything.


Quote
HOWEVER, there would be NO WAY this "Triptych" could be done AS IS in Europe and the US without being taken to the cleaners and MUCH WORSE than what I have written.

This is pure demagogy. All the critics that I read in the Hebrew newspapers and every one of my opera addicted acquaintances (I have a few dozens) got totally another impression. While it was agreed that it was not a perfect evening, it was neither the fiasco you are implying (that in case someone other than you knows something about opera…  ;))
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 07:37:21 AM
More generalizations. Even if it is true for the majority it hardly justifies treating badly a person you really don’t know because he/she belongs to a certain group. This is some kind of racism which I think is totally invalid.

Racism! When you can't think of anything else, pull out the R card! If anything, THAT is demogogery--treating someone (me) badly that you don't know. How did YOU get there from Russo-Italiano? Why don't you just come out and call me an anti-semite because I didn't like how the Italian language was mistreated at a 'night at the opera'?

I was just going over in my mind some of the scenes where there was TOTAL incongruity between the accents. It reminds me of films in which British and American English are all bolluxed up. You have to keep shifting gears in order to understand and not be distracted. Really, diction is a perfectly valid concern in professional singing.

The fact is that Russian singers are singing all over the world. They are part of casts in the most distinguished opera houses. Some of them are the most cherished opera singers today.

Harasho for them. There are British, New Zealanders, French, German, American, Italian, African singers, too.
So what?

I would like to know what Hvorostovsky has to say about it…

...has to say about Italian diction? The norm is that one seeks out native speakers to check one's diction. (Singers do it ALL the time, or should.) This is like fingering on the piano, attention to DETAIL. Except for the men who sang abroad, no one ever apparently heard of open and closed o and e, not to mention double consonants, etc. Why bother to study such things anymore if they are unimportant?

I have a collection of 700 DVDs of opera productions from all around the world. I have a few examples of Italian singers singing VERY badly in excellent Italian. Pronunciation is not everything.

Oh heck, they have the right to sing badly as it is THEIR language.

This is pure demagogy. All the critics that I read in the Hebrew newspapers and every one of my opera addicted acquaintances (I have a few dozens) got totally another impression. While it was agreed that it was not a perfect evening, it was neither the fiasco you are implying (that in case someone other than you knows something about opera…  ;))

I wouldn't believe much of what is printed in newspapers. In fact, I don't believe ANYTHING from the press in any language. When was the last time they printed any unbiased information, let alone truth? In satire there is more truth, in my opinion. But you are so virtuous that you wouldn't ever watch (let alone laugh at) the skewering of different groups in "Nice Country" on TV. That and Jon Stewart (roasting US society) are the two programs I look forward to.

ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 16, 2007, 08:15:59 AM
I withdraw from this discussion. It is useless.

And no, I didn’t say anything about Anti-Semitism. Obviously you have something against Russian people from all religions…

Have a nice day ! 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 11:00:21 AM
First of all I did not write a screed about the Trittico. I said the third part was delightful, the pace and orchestra were good as were the male singers in general.

There is a fundamental point about language which cannot be ignored in opera and seems to have been missed totally. But I'll give an analogy that might illustrate this better before trying to explain once again. A Shakespearean play is usually done in the King's (or Queen's) English even if props or setting may be more modern. Now, imagine a Texas accent popping up suddenly, or Boston or South African. This first of all would be distracting since Shakespeare is first and foremost, language.

Some films over the years have been very weird in this respect. A famous oldie is "Waterloo Bridge" where the soldier (American) and born-to-the-manor mom (British) are supposed to be Scottish!! Once you apply cognitive dissonance and get that out of the way, you can trace the story line. Recent films like "Braveheart" also have a perplexing mix of accents.

But opera written by composers who were connoisseurs of the voice like Rossini and Puccini, who calibrated every note according to the inflection of the Italian language cannot be dismissed so easily.
Vocal production based on pure vowels is an indispensable part of the kind of classic artistic singing over the past 400 years in Western Europe. The introduction of Vaccai's exercises gives a short testament to this particular necessity.  Any great singer over the past 100 years or so for which there are recordings as opposed to those we could never hope to hear, had excellent diction.

There had been complaints about not being able to understand a singer like Sutherland. Her diction was not bad, or unItalianate, however. Having to choose between beauty of tone (believe it or not, there are many conundrums like this in music and decisions to be made) she chose the pure vowel and not the syllable. Maria Callas went the other way and sacrificed at times the pleasantness of the tone in order to accommodate the word or dramatic meaning.

But this instance was different in that the nationality of the singer trumped the character. So as in "Waterloo Bridge" one was constantly reminded that there was a contradiction between what he was supposed to be everytime he opened his mouth.

From the time the Mother Superior appeared on stage with her thick Slavic accent, I could not concentrate on the opera. Such production from her and other characters affected the musical interpretation as well. A reverse situation is when opera singers try to cross over into popular music.If they don't change their basic production, it is ALWAYS a distraction, so much that one can't enjoy or concentrate on the music.

The attitude behind all this, that also bothered me, is that the "music should fit me" and not that "I should fit the music". Look at Anna Moffo and Maria Callas. They both were born and raised in the US, yet they worked VERY HARD to achieve an exceptional Italian diction.

And I'm also sorry to say that this kind of attitude is not unknown to a certain crude aggressiveness that is expressed in other areas of life as well by certain people.

ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: MishaK on July 16, 2007, 12:03:58 PM
A Shakespearean play is usually done in the King's (or Queen's) English even if props or setting may be more modern. Now, imagine a Texas accent popping up suddenly, or Boston or South African. This first of all would be distracting since Shakespeare is first and foremost, language.

My sister claims that the best production of Macbeth she ever saw was in Zulu.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 16, 2007, 12:23:31 PM
 ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: grandma on July 16, 2007, 03:38:43 PM
I'd like to say that if anyone wants to cringe, he should listen to the way Pavarotti sings "Oh Holy Night" on his Christmas album.  Talk about butchering the language.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 16, 2007, 06:42:56 PM

 I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev.


T-C I had already ordered this DVD even before I read your recommendation because I read a very nice review of it in this month's Opera magazine. The production showcases young singers from the Academy of the Maryinsky Theatre, run by Gergiev's sister Larissa Gergieva. I applaud giving young singers the exposure to an international audience via this Opus Arte DVD.

And isn't this horse a beauty?  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 16, 2007, 09:22:55 PM
[And isn't this horse a beauty?  :)

It is.

Lis, I’m quite sure you will like it. This is not a regular opera production. The orchestra is seated on the stage so here and there you get a glimpse of Gargiev that is doing an excellent job with the Kirov orchestra. The singers perform in front of the orchestra and on a platform, which goes into the audience seats.

Most of the singers are very young and unknown. Some of them sing with a very prominent Slavic pronunciation, but after ten minutes it didn’t bother me at all.

I was especially impressed with the soprano Larissa Youdina singing brilliant coloratura with a glowing blonde hairdo (Marilyn Monroe's style…), Anna Kiknadze with a beautiful and deep Mezzo, and the powerful tenor of Daniil Shtoda.

Vocally, It is not a perfect performance, but a very enjoyable one. You can read Nigel review about it in his blog.

In the middle : Larissa Youdina     

(http://www.opusarte.com/productGallery_images/79425445/Viaggio1.jpg)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 16, 2007, 10:56:56 PM
I just want to add to my previous post that the MUSIC is affected in the WAY one sings. When Pavarotti and Kiri cross over to more popular music without getting rid of their operatic timbre, the character of the music is changed. But not only that, those who sing know that solving musical problems frequently revert to for instance, making a purer vowel in order to get a purer sound. And this all affects breathing as well. Which in turn affects phrasing.

Translating in toto is a risky business and successful only to a certain point. (But preferable to singing the original language improperly.) Callas even sang Parsifal in Italian but for sure something must have gotten lost in the translation. But I am not talking about that. Keeping the original language and not doing all the homework either through carelessness and egoism is reprehensible. Opera is not just sticking syllables to music. Neither is Lied.

Someone said that one could construct the original score by just transcribing what Callas did. If someone like her can evince humility towards the composer and librettist, lesser mortals can be cautious about diving in where angels fear to tread. Also it has been said that the two Empresses of music divided up the territory--the German repertoire for Schwartzkopf  and the Italian for Callas. Conceivably either of the two would have been very competent musically to sing the other's repertoire. But they also knew that it wasn't as simple as all that. It takes a thorough grounding of the culture to do it right.

There was not a hair out of place when Crespin sang French. How do the rest of us DARE?
Really, I think such a lax attitude is the reason why there are NO women singers these days on the level of the previous greats.  Their alleged secret was working hard and strangely enough, humility.

ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2007, 12:42:26 AM
ZB, Surely we would be loosing out on a great deal of music making if people only performed the music they were steeped in culturally and when their language skills were perfect. People have to learn and the Rossini production was done seemingly with great success by unusually young singers. According to the reviews I read they brought all sorts of special qualities and clear enjoyment to their work.

Schwartzkopf sang plenty of Italian roles, she even sang Traviata and whether she gave it up on watching Callas is beside the point. There was only one Callas and she could not exactly spread herself across the world's opera houses. Lesser singers have to make a living and provide what insights and pleasure they can, often not inconsiderable.

The insistence on perfection is a kind of ideological fascism in itself and although I don't like hearing Italian clearly mangled, I am nevertheless happy to hear and see promising artists regarding them as works in progress. My understanding is that most Western singers do not sound remotely Russian to native speakers. I would be reluctant to suggest they give the idea up as a bad job and leave it just to the Eastern block singers to bring the pieces to life.

As to holding up Crespin as some sort of nonpareil; I provided on another thread good evidence that she sang flat and frankly I would prefer a singer who can reach the notes, even if the French is not perfect.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 17, 2007, 04:20:27 AM
T-C mentioned Nigel's review of the Rossini opera under discussion. Looked for it, found it - and some day I'll learn how to fabricate the short cut; but since previous posts have been lengthy I am confident this excellent critique by our friend will be easy reading, even the lovely horse Princegets honerouble mention in the cast list!

Rossini – Il viaggio a Reims
Théâtre du Châtelet – Paris, Monday December 12 2005

Conductor: Valery Gergiev. Production: Alaina Maratrat. Corinna: Irma Guigolachvili. Marchesa Melibea: Anna Kiknadze. Contessa di Folleville: Larissa Youdina. Madama Cortese: Anastastia Belyaeva. Cavalier Belfiore: Dmitir Voropaev. Conte di Libenskof: Daniil Shtoda. Lord Sidney: Edouard Tsanga. Don Profondo: Nikolaï Kamenski. Barone di Trombonok: Vladislav Ouspenski. Don Alvaro: Alexeï Safioulin. Don Luigino: Andreï Ilioushnikov. Maddalena: Elena Sommer. Modestina: Olga Kitchenko. Antonio: Pavel Shmoulevich. Orchestra of the Mariinski Theatre, St Petersburg. Mariinski Theatre Academy for Young Singers. And the horse, Prince.

If this second Viaggio of the season played with a 30-minute interval I suspect it was only because French bank Crédit Agricole needed the half-hour to pour champagne down the throats of the numerous and assorted bigwigs invited for their Christmas treat. Certainly, time flies when you’re having fun, and as we were all having an absolute whale of a time, thanks to these grinning, enthusiastic youngsters, the evening sped by (apart from waiting for Gergiev, who seems to make a point of being late) and we could have managed, for once, without.

Productions quite often spill out into the house, but they rarely break down to this extent the conventions more usually upheld between audience and performers. Music is conventionally listened to in silence, but here singers dangling their legs over the apron commented to the front rows while their colleagues sang taxing solos, and when the countess’s giant, striped hat-box arrived, from the very rear of the house, the orchestra was inaudible over the din of the chorus shouting to the audience to pass it over their heads to the stage.

In any case, the stage was everywhere: the pit was covered, and the white stage extended in a T-shaped catwalk into the house, boxing in some of the richer patrons, with steps wherever feasible. The opera started (15 minutes late, of course) with Mariinski Theatre cleaners hoovering in front of the curtain, apparently surprised to find an audience there. Then the noise began, all around, as singers and players poured in from every side (in costumes hovering somewhere between the 30s and the 50s) with their suitcases, and the curtain went up to reveal the inside of a round, seaside tent with, to the left, a tall lifeguard’s tower topped with a striped awning and to the rear, the Mariinski orchestra all – male and female – in white tails like a big band at Blackpool. Even the music stands were white.

The kids romped through a funny, highly professional production with a few effective props, and perhaps the high point of the evening was the arrival of Corinne (which involved getting a number of audience members to leave their seats to make way: never seen that before either…) in a vast, conical mountain of crushed white chiffon and huge, beehive hair all – dress and hair – lit from within. The audience lapped it up and was consequently – and rightly - indulgent as to the singing.

Casting students in Il viaggio seems a madcap idea: it was more or less a “royal command” work for the coronation of Charles X and Rossini was able to call on and compose for a dozen top singers. But I suppose when you’re touring your opera studio you need a showcase for as many of your best singers as you can thrust forward, and for that Il viaggio is ideal – the alternative being the less feasible War & Peace.

Naturally, the result was stylistically un-PC, with the wrong kinds of voice in the wrong roles, not to mention the Mariinski’s distinctive sound sounding distinctly odd, trumpets especially, in Rossini (but what a superb flute obbligato for Lord Sidney).

The singing varied considerably: Melibea had a presence bigger than her voice; Don Alvaro, in black leather from head to toe, was clearly chosen for his sex-appeal rather than his intonation…. while on the other hand, the Cavalier Belfiore was a very promising tenorino and, crazy though it may sound, in Irma Guigolachvili’s Corinna I thought I heard a voice like Caballé’s: this girl has power, presence and temperament, she already has a sense of style, of shading and phrasing and for now she has agility… I could hear her in Norma today and in the big Verdi roles later. One to watch.

The other one to watch will be Daniil Shtoda, not a huge tenor voice, but nevertheless musical, ringing and all in tune – including at the very top – where the production allowed them all to hold their notes hammily. I thought of the young Carreras, when he was still singing Rossini. But Shtoda, I learned later, has already sung Lensky in Paris, so he’s hardly a student…

Larissa Youdina, done up as a 50s blonde bimbo in a Marilyn wig and striped balloon dress, has the kind of “nightingale” voice that hasn’t been heard much in the west since coloratura sopranos crossed over into musicals in the 30s… Very high and rather hard, with rapid vibrato… I wonder what roles she’ll be able to take on outside Russia.

Don Profondo was sung by a young man with a big grin, floppy hair and rosy cheeks clearly cut out for a career as the drunken vagabond who’s so traditional a feature of the Russian repertoire. And finally, I’d like to put in word for Pavel Shmulevich as Antonio. Not much of a part, but what striking elegance he brought to it.

You don’t often get quite so much fun in an opera house, nor do you often hear quite so much wild applause…

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on July 17, 2007, 04:43:31 AM
I'd like to say that if anyone wants to cringe, he should listen to the way Pavarotti sings "Oh Holy Night" on his Christmas album.  Talk about butchering the language.

Thank you. Next time I fancy cringing I'll have this to refer to.

Last night at the Proms (16/7) Pappano conducted his Santa Cecilia orchestra in Rossini's Stabat Mater with not one Latin singer among the lineup of soloists (British, American, South African and Russian).

It was brilliant!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2007, 04:50:21 AM
I guess native Latin singers are now somewhat long in the tooth.

I have ordered the Rossini opera and while I was at it I ordered a well thought of Norma, Caballe, Vickers...sorry Lis, I know he sets your teeth on edge, but I promise not to write to you while he is singing.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 17, 2007, 08:39:32 AM
Vickers...sorry Lis, I know he sets your teeth on edge, but I promise not to write to you while he is singing.

Mike

Never fear, Luv, I have trained my ears to automatically shut down when the first note from his vocal chords gets within one mile!  :-*

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 17, 2007, 08:53:15 AM
ZB, Surely we would be loosing out on a great deal of music making if people only performed the music they were steeped in culturally and when their language skills were perfect. People have to learn and the Rossini production was done seemingly with great success by unusually young singers...

The insistence on perfection is a kind of ideological fascism in itself and although I don't like hearing Italian clearly mangled, I am nevertheless happy to hear and see promising artists regarding them as works in progress. My understanding is that most Western singers do not sound remotely Russian to native speakers. I would be reluctant to suggest they give the idea up as a bad job and leave it just to the Eastern block singers to bring the pieces to life.

As to holding up Crespin as some sort of nonpareil; I provided on another thread good evidence that she sang flat and frankly I would prefer a singer who can reach the notes, even if the French is not perfect.
Mike

No one is insisting on perfection and having good diction doesn't mean to sacrifice good tone or vice versa. Crespin, in my opinion, once she stopped promoting herself as a soprano and accepted herself as a mezzo came into her own and stopped singing flat. I like young artists too performing in college and all. Maybe I'm out of it and opera in the 21st century is just having a good time, using the works of composers in a different way than they could have imagined. Parody, in a way. I have a REAL hard time with Russo-Italian as the basic production is so different. Almost a month ago I was present at a vocal recital that allegedly had Italian songs and arias. This particular teacher/singer didn't have a clue about Italian, nor was she interested. Probably this was the way they did it in her country of origin and rightly intuited that no one really bothers about such things anymore.

But no greatness will come out of such a trival approach because attention to detail is what made the greats great.
(I also must be a dinosaur if I revere Vickers, which I do...)
ZB
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2007, 09:22:54 AM
Vickers is a great favourite of mine, but he did not exactly produce his voice in the typically conventional way. Indeed it strikes me he took great risks in his vocal technique. Also, his French is not idiomatic at all. Even I can tell. Despite this, he remains at the top of the tree as far as I am concerned.

I must have misunderstood your posts, as I rather gained the impression that attention to the language and mastery of it was a prerequisite. Things do change and not always for the better. But we need to look and listen on a case by case basis.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on July 17, 2007, 09:44:08 PM
But we need to look and listen on a case by case basis.
Mike

Thanks for saying the above. You really extracted the correct view. If it is generally agreed that a production will be a camp up or a parody just to have fun, there is nothing wrong with that. Viaggio in Rheims is not exactly Iphegenia in Aulide or Medea in Corinth.

ZB

PS Vickers in Fidelio is really summa cum laude.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 18, 2007, 04:31:36 AM

PS Vickers in Fidelio is really summa cum laude.

Make that Vickers in just about anything.

He consdered his greatest part to be Parsifal. With all the live broadcasts that are flooding the market, I am surprised no performance of his in the part seems to have surfaced.

Mike

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: grandma on July 18, 2007, 03:25:40 PM
ZB

[quote PS Vickers in Fidelio is really summa cum laude.
[/quote]

I couldn't agree more!  He is the best.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 19, 2007, 03:10:51 AM
EMI will release DVDs of five of the 2007-2008 Metropolitan Opera productions here:

Met and EMI to Release 5 Operas on DVD (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/07/18/entertainment/e123248D41.DTL&sn=002&sc=873)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 19, 2007, 04:55:59 AM
Thank you, T-C - did you too notice there still is no DVD of Karita's Salome?  :'(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on July 19, 2007, 05:13:12 AM
Thank you, T-C - did you too notice there still is no DVD of Karita's Salome?  :'(

Maybe now there is a better chance…
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on July 24, 2007, 02:17:25 AM
This is not exactly a piece of news but since there's at least one Wojtek Drabowicz fan in the Opera and Vocal section (wink, wink, Lis), I thought I'd mention the fact that I posted a large song cycle by Eugeniusz Knapik in the Knapik thread, and Drabowicz is one of the two featured vocalists. Fans of late-romantic song cycles (Strauss, Mahler) are bound to enjoy this.

Here's a link to the appropriate post:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,610.msg60306.html#msg60306 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,610.msg60306.html#msg60306)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on August 05, 2007, 06:21:02 PM
Glyndebourne goes to the movies, says the headline in the Newsdesk section of this month's Opera. I  quote:

"Glyndebourne is to become the first British opera house to screen it's work in the cinema. Following the example of the Met, Glyndebourne has announced a partnership with ODEON cinemas in ten cities and towns (including London, Tunbridge Wells, Guildford, Cardiff, Brighton, Oxford, Harrogate and Manchester-other to be confirmed). The first confirmend dates are September 27, October 26 and November 29; the productions will be Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte and another still to be agreed. Ticket prices are to start at £7.50. See www.odeon.co.uk for more information.

Good news for our friends in the UK!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on August 06, 2007, 12:32:45 PM
Glyndebourne goes to the movies, says the headline in the Newsdesk section of this month's Opera. I  quote:

"Glyndebourne is to become the first British opera house to screen it's work in the cinema. Following the example of the Met, Glyndebourne has announced a partnership with ODEON cinemas in ten cities and towns (including London, Tunbridge Wells, Guildford, Cardiff, Brighton, Oxford, Harrogate and Manchester-other to be confirmed). The first confirmend dates are September 27, October 26 and November 29; the productions will be Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte and another still to be agreed. Ticket prices are to start at £7.50. See www.odeon.co.uk for more information.

Good news for our friends in the UK!  ;D

This is great news.  I hope they eventually extend the plan so we can see these in the U.S. as well.  (I'd settle for seeing a taped version later, though.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Joan on August 13, 2007, 08:31:31 PM
Good news about the Glyndebourne broadcasts!

Here's a nice article I just saw about the growth of opera attendance in the U.S. It's probably old news to most of you, but it's a nice change from the usual "classical music is dying" complaints:

http://www.american.com/archive/2007/july-august-magazine-contents/america2019s-opera-boom (http://www.american.com/archive/2007/july-august-magazine-contents/america2019s-opera-boom)

Quote: In the most comprehensive recent study, the National Endowment for the Arts found that between 1982 and 2002, total attendance at live opera performances grew 46 percent.


Title: Change in Met's 'Doctor Atomic' plans
Post by: Wendell_E on August 15, 2007, 04:55:06 PM
Previously, it had been announced that when the Met does John Adams' Doctor Atomic in October 2008, it'd be a revised version of the Peter Sellars world-premiere San Francisco production (which will be seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago next season). But now, according to the latest press release (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=360 (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=360)) at the Met's website, it'll be a new co-production by the Met and the English National Opera.

According to Peter Gelb: “In the case of Doctor Atomic, I believe that this monumental work by John Adams is of such merit that it deserves a production created uniquely for our two stages.”

The director will be Penny Woolcock, who directed the film version of Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer.

The press release also talks about the upcoming Osvaldo Golijov commision, which will also be a co-production with ENO.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on August 15, 2007, 05:30:26 PM
Super news in more ways than one, Wendell! Not only will we have a good chance of getting a DVD release of Doctor Atomic, Mr. Gelb seems to be on the way to eliminate rivalries between different venues, with the cooperation of the ENO of course. Doesn't that put a smile on the faces of us opera lovers?  :)

Thank you, Wendell!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on August 15, 2007, 06:14:45 PM
The mention of Glyndebourne reminded me that I had just finished watching the 1982 DVD of Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck featuring Janet Baker as Orfeo and Raymond Leppard conducting the London Philharmonic.  What a beautiful opera!  The music is gorgeous.  At this moment I prefer Gluck's version to Monteverdi's.
Title: Re: Change in Met's 'Doctor Atomic' plans
Post by: Brewski on August 16, 2007, 08:38:17 AM
Previously, it had been announced that when the Met does John Adams' Doctor Atomic in October 2008, it'd be a revised version of the Peter Sellars world-premiere San Francisco production (which will be seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago next season). But now, according to the latest press release (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=360 (http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=360)) at the Met's website, it'll be a new co-production by the Met and the English National Opera.

According to Peter Gelb: “In the case of Doctor Atomic, I believe that this monumental work by John Adams is of such merit that it deserves a production created uniquely for our two stages.”

The director will be Penny Woolcock, who directed the film version of Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer.

The press release also talks about the upcoming Osvaldo Golijov commision, which will also be a co-production with ENO.

This is great news - thanks for posting it.  And I'm delighted that Gelb is so taken with the work that he thinks it needs a new production.  (I didn't see the San Francisco one, but a number of friends did, and mostly liked it.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 20, 2007, 11:32:01 AM
Re the Adams production..."uniquely for our two stages".  Is that English? Anyway; ENO needs any prestigious partner it can get as things have been rather shakey there in every way recently.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on September 21, 2007, 09:17:39 AM
Katharina Wagner and Christian Thielemann announced in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung their plan to work together running the Bayreuth Festival. Her father, Wolfgang Wagner, applauded the plan, but he is still in command of course. In November the Stiftungsrat der Festspiele will discuss the succession.

Anybody good in German, here is the article, I can not find the English version:

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub4D7EDEFA6BB3438E85981C05ED63D788/Doc~EAA67D32D4E03482AB54DA947BE2AFB5C~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on September 21, 2007, 09:20:13 AM
Katharina and Christian:

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Novi on September 21, 2007, 12:38:39 PM
Glyndebourne goes to the movies, says the headline in the Newsdesk section of this month's Opera. I  quote:

"Glyndebourne is to become the first British opera house to screen it's work in the cinema. Following the example of the Met, Glyndebourne has announced a partnership with ODEON cinemas in ten cities and towns (including London, Tunbridge Wells, Guildford, Cardiff, Brighton, Oxford, Harrogate and Manchester-other to be confirmed). The first confirmend dates are September 27, October 26 and November 29; the productions will be Tristan und Isolde, Così fan tutte and another still to be agreed. Ticket prices are to start at £7.50. See www.odeon.co.uk for more information.

Good news for our friends in the UK!  ;D

No Edinburgh? :'(

That is very friendly ticket pricing. When they screened a couple of the Met productions at our local arthouse cinema, it was 3 or 4 times that. I'd love to see Tristan.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on September 21, 2007, 02:55:23 PM
About Katharina Wagner and Christian Thielemann teaming up for continuing Richard Wagner's tradition, maybe we shall have another Boulez - Chereau cooperation in the works!  ;D

Thielemann being a very strong-willed conductor and negotiator, I believe he is capable of controlling Katharina, preventing her from creating another fiasco as she did with he Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on September 26, 2007, 10:58:21 AM
Brokeback Mountain—the opera.

No, seriously:  http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/news/pressrelease.aspx?id=1459 (http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/news/pressrelease.aspx?id=1459)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on September 26, 2007, 11:10:41 AM
Brokeback Mountain—the opera.

No, seriously:  http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/news/pressrelease.aspx?id=1459 (http://www.metoperafamily.org/operanews/news/pressrelease.aspx?id=1459)

It's a bit startling, isn't it!  With all respect to Wuorinen (whose work I admire) I'm not sure I would have imagined him doing this project.  On the other hand, I'm not sure whom I would have thought of, either. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on September 26, 2007, 11:12:52 AM
A pity Copland was not around for it.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 02, 2007, 05:59:21 AM
Fascinating and titillating news can be found when surfing during GMG's time on vacation! From classical music's two great geniuses, Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chereau a new concept of building a venue providing space for all of the performing arts. Pierre Audi of De Nederlandse Opera took a tentative step with his direction of the Ring in the 1999 production, making the orchestra part of the scene, raising the pit, encircled by innovative settings.

I congratulate the Lucerne Festival administration and send my best wishes for a successful realisation of the revolutionary plan.

http://e.lucernefestival.ch/platform/content/element/5391/SML%20engl.pdf
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on October 02, 2007, 09:07:34 AM
Fascinating and titillating news can be found when surfing during GMG's time on vacation! From classical music's two great geniuses, Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chereau a new concept of building a venue providing space for all of the performing arts. Pierre Audi of De Nederlandse Opera took a tentative step with his direction of the Ring in the 1999 production, making the orchestra part of the scene, raising the pit, encircled by innovative settings.

I congratulate the Lucerne Festival administration and send my best wishes for a successful realisation of the revolutionary plan.

http://e.lucernefestival.ch/platform/content/element/5391/SML%20engl.pdf

This sounds fascinating, and I would welcome any venue where having the orchestra on view would be an option.  This is one of my few beefs with the operatic medium: that the non-singers are basically invisible.

Watching De Nederlandse Opera's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, I enjoyed seeing the photographers show occasional glimpses of Jansons and the Concertgebouw at work, especially given the excitement of what Shostakovich wrote for them.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 02, 2007, 10:58:22 AM
  This is one of my few beefs with the operatic medium: that the non-singers are basically invisible.

--Bruce

Watching any Wagner opera performance, where the music is on equal footing with the singers: One half of the performers in exposed view on the stage, the other half hidden away in the dungeons of the pit! Including the conductor who is the most important figure in the whole spectacle!

Bruce, you think Mr. Gelb and his blue-haired followers will open their money bags and proudly beat Lucerne to the punch? Naw, they don't even want to spend money for one DVD, namely Mattila's Salome!

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on October 02, 2007, 11:08:07 AM
Bruce, you think Mr. Gelb and his blue-haired followers will open their money bags and proudly beat Lucerne to the punch? Naw, they don't even want to spend money for one DVD, namely Mattila's Salome!

To renovate the Met's stage would involve who knows what kind of architectural tinkering (in addition to the money).  For now, maybe they will let the cameras venture further into the pit when the film these for video broadcast.  That would be at least a small step!

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 02, 2007, 11:31:02 AM
Watching any Wagner opera performance, where the music is on equal footing with the singers: One half of the performers in exposed view on the stage, the other half hidden away in the dungeons of the pit! Including the conductor who is the most important figure in the whole spectacle!

Hmmm.  Let's not forget that Wagner himself designed a theatre in which the orchestra is completely invisible.

Of course, the wishes of a mere composer should be ignored.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on October 02, 2007, 11:45:22 AM
Hmmm.  Let's not forget that Wagner himself designed a theatre in which the orchestra is completely invisble.

I know, I know.  What on earth was he thinking?  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 02, 2007, 03:41:54 PM
I know, I know.  What on earth was he thinking?  ;D

--Bruce

Verdi obviously knew as little about opera as Wagner.  From a letter he wrote to Giulio Ricordi about performing Aida:

Quote
.... And then the invisible orchestra.  This idea is not mine, but
Wagner's, and it is an excellent one.  It is absurd today to have to tolerate horrid white ties and tails ancient against Egyptian, Assyrian and Druid costumes, to set the orchestra, which should be part of an imaginary world, in the middle of the floor in the middle of the crowd as it applauds or hisses.  And think too how annoying it is to have harps, double basses, to say nothing of the conductor's windmill arms, all jutting up into the view.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 02, 2007, 05:32:27 PM
Herbert von Karajan, in his early video career, demanded of the camera operators to skip over certain musicians because they are not good looking. He also had wigs issued to the bald ones.

But Wagner was a few years ago; times change, tastes change, everything changes and change is good! There will still be enough opera houses in this world in traditional style architecture to appease the opponents of change!  ;)

How about some constructive comments on the Lucerne concept?  You did read the entire article, studied the sketches, etc.? :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 02, 2007, 06:31:14 PM
To renovate the Met's stage would involve who knows what kind of architectural tinkering (in addition to the money).  For now, maybe they will let the cameras venture further into the pit when the film these for video broadcast.  That would be at least a small step!

--Bruce

Heaven's No, I would never advocate renovating this venerable old barn; I am thinking of building this marvel from scratch at Tanglewild or other such culture-minded landscapes!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 03, 2007, 02:41:39 AM
Herbert von Karajan, in his early video career, demanded of the camera operators to skip over certain musicians because they are not good looking. He also had wigs issued to the bald ones.

But Wagner was a few years ago; times change, tastes change, everything changes and change is good! There will still be enough opera houses in this world in traditional style architecture to appease the opponents of change!  ;)

How about some constructive comments on the Lucerne concept?  You did read the entire article, studied the sketches, etc.? :)

According to Rudolf Bing's 5000 Nights at the Opera, Karajan also "raised the level of the Met's orchestra pit [which is adjustable] higher than any conductor had ever had it", but, given his ego, no doubt he would agree with you that it's "the conductor who is the most important figure in the whole spectacle".  I know I'm hoplessly old-fashioned, but I think opera orchestras and their conductor should be heard, and not seen.

I think we should replace that old-fashioned and expensive large Wagnerian orchestra with a synthesizer, five kazoos, and a musical saw, and cast Britney Spears as Wotan.  Change isn't always good.   ;D

I do think the Lucerne concept is interesting, and at least it seems flexible enough to keep the orchestra mostly invisible (page 7). 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 03, 2007, 03:19:25 PM
Wendell, you shouldn't have mentioned this new opera idea of yours; one of our resident composers might pick it up, run with it, and then we'll have to suffer through Hurwitz's review of it!  ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 03, 2007, 04:22:44 PM
Wendell, you shouldn't have mentioned this new opera idea of yours; one of our resident composers might pick it up, run with it, and then we'll have to suffer through Hurwitz's review of it!  ::)

I'll expect a hefty commision, of course.   ;D

In other news: The Fantom webite now has a list of participating theatres for next season's Met Live in HD Series. If it's correct, the Mississippi theatre that gave the two repeat performances I saw last season will be carrying the live ones this season.

Prices for adults are rising from $18.00 to $22.00
http://www.fathomevents.com/details.aspx?seriesid=622 (http://www.fathomevents.com/details.aspx?seriesid=622)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on October 10, 2007, 06:36:48 PM
If you are interested in what poor Nigel W. had to go through attending 'opera' read this:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: max on October 10, 2007, 09:06:54 PM

I think we should replace that old-fashioned and expensive large Wagnerian orchestra with a synthesizer, five kazoos, and a musical saw, and cast Britney Spears as Wotan.  Change isn't always good.   ;D

I think I'll forget about getting any sleep tonight...in lieu of the consequences. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Siedler on November 11, 2007, 04:59:51 PM
La Scala follows The Met:

Starting in December 2007 Emerging Pictures, in an exclusive American collaboration with RAI Trade, will bring the Operas from La Scala and two other prestigious Italian opera houses to digital cinemas. The operas were recorded live in gorgeous HDTV format with Dolby Digital sound..
In addition to the venues in the Emerging Cinemas Network, Screenvision has come aboard as Emerging's partner to bring the Operas into multiplex theaters throughout the country.

http://www.emergingpictures.com/operas.htm

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on November 11, 2007, 08:44:14 PM
Thanks for the news, Siedler! It seems my State of Washington does not exist, or maybe they think we have not progressed yet to having cinemas in our Indian teepees!

Don't want it anyhow because there are no elephants in the Scala's Aida!  ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 11, 2007, 11:31:29 PM
It looks mouthwatering, but unfortunately the UK is not part of the arrangement.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on December 03, 2007, 11:57:40 AM
An album I haven't heard but it's getting rave reviews here so I had post it somewhere. ;D And anyway, this is almost like a moderator-only thread (plus a few friends), and I know our moderators are very understanding... 0:)

So what's the news? The first ever complete Wagner opera committed to disc in Poland! Wow! If that isn't news than I don't know what is... ;D

Der Fliegende Hollander, a live recording of a concert performance in 2005.

Hans Sotin, Endrik Wottrich, David Pittman-Jennings, Christiane Libor, Ewa Marciniec,Ryszard Minkiewicz
National Philharmonic SO and Choir (or Warsaw Philharmonic, as it is sometimes referred to abroad)
Antoni Wit

It looks like this (some will appreciate the fact that it has the conductor on the cover ;D):
(http://merlin.pl/images_big/1/ACD1432.jpg) (http://www.gigant.pl/html/index.asp?mod=prd&p=wpjnqxnpdvyaqplbclya)
(A couple of short low quality clips here (http://merlin.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,565627.html).)

The disc was released in October but it's only beggining to make a stir now.

And just so you don't say I'm only wasting space here - I've now stickied this topic. Hope no one opposes?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on December 03, 2007, 12:07:02 PM
And just so you don't say I'm only wasting space here - I've now stickied this topic. Hope no one opposes?

No complaint here--good idea! 

And that disc sounds very interesting, although I'm mildly shocked that it is the first!  Somehow I would have expected other Wagner recordings to have been made, but there you go. 

I'm also intrigued that it's a live performance, which I generally like on recordings.  Thanks for this interesting heads-up.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on December 03, 2007, 12:16:52 PM
And that disc sounds very interesting, although I'm mildly shocked that it is the first!  Somehow I would have expected other Wagner recordings to have been made, but there you go. 

Don't know why (OK, I suppose I might have some vague idea... ;D) but Wagner has never been very popular in Poland... In fact the first ever staging of the complete Ring took place as late as... the 1980s! (In the National Opera in Warsaw, while Robert Satanowski, a great champion of Wagner's music, was musical director here.)

I do want to emphasize that this is the first complete Wagner opera committed to CD here - we've had scenes etc. before. I think. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 05, 2007, 08:41:00 PM
Maziek has flooded us with names of Polish composers, ancient and contemporary ones, very much appreciated too, but why, dear friend, have you kept this man a secret?

http://www.fwweekly.com/content.asp?article=6513
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on December 06, 2007, 06:39:36 AM
I missed the hormonal rushes, apparently... ;D

No, actually I have heard his name. He's usually mentioned alongside Alexandra (Aleksandra) Kurzak. Though I don't know if they've ever sung together.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 06, 2007, 08:25:03 PM
An "I don't believe it!" item in this month's edition of Opera's Newsdesk:

"John Treleaven has been made an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Thames Valley University."

No comment.  ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 07, 2007, 05:25:29 PM
You don't have access to The New York Times? Read about Gudrun Wagner's unexpected death here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/arts/music/29wagner.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Siedler on December 08, 2007, 02:00:12 PM
Wow: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lRYGEfYf9ds

Waltraud Meier as Isolde from La Scala's new production of T&I.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 08, 2007, 02:42:13 PM
So many thanks for the goose bumps, dear Siedler!

The is indescribably beautiful, what a treat!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 09, 2007, 04:26:26 PM
From this month's edition of Opera We hear that . . .:

René Pape will sing Wotan in the La Scala Ring in 2010-11, c. Daniel Barenboim, p. Claus Guth.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on December 15, 2007, 11:29:54 AM
I've just posted this in the Szymanowski thread but maybe someone here will be interested too:

Don't know how managed to miss this but Hagith (Szymanowski's first opera) seems to have come out on DVD a couple of months ago (or maybe more recently - but not more than a couple of months... 0:)).

(http://merlin.pl/images_big/30/DUX5898.jpg) (http://merlin.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,573992.html)

DUX 5898A19294

Hagith WIOLETTA CHODOWICZ
Stary Król / Old King TARAS IVANIV
Młody Król / Young King ADAM ZDUNIKOWSKI
Arcykapłan / High Priest WIKTOR GORELIKOW
Lekarz / Medic MACIEJ KRZYSZTYNIAK

Orchestra and chorus of the Wrocław Opera
Conductor TOMASZ SZREDER

Producers

Musical direction TOMASZ SZREDER
Stage direction MICHAŁ ZNANIECKI
Set designs RYSZARD KAJA
Chorus master MAŁGORZATA ORAWSKA
Lights BOGUMIŁ PALEWICZ
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on December 18, 2007, 09:01:10 AM
An "I don't believe it!" item in this month's edition of Opera's Newsdesk:

"John Treleaven has been made an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Thames Valley University."

No comment.  ::)

This is one of 'Thatcher's universities' a former technical college upgraded.

He could have just as well got it for woodwork (or woodenwork ;D).

Not that it's educational standards are low, just that it is easier to get into than Oxbridge!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on December 18, 2007, 09:49:35 AM
Appreciate this vital upgrade, Hector! It does sound so very impressive to any reader not familiar with some UK educational institutions. John probably made a lovely footstool for his wife's birthday present!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on January 02, 2008, 05:45:30 PM
Winners of the 2008 Musical America Awards include Anna Netrebko (Musician of the Year), Kaija Saariaho (Composer of the Year) and Robert Spano (Conductor of the Year).

I have no idea who or what organisation gives out those awards, never heard of it.  ???
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on January 02, 2008, 06:22:22 PM
Winners of the 2008 Musical America Awards include Anna Netrebko (Musician of the Year), Kaija Saariaho (Composer of the Year) and Robert Spano (Conductor of the Year).

I have no idea who or what organisation gives out those awards, never heard of it.  ???

Lis, Musical America is basically a directory (online and in print) of thousands of music-related organizations.  Here (http://www.musicalamerica.com/) is the online link which will give you an idea.  (Although you have to be a member to delve into it much.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on January 02, 2008, 06:57:01 PM
Thanks, Bruce, but as you said, one has to be a member so I could not read more about the Seattle orchestra skirmish! I'll survive!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on January 02, 2008, 07:05:31 PM
This is too good to be available only to subscribers of Opera:

Their reviewer Martin Bernheimer writes in this month's issue about the Macbeth performance at the NY Met:

"The old clichés are out. The new devices are in. The time is now-ish, and the unit set -a dark and empty half-circle surrounded by stylized trees - serves many purposes. Pillars rotate, props come and go, symbols descend. There is much fussing with chairs. Beds are to stand on. The witches are frumpy housewives who wield menacing handbags. Military thugs drive a jeep and flourish rifles. Trench coats serve as standard gear, sometimes offset by bathrobes and pyjamas. The befuddled protagonist and his lurid Lady do a lot of dry humping."

Review-writing at it's best!  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 16, 2008, 11:13:56 AM
I watched the Zeffirelli film of Otello today. He butchers the music. No duet is complete and bars are removed all over the place. The entire concept of through-written music is ignored and there are silences between truncated bits. The singing is all first rate, the visuals also are excellent; but the snipping is really awful. Even the Vengeance Duet is cut. Stay away.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Morigan on January 16, 2008, 11:29:17 AM
I watched the Zeffirelli film of Otello today. He butchers the music. No duet is complete and bars are removed all over the place. The entire concept of through-written music is ignored and there are silences between truncated bits. The singing is all first rate, the visuals also are excellent; but the snipping is really awful. Even the Vengeance Duet is cut. Stay away.

Mike

Wasn't it the same with his La Traviata? I don't think you can make a good 2-hour movie with a 3-hour long opera...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 16, 2008, 12:14:08 PM
I seem to think his Traviata was pretty complete. It is many years since I saw it; but it was crushed by the lavisness of the sets and costumes; or perhaps smothered. Also, Teresa Stratas did not have the vocal equipment for Act 1.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sarastro on January 16, 2008, 12:34:34 PM
I seem to think his Traviata was pretty complete.

It is monstrously cut.  ::)  BUT, it is a masterpiece of cinema, not of opera, even of something new. As far as I know, Turandot at MET and Aida in Scala are really complete. ;D Staged by him. But it is already theater art...so I just want you not to be so angry with him  ;D, as he tried to compose both genres to make a new combination, and he succeeded. It's not a movie nor an opera, it's a mix...closer to movie of course.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 16, 2008, 12:47:17 PM
I thought the Traviata had what were once known as the standard cuts, such as one verse of 'Di Provenza il mar' and so forth. The Otello was full of cuts, a few bars here and a few there. I also did not like that the credits lasted most of the way through the first scene, including Otello's first entry.

Mike

     
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on January 16, 2008, 01:58:17 PM
I thought the Traviata had what were once known as the standard cuts, such as one verse of 'Di Provenza il mar' and so forth.

That's how I remember it.  I believe the only non-standard cut is the little scene between Violetta and Anina at the beginning of the last act.  I think it cuts from the prelude to the letter reading.

Agree about the Otello.  Horribly mutilated.  Supposedly to make a shorter running time, but then Signor Zifarillee (if he can mutilate Verdi, I can mutilate his name) adds in the Paris ballet music (and during Act I, not Act III, where Verdi intended it).

The first time I saw it was in a movie theatre, when it was new.  When Otello sings "Sangue! Sangue! Sangue!" one of the "Sangue!"s was missing, and I was fairly sure it was just a few frames missing from the theatre's copy, but wondered if it was maybe Zifarillee "improving" on Boito, Verdi and Shakespeare again.

I really wish the Met would release one of the telecasts of their old Zeffirelli production of the complete opera, preferably the 1978 one with Jon Vickers, Renata Scotto, and Cornell MacNeil, Levine conducting.  They also telecast it the next season with Plácido Domingo, Gilda Cruz-Romo, and Sherrill Milnes, but I think there are already enough Domingo Otellos available.  The only Vickers one is the Karajan film, which also suffers from cutting (nothing near the Zifarillee one though).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Siedler on January 16, 2008, 02:26:04 PM
It seems TDK Music's website has been down for quite a while. I hope they haven't gone bankrupt or something  :-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 16, 2008, 02:44:17 PM
The Karajan has I think one cut of about 70 bars of the ensemble when the ambassador arrives from Venice. I was really jolted by some of the cuts in the Maazel film, quite a lot of significant musical structures were hobbled and that wonderful ensemble was almost non existant..

I have not seen the Traviata since it was released in the cinema, probably in 1983, over 20 years ago now. How time does go by!

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sarastro on January 16, 2008, 03:53:17 PM
I thought the Traviata had what were once known as the standard cuts, such as one verse of 'Di Provenza il mar' and so forth.

One verse of 'Di Provenza il mar' is not standard, and then a scene with a doctor is cut, all the ensembles are missing a few tacts in different places. And other.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 16, 2008, 04:19:26 PM
One verse of 'Di Provenza il mar' is not standard,

Actually...it is.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on January 17, 2008, 07:40:34 AM
Actually...it is.

I'm gonna hafta go with Sarastro on that one.  I've never heard a performance (including MacNeil's in Z's film) of "Di Provenza" that didn't include both verses, though cutting its entire cabaletta ("No, non udrai rimproveri") is one of those "standard cuts" (which the film does take).  Nowadays, we'll sometimes get at least one verse of the cabaletta.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 17, 2008, 01:52:16 PM
Not my recollection; but then I may be wrong, I often am. Not the kind of thing I will make a song and dance about, let's assume I am wrong.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on January 26, 2008, 02:34:03 AM
It seems TDK Music's website has been down for quite a while. I hope they haven't gone bankrupt or something  :-\

The TDK website is active again...

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: lesroches on February 01, 2008, 11:30:11 AM
    
New Opera on DVD website: http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com/ (http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com/)


The chap who created the site has mentioned that it's still under construction, and he hopes visitors will be patient until the site is fully up and running.  From what I've seen, I think he's already done a wonderful job.

Les Roches
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 02, 2008, 10:35:39 AM
Here is the most complete list I can find of the Karajan EMI box 2 vocal discs. The EMI site is not working properly. I can see that in the UK these are selling for well under £1 per disc. I have no idea what the packaging is like. There must only be minimal notes.

Herbert von Karajan - Complete EMI Recordings (Opera / Vocal)70 CDs 
Erscheinungstermin: 8.2.2008
Verfügbarkeit: Artikel noch nicht erschienen, voraussichtlicher Liefertermin ist der 8.2.2008.
Sie können den Titel schon jetzt bestellen. Versand an Sie erfolgt gleich nach Verfügbarkeit. 
DetailinformationenMozart:Die Zauberflöte (1950);Figaros Hochzeit (1950);
Cosi fan tutte (1954);Ave verum KV 618 (1955)
+Strauss:Salome (1977 / 78);Ariadne auf Naxos (1954);
Rosenkavalier (1956);Vier letzte Lieder (1956)
+Verdi:Aida (1979);Falstaff (1956);Don Carlos (1973);
Trovatore (1956 & 1977);Otello (1973)
+Bach:Messe h-moll BWV 232 (1950 & 1952 / 53)
+Brahms:Ein deutsches Requiem (1947 & 1976)
+Beethoven:Missa solemnis (1958 & 1974);Fidelio (1970)
+Humperdinck:Hänsel & Gretel (1953)
+J. Strauss II:Die Fledermaus (1955)
+Debussy:Pelleas et Melisande (1978)
+Haydn:Die Jahreszeiten (1972)
+Wagner:Der Fliegende Holländer (1981-1983);Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1951 & 1970);Lohengrin (1975 / 76 / 81);
Tristan & Isolde (1971 / 72);Walküre (3.Akt / 1951)
+Donizetti:Lucia di Lammermoor (1955)
+Puccini:Madama Butterfly (1955)
+Auszüge aus Opern von Mozart, Mascagni, Smetana u. a.
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac,
Agnes Baltsa, Jose van Dam, Hildegard Behrens, Jose Carreras,
Nicolai Gedda, Kathleen Ferrier, Christa Ludwig, Josef Metternich, Rita Streich, Helen Donath, Peter Schreier, Gundula
Janowitz, Anna Moffo, Kurt Moll, Leontyne Price,
Wien PO, Wien SO, Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin PO,
Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Staatskapelle Dresden,
RIAS SO Berlin, La Scala Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
*** Inkl. CD-ROM mit den Libretti & Fotogalerie Label: EMI , ADD, 1946-1984
Bestellnummer: 1815685
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2008, 08:26:25 AM
I usually start a new thread for my reviews, but they then drop like stones, so here goes on this portmanteau thread.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BdtbU8L-L._SS500_.jpg)

Here is the real deal; well, at least in the studio. I am not much of a one for collecting CDs of recitals by Tenors, only a few Tenors really excite me. However, reading a review of this singer, he was described as having something of Wunderlich and something of Vickers in his voice. As those are two Tenors who really get my attention, I though I would order the disc.

Using the word 'order' brings me to one drawback here. The ordering of the tracks.

Puccini, Bizet, Flotow, Puccini, Verdi, Weber, Verdi, Massenet, Verdi, Gounod, Wagner, Berlioz, Massenet.

Just what is that about?

As recorded, this is a big voice, refulgent, full from top to bottom. It is a very exciting voice and he uses dynamics, it is not one long shout by any means. When he goes into mezza voce in his upper range, it is constricted rather than honeyed and there is a little grit in the voice sometimes. He is an appreciable actor, he really raises the hairs on the back of the neck. He is also a generous singer, really digging into the music, not oversubtle, he has a fine legato, does not squeeze the tone in full voice and knows just how to build a phrase to a stunning climax.

He seems comfortable in all three languages he showcases here, though the French is good, rather than authentic. (Is there anything more illusive that the tang of a French singer singing French?) The Aria from Don Carlo is a real stunner, The Duke from Rigoletto, very beautifully done, virile as well. Faust by Berlioz, that is especially good, he has a real grip on what he is doing with the music.

The conductor is Marco Armiliato; new to me, he gives good support and nothing is either rushed or allowed to drag. I will be looking for more of this singer. I also ordered a DVD of La Clemenza di Tito, he is in it and I look forward to it all the more now I know what he can do.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on February 05, 2008, 08:42:40 AM
Wow, a great-sounding new singer--thanks!  And I heard Armiliato conduct Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac at the Met in 2006, and he was quite good.  Will have to put this on the "to buy" pile...

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2008, 09:08:02 AM
Bruce, It is so good, I am immediately giving it another spin. He plays around a bit with the Meistersingers Prize song, that is to my ears the only remotely unsuccessful track; but he seems to have the heft for Wagner.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: MishaK on February 05, 2008, 12:19:47 PM
Hmm. From the samples on Amazon I'm not quite convinced. Kaufmann has a nice, dark masculine voice, but I am not too happy with his control of it. There are times where it seems he cant quite control color or volume adequately and others where he seems to push a bit as he releases a phrase. There is generally some pushing to it that I find a tad grating.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2008, 01:56:51 PM
That is interesting because, I did not think I could tell much at all from the Amazon samples, so I went for the disc. I don't think he pushes, he certainly works phrases and the volume is sometimes a bit overpowering; but I have no idea whether that is a production issue.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 10, 2008, 09:49:01 AM
Here is the most complete list I can find of the Karajan EMI box 2 vocal discs...I have no idea what the packaging is like. There must only be minimal notes.

I have the box now. Minimal notes is correct. There is a small booklet, listing contents, artists, recording dates and a three and a half page essay by Richard Osborne entitled Karajan and EMI. The box is much smaller than I thought it would be; quite compact: 23.5x13x13 cm. The 72 CDs are in paper sleeves.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/P2102382.jpg)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/P2102383.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 10, 2008, 09:52:13 AM
Sarge, Thanks.....I am extremely tempted by this box. I think I will have to give my wife some locking access to Amazon; so I don't just go and do the deed.

I hope you enjoy the discs and can find time to let us have your thoughts as you go along.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on February 13, 2008, 05:09:22 AM
I usually start a new thread for my reviews, but they then drop like stones, so here goes on this portmanteau thread.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BdtbU8L-L._SS500_.jpg)

Here is the However, reading a review of this singer, he was described as having something of Wunderlich and something of Vickers in his voice. As those are two Tenors who really get my attention, I though I would order the disc.




 








The Beeb transmitted the Covent Garden 'Carmen' during the Christmas period and he was the very impressive Don Jose. Antonacci was Carmen.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on February 24, 2008, 04:39:44 PM
There's a few Youtube videos out there, including the trailer (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=GArkZ1_hWYk&feature=related) for this album. It's a peculiar voice. His speaking voice is elegant, but it's much darker when he sings.  That kind of back of the throat vocal production is quite ill-suited to French and Italian  repertoire. He sounds like a hefty heldentenor trying his hand at the lighter, romantic. OTOH his bottom notes are very weak. He does have considerable power, especially in the middle range, and he's still obviously trying to marshal it. He reminds me most of Jose Cura.

I wonder what can have possessed the producers of this album to have him sing in all kinds of styles and languages. Decca would have rendered him a service in finding a suitable program (Beethoven, Weber, the lighter Wagner roles). Check the Florestan and especially the Don José (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=h5ZSAHqsoeY&feature=related)  :o scenes. He sounds almost overpowering, if not especially subtle. His Ach so fromm and Che gelida manina OTOH seem totallly devoid of tenderness, almost sounding like Canio. His Martha and Mimi had better watch out...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 02, 2008, 12:26:57 PM
Especially for Lis; Salome from Covent Garden; decidedly mixed reviews.

(http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00288/DuncanMedows9_288105a.jpg)

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on March 02, 2008, 12:35:31 PM
Is there some historical precedent for nude executioners?  In the Salome I saw at the Netherlands Opera five years ago--a completely different production--the executioner was also naked.  I don't think there's anything in the score that particularly mandates it... ???  Odd...

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 03, 2008, 07:13:41 AM
No, but it is a cheap costume, just throw some fake blood on him and off he goes. I assume it is a bit of a distraction one way or another.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on March 03, 2008, 07:27:53 AM
No, but it is a cheap costume, just throw some fake blood on him and off he goes. I assume it is a bit of a distraction one way or another.

Mike

Apparently, he never faces the audience.

Only Salome gets to see his...bits!

I've not seen it and am unlikely to but it has had mixed reviews in the London press.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 03, 2008, 08:12:58 AM
Apparently, he never faces the audience.

Only Salome gets to see his...bits!

I've not seen it and am unlikely to but it has had mixed reviews in the London press.

Perhaps this is just some novel form of prompt; bits covered up with the 15 minutes worth of text for Salome. I think we need to know whether or not she seemingly pays said undisclosed bits more attention than is warranted.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 03, 2008, 08:29:02 AM
..........He sounds like a hefty heldentenor trying his hand at the lighter, romantic. OTOH his bottom notes are very weak. He does have considerable power, especially in the middle range, and he's still obviously trying to marshal it. He reminds me most of Jose Cura.

I wonder what can have possessed the producers of this album to have him sing in all kinds of styles and languages. Decca would have rendered him a service in finding a suitable program (Beethoven, Weber, the lighter Wagner roles). Check the Florestan and especially the Don José (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=h5ZSAHqsoeY&feature=related)  :o scenes. He sounds almost overpowering, if not especially subtle. His Ach so fromm and Che gelida manina OTOH seem totallly devoid of tenderness, almost sounding like Canio. His Martha and Mimi had better watch out...

Neither Andre nor Mench were impressed. In this month's Gramophone John Stean gives him a very enthueastic review and is especially taken with the Don Jose aria. Stean is not universally delighted, he feels some arias lack some expression. He suggests it is quite possible that Kaufmann is the greatest tenor singing today, the issue makes the cover disc.

Mike
Title: Metropolitan Opera 2008-9 season
Post by: Wendell_E on March 05, 2008, 03:55:05 AM
Yesterday, the Met released a press release on next season:

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=3441

Casting and curtain times are available at the Met's performance calendar.  For some reason, there's currently no arrow to click to go to the next month, but there is one for the previous month.  Here's the calendar for the last month (May 2009):

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/calendar.aspx?monthyear=5-2009

You can either use the "previous month" arrow, or just change the last digits of the url (from 5-2009 to 9-2008, forr example) to see the other months.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 05, 2008, 08:34:18 AM
What an amazing array. Thanks for posting it.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 06, 2008, 07:32:55 PM
Who knows him?

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on March 07, 2008, 05:12:14 AM
Looks like young Pavarotti.  Why do you ask?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on March 07, 2008, 06:43:30 AM
Who knows him?



It's the new President of the USSR...oops, pardon...Russia! Medvedevnedvedeved. Right?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 07, 2008, 07:07:03 AM
Hector: I just realised, he does look like Dmitrij Medwedew! Good guess - but wrong!  :(

I am not saying yet if Anne is right or wrong, maybe somebody else comes up with a good one.  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: springrite on March 07, 2008, 07:13:28 AM
Of course Anne is right!

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 07, 2008, 10:52:32 AM
Yeah, that beardless youth is definitely Pavarotti.  Here's the picture that was in the booklet accompanying the original LP release of the Rigoletto with Sutherland:

(http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~san/pavarotti21.jpg)

While I'm in the General Opera News Forum, there are a few future Met plans Gelb mentioned in the press conference Tuesday that aren't in that press release I linked to above:

Quote
Stressing the Met's commitment to the the creation and advancement of modern and new operas, Gelb also revealed plans to bring Peter Sellars's staging of John Adams's Nixon in China to the Met as part of its 2010-11 season. In addition, he spoke of a work in progress by composer Osvaldo Golijov and director/librettist Anthony Minghella, tentatively titled Daedalus, which is scheduled to play during the Met's 2011-12 season. Robert Lepage will also stage a new production of Thomas Adès's The Tempest during the 2012-13 season.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 07, 2008, 11:04:29 AM
Of course you, Wendell and Anne and Springrite guessed correctly. It was kind of a shock when I saw it in this month's Opera Special, an entire issued devoted to Pavarotti.

The news about Gelb's plans for the future are very exciting indeed! Finally I can watch or listen to stuff from the Met that's not pulled off the last century shelf! John Adams, Golijov and Adès, what a treat!  8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on March 07, 2008, 12:08:58 PM
Of course Anne is right!



Thanks, springrite
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 08, 2008, 09:49:02 AM
Ariadne auf Naxos

DG have just issued Ariadne auf Naxos, conducted by Karl Bohm, Gundula Janowitz sings Ariadne, Rene Kolo is Bacchus, Edita Gruberova sings Zerbinetta and the Composer is Trudeliese Schmidt.

What a strange opera this is. I remember the first time I saw it and it baffled me. I simply could not understand what it was about. Although popular, I do wonder the extent to which the audience 'get' the subtexts.

It was a rather uncomfortable collaboration between Hofmannsthal and Strauss, their third after Elektra and Rosenkavalier. That last one contained elements that Hofmannsthal felt treated his libretto in a facile way. He accused Strauss of "a frightful propensity for trivia and kitch." So the birth of Ariadne was rather bumpy; with a back and forth tussle about the point of it, the shape and the length of it.

It contains some of Strauss's most beautiful music, up to the point when Bacchus enters, when to my ears the music becomes clunky. The final duet somehow misses either the rhapsodic or the memorable. But along the way there are delights galore.

This film is based on a famous production from Vienna in 1978. However, this is not a live performance and despite me failing, though trying hard, to catch faults in the lip synch; I am sure this is a mimed film.

Setting that aside, and usually it does put me off; it is beautiful to look at and to listen to. The VPO produce a glamourous and forward sound. Bohm allows time for lyricism without lingering and treats the Harlekin and co interpolations as lightly as Mozart. The Dryad trio in the final act is properly excited rather than romantically inert.

Everyone sings wonderfully, Janowitz especially. Gruberova throws off her 13 minute aria; this production made her name. She is reasonably slim and acts the part well. Both Janowitz and Kolo are changed from being vain attention seekers in the prologue into dignified characters from myth in the Opera.

The themes of contrasting a happy-go-lucky approach to love and life, represented by Zerbinetta and the faithfulness and constancy of Ariadne, half in love with easful death are clear enough. But the ideas that Hofmannsthal draws out about how we bring grief with us into joy within a future life and integrate it; seems too oblique to emerge in one transforming duet.

It is good to get hold of a well filmed performance of Janowitz in one of her classic roles. I do have her in Fidelio, but that is not her usual stamping ground, successful though it certainly is.


I am appreciating Bohm increasingly as I get older. When he was alive, I was looking for more flashy performances and gravitated towards other conductors. Now I am starting to hunger for his music making.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DlYUmA6GL._SS500_.jpg)

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on March 09, 2008, 03:34:52 PM
Great description, Mike, and of course I'll have to get this.  Although I don't know Ariadne as well as some of the others, I've seen it several times live and it grows more engaging with each encounter.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 14, 2008, 08:47:20 PM
Hot off the Press:

Voigt Leaves `Tristan' in Mid - Opera
               E-MailPrint Save
 
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 14, 2008
Filed at 11:30 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Now the soprano at ''Tristan und Isolde'' is sick, too.

Already missing tenor Ben Heppner because of a virus, the Metropolitan Opera lost Deborah Voigt in the middle of the second act Friday night because of a stomach ailment. That left with Met with both singers in the lead roles making their Met debuts, Gary Lehman and Janice Baird.

Heppner withdrew from the first four performances of the highly anticipated six-performance run and was replaced by John Mac Master in Monday's opener and by Lehman on Friday.

Voigt sang the opener but didn't sound at her best Friday and had trouble with the high notes during the first act.

''She was very heroic,'' Met general manager Peter Gelb said. ''She told me before the second act began that she was feeling sick this morning but she didn't tell us because she didn't want to disturb us. She wanted to be very supportive of Mr. Lehman.''

After the first act, Voigt spoke with Gelb and said she was ill.

''We agreed she would start the second act and see how it went,'' Gelb said.

Baird, Voigt's cover singer, was put on alert during the first intermission, which lasted about 10 minutes longer than usual, and by the start of the second act was standing by.

Voigt signaled near the beginning of the second-act love duet that she couldn't continue and hurried offstage. Music director James Levine kept conducting. Then the curtain came down, Lehman started singing and the orchestra stopped.

An announcement was made that Voigt suddenly had taken ill. Baird got into the costume that Voigt had been wearing and replaced her about 10-15 minutes later. Baird and Lehman received enthusiastic applause at the end of the act.

Mac Master received mostly negative reviews following Monday's opener of the revival. The Tristan for the next two performances is listed as TBA, including the March 22 matinee that is to be telecast to theaters worldwide.

Heppner and Voigt, two of the world's most acclaimed Wagnerian singers, were to be performing ''Tristan'' together for the first time.

------
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 14, 2008, 10:34:03 PM
A shame all round really, unless it gives someone a break; though John Mac Master clearly has not come out of it well.

Mike
Title: Anthony Minghella is dead (1954-2008)
Post by: Brewski on March 18, 2008, 06:25:16 AM
Here (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/03/18/europe/EU-GEN-Britain-Obit-Minghella.php) is a report on director Anthony Minghella's death, which makes me very sad. 

His production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Met was one of the most extraordinary things I've ever seen.  (And I don't even like the opera all that much.)  Some production photos are here (http://66.187.153.86/Imgs/Butterfly0607.htm).

--Bruce
Title: The Met's "Tristan" problems continue
Post by: Wendell_E on March 19, 2008, 09:59:05 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-Opera-Tristan-Turmoil.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gary+lehman&st=nyt&oref=slogin

Quote
The part of the raked set Gary Lehman was stretched out on came loose at the start of the third act Tuesday night, and the tenor slid into the prompter's box, Met spokesman Brent Ness said.

The opera was stopped while Lehman was examined by a doctor, who cleared him to continue. The performance then resumed.

A couple of eye-witness reports at another site make it sound even worse.  One says: 

Quote
Fortunately there's a kind of firepit at the edge of the stage, so he didn't fall off the stage altogether, but he hit the firepit headfirst at high velocity, with a resounding thud. It was pretty scary. At the speed he hit, I though he might have damaged his neck or knocked himself out.

The role of Tristan for this Saturday's performance (and broadcast/theatrecast) is still listed as TBA.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 19, 2008, 10:24:59 AM
Thank you, Wendell! :-*

I was surprised to see no report of this at the NYT fora. I remedied their oversight posting part your news, without mentioning your name. Maybe I should have, giving your forum some publicity!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on March 19, 2008, 10:26:11 AM
I was in the audience last night, and indeed it was pretty scary.  When Lehman's head hit the box, the noise had the whole place in a gasp, followed by this unearthly silence.  For a minute, I really thought he was seriously injured, and there were some six people who rushed out to help him up.  He seemed slightly dazed.  They closed the curtain, then an announcement was made that he would resume, after a brief break to get some air and a glass of water. 

When the curtain opened again--after about a ten-minute break--he was in the same position, and got a good minute or so of thunderous applause and cheering, before Levine and the orchestra continued.  The friend who was with me, who has been going to hundreds of Met performances over the last 25 years, said it was the worst incident of its type he had ever seen.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 19, 2008, 11:45:31 AM
Thank you, Bruce, for sharing those bad news. Evidently Lehmann won't be singing this Saturday because I just read about Robert Dean-Smith having been chosen.

How did Lehmann sing after his mishap? Did you notice any difference?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on March 19, 2008, 11:55:13 AM
Thank you, Bruce, for sharing those bad news. Evidently Lehmann won't be singing this Saturday because I just read about Robert Dean-Smith having been chosen.

How did Lehmann sing after his mishap? Did you notice any difference?

I thought Lehman did just fine, both before and after.  His voice is on the light side--not a criticism, just an observation--and there did seem to be moments when he faded out a little, especially compared to Voigt, who seemed to have even more stamina.  (But I do not know the piece well enough to say for certain.)  There is that huge part for him at the beginning of Act III, and he was fine, but like many people I was probably more focused on "Wow, he's back...and singing."

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 22, 2008, 02:04:02 AM
Tannhauser in the Liecu 19 March 2008.
Robert Carsen directed this new production of Richard Wagner's Romantic opera “Tannhäuser” (1845). Redemption through love and the dichotomy between fleshly and spiritual passion are the dominant themes explored by Wagner, who drew on medieval legends relating to Venus, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and 13th-century troubadour contests when writing the libretto.
Peter Seiffert sang the role of the knight-troubadour Tannhäuser Béatrice Uria Monzon as Venus his seducer
Bo Skovhus as the Landgrave
Petra Maria Schnitzer as Elizabeth, his niece.
Conducted by Sebastian Weigle.

The friend who was with me remarked how much he enjoyed continental opera audiences, they really let you know just what they think. And this one was exceptionally vocal in its booing and indeed making clear their ridicule for the production staff. They had appreciated the singers with warmth and this performance pointed out to me, yet again, how many superb singers there are about which I know nothing.

This was the Paris version with the extended ballet and revisions. Well, to the concept.

Having absorbed this is about love, sin and, as usual with Wagner, redemption, in medieval Europe; the concept was updated to right now and Tannhauser became a painter. I felt the idea worked well in Act 1. But it became duller as the night wore on. As they don't start even a Wagner opera until 8pm, the night did indeed wear on.....and on.

The sets could not have been simpler, there were none. We had some props and an enormous cast. The act 1 overture and ballet explained the mindset of our hero. He is a painter and he paints Venus, the beautiful, dark haired and naked Béatrice Uria Monzon: the obsession is expressed by the massed male ballet dancers, dressed like the hero, also quickly sketching her and disgarding the results over and over. This projects the obsession and the erotic nature of it. Then to illustrate this all more overtly, the dancers strip to their underpants, stack about 100 canvases and then frott them writhing over the canvases and sploshing red paint about copiously. Got it? This is about SEX. I think the ballet must be very hard to bring off without looking like eye-rolling soft porn, so really, this version worked both as an idea and in execution.

In act 2 the singing contest becomes an art exhibition with five shrouded canvases, (Still no sets). The bores who usually compete in the singing contest, instead became competitive artists and as their canvases are unveiled, Tannhauser berates them. Ultimately when his canvas is displayed the gliterati chorus, dressed exactly like the well heeled audience out of which they had emerged, stare horrified and the painter is sent off to Rome to see the Pope! Here I feel the concept somewhat shows its limitations.

Both Venus and Elizabeth were presented as the almost identical obverse sides of love, one blond, innocent, healthy yet yearning for love and indeed sex. Venus dark, knowing, sexual and causing obsession. I felt that the concept worked, but that the outworking of it was plain dull and the look of the production impoverished. It was two black walls or two white walls all evening. Call me shallow, but I go to the Opera for grand effects and expect something to look at for the not inconsiderable outlay involved in my ticket.

The singing was pretty stellar, only the Wolfram was unsatisfactory, unable to carry a line, gritty and with intonation problems. Both women were remarkable, beautiful voices, both had to be easy on the eye. For a deal of Act 1 Venus is naked and posing on a mattress on the floor. So, there are a fair few singers who would not fit the concept. Later on that same mattress, Elizabeth disports herself in her underclothes, clearly wanting love and at a loss as to why it was to be denied her. The Tannhauser of Peter Seiffert was sterling and well acted. He is something of a biffer which was rather pointed up when his alta egos stripped; and it was then remarkable how many thin men there were inside one fat one.
Bo Skovhus is a singer I have thought to be charismatic, but with dry tone. However, in this opera, his voice was magnificently rich and beautiful. He was saddled with a dull lounge suit and a pair of glasses. As the Gallery owner, he had a tough time projecting any characterisation.

I have to mention the chorus, of whom there seemed to be hundreds. What a marvelous body of singers, especially the men, they sang with beauty of tone and wonderful graduations of volume. They are as good as I have ever heard.

So a mixed bag and better listened to, something that would give much pleasure. The conductor brought out warmth from the score, never overwhelmed the singers and maintained sane tempi.

This is a joint production with two other houses, so beware, it may open in a theatre near you. Now one confession and in essence a disclaimer. I was having some back problems, so took some muscle relaxants, along with the Cava, the result is I did not see all that much of act 3. As my friend said...that was rather an expensive sleep. Also, he thought the entire evening was magnificent. But I get to write here, not him.

Mike
 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: matti on March 22, 2008, 05:39:24 AM
Muscle relaxants, cava  - PLUS Wagner. You have discovered the ultimate sleeping aid. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 22, 2008, 07:02:13 AM
Don't forget, it's Tristan und Isolde from the Met this morning!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/operaon3/pip/4q2oa/

You local NPR station might carry it. I'll listen to it at :

http://www.king.org/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 22, 2008, 08:00:18 AM
Muscle relaxants, cava  - PLUS Wagner. You have discovered the ultimate sleeping aid. ;D

Yes, but it is rather an expensive way of going about it. A mallet applied to the head is both quicker and cheaper.

Lis, Thanks for the T&I reminder. Will be actual actual singers on the actual stage or will we be so far down the sub list that the words are declaimed from the pit while puppets fill up the stage?

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 22, 2008, 08:06:46 AM
Mike, nothing is for certain at the Met's production of Tristan und Isolde! The participants on stage might all be be clad in protective combat gear to avoid any bodily harm to them! And of course the orchestra might be moved under the stage to protect them from flying singers!  ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 22, 2008, 08:12:59 AM
Now wait a minute: The KING announcer just said that Ben Heppner will be singing Tristan! Did he read from an old cast list, or had there been yet another change? Whoever you are listening to, what does it say on your station?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 22, 2008, 08:15:33 AM
Lis, Here is what the BBC Radio 3 site says.

"Direct from New York, James Levine conducts Deborah Voigt as Isolde in her debut in this role at the Met.  She is joined by tenor  Robert Dean Smith as Tristan."

Who he?

Mike

PS Is Bruce there yet again to see who dies tonight?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 22, 2008, 08:22:55 AM
Thanks Mike! Seattle is a tad off the map, so the latest cast list did not arrive at KING's studio yet!

That's him:

http://www.robertdeansmith.com/

Bruce might be a glutton for punishment and attend a recital of Lachenmann works, but another five hours, could be just a bit too much, even for him!  :-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 22, 2008, 08:32:19 AM
Well, he certainly seems to have done a lot with a lot of famous people. Rather as I suggested in my Tannhauser review that you enjoyed; there are so many good singers still new to me.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 25, 2008, 11:04:01 AM
Parsifal.

There is the review of a Parsifal I might even be interested in. Nigel sure thought a lot of it:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on March 25, 2008, 11:16:10 AM
Bruce might be a glutton for punishment and attend a recital of Lachenmann works, but another five hours, could be just a bit too much, even for him!  :-\

Lis, your hunch is correct: I haven't quite been "Tristanized" yet.  Although I enjoyed it last week, I am not craving hearing it again for awhile.  (Same with the Ring Cycle from last summer.)  Several friends are going tonight, just because Heppner is finally appearing in it.  (You might be able to catch it on Sirius.)

I think my ears just crave a different kind of "harmonic scheme," since the music to Peter Grimes is proving highly addictive--I could listen to that score again and again.  Or Richard Strauss, whose music for some reason I find even easier to listen to and enjoy than Wagner's.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 26, 2008, 06:04:32 PM
Listen and read about what I just discovered at the Ondine website: A new bass-baritone:

http://www.ondine.net/index.php?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=3522

I ordered it and will report more as soon as I get it. Ondine is great company to deal with, prompt airmail shipping.  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 27, 2008, 03:20:41 PM
All kinds of news when one subscribes to and reads Opera the monthly magazine founded in 1950 by the Earl of Harewood, London.

For instance: Anna Netrebko has cancelled performances from July to January 2009, following the announcement that she is pregnant. She and her fiancé, the Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott, are expecting a child in the autumn. She will no longer appear at this year's Salzburg Festival.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 27, 2008, 03:33:39 PM
More news from the April issue of Opera:

Seattle Opera has set up its own dedicated online radio channel. Collaborating with the local classical music station, King FM, the Seattle Opera Channel is broadcasting around the clock, though at the moment using a five-hour 'loop' broadcast that will change every two weeks. The programming includes full-length opera recordings, interviews, and previews of Seattle Opera's work.

http://www.king.org/

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on March 27, 2008, 03:41:16 PM
You want to listen to more opera? Opera, April 2008 issue tells this:

In recognition of the fact that opera is an area not well covered by the audio media in Britain, a new website, operalovers.net, has been established with a regular podcast as its centrepiece. Although aimed at mainstream opera fans rather than professionals, it hopes to be of wide interest and will include articles, features and forums; the pilot edition has a UK focus, but the intention is to make the content more international without losing its British connection. The website is the brainchild of opera-loving lawyer Neil Shestopal, who had gone into partnership with Yehuda Shapiro (content) and Sabine Pusch (podcast production).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 01, 2008, 03:42:56 PM
Only for those who like this sort of thing....opera in English. Chandos are about to issue Cosi Fan Tutti, conducted by Mackerras and with a cast that sounds more than promising. I have his Magic Flute and thoroughly enjoy it. The Cosi will have to be found a space on the shelf....soon.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sarastro on April 08, 2008, 07:49:11 PM
I really encourage you to purchase the latest addition to the Opus Arte DVD label – a performance of Rossini's opera Il Viaggio a Reims that is conducted by Valery Gergiev. All the cast of about 17 solo singers, sing in Italian with a very prominent Russian pronunciation. But this performance was not recorded in Tel-Aviv but at the center of the world: Le theatre du Chatelet in Paris…

Setting aside the pronunciation, I must admit that the style of singing is not Rossiniesque at all. I highly discourage to purchase this DVD for the first introduction to the opera.

Two of Abbado's audios are incomparably better. Additionally to say, he reconstructed the opera and made its modern premiere in 1984. There is his personal impact in the performances he conducted, and the recordings belong to the world's opera treasury (well, at least I hope so ;D).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on April 08, 2008, 10:32:48 PM
I highly discourage to purchase this DVD for the first introduction to the opera.

This time, I agree with you.  0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on April 29, 2008, 09:36:05 AM
Hot off the Press: He finally did it!!

http://www.nytimes.com:80/reuters/arts/entertainment-germany-wagner.html?ex=1210132800&en=e3813d58c899b914&ei=5070&emc=eta1
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 29, 2008, 10:34:17 AM
I guess at some point in their lives, most people decide that enough is enough....of course there are exceptions, Mugabe for one.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on May 18, 2008, 05:27:29 PM
For those of you non-readers of the New York Times, here is very good article about the Felsenstein collection. He was a famous Regietheater director.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/arts/music/18davi.html?ref=arts

No, I'll sit out purchasing the edition, $400, used at amazon, because the operas listed are not among my favourites, and not even Kurt Masur conducting can change my mind. For that kind of money I can buy a bunch of Stockhausens and still have some change left for a few Cerhas and Eötvöses!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on May 30, 2008, 02:44:23 AM
Coming to La Scala in 2011:  An Inconvenient Truth—the opera.

No, seriously.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/arts/music/30arts-ANINCONVENIE_BRF.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on May 30, 2008, 05:54:52 AM
I might watch the film, but an opera sounds like it will be agitprop. Perhaps the Al Scala Unions are sponsoring this one.

Mike
Title: Donizetti "La fille du régiment" on PBS tonight
Post by: Brewski on June 26, 2008, 08:12:14 AM
PBS is showing the movie-house broadcast of the Met's La fille du régiment tonight (at 8:00 in New York, check local listings).  A nice review on MusicWeb of the original live broadcast is here (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2008/Jan-Jun08/dessay2604.htm).

I saw the production in the house (not the broadcast) and thought it was totally delightful, with Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez singing up a storm--and this from someone who doesn't normally warm up to Donizetti.  The production is whimsical, totally in keeping with the story, and there's a very funny turn by actress Marian Seldes as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on June 26, 2008, 08:21:11 AM
Coming to La Scala in 2011:  An Inconvenient Truth—the opera.

No, seriously.


Thank you, Wendell, interesting project, but you think we'll be around by 2011 to attend the world premiere?? :-\
Title: Re: Donizetti "La fille du régiment" on PBS tonight
Post by: Hector on June 27, 2008, 03:24:05 AM
PBS is showing the movie-house broadcast of the Met's La fille du régiment tonight (at 8:00 in New York, check local listings).  A nice review on MusicWeb of the original live broadcast is here (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2008/Jan-Jun08/dessay2604.htm).

I saw the production in the house (not the broadcast) and thought it was totally delightful, with Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez singing up a storm--and this from someone who doesn't normally warm up to Donizetti.  The production is whimsical, totally in keeping with the story, and there's a very funny turn by actress Marian Seldes as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.

--Bruce

BBC 4 are repeating the Covent Garden production this evening 8pm BST. Same cast only Dawn French is the oh-so unfunny Duchess.
Title: Re: Donizetti "La fille du régiment" on PBS tonight
Post by: Subotnick on June 27, 2008, 04:00:03 AM
BBC 4 are repeating the Covent Garden production this evening 8pm BST. Same cast only Dawn French is the oh-so unfunny Duchess.

I was going to bring this up myself. I'll be recording it as I'm off to work. I just wondered if it was a good production and if I'm in for a treat.

TTFN.
Me.
Title: Die Soldaten -
Post by: UB on July 10, 2008, 07:43:53 PM
I just read where B.A. Zimmermann's opera "Die soldaten" is about to end a run at Lincoln Center. Has anyone gone to or plans to go see this amazing opera? If so please post a review. I can not imagine any opera lover living in or near NY not seeing a production of one of the great operas of the late 20th century. Sadly I must settle for watching my VHS version.

Edit - I really need to read before posting - I look forward to reading Sforzando review in the other thread.
Title: Re: Die Soldaten -
Post by: Brewski on July 10, 2008, 07:48:17 PM
I just read where B.A. Zimmermann's opera "Die soldaten" is about to end a run at Lincoln Center. Has anyone gone to or plans to go see this amazing opera? If so please post a review. I can not imagine any opera lover living in or near NY not seeing a production of one of the great operas of the late 20th century. Sadly I must settle for watching my VHS version.

UB!  Nice to see you around!  I am going tonight (Friday).  The final performance is Saturday.  Without exception, every single person I've spoken with has been pretty much awestruck.  Check the Opera section: there is at least one other thread on this, too.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 11, 2008, 06:36:11 PM
Tomorrow, Saturday July 12th, BBC Radio 3, has Berg's Wozzeck with Simon Keenlyside around noon here. You'll have to figure out the proper time, it's 18.30 in London!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/operaon3/pip/riq49/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 23, 2008, 07:01:33 PM
A reminder: On the 25th Bayreuth's season will open with Parsifal. Listen to it:

www.operacast.com/bayreuth08.htm
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 24, 2008, 12:14:56 PM
Seemingly there is a closed performance each year for 'The Workers', tickets are not available under the usual arrangements. I know someone who is going for The Ring this year; she was told about this performance and that entry is sometimes given if you have tickets for other performances and write a nice letter. She did and has access to the performance, it will be Parisfal. I don't know what workers means in this context, it might be for the people who work for the festival.

The Parsifal is a new production, not the one with the projected film of a decomposing rabbit.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: karlhenning on July 24, 2008, 05:48:49 PM
That rabbit's dynamite.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 30, 2008, 07:01:58 PM
Want to try a brand new music and opera forum? Try this one, at least have a look - HE won't bite!

http://cmandof.freeforums.org/index.php
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on July 31, 2008, 04:44:44 AM
Want to try a brand new music and opera forum? Try this one, at least have a look - HE won't bite!

http://cmandof.freeforums.org/index.php

Why, have all his teeth been removed?

The Wagnerite who knows nuffing!

Could be fun, on second thoughts, though.

I might register under a pseudonym and like him I can become a pseud!

Wolfie could be a good name $:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 31, 2008, 06:26:58 AM
Want to try a brand new music and opera forum? Try this one, at least have a look - HE won't bite!

Really? I guess you didn't read this:

Way t'go, David! Seems like one of the GMG morons managed to find his way over here after reading your comment there that I just started a new classical music and opera forum. Good thing you didn't supply a link, otherwise we might have had a GMG moron inundation to deal with here.

Oh well, no real harm done. Online forum morons do have a certain entertainment value, do they not... ACD


The full thread can be viewed here http://cmandof.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17  Two of our most illustrious members are mentioned by name.

From what I've read this new forum exists solely as a place for David Zalman and ACD to make love to each other. I won't be joining them  ;D  ACD doesn't appear to have any special insight into Wagner anyway if this nonsense is typical of the man:

"Wagner's musico-dramatic and symphonic contrapuntal genius is almost always realized in the massing, rarely in details of inner line (Meistersinger is an exception), and Böhm's transparent and razor-edge-precise readings of Wagner wherein the revealing of inner line is prominent are therefore just plain wrong (i.e., un-Wagnerian). They're wrong because while precision and the revealing of inner line in the music of, say, Mozart or Beethoven is to reveal the very soul of the music, precision and the revealing of inner line in Wagner's music serves only to reveal how the sorcerer accomplished his magic."

Sarge
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 31, 2008, 06:35:05 AM
It seems Hector came through with his thread to post his childish nonsense at the new forum!

Certainly you, Sergeant, don't believe for a minute ACD posted this diatribe?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 31, 2008, 06:37:57 AM
It seems Hector came through with his thread to post his childish nonsense at the new forum!

Certainly you, Sergeant, don't believe for a minute ACD posted this diatribe?

The post I quoted says by ACD.

Sarge
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on July 31, 2008, 06:48:51 AM
No Way! ACD is more intelligent than to engage in such a childish prank and use this kind of language.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 31, 2008, 07:51:55 AM
No Way! ACD is more intelligent than to engage in such a childish prank and use this kind of language.

In my first post on this topic I added a link to the thread I quote. Check it out. ACD is replying to a Zalman post, trashing this forum and its members.

Sarge
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on July 31, 2008, 08:17:44 AM
In my first post on this topic I added a link to the thread I quote. Check it out. ACD is replying to a Zalman post, trashing this forum and its members.

They sure use the word "moron" a lot over there.  GMG must have really hurt them. Somehow.
I don't recall that ACD character being here at all which, seeing his posts on the linked page, is just as well. What was his nickname here?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on August 05, 2008, 04:36:52 AM
It seems Hector came through with his thread to post his childish nonsense at the new forum!

Certainly you, Sergeant, don't believe for a minute ACD posted this diatribe?

I didn't "come through" with any thread. I had never entered the site until Sarge posted the link.

I suspect that both Sarge and myself remember the nonsense from both Zalman and ACD(...iatribe) in the past (I used to think that they were one and the same).

Sorry, uffebaby, you've fingered the wrong guy and I'm sorry my lack of enthusiasm for somebody you, clearly, admire, should prompt an insult.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on August 05, 2008, 04:54:55 AM
Hectordarling, my apology for having offended you and thereby eliminated your previous affection for me by accusing you of a misdeed you are innocent of! All a matter of misreading and confusing posts at two different fora.

Feel better now? We still friends?  :-[
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 09, 2008, 05:22:06 AM
I followed the link, if that thread is the standard, then I see no point in reading more. Some gush, a deal of sycophancy and a fair bit of bitchery. Oh yes, I almost forgot about the buckets of smugness. A load of docking and frotting really.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on August 11, 2008, 02:53:20 AM
Hectordarling, my apology for having offended you and thereby eliminated your previous affection for me by accusing you of a misdeed you are innocent of! All a matter of misreading and confusing posts at two different fora.

Feel better now? We still friends?  :-[

Of course :-*
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on August 19, 2008, 05:13:04 AM
Opera, The magazine for every opera lover, is now available here:

http://www.opera.co.uk/

I have been a subscriber for over fifteen years and enjoyed and saved every issue. The reviews by respected critics like Andrew Porter, Hugh Canning and Rodney Milnes, the chairman of Opera are invaluable.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: uffeviking on August 19, 2008, 06:57:28 AM
Bayreuth Festival Time!

The link courtesy of ACD:

http://mostlyopera.blogspot.com/search/label/bayreuth%20festival
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 31, 2008, 11:21:17 AM
And speaking of Bayreuth: here is an item from Sat. London Times about the possibility of Wolfgang Wagner finally stepping down as Director....as long as the Foundation makes the decision he wants. If they don't he may resind his resignation, having been previously granted his job for life. A sort of Anti-Pope in a way. I hope they have more sense than to appoint another Director for life.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article4636881.ece

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Hector on September 01, 2008, 05:24:53 AM
And speaking of Bayreuth: here is an item from Sat. London Times about the possibility of Wolfgang Wagner finally stepping down as Director....as long as the Foundation makes the decision he wants. If they don't he may resind his resignation, having been previously granted his job for life. A sort of Anti-Pope in a way. I hope they have more sense than to appoint another Director for life.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article4636881.ece

Mike

Me, I'd go for the blonde ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: David Zalman on September 01, 2008, 12:23:34 PM
And speaking of Bayreuth: here is an item from Sat. London Times about the possibility of Wolfgang Wagner finally stepping down as Director....as long as the Foundation makes the decision he wants. If they don't he may resind his resignation, having been previously granted his job for life. A sort of Anti-Pope in a way. I hope they have more sense than to appoint another Director for life.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article4636881.ece

Mike

Wolfgang Wagner submitted his official written resignation to the Stiftungsrat (the board of the foundation which has executive control of the Bayreuth Festival) at the end of April.  It's final and cannot be rescinded by him no matter what.

But that's all moot now.  The Stiftungsrat has today appointed the new directors of the Festival, and its decision is final.

Details here (http://www.soundsandfury.com/soundsandfury/2008/09/its-official.html).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on September 12, 2008, 09:26:59 PM
From The Press Association...

"Welsh opera legend plans to retire
17 hours ago

Welsh singing legend Bryn Terfel is planning to bow out while still at the top and retire within three years.

The opera singer, 42, believes his voice has never been in better shape but he is anxious to walk away with his reputation as a performer intact.

The unexpected announcement will be greeted with dismay by Terfel's legion of fans around the world."

Very sketchy piece. Last week I read his discussion of his plans for various Wagner appearances that stretched way beyond three years. He did also say that he had no plans at all for any complete opera recordings on CD. He hoped someone would record his Wotan and mentioned an impending appearance in Gergiev's Ring cycle.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sarastro on September 12, 2008, 10:35:48 PM
The unexpected announcement will be greeted with dismay by Terfel's legion of fans around the world.

I am dismayed!! :o This is... unbelievable and very sad. Anyway, his decision...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
*five minutes later*

No panic, this is not true. :D

Quote
Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel has denied reports he plans to retire within three years, saying he will be "slowing down".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7609566.stm

Quote
Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel is reassuring his fans that he's not leaving, after hinting in an interview published this week that he has retirement in sight.

Representatives for the 42-year-old singer said Thursday that Terfel has simply been reducing his workload so as to have more time with his wife and children. They emphatically said that the opera world star has no intention to retire from the stage, revealing that his current commitments take him up until 2014.

Terfel's longtime agent, Doreen O'Neill, told the Western Mail on Thursday that the singer has simply been shifting his work-life balance and was not set to retire. "As you get older you can actually say no to things," she said. "It's just a matter of balancing the opera and the concert work so he gets more free time with his family."

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/theatre/story/2008/09/12/terfel-bryn-opera.html?ref=rss
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on September 13, 2008, 10:41:51 PM
Terfel has often said he wanted to spend more time with his family.  I may be wrong on this but I seem to recall a time when one of his children was born and he went home to be with his wife.  People were dismayed that he would not be singing at their performance.  I thought he made the right decision and rejoiced for him and his family.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on September 17, 2008, 09:14:21 PM
Sorry for putting a private message on the public board but I can't reply to Liz' note.  It says she doesn't exist and won't send her a message.

Anyway, Liz, don't worry about the deletion.  I forgot what I had written anyway. - Anne 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on September 22, 2008, 12:29:20 AM
Some spectacular views of the new Oslo Opera House, here (http://mostlyopera.blogspot.com/2008/09/norwegian-opera-in-spectacular-new.html).  8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on September 22, 2008, 07:56:49 PM
Thank you for the tour.  It was very enjoyable.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on September 22, 2008, 08:48:17 PM
Thank you for the tour.  It was very enjoyable.

I think I'll set a (long-term) goal of attending a production there. I'm bound to visit Norway at some point, anyway.  8)

I only hope the new Athens Opera House (designed by Renzo Piano (http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_ell_2_28/07/2008_98969)) will be as beautiful or spectacular.
Title: The Metropolitan Opera Launches Met Player on October 22
Post by: Wendell_E on September 23, 2008, 05:40:32 AM
Quote
Continuing its innovative use of electronic media to reach a global audience, the Metropolitan Opera introduces Met Player, a new subscription service that will make its extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public for the first time online, and in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Beginning on October 22, 120 historic audio recordings and 50 full-length opera videos will be available during the first month of the new service, including over a dozen of the company’s acclaimed The Met: Live in HD transmissions, known for their extraordinary sound and picture quality.  New content, including HD productions and archival broadcasts, will be added monthly.

...The service will be available for a monthly charge of $14.99 or on a per view price ranging from $3.99 to $4.99.

...Some of the initial offerings have never been seen since their original television broadcasts: Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci with Tatiana Troyanos, Teresa Stratas, and Domingo (1978); Leontyne Price’s Aida (1985); and The Queen of Spades with Galina Gorchakova, and Domingo (1999).

...Utilizing the technology of Met Player, users have the option of hooking up their computers to new HD TV sets and home-stereo sound systems, delivering the Met’s catalog in high quality.

Subscription fees are priced at $14.99 per month or $149.99 for a yearly plan....  Individual purchases will cost $4.99 for HD videos and $3.99 for an audio performance or non-HD video; these individual purchases may be played in a six-hour period within 30 days.

...

For a preview of the Met Player experience, go to www.metplayer.org/preview. For an optimal viewing experience, a multi-core processor, with at least 1GB of memory and 32MB of video RAM, is recommended.



Full press release at http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=4906
Title: Opera Premiere
Post by: UB on September 26, 2008, 07:18:45 PM
On Saturday - the 27th - at 1:05 PM Eastern, Radio France will broadcast the premiere performance of Peter Eötvös's latest opera - Enjoy

Lady Sarashina
Opéra en 9 tableaux sur un livret de Mari Mezei
d'après des fragments du "Journal de Sarashina"
publiés en anglais sous le titre de "As I crossed a
Bridge of Dreams"
Création mondiale
Commande de l'Opéra de Lyon

Mireille Delunsch : Lady Sarashina
Ilse Eerens : la princesse, la jeune Dame, une dame
du rêve
Peter Bording : le garde, le bouffon, le messager,
le père, le chat, le bonze, le gentilhomme
Salomé Kammer : l’Impératrice, la mère, la soeur,
une dame du rêve, la Dame d'honneur
Orchestre de l'Opera National de Lyon
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on September 27, 2008, 11:43:44 PM
Korngold's Die tote Stadt at San Francisco Opera. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/19/PKKT12T499.DTL)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on October 01, 2008, 10:27:59 AM
Not news as such, well at all, but I did not want to start a new thread for it.

Here is a link to Jessye Norman singing Gluck, Chicago 1990.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AG-wMqtMb1g

I do think it is very striking that she clearly has trouble articulating the high and fast passages, smudging them, though attempting a more measured approach when the music returns; though with no greater success. It does not lie truly high, but there is no doubt that she is having problems.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 19, 2008, 02:14:03 AM
Our friend Nigel in Paris reports that the Paris Opera's production of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen is being shown free online on November 4 at 7.30 p.m. at three websites:  www.operadeparis.fr, www.medici.tv and www.france2.fr

Here's the webpage of the production, including a slideshow ("Diaporama"): http://www.operadeparis.fr/Saison-2008-2009/Spectacle.asp?IdS=523
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ezodisy on November 01, 2008, 09:29:45 AM
Why didn't any of you rascals tell me that Elektra is on at the Royal Opera House? I love this one, would have missed it if it hadn't been for a friend who isn't even interested in opera. Bless her. Ezodisy's going to hear women shrieking for 2 hours. Awesome.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 01, 2008, 01:05:54 PM
Luv: How'd you expect me to tell you something I myself don't know about?   ::)

And if I'd known about the shrieking females, what'd I have to do to hear them via my computer?   ???
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 01, 2008, 02:35:13 PM
Got this in the mail today:
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 02, 2008, 03:01:19 AM
Why didn't any of you rascals tell me that Elektra is on at the Royal Opera House? I love this one, would have missed it if it hadn't been for a friend who isn't even interested in opera. Bless her. Ezodisy's going to hear women shrieking for 2 hours. Awesome.

Do let us know how it goes. Almost the last thing I saw there was Elektra, those singers did shriek rather more than the music might suggest; better luck with your cast.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ezodisy on November 03, 2008, 09:47:28 PM
Luv: How'd you expect me to tell you something I myself don't know about?   ::)

You see, I always knew you were different from other women :)

those singers did shriek rather more than the music might suggest; better luck with your cast.

the pleasure here is resoundingly in the pain, hope the shrieking cracks lenses. When was the Elektra production you mention? I saw one at the ROH too but it was about 5 years ago.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 05, 2008, 11:07:30 PM
It was a bit longer ago than that. I think it was the current production; one set, blood runs down the walls. Eva Marton was I think Elektra. Unfortunately my most enduring memory was that my back gave out and I saw the second half standing at the back of the top gallery.

Same thing with Flying Dutchman....

Now, I carry my backfriend with me.

http://www.medesign.co.uk/shop/proddetail.php?prod=BFSHome

I like shrieking, but it has to be in tune. Let us know how the hollering goes.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: pjme on November 07, 2008, 03:29:41 PM
I'm just back from Antwerp Opera house . Britten's "Rape of Lucretia" in a very stylised production. Mainly Belgian and Dutch ( young) performers. sara Fulgoni is Lucretia, Yves Saelens an impressive "Male chorus". Elgar Howarth (73) conducts.

I went to Britten' Rape of Lucretia at Antwerp Opera last week. Really excellent ( one or two ugly details notwithstanding...: really awful fake flowers (think of knitting needles with tissue paper petals...) and the rape-scene itself as a kind of stop-motion...choreography...)
Sara Fulgoni as a perfect Lucretia and Yves Saelens , a Belgian tenor, now at the height of his powers, as "Male chorus". He realy should sing War requiem or some of the Canticles....

(http://www.vlaamseopera.be/en/0f8152e5-97a9-4253-b7d9-6f1230f63391.down)

Yves Saelens and Anja Van Engeland as Male &Female chorus

(http://www.opera-explorer.be/en/d205abfc-6987-423c-99bd-28be2934d10e.down)
The "stop motion" effect rape-scene in Antwerp... silly!
But conductor Elgar Howarth ( 73) leads a truly gripping performance - 8 singers - 13 instruments.


P.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 09, 2008, 03:10:33 PM
Seemingly Glass has been commissioned by the New York City Opera to write an opera on the life of Walt Disney. Unless this allows him to drag on the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; I cannot understand what there will be to produce of a theatrical nature.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 09, 2008, 04:51:36 PM
With Mortier bowing out of his contract with the NYCO, I wonder who will step in to finance the commission.  ???
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 09, 2008, 11:11:28 PM
The opera is to be called 'The Perfect American', premiered in 2012, the 75th birthday year of Glass.

I know no more, but the same source has a long item on Classical Artist of the Year.....Russell Watson; I do hope Glass sees the item, he would make a splendid 'Dopey' in the Disney opera.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on November 10, 2008, 01:22:28 PM
Glass? I'm sure Bruce has already reserved tickets for the first 7 shows. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on November 10, 2008, 02:14:57 PM
Glass? I'm sure Bruce has already reserved tickets for the first 7 shows. ;D

 ;D  I confess that I have yet to warm up to Glass... :-[  I saw Satyagraha last year and...well...once was fine.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on November 10, 2008, 03:03:31 PM
What better way than to view the Disney opera 7 times in a row? It will let you appreciate the complexity and variability of the music better...



Just so I'm not accused of artifcially vivifying the opera section, this is a CD some of you may have missed, and I believe Lis, for one, liked his voice (or was it looks? I forget):

(http://www.dux.pl/upload/obrazki/okladki/0494_mini.jpg) (http://www.dux.pl/catalogue/results/details/?pid=260)
Wojtek Drabowicz - opera arias on DUX; the running time is not exactly generous - less than 50 minutes! :o

I ordered it today and hope it arrives later this week, maybe next Monday (we're in the middle of an extended weekend at the moment).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 10, 2008, 07:10:04 PM
Wojciech? Never seen the man, never heard the man. Dear Maciek, how many Lises do you know? It ain't this one, wrong Lis!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on November 10, 2008, 09:33:41 PM
Wojciech? Never seen the man, never heard the man. Dear Maciek, how many Lises do you know? It ain't this one, wrong Lis!

Dear Lis, you shouldn’t have given this conclusive statement…  ;)

Actually, you have seen and heard this excellent Polish baritone, Wojtek Drabowicz, who sadly passed away a year ago. Do you need a hint? Here it is: Calixto Bieito …

Maybe the picture will refresh your memory: Drabowicz is the one with the pistol…

(http://www.opusarte.com/productGallery_images/49881609/giovanni1.jpg)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Maciek on November 11, 2008, 02:04:38 AM
That's the one!

The disc was issued shortly before the singer's death. I found a review here (http://www.operatoday.com/content/2006/10/post_5.php) (judging by the reviewer's surname, he might be slightly biased; or not 0:)).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 11, 2008, 07:15:27 AM
Actually, you have seen and heard this excellent Polish baritone, Wojtek Drabowicz, who sadly passed away a year ago. Do you need a hint? Here it is: Calixto Bieito …


Oh HIM! Bieito's Don Giovanni! T-C you didn't really expect me to remember his name? Yes, you did, because your memory is flawless; I am always grateful for your nudges to my senior variety.  :-*
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 13, 2008, 02:44:12 PM
http://www.popeater.com/article/robert-lepage-prepared-for-wagner-in-las/240653?icid=sphere

Robert Lepage Prepared for Wagner in Las Vegas
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 13, 2008, 02:48:41 PM
Met Opera to Cut Ghosts

http://www.popeater.com/article/apnewsbreak-met-opera-to-cut-ghosts/247580?cid=35
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 13, 2008, 03:58:29 PM
Get 'em while they are hot!

Seattle is really pushing for their new Ring next year.  I have been getting phone calls and promotional brochures and ads like this one in my email box.  :-\

http://www.seattleopera.org/tickets/ring/index.aspx
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 13, 2008, 05:52:55 PM
Get 'em while they are hot!

Seattle is really pushing for their new Ring next year.  I have been getting phone calls and promotional brochures and ads like this one in my email box.  :-\

http://www.seattleopera.org/tickets/ring/index.aspx

Lis, do they have any recordings (CD or DVD) of this Ring for sale?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 13, 2008, 06:07:46 PM
Honey, it's a brand new production and will be premiered next year. You'll have to come out here to experience it. Figure on two weeks in Seattle because there is always a 'free' day in between, to give you out-of-towners a chance to go shopping in Seattle!  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 13, 2008, 06:15:11 PM
Guess I'm mixed up.  I thought there was a Ring nicknamed the Green Ring.  There were pictures online and it looked to be an attractive Ring.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 13, 2008, 06:27:16 PM
Easy to get confused! There is the previous production, ref. to as The Green Ring,, you had that right, but there is no commercial video or even audio recording of it available. I have an audio tape a Seattle friend made for me from the Seattle radio broadcast - KING FM - but the sound is so bad, I can't even bear to listen to it.  :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 13, 2008, 09:12:16 PM
I remember the first time Jane Eaglen sang in Seattle.  No one had heard her voice yet but it was reputed to be something special.  A friendly acquaintance of mine lived right in Seattle and agreed to tape King FM.  I listened to the broadcast from King FM.  That was so exciting!  I even stayed awake until 2:00 AM.
 Unfortunately over the years with all the music web sites failing I lost track of my friend.  Maybe we can find someone else.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 13, 2008, 09:23:47 PM
Anne, was this Eaglen's Isolde with Heppner? I was there, experienced it live and will never forget it. She has been criticized so much, rudely, about her size, but there was something about this artist that had us all mesmerized.

I too lost my Seattle friend who had taped the Green Ring for me! If KING FM has a better broadcast engineer next year, I'll try and tape it.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on November 14, 2008, 02:31:05 AM
Honey, it's a brand new production and will be premiered next year.

 ??? According to the page at the link you posted, "This award-winning production, inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, was unveiled in 2001 to wide acclaim, and revived for sold-out audiences in 2005."  So it will be a revial of Stephen Wadsworth's "green Ring".
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 14, 2008, 04:01:29 AM
You've got me there, Wendell! I didn't read all of the ad, because my ears get filled almost every day, listening to Seattle radio stations, with news of the new Ring. In interviews Speight Jenkins won't reveal the secret about the new dragon, so I assumed it's an all-around new Ring!  :)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on November 14, 2008, 08:09:50 AM
Maybe this time around they will make a commercial video recording.  From everything I heard about the production, it sounds as if they really need to.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 14, 2008, 10:01:33 AM
Wendell, if Washington State were not the birthplace of Microsoft I would wonder if the advance of some technical discoveries stopped at our border.  ;)

There had not been made a single official recording from the Seattle opera, neither audio nor video! Even the Pacific Northwest Ballet had their Midsummer Night recorded of a performance at the Sadler Wells in February 1999.  :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 15, 2008, 01:12:24 AM
Anne, was this Eaglen's Isolde with Heppner? I was there, experienced it live and will never forget it. She has been criticized so much, rudely, about her size, but there was something about this artist that had us all mesmerized.

I too lost my Seattle friend who had taped the Green Ring for me! If KING FM has a better broadcast engineer next year, I'll try and tape it.

Now that you mention Tristan, I think that was the opera that Eglen sang.  It was just a few years after that that Eglen sang  Tristan at the Met.  I've heard that her husband is happy with her size just the way it is.


Don't you think that ----- and Melinda Gates would happily pay for the recording expenses.  He has now retired from the world of computers and plans to operate the charity he and Melinda own full time.  I have heard from others that he is not a classical music fan.  Is his name Bill?  I just cannot remember that name.  Maybe somone could interest him.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 15, 2008, 07:38:41 AM
Anne, you are thinking of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organisation with world wide loftier and more important goals in mind, than the production of opera DVDs.  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 15, 2008, 04:45:23 PM
Anne, you are thinking of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organisation with world wide loftier and more important goals in mind, than the production of opera DVDs.  :)

Thanks for confirming Bill's name.  I guess we'll just have to do without his contribution to opera.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 15, 2008, 04:56:07 PM
Please, Anne! Don't jump to wrong conclusions; just because I said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not in the business of paying for opera recordings, does not mean the couple does not like opera.  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on November 15, 2008, 09:34:33 PM
Please, Anne! Don't jump to wrong conclusions; just because I said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not in the business of paying for opera recordings, does not mean the couple does not like opera.  :)

I understand what you are saying.  However, on a different web site several years ago I heard that he was not a classical music lover.  At the time we all commiserated.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 20, 2008, 01:37:32 PM
Mussorgsky is not, I think, an apt candidate to have his operas translated into English. English National Opera is in the middle of a run of performances of Boris Godunov. Somehow the language sounded prissy when I want dark Russian vowel sounds. But then, I booked the tickets and ought to have known what I was in for.

This was the original seven scene version. Boris hardly appears in the first half of the opera and it ended with his death. The production was as fluid as could be, allowing the piece to be played seamlessly, without an interval. Two hours and 10 minutes; one long act from a Wagner opera. This version provides focus and concentration. The piece does remind me of Wagner in the feeling of epic scale, the blend of public and private events and the way in which the soloist vocal writing is laid out as a long series of monologues with next to no duetting or ensemble stretches.

We get the by now anticipated approaches to production: namely, one set throughout and updating of the timeframe. Here we seem to be in late pre-revolutionary Russia, it works perfectly well, the set seemed sometimes to be a barn, sometimes a courtyard or perhaps a chamber. The uncluttered stage allowed effective blocking of the large lustrous chorus who together with the orchestra provided the thrills of the evening. The production brought out the mordant humour of the peasants who complain in sly terms about their betters and become the embodiment of suffering, dictator-hungry Russia that I believe Mussorgsky intended.

Pimen held the stage in a way Boris could not. The stagecraft of Piman was evident even when he stood stock still, whilst Boris was diminished.Though the production did not help; where the feared, evil tyrant gave up his throne to accommodate the aged Pimen who had arrived to unsettle him even more than he unsettled himself. Boris was emollient towards the double dealing Prince Shuisky. More a domestic scale tyrant really. But the real problem was that the singer was unequal to the task; as though Dr Falke had strayed in from Fledermaus. The death scene was mainly in parlando, not because the singer had no voice, but seemed to think this was the appropriate approach! This was all a world away from such as Christoff who made a stupendous impression, with the majesty and pathos which were entirely missing from the singer confronting us.

But what a symphony, the orchestral writing is still startling. The memorable elements, the players and the massed chorus, the lighting, the fluid approach. But next time, I will make sure I see it in Russian.


Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on December 01, 2008, 08:49:23 PM
We hear that . . .

From this month issue of Opera we hear that Philip Glass has been commissioned to write The Perfect American, on the life of Walt Disney, for New York City opera in 2012-13.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: springrite on December 01, 2008, 09:05:18 PM
We hear that . . .

From this month issue of Opera we hear that Philip Glass has been commissioned to write The Perfect American, on the life of Walt Disney, for New York City opera in 2012-13.

Interesting. I do hope eventually he will compose an autobiographical (again, plots optional) opera about himself, titled "More Than Half Full".
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on December 01, 2008, 09:06:27 PM
Just for fun and entertainment, mainly for the female members of this astute forum: On the cover of my favourite magazine is this charmer, probably the best singing and also best looking lyric tenor alive!

I have mentioned him before - s. my review of Carmen - and just ordered the DVD of Fidelio with him as Floristan.  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 13, 2009, 07:14:28 PM
Good financial news. Yes, even in this time of deficits and reductions and cancellations at other opera houses, the news from Seattle's Opera Speight Jenkins in his latest letter are positive. I quote a few remarks:

"At the close of 2008, Seattle Opera's financial status is in a solid position. We have no accumulated deficit. We have a moderate but recently increased endowment, and we have some funds upon which we can draw if needed. Our upcoming 2009 The Ring is selling steadily. It is at close to 90% of our expected sales, and we anticipate its being as successful as The Ring has been before."

"Seattle Opera has the greatest grass roots support of any opera company...

I am not bragging, only sharing good news with you!  :P   :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on January 17, 2009, 03:57:28 AM
On the bad financial news front, from the New York Times:

Quote
Metropolitan Opera Faces Cuts, Its Leader Says

Mr. Gelb said that he and senior staff members have taken a 10 percent pay cut and that the rest of the staff would do so at the end of the fiscal year, which concludes after the season. He said at least four expensive productions have been canceled or replaced next season as well.

“We’ve asked the unions to work together with us to meet this challenge,” Mr. Gelb said. “If the word is concession, then say they’re concessions. I think the unions and the larger family of the Met believes in the Met as an institution. My belief is they will want to do what is right to keep the Met a vibrant, thriving organization.” Mr. Gelb said he would also ask principal singers to take a reduction in fees....

The money woes put a damper on his plans for next season. The planned revival of John Corigliano’s “Ghosts of Versailles” has been canceled, to be replaced by “La Traviata.” Another expensive revival, “Benvenuto Cellini” by Berlioz, has been sidelined. “It’s a great sacrifice, frankly, because it’s a great piece of repertory,” Mr. Gelb said. Its loss was also a blow to James Levine, the music director, who holds Berlioz dear....

Revivals of “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” by Shostakovich and “Die Frau Ohne Schatten” by Richard Strauss are being replaced by two other Strauss operas: “Ariadne auf Naxos” and “Elektra,” respectively.

Full story at the New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/arts/music/16opera.html?_r=2&hp

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 17, 2009, 04:38:38 AM
Not surprising; sponsorship will be an increasing problem for quite some time. I guess we can all assume more Traviatas and no Cellinis now.

Mike

"Its once-mighty endowment of more than $300 million has dropped by a third, to a point where it cannot be drawn from; donations are down by $10 million this season; and ticket sales are expected to be off by several million dollars from what was expected, Mr. Gelb said in an interview."

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on January 24, 2009, 12:52:46 PM
Renzo Piano revealed more details today of his designs for the new Athens Opera house.

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans03Gr.jpg) (http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans03Gr.jpg)
(click to enlarge)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans02Gr.jpg)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans05Gr.jpg)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans04Gr.jpg)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans01Gr.jpg)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans09Gr.jpg)

(http://www.snf.org/Files/Snf/GalleryPhotos/SNFCCplans07Gr.jpg)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Renfield on January 24, 2009, 01:50:23 PM
Renzo Piano revealed more details today of his designs for the new Athens Opera house.

For the what?

I had no idea about this, much less that Renzo Piano was doing it!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 24, 2009, 02:15:57 PM
I wish I'd know more about reading architectural drawings, but as I understand it, the designer has put all the activity for scene changes, like raising flys, underneath the house, whereas most other houses have it above. That would be an interesting innovation.

In any event, Athens can be proud of the new structure - now let's hear about the programs, instead of a steady flow of Carmens and Toscas maybe an Adés, Vivier and Rautavaara!  8)

Thank you, Wanderer, for keeping us informed about the progress!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 30, 2009, 09:22:34 PM
T.C.: You always have the newest Opera releases, I ran into one this afternoon that still has me reeling from the impact and I need your help: It's a copy of a DVD a friend sent me and the opera is Rigoletto performed in 2008 at the Dresdner Semperoper; Lehnoff directing, Luisi conducting and singing stars are Florez, Damrau, and Lucic; can't get much better! Not too long ago we discussed the lack of a real great Rigoletto, T.C., this one is the best yet!

I know that copying DVDs is illegal, but there is no original DVD of this performance available, at least not as I know because I combed through every place selling DVDs, including the shop at the Semperoper itself! Not even an announcement of a past and future performance and subsequent commercially recording available. The quality of the DVD is flawless, sound and picture.

The only clue is the announcer, a charming lady speaking German, her introductions being simultaneously translated into French and the subtitles are in French.

T.C.: what can you tell me? - of course if anybody else here at GMG has an explanation, don't be shy, tell me all about it!

Lis
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on January 31, 2009, 12:54:15 AM
Lis,

I saw this production of Rigoletto on the ARTE-TV channel. I enjoyed it although, for my taste, Florez voice is too light to be a perfect Duke of Mantua. There isn’t yet any news about a commercial DVD for this production, but maybe it will appear in the future.

I like Diana Damrau a lot. A few weeks ago, I watched the new Decca DVD for Lorin Maazel opera 1984 that was performed in 2005 at the ROH. In my opinion this is not a great opera, but Diana Damrau performs brilliantly in two minor roles and there is an excellent performance of the title role by one of yours favorite baritones, Simon Keenlyside…

Today evening, Diana Damrau is singing Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in the old Salzburg Wernicke production. Christian Thielemann is the conductor, Renée Fleming is the Marschallin, Sophie Koch is Octavian, Franz Hawlata is Baron Ochs. The Italian singer is sung by Jonas Kaufmann! This production was filmed and will appear on a commercial DVD.

In the last two weeks I have been watching the Copenhagen Ring that appeared a few months ago on the Decca label. Although not perfect from the musical point of view, I enjoyed it immensely. Some will call it ‘Eurotrash’, but I think it offers a fresh and interesting (if at times brutal) approach to Wagner’s masterpiece.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 31, 2009, 07:44:09 AM
So that's where my Rigoletto comes from: Owner of a TV set, subscribed to the Arte channel and very apt at downloading the performance on to a DVD disc. Thank you, T.C., I just knew you'd satisfy my curiosity.  :-*

I agree about Florez. There is something about his voice making me want to scrub his vocal chords to have him sing without the constant tremors; he is a perfect Rossini tenor!

The Thielemann Rosenkavalier definitely is something to look forward to - in spite of Fleming! - Kaufmann as the Singer, truly generous casting!

T.C., you really have an open mind, awesomely wide open, to enjoy the Copenhagen Ring. Of course I don't have it and so far had no intention to watch it; reading the reviews of it saved me money. Of course reviews are the views of other people, maybe I should form my own opinion, if only I could accept the idea of Brünnhilde surviving with a baby girl in her arms! I never demand strict adherence to the original subject, but . . . ! Convince me, T.C.!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on January 31, 2009, 10:04:23 AM
Convince me, T.C.!

Lis,

I have no intentions to convince you to acquire the Copenhagen Ring.
This is a 7- DVD box set, and if you will not like it, I will truly feel bad about it…   ::)

I think that from the directing point of view, this is a brilliant Ring, but definitely not a conventional one. Brunhilde is the main character here (it was called by some – the feministic Ring…). She appears onstage at the beginning of Das Rhiengold, in a huge library reading about how the story had begun… there are some bold ideas like the Rhiengold is a naked swimmer swimming in a big aquarium, and Alberich is tearing his heart while stealing the gold…

Most of the singers are good. Some are very good like James Johnson, which is an outstanding Wotan or Stephen Milling, which is exceptional as Hunding and Fasolt. The one exception is the singer that is singing Hagen. He is very weak. All of the singers are excellent actors. This is the most dramatic Ring I know: very different from the Ring oratorio – the Met production with Levine – very beautiful and lavish, but lacks real fire and drama. 

You can read an excellent review here: THE COPENHAGEN RING (http://mostlyopera.blogspot.com/2008/07/copenhagen-ring-on-dvd-review.html)



the Gods may finally move into Valhalla:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UL15Q13W3SQ/SDtKsf6GQII/AAAAAAAABLk/jDvwQYKhHys/s1600/31_rhinguldet_medium.jpg)


Siegmund and Sieglinde:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UL15Q13W3SQ/SDxkUP6GQVI/AAAAAAAABNM/gCuPBH55-v8/s1600/valkyrien_1_0506_medium.jpg)


Fafner with Siegfried:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_UL15Q13W3SQ/SD2C4f6GQmI/AAAAAAAABPM/mTzYYcb9WwU/s1600/siegfried_7_medium.jpg)


Finale of Gotterdammerung:

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_UL15Q13W3SQ/SD2FBf6GQ8I/AAAAAAAABR8/C5T1GmxyigY/s1600/ragnarok23_medium.jpg)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 31, 2009, 11:28:15 AM
After careful consideration, reading of reviews, calculating balance in bank checking account, I decided to add my bit to stimulating the international economy and ordered the Copenhagen Ring!  ;D

T.C.: would you faint if I were to tell you that also ordered the Puccini Tosca, the one with Bryn Terfel? The fact that it's a Nikolaus Lehnhoff production aided my decision. No doubt you already have this one!  :-*

Lis

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on January 31, 2009, 12:40:10 PM
Ok, I’ll wait for your review about the Ring, and if you will hate it, I’ll probably cancel my account here on GMG and then I’ll open a new one using another name…

In the meantime, here is another review : The Copenhagen Ring (http://www.musicomh.com/classical/recordings/copenhagen-ring_0908.htm)


Congratulations for the Lehnhoff – Chailly Tosca from Amsterdam. Yes, this is a surprise…

This is another controversial production. Singing is good, and the playing of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is outstanding. I liked Nikolaus Lehnhoff staging, and if I am not wrong, so did Mike (our moderator)…

In the picture: Baron Scarpia (Terfel) with the cat…

(http://www.deccaclassics.com/music/dvd/images/0743201/1.jpg)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 31, 2009, 02:42:54 PM
T.C.: No need to contemplate resigning and returning at GMG: Amazon has that Ring for $45. off the regular price!

While I was in the economy-stimulating mood I ordered D'Albert's Tiefland with Matthias Goerne. I had been trying to get this opera for some time and whenever I ordered it from a retailer I got the message it's unavailable, even though they all list it. This time I tried H&B and hope for better luck.

Do you have Tiefland and what do you think of it? It's rarely performed, yet was very popular in Europe and it is one of the operas I saw in my early teens!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on January 31, 2009, 10:42:53 PM
45$ ? This is a real bargain. I’ve paid for this Ring 110$…  :(
Never mind, it was worthwhile, even though, my first choice for a Ring DVD is still the Barenboim - Kupfer Ring from Bayreuth.

I have a 1983 CD recording for d’Albert Tiefland. Marek Janowski conducts the Munchner Rundfunkorchester, and the singers are Eva Marton, Rene Kollo, Bernd Weikl and Kurt Moll. As far as I remember, this is not an operatic masterpiece, but a very enjoyable opera with beautiful and tuneful music. I have already ordered the new EMI DVD, but haven’t received it yet.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wanderer on February 01, 2009, 01:35:47 AM
this is not an operatic masterpiece, but a very enjoyable opera with beautiful and tuneful music.

This sums it up really nice. The music is somewhat low-key but very enjoyable and colourful. The DVD is very good - the orchestral playing and Goerne in particular - and the staging, whereas it starts a little weird (science fiction à la Twelve Monkeys' style), is rather enjoyable, too.

The Chailly Tosca is a success due to three things: Chailly and his Concertgebouw, Terfel (and his cat) and Lehnhoff. The end of act I is chilling. The staging is very evocative, ominous and beautiful. One doesn't get sidetracked by the settings, a very important fact considering the action is taking place in specific Roman locales. Malfitano is no Callas (who is) but still a compelling presence (more theatrically than vocally).

Comments on the Copenhagen Ring would be most welcome, Brünnhilde!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 01, 2009, 04:18:49 AM
45$ ? This is a real bargain. I’ve paid for this Ring 110$…  :(

Actually Lis wrote "$45. off the regular price!".  It's $74.97, instead of the list price of $119.98.  Still, not a bad price for a DVD Ring.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on February 01, 2009, 05:45:06 AM
Actually Lis wrote "$45. off the regular price!".  It's $74.97, instead of the list price of $119.98.  Still, not a bad price for a DVD Ring.

Sorry. One should read more carefully, and not just the figures…  :-[

Yes, $75 is definitely a reasonable price for a complete Ring.

For the Keilberth Ring that was recorded in 1955 you will have to pay $207…
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 01, 2009, 05:55:36 AM

For the Keilberth Ring that was recorded in 1955 you will have to pay $207…


And you only get the sound, no picture.   ;D

For anyone who's interested in a more traditional procduction, I see that amazon.com also has the Met DVD cycle for the same price.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 01, 2009, 09:44:38 AM
Goerne in particular -

Goerne was the drawing card for my decision to order Tiefland. This absolutely outstanding baritone voice came to my attention in the Hans Werner Henze opera L'Upupa; he practically carries the entire performance.

Quote
The Chailly Tosca is a success due to three things: Chailly and his Concertgebouw, Terfel (and his cat) and Lehnhoff. Comments on the Copenhagen Ring would be most welcome, Brünnhilde!

The Tosca overcomes my distaste for anything Puccini because Nikolaus Lehnhoff is the director! He better was his usual brilliant innovator, or the DVD will go to the amazon Marketplace!  :D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on February 03, 2009, 02:30:24 AM
And another new opera DVD this month with a Nikolaus Lehnhoff production:

Wagner : Tannhauser from Baden-Baden 2008.
The conductor is Philippe Jordan.
The Singers are: Robert Gambill, Camilla Nylund, Waltraud Meier, Roman Trekel, Stephen Milling, Marcel Reijans, Tom Fox.

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeVideoArt/63/2656863.jpg)


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 20, 2009, 08:41:00 PM
And the winners is :

Placido Domingo!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090220/ap_on_en_mu/eu_sweden_birgit_nilsson_prize
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 23, 2009, 11:34:46 AM
Does this become personal money; or is the winner supposed to use it for arts development? If the former, then it seems very odd. Surely he hardly needs the dosh. A lifetime award with prestige rather than more money for the wealthy seems more appropriate.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on February 23, 2009, 11:49:12 AM
Mike, I think, as with most of those awards monies, it is of course in recognition of the accomplishments, but the lady surely knew Domingo well enough that he would use it for further advancing the state of the arts, mainly opera.

There was this millionaire, whose name I forgot - Pillar? - who had promised millions to the NY Met and I think SF opera and it turned out he didn't have the money. Domingo took over most of the obligations, using his millions.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 23, 2009, 12:02:03 PM
Well, it still seems to me that it would be better to stipulate the use in some even vague way. Next year it might be someone who hi-tails it with the lot.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on March 14, 2009, 01:35:58 PM
There was this millionaire, whose name I forgot - Pillar? - who had promised millions to the NY Met and I think SF opera and it turned out he didn't have the money.
Alberto Vilar
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on April 02, 2009, 11:34:18 PM
Cura follows Alagna in both `Cav' and `Pag' at Met
By RONALD BLUM, AP
posted: 12 HOURS 43 MINUTES AGO
Comments: YORK - Double duty in Leoncavallo's "Cavalleria Rusticana" and Mascagni's "Pagliacci" has become common at the Metropolitan Opera.

Before this year, the only tenors to sing both "Cav" and "Pag" leads at the same Met performance were Kurt Baum, Placido Domingo, Frederick Jagel, Salvatore Licitra, Ermanno Mauro and Thomas Salignac. Now both Roberto Alagna and Jose Cura have performed the verismo doubleheader in the very same month.

Cura, as heard on Monday night, was far more effective in both roles than Alagna had been at the March 19 opening of the revival, adding sizzle along with heft of voice to a pair of roles that need both.

Alagna, who made his role debut as Turiddu in this run, is more lyric tenor than spinto and his voice strained when full-out singing was required in both roles. That he did well, if not spectacularly, is a testament more to his training and ability than to the size of his voice. But he lacked true squillo, the necessary ringing sound on sustained high notes.

Cura is not ideal but is far closer, with a baritonial timbre but a big bright side. He combined for thrilling duets with mezzo-soprano Ildiko Komlosi (Santuzza) in "Cavalleria" and soprano Nuccia Focile (Nedda) in "Pagliacci." His "Vesti la giubba" was more penetrating than Alagna's, although conductor Pietro Rizzo sped up the tempi near the end, clashing with the drama.

Komlosi took over from Waltraud Meier and sang with sharper mezzo determination, but she lacked Meier's acting ability and flowing passion. Baritone Alberto Mastromarino (Alfio), mezzo Jane Bunnell (Mamma Lucia) and mezzo Ginger Costa-Jackson (Lola) were effective constants.

The moonfaced Focile also repeated her impassioned, sweet-voiced account of Nedda and was joined by dashing baritone Vasili Ladyuk, who took over from Christopher Maltman as Silvio. Mastromarino (Tonio) and Tony Stevenson (Beppe) also repeated.

Rizzo, making his Met debut in this run, had another shaky night in the pit, conducting what sounded more like segments than flowing arcs.

Franco Zeffirelli's 1970 production generally holds up well, but the backdrop for "Cavalleria" looks warped in spots to the point where the Met should refurbish it.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 06, 2009, 02:55:17 PM
Thanks for the article, Anne. I suspect Alagna should leave Canio aside, but on the face of it, Turiddu should have suited him to a T. Maybe he prepared too much for Canio (the obvious challenge) and neglected T, which would be a natural for him - although not at the Met, maybe: the Italians knew better when they designed their theatres. Unless I'm mistaken, all the traditional italian venues have been left intact in terms of space and size. After all, operas were  written for 19th century singers and theatres, not 20-21 C masses.     

Cura is a singer I'd like to hear (and see) in those roles. He has the bulk, the chops, the voice size, chest hair and animal excitement - natural ingredients that cannot be imitated.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on April 07, 2009, 09:57:01 AM
You're welcome!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on April 07, 2009, 06:20:14 PM
Exciting news in this month's issue of Opera (London): Last December Zürich Opera presented a brand new Tristan und Isolde I can't wait to see - on DVD of course -which has been rated by the magazine's reviewer Horst Koegler as the best Wagner he has seen for many a season. Klaus Guth is the director and he eliminated the ship, Cornwall and Kareol and sets the opera in Wesendonck's Villa. Now why hasn't anybody thought of placing Tristan und Isolde in this locale before? It's the perfect setting. There is Richard Wagner (Tristan) and Mathilde Wesendonck (Isolde) with Otto Wesendonck as König Marke, perfect!

Zürich usually is very good at producing the DVD of their performances, maybe I won't have to wait too long to see this one.  8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on April 07, 2009, 11:04:32 PM
And at the Komische Oper Berlin, started this week a new production of Gluck’s Armida.

Here are a few pictures.

Lis, can you identify the stage director name?

Hint: he is one of yours favorites…  ;)

(http://www.theoperacritic.com/functions/resize_image.php?image=../production_images/kom/09/komarmide0409A.jpg)

(http://www.theoperacritic.com/functions/resize_image.php?image=../production_images/kom/09/komarmide0409B.jpg)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on April 07, 2009, 11:55:22 PM
If it's Die Komische Oper it's conducted by Barenboim and, as great a conductor he is, his 'sense of humour' borders on risque, which points to the director Señor Calixto Bioito!

No? Wrong answer? I got it: Otto Schenk on leave from the NY Met!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: The new erato on April 07, 2009, 11:57:14 PM
Looks like Gluck is out of luck.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: T-C on April 08, 2009, 12:35:39 AM
If it's Die Komische Oper it's conducted by Barenboim and, as great a conductor he is, his 'sense of humour' borders on risque, which points to the director Señor Calixto Bioito!

Actually, the conductor is Konrad Junghänel (Barenboim works with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden).

But you are definitely right about the director: Calixto Bieito.


Barenboim is now conducting a new production of Lohengrin at the Staatsoper where director Stefan Herheim treats the protagonists as puppets on a string…

(http://www.theoperacritic.com/functions/resize_image.php?image=../production_images/lin/09/linloheng0409B.jpg)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on April 08, 2009, 02:28:59 PM
News from the Met

http://www.popeater.com/article/brewer-withdraws-from-ring-villazon/400801?icid=sphere_newsaol_inpage_popeater
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on April 08, 2009, 02:37:43 PM
More Met News:

http://www.popeater.com/article/brewer-withdraws-from-ring-villazon/400801?icid=sphere_newsaol_inpage_popeater


Related Articles:
Villazon cancels remaining Met performances

Imported Bruennhilde has some success in Met debut

Gheorghiu shines in Met’s `The Elixir of Love’

NY City Opera returns to stage in November

Cura follows Alagna in both `Cav’ and `Pag’ at Met

See More Related Articles and Blog Posts
 
Title: Opera singers walk off the job at violent Cologne production
Post by: Wendell_E on April 19, 2009, 01:18:22 AM
Our friend Nigel posted this at another board:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4187930,00.html

Quote
The staging includes a bloody machinegun battle and a gang rape....

Apparently some people weren't accustomed to this sort of thing, said [opera spokesman Johannes] Wunderlich, adding that other theaters were doing more shocking things, like the production of Macbeth in Duesseldorf, where actors throw real feces around the stage.

Throwing real feces is more shocking than a bloody machinegun battle and a gang rape? 

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 19, 2009, 03:14:58 AM
Whereas the feces were said to be real; I assume the gang rape and machine gun battle were simulated; otherwise the numbers calling in sick would probably have been a bit higher.

In the latter; possibly pertinent points were to be made, but I cannot think of any justification for the Real Thing in terms of the fecal episode.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on May 12, 2009, 09:54:29 AM
http://www.popeater.com/article/review-curtain-falls-on-mets-ring/473847?cid=35
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Gabriel on May 25, 2009, 02:28:51 PM
(Also in the concerts thread)

I came back a couple of hours ago from the Théâtre du Châtelet, where I attended Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac with Plácido Domingo in the title role. It was really an incredible evening. It was the first time I listened to Plácido Domingo directly, and I was really impressed how he has managed to keep his voice young; if I had closed my eyes, it would have been perfectly possible that I was listening to a performance of the 1980s. Luckily I didn't close my eyes, because Roxana was sung by Nathalie Manfrino, whose voice is as marvelous as her physical beauty ;D: her performance was memorable, to the point that in my view she matched Domingo's excellence on the stage. The mise en scène was really formidable and unfortunately I wasn't able from my position in the orchestre to listen in the best conditions the excellent playing of the Orchestre Symphonique de Navarre.

At the end there was a most moving ovation from all the theatre, that stood up for clapping the wonderful production.

Conclusion: if somebody from GMG, by any reason, would be around Paris on May 28th or 31st, I would very seriously advice not to miss this spectacle.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on May 25, 2009, 02:39:01 PM
Thank you, Gabriel for your glowing review of your experience at the Châtelet; happy for you! I shall look forward to the review written by our former GMG member Nigel, then I have two interesting opinions to enjoy.

Agree with your opinion of Domingo's phenomenal artistry. I saw it on the DVD of Tamerlano!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Gabriel on May 25, 2009, 02:45:44 PM
Thank you, Gabriel for your glowing review of your experience at the Châtelet; happy for you! I shall look forward to the review written by our former GMG member Nigel, then I have two interesting opinions to enjoy.

Agree with your opinion of Domingo's phenomenal artistry. I saw it on the DVD of Tamerlano!

It is incredible not just how magnificently he sings his roles, but also the incredible variety of roles he sings. I had read comments on how he keeps his voice, but now I witnessed it by myself. I hope he will be singing for as many years as possible! (One day... perhaps... an opera by Cherubini or Méhul? :D). (I think the stupendous main role of Cherubini's Les Abencérages would fit him very well...)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 25, 2009, 03:04:07 PM
A most improbable venture for Domingo would be to sing Gerontius in Elgar's masterpiece.  I sense he's right there now vocally. But I don't think it will happen.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on May 25, 2009, 06:29:24 PM
You have read or heard about Carreras retiring? A another source lists his age at 68.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8039853.stm
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on June 10, 2009, 07:10:16 PM
Because there is no video nor audio recording available on the open market, it might fit here.

A friend taped a Così fan tutti off a TV broadcast and loaned it to me. I am enthralled by this production! It's from 1998 from the Nuovo Piccolo Teatro, Milano, with Ion Marin conducting. He was unknown to me but when I googled for him I was impressed by his career. Anybody know him? There is a DVD available of him conducting at the ROH a recital of opera arias by Gheorghiu.

The drawing point to this performance is Jonas Kaufmann as Ferrando, ten years before his stupendous Carmen at the ROH with Pappano on the podium. Those ten years made quite a difference in Kaufmann's stage presence and singing. In 1998 frequent glimpses for the conductor's directions and his acting a bit insecure, voice not as full and powerfull. This outstanding tenor has come a long way in ten years and I look forward to hearing and watching him for a many, many years to come.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 11, 2009, 07:20:30 PM
Jose Cura was last week's Met Don José. He is the tenor Kaufman reminds me most of (in that role at least). This is a whale of a role that many lyric tenors have broken their front teeth on. Kaufman would certainly be a prime candidate for a great modern recording of the work. He has the same kind of 'back of the throat' vocal production as Rolando Villazon's, which favours a startlingly dark colouring of the middle range - but although Rolando's vocal production is still unmistakably tenorish, Jonas' is almost baritonal.

Case in point: this Youtube extract of the immortal Pourquoi me réveiller (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHLypruTo80&NR=1) from Werther:

Although this gives the illusion of vocal weigth, it is no substitute for the real thing and it tends to cloud the high notes and deprive them of real projection and 'ring'. Time will tell if Kaufmann will survive these hurdles.

Kaufman is a really likeable artist and has a startingly individual voice. I hope the lad will keep it up. BTW his French pronunciation is excellent, and his Italian is better than Corelli's (not difficult: Franco was lousy with texts  :P). Rushing fences is a no-no in the operatic world.  

Meanwhile, check out the Youtube extracts from a now totally unknown singer,  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?action=post;topic=142.0;num_replies=349)Pedro Lavirgen. Here is a large, ringing tenor voice that seems to have been quite active and popular 1965-1975, but whose reputation doesn't seem to have crossed the times and european boundaries. IMO there's no doubt Kaufmann is the better artist, but Lavirgen beats him square in vocal terms. Make sure to listen to his Nessun dorma and E Lucevan le stelle, but most of all to his Pollione (to Caballé's heart-stopping Norma) in this 1978 Norma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-OwIFDXo4Q&feature=related)this extract.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on June 12, 2009, 09:51:49 AM
André, have you seen the Carmen with Kaufmann? I was reluctant to even buy the DVD, 'yuk, another Carmen? Believe me, in spite of the production being 'costume', with all the normal flouncy dresses, torrero glittery outfits, Escamillo astride a well behaved horse and a cute live donkey mingling with the crowd, it is a stunning, awesome performance. Kaufmann can't be bettered, in his voice and his acting.

I have not seen nor heard Cura lately, but I do remember him from a very early DVD which must have been put together by his very eager PR man. Awful! Cura sings while accompanying himself on the piano, he sings with a chorus, he sings alone, he even conducts and sings all at the same time, a total turn-off. If he has improved and made up his mind what he wants to be and be good at it, my congratulations.

Kaufmann has been a regular vacation visitor to Italy with his parents and picked up the language as a child; his French he learned in school, same as his English. I fear maybe in the future he will 'go down' to being a true baritone, but as long as he can trumpet his high Cs with such perfection, I hope nobody will talk him into changing.

It would be interesting to have Jlaurson join in this thread, living in Kaufmann's home town he must have seen him in live performances, maybe at the Staatsoper or in recitals and maybe had a chance to interview him, giving us his opinion of this great tenor.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Henk on June 25, 2009, 07:01:48 AM
For the Dutch people here: this evening Carmen on Dutch tv (channel two, at 19:20). I'm going to see it.

Henk
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on June 25, 2009, 07:11:16 AM
Will this be the Carmen with Jonas Kaufmann? Please do tell us tomorrow what you think of it! Enjoy!  8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Henk on June 25, 2009, 07:32:36 AM
Nope. It's performed by the Dutch Opera, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conductor Marc Albrecht and solists Nadia Krasteva, Yonghoon Lee, Roberto Accurs among others.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Elgarian on June 27, 2009, 12:11:31 PM
Manon at Edinburgh Festival Theatre 24 June (Scottish Opera)

I've never seen a live performance of Massenet's masterpiece; it's such a favourite of mine, and I had such high hopes of it, that it was surely likely to fail to live up to them. It didn't.

Anne Sophie Duprels was Manon, who is not only French (a good start), an excellent actress, but also a wonderfully sensitive soprano. There were times when it seemed impossible that so diminutive a figure could possibly generate the soaring notes that rose above the orchestral climaxes to fill the whole theatre. Not that it was just a matter of volume; she sang so sensitively as to be completely convincing - and captivating. The rest of the cast were good enough to pass muster, but she shone like a star; Paul Charles Clarke was a solid and worthy des Grieux, if not an exciting one.
 
The sets were exquisite. No silly experiments. The whole production was traditional 18th century as per Massenet's original setting, with the exception that the backdrops consisted of large mirrors that at various stages were broken in different degrees. So everything seen on stage was reflected in these, and fragmented. Since what was in front of them was ravishingly beautiful, it became effectively doubled up in the mirrors - but with a difference because of the fragmentation. The colours were amazing. All the movements were beautifully choreographed, so that although the stage was often crowded, any movement in one part of it was countered and balanced by movement somewhere else - so there was a constant sense of an ever changing dynamic visual harmony on stage. One very effective touch was the use of an enormous ornate rococo picture frame that descended from time to time at the front of the stage to give a 'snapshot' of Manon at certain key moments. The whole opera began with her standing in the frame as a young, innocent girl, saying goodbye to her parents, and we get to see her in this frame as she progresses through the rise to her peak, and the descent to the tragic conclusion. Manon through the broken looking glass.

It was so good that during the performance I began to be afraid that I wouldn't remember it all well enough; and felt little pangs of sadness that I was never going to be able to see it again.

Photos here:

http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/manon-photo-gallery (http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/manon-photo-gallery)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on June 27, 2009, 11:58:21 PM
Sounds like a great production, Alan. No surprise appearances from Superman and Wonderwoman like in Die Entfuhrung. ;) I hope to live to see the day when they get rid of that type of nonsense for good.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Elgarian on June 28, 2009, 12:16:40 AM
No surprise appearances from Superman and Wonderwoman like in Die Entfuhrung.

My future criteria for excellence in opera productions will include the absence of Wonder Woman and Superman. (For those lucky enough to have missed the experience, and who are wondering what we're talking about, the reference here is to the recent production of Seraglio by Opera North, in which they did appear.)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on June 28, 2009, 02:03:28 AM
Jhar: Could you please disclose the name of the director of the reviewed Manon?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Elgarian on June 28, 2009, 02:25:47 AM
Jhar: Could you please disclose the name of the director of the reviewed Manon?

I think you mean me, not jhar.
Director: Renaud Doucet
Designer: André Barbe

More details here: http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/our-operas/08-09/manon (http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/our-operas/08-09/manon)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 28, 2009, 06:13:20 PM
Lis, I haven't seen Kaufmann's Don José. Just seen a few Youtube extracts from the 2006 covent Garden produciton. He definitely has the chops for it. An extremely difficult role. It has to be sung, but the temptation to ham it and act as in a silent movie is hard to resist for many tenors. He doesn't seem to interact with Micaela in the first act ("Parle-moi de ma mère"). This is the part in the opera where complete surrender to the music and attention to the other character is paramount. Very few tenors manage to sing this part of the opera witout coming across as either uninterested or cloying. Kaufmann seems to alternate between shameless womanizer and obedient son. Maybe a valid view, but certainly unconventional. There's no question about his singing though. It's gorgeous. His ascent to the pp high ending is breathtaking. Some tenors resort to falsetto here, and it always meke me feel queasy (Vickers is a case in point).

Cura's is a thrillingly sung José, raw nerves and all in that dramatic last scene (is there a more shocking ending in all opera?). But I missed the first half of the Met broadcast, so I can't vouch for his lyrical capacities.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 29, 2009, 04:46:38 PM
Quote
Jose Cura was last week's Met Don José.

Wendell E politely and very correctly pointed to me that Cura never sang Jose at the Met, and that Carmen was not staged there either this season.

What I heard was the Wiener Staatsoper production. Sorry for the confusion. "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" relays Met broadcasts every weekend. When the Met season is over, broadcasts from the rest of the world fill in until it resumes in Fall.

 So, maybe there's a chance that this superb team (http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/singlePlaylist.html?/radio2/includes/playlists/SATURDAY_AFTERNOON_AT_THE_OPERA/SATURDAY_AFTERNOON_AT_THE_OPERA-20090606.html) will be heard at the Met eventually!
Title: Harnoncourt conducts...."Porgy and Bess"?
Post by: Wendell_E on June 30, 2009, 02:02:51 PM
      
This caught my eye while I was looking at the upcoming week's Internet Opera broadcasts on operacast.com:

Quote
   FRIDAY, JULY 3
GMT 1900/EDT 3:00PM
RADIO OESTERREICH INTERNATIONAL
Vienna, AUSTRIA

SPECIAL PROGRAM: George Gershwin: "Porgy and Bess"
Mit Jonathan Lemalu (Porgy), Measha Brueggergosman (Bess), Angela Renée Simpson (Serena), Michael Forest (Sportin Life), Gregg Baker, Bibiana Nwobilo und Roberta Alexander; Arnold Schoenberg Chor; Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Dirigent: Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Übertragung aus der Helmut-List-Halle in Graz im Rahmen der "styriarte 2009") (3 hrs., 30 min.)



Brueggergosman's out due to her recent health problems, and is being replaced by Isabelle Kabatu, the Dolly in Carreras's recording of Sly.

http://www.operacast.com/thisfri.htm
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2009, 10:31:13 AM
What happened to Brueggergosman?  ??? She was born to sing Bess !
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on July 01, 2009, 10:38:19 AM
Open-heart surgery!  :o  I saw the story on Cafe Aman, here (http://www.anastasiat.com/2009/06/get-well-soon-measha.html).

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2009, 12:19:46 PM

She recently lost 150 pounds  :o :o :o after a "Bikram yoga" and stomach bypass operation. Ouch!  Jessye Norman went from normal to obese in a few years. Faithful readers ;D will recall I described her 1970something appearance on stage as jaw dropping: bosom and belly appearing from left stage, followed 2 feet later by her regal face.

Brueggergosman has a sweeter, slightly wirier voice than Norman's. I hope she gets well soon. She is noted for her indomitable cheerfulness.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on July 01, 2009, 12:22:18 PM
I have seen her twice recently: first with the Cleveland Orchestra in the Wesendonck Lieder (excellent) and then with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (!) in John Cage's Aria (the best thing on a very long program).  A wonderful singer, very expressive. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on July 02, 2009, 08:18:06 PM
Any GMG opera and Wagner fan attending all or part of the Seattle RING, the socalled 'Green Ring'?

I'll see Walküre on the 26th of August.  ;D
Title: DiDonato Breaks Leg, Finishes "Barber" Anyway
Post by: Brewski on July 07, 2009, 06:22:59 AM
By now it is all over the Internet and opera blogs, but just in case... 

On Saturday night Joyce DiDonato was starring in The Barber of Seville at Covent Garden, when early in Act I she broke her leg.  Apparently she decided "the show must go on" and performed the entire opera before eventually going to the emergency room.  She has put up some entertaining posts about it on her blog, Yankee Diva, here (http://yankeediva.blogspot.com/).

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 07, 2009, 06:35:43 AM
Covent Garden must contrast this with the withdrawl of Bryn from The Ring due to his son having an operation on his finger.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 20, 2009, 12:52:14 PM
Interview with the GMD of the Bavarian State Opera, Nikolaus Bachler:


"It Makes Me Unhappy When Nothing Happens" (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/07/interview-with-klaus-bachler.html)

Quote
Nikolaus Bachler knows why he moved the Munich Opera administration's offices to the new building behind the opera house. When he started his new job as the Intendant, the general artistic and managing director of the Bavarian State Opera last year, he came in saying:

“People have to go new ways. Literally. For 30 years they were used to taking the elevator to the 5th floor of the old building… now everyone doesn’t know where to go. That was strategically done, and it’s very creative, in a way.”

I cast my eye around Bachler’s spacious corner office overlooking—through two floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows—the plaza in front of the former Royal Stables to the English Garden and reckon that he couldn’t have been too displeased with some of the side-effects from achieving this creative confusion...

(http://www.playbillarts.com/images/logo.gif) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/07/interview-with-klaus-bachler.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on August 18, 2009, 06:53:26 PM
Hildegard Behrens dies in Tokyo

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gALQ4ey5uFSZvFj3k-8BLMn5GZ7gD9A5N7TG1 (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gALQ4ey5uFSZvFj3k-8BLMn5GZ7gD9A5N7TG1)

R.I.P.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sarastro on August 18, 2009, 06:55:19 PM
Covent Garden must contrast this with the withdrawl of Bryn from The Ring due to his son having an operation on his finger.

 ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 20, 2009, 04:45:08 PM
Hildegard Behrens dies in Tokyo

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gALQ4ey5uFSZvFj3k-8BLMn5GZ7gD9A5N7TG1 (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gALQ4ey5uFSZvFj3k-8BLMn5GZ7gD9A5N7TG1)

R.I.P.

A very intense performer. According to this article she was named singer of the year in 1996 and 1997 - at age 60 ! She seems to have been a late bloomer, bursting on the world scene when Karajan chose her as Salome. By then she was already over 40.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on August 20, 2009, 11:16:58 PM
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/08/hildegard-behrens-1937-2009-on-record.html)
A very intense performer. According to this article she was named singer of the year in 1996 and 1997 - at age 60 ! She seems to have been a late bloomer, bursting on the world scene when Karajan chose her as Salome. By then she was already over 40.

20.8.09

Hildegard Behrens (1937-2009) on Record

As reported by every opera fan with a keyboard and internet access, Hildegard Behrens died Tuesday
night in a hospital in Tokyo. (Blog post in the NYT, for example; Tommasini’s obituary here.) Behrens
leapt into the limelight at age 40, when Herbert von Karajan pronounced to have found his Salome.
“Ten years I have waited for a Salome; now I think I have found her” he allgedly proclaimed after
watching her in Düsseldorf (1974) in another of her signature roles, that of Marie in Wozzeck. He took
her to the Salzburg Festival, and from that moment on she was one of the great dramatic Strauss and
Wagner sopranos—with hailed stops at Shostakovich (Lady Macbeth) and Janáček (Jenůfa)—until her
voice left her in the early 90s...[/url]
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DarkAngel on September 22, 2009, 02:15:36 PM
New production of Tosca at Metroploitan Opera goes over like a lead ballon.........
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/arts/music/23opera.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/arts/music/23opera.html)

I would think this is a rare occurance to be loudly booed by opera crowd, anyone here attend the opening?
Anyone ever see someone take a curtain call and be booed off the stage?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Anne on September 23, 2009, 10:10:21 PM
I did not attend opening night.  In fact I've only gone to the Met once thanks to the kindness of a friend who invited my husband and myself to spend the weekend at his home.  We saw Karita Mattila sing Eva in Die Meistersinger.  I had pneumonia at the time but the tickets were already purchased and we had no idea if there would be another chance to go.  I spent 1/2 the time in the lobby and outdoors coughing.  Once I was on the plane headed for Michigan, I fell asleep and awoke as the plane was circling Detroit.

There was another time for booing at the Met in the late '90's.  The director's name was Wilson and it was a Wagner opera.  Wilson's style was to have the singers stand absolutely still, so there was no movement on stage.  That was loudly booed. It generated a lot of discussion on music boards.

Just recently a French tenor, Georgiou's ex-husband, was booed at La Scala; he was very upset about it.  Mirella Freni was also booed at La Scala.  Someone threw something at her and she was bleeding as a result but she held her ground and didn't retreat.  The next time she came there they were nicer to her.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Gabriel on October 18, 2009, 11:49:42 AM
A few words to tell you about a very beautiful musical experience I had today: I attended the first performance of Grétry's Andromaque since, if I remember correctly, 1781. In general I've considered his music as a bit light, in the best style of opéra comique.

Such prejudices were totally destroyed by today's performance, for Andromaque resulted to be a tragédie in the style of the great operas of Gluck. I wouldn't doubt to qualify it as a masterpiece of classical French opera. Grétry got perfectly the dynamic sense of Gluck's tragedy, adding his own contributions: some very strange modulations, experimental textures, and even explorations in timbre that anticipate Méhul or Berlioz (the recitatives of Andromaque were often accompanied by three flutes, something quite unusual for those years). Really great music (and I can't understand how such a score could have been waiting for more than two centuries to be played again).

Grétry: Andromaque. October 18th 2009, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Van Wanroij, Wesseling, Guèze, Christoyannis. Orchestre et Choeur du Concert Spirituel, Les Chantres du CMBV, Hervé Niquet.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 30, 2010, 10:28:38 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8487296.stm

Open air opera in minus 25.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on February 10, 2010, 05:36:42 PM
Vancouver BC  2010-2011 season

The world première of a brand-new VO-commissioned opera, the appearance of the prodigiously talented stage director Sir Jonathan Miller, the return of one of opera’s most coveted sopranos, and the Vancouver première of Mozart’s rarely-performed La Clemenza di Tito are just four highlights of Vancouver Opera’s 51st season.

VO’s 2010-2011 season will include Lillian Alling, by composer John Estacio and librettist John Murrell (October 16 – 23, 2010); Donizetti’s moving Lucia di Lammermoor (December 4 – 11, 2010); Mozart’s final opera, La Clemenza di Tito (February 5 –12, 2011); and Verdi’s beloved La Traviata (April 30 – May 12, 2011).

link  http://vancouveropera.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on February 11, 2010, 09:59:22 AM
HONOLULU OPERA Celebrates 50 years
HOT at 50

Hawaii Opera Theatre / It began with a single performance of Madama Butterfly, half a century ago, in the McKinley High School auditorium. Since that debut, Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) has grown into one of the nation’s leading opera companies, and offers a full Grand Opera featuring nine main stage performances per season at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall.

While the setting of HOT’s inception may have been modest–especially in contrast to the long, velvet curtains and rich red carpet inside the Blaisdell Concert Hall–insiders say local opera was a hit from the start.

“The initial reaction must have been one of great support and great recognition,” said Henry Akina, the general and artistic director of Hawaii Opera Theatre since 1996. “Certainly, 50 years of full and nearly full houses and community support show that opera has a concrete place here in Honolulu.”
Opera, local-style

First and foremost, the success of local opera is about musical performances infused with the character of those who live in–and share a love for–Hawaii.

“Lots of wonderful deep emotional, expression, lots of wonderful music, lots of movement and beauty onstage,” says Akina. “We place a high value on fellowship and ensemble…on the aloha spirit. That infects everything and everyone we work with, and this is a tremendous asset.”

That first performance at McKinley may have marked the beginning of HOT, but the people of Hawaii had for a century already embraced the art form. Opera began in 16th-century Italy as an exploration of Greek drama, and found its way to the Islands in the 1850s. When HOT was founded, it was as a subdivision of the Honolulu Symphony.

“The conductor of the Honolulu Symphony wanted to do opera in Honolulu,” says Akina. “He began planning how to do it as musical director of the orchestra, and invited the Canadian stage director Irving Guttman and an international cast to join him in this effort.”

Collaboration with the operatic world outside of Hawaii has been an essential component of HOT’s development. Akina, a Hawaii native who has directed opera companies in Germany, Hungary, France, China, Thailand, the U.S. mainland and Canada, said Hawaii’s remote location presents a slew of challenges for an industry that is simply not wholly sustainable on a local level.

“On the U.S. mainland and in Europe for instance, there are many more resources closer to other opera companies,” he said. “Like everything else in Hawaii, opera is dependent on communication with the outside world. I sometimes think that our future is absolutely dependant on how we create valuable relationships between Hawaii and the outside world. I would venture to say that that is only true of opera for our state.”

Despite challenges, HOT has long since found ways to thrive.

“The local opera audience has grown throughout its history,” says Karen Tiller, HOT’s executive director. “When you include these audience numbers with the capacity house of the performance schedule, a sold-out season reaches about 24,000.”
Opera o na kanaka

Honolulu’s devoted audience is not the homogeneous demographic that many assume it is.

“At a point early on in opera history, it was for the elite,” says Erik Haines, director of education and outreach at HOT. “Eventually, it became an art form of and for the middle class. You’ll find people from all walks of life attending the opera today.”

Part of that, opera scholars say, has to do with barriers to entry–like foreign language, for example–that have been removed.

“The full house at Blaisdell this afternoon was laughing and thoroughly enjoying Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro [performed in Italian],” says Lesley Wright, professor of musicology at UH-Manoa. “The excellent acting and singing of the cast [was] supported by well-chosen supertitles that translated the text.”

Others say that even if an audience can’t understand what is being said (or sung), the essence of the opera’s story still comes through.

“Music is a language,” says Haines. “[It] has the ability to communicate regardless of a person’s spoken language.”
The next 50

In celebrating its golden anniversary, HOT leaders find themselves looking ahead to the next 50 years. Akina, who was only 5 years old when HOT began, says he hopes to continue challenging audiences with new and exciting work.

“We are a professional company and I intend to make sure that the status is maintained,” he says. “I would not have become involved in opera or trained to be an opera stage director in Germany if I had not seen the work of the company in my youth, here in Honolulu.”

Today, HOT audiences can be found wearing sandals and shorts, suits and tuxes, or pearls and formal gowns. In addition to upcoming regular performances, like Wagner’s Die Walküre and Puccini’s La Bohème, HOT also presents “Opera for Everyone” night, where students have the opportunity to watch an exclusive presentation of the final, full-dress rehearsal for a discount.

“I believe opera is one of the most elaborate and exciting art forms man has created,” says Akina. “It has an almost 500-year history and is still going strong everywhere. Honolulu is no exception.”
Hawaii Opera Theatre, Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall, 999 S. King St., Fridays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm, Tuesdays at 7:30pm, $20–$120, [hawaiiopera.org], [email: hottickets], 596-7858
Die Walküre: Feb 12, 14 & 16. Bohème: Feb 26, 28, Mar 2.
LINK http://honoluluweekly.com/entertainment/2010/02/hot-at-50/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on February 22, 2010, 09:05:25 PM
METROPOLITAN OPERA NYC    2010-11
By DANIEL J. WAKIN
Published: February 22, 2010

Peter Sellars is in, Franco Zeffirelli is out — again.
Kathryn Cook for The New York Times

The Metropolitan Opera, which announced its plans for the 2010-11 season on Monday, said Mr. Sellars would make his directing debut at the house with “Nixon in China,” John Adams’s 1987 opera.

Meanwhile, a Zeffirelli production — “La Traviata” — will bite the dust.

The “Traviata” news is no big surprise. The Met has slowly been phasing out the lavish spectacles of Italian operas directed by Mr. Zeffirelli, which have been around for decades, to the outrage of his supporters and other traditional opera fans. This season, new versions replaced his longstanding “Tosca” and “Carmen” productions.

After condemnation of the new “Tosca” directed by Luc Bondy, the Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, had said there was a “strong possibility” that the Zeffirelli production would reappear next spring because of technical issues related to a simultaneously running “Ring,” a new production of the Wagner cycle directed by Robert Lepage. That idea is now off the table.

“We were able to figure out a way of technically reconfiguring slightly the way in which we set the ‘Tosca’ on the stage,” Mr. Gelb said, “so we can make it work.” He added, “It was always our intention to bring it back if we could,” referring to the Bondy “Tosca.”

But have no fears about the Zeffirelli “Bohème”: that cash cow will be back next season with 17 performances and myriad casts.

And more cash will be asked of Met-goers. The cost of an average individual ticket will rise by 11 percent, while subscriber tickets will go up an average of 6 percent. The Met said it had not made “across the board” increases in four years, although individual categories have gone up. It boasted that about one-third of tickets would cost less than $100 and said that discounts for students, under-30s and last-minute buyers would continue.

Seat prices now range from 476 seats at $20 in the family circle to $375 for the 48 seats in the first row of the center parterre. Next year the range will be from $25 to $420. (Gala tickets can go for hundreds of dollars more.)

The Met had to scale back some of its ambitious plans for this season because of the recession. But Mr. Gelb said that while administrative cost cuts remained in effect, “We are not skimping on our presentations” for the coming season.

The season will open on Sept. 27 with “Das Rheingold,” the first installment of the “Ring,” conducted by James Levine, the music director.

A modern-dress “Traviata” will be directed by Willy Decker, whose production was first seen at the Salzburg Festival in 2005, and was to have featured the soprano Anna Netrebko at the Met. Ms. Netrebko said last summer that she was pulling out so that the role did not become routine and to avoid competing with her DVD performance recorded at Salzburg. Marina Poplavskaya will sing Violetta.

Ms. Poplavskaya sang the role in Amsterdam, the only place the Salzburg production has previously traveled. “It’s a very athletic and dramatic performance that’s required,” Mr. Gelb said.

Mr. Zeffirelli’s production dates from 1998.

Ms. Netrebko has signed on for a reprise of Norina in “Don Pasquale” by Donizetti.

Next season has seven productions new to the house, including four created exclusively for it: the first two installments of the previously announced “Ring” cycle, “Das Rheingold” and “Die Walküre,” directed by Robert Lepage; “Le Comte Ory” by Rossini, directed by Bartlett Sher, now a regular at the Met; and “Boris Godunov,” starring René Pape in his first Met Godunov — one of the premier singing-acting bass roles.

The number of new productions is in line with the offerings of recent years. There will be 21 revivals, also a typical number.

Like the Rossini work, “Nixon in China” has never been performed at the Met. Mr. Sellars directed the first production, as well as the first production of Mr. Adams’s “Dr. Atomic” (and created the libretto). His “Dr. Atomic” was to have played at the Met last season, but the Met changed its mind and found another director. It took “Nixon” 23 years to reach the Met; Rossini composed “Ory” in 1828.

Along with Mr. Decker, two other directors will be making their first appearances at the house: Peter Stein was assigned “Boris Godunov” (Valery Gergiev will conduct) and Nicholas Hytner will bring in his “Don Carlo,” a co-production with the Royal Opera in London, where it had its premiere in 2008. Mr. Hytner is artistic director of the National Theater in London.

The “Don Carlo” has an especially strong cast: Roberto Alagna, Ms. Poplavskaya, Simon Keenlyside and Ferruccio Furlanetto. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a rising figure, will conduct. It received generally positive reviews in Britain.

Two notable conductors will make Met debuts. Simon Rattle, music director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, will lead Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” and William Christie, a highly regarded Baroque specialist, will conduct Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte.”

The season will mark the 40th anniversary of James Levine’s conducting debut at the house, in “Tosca.” Mr. Levine has led nearly 2,500 performances there, the Met said. The anniversary of the actual day, June 5, 1971, will be commemorated by a Levine performance of “Don Carlo” while the company is on tour in Japan, the Met said.

link  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/arts/music/23met.html?ref=arts
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: UB on February 26, 2010, 08:36:32 PM

Today at 7 p.m. Berlin time there is the premiere of Peter Eötvös' opera "Die Tragödie des Teufels". It can be heard live on Deutschlandradio.  (http://www.dradio.de/dkultur/vorschau/)

If that is not enough new music, the opera is followed by a recent - 2008 - 35 minute Percussion concerto by Friedrich Cerha.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on February 26, 2010, 11:43:42 PM
Today at 7 p.m. Berlin time there is the premiere of Peter Eötvös' opera "Die Tragödie des Teufels". It can be heard live on Deutschlandradio.  (http://www.dradio.de/dkultur/vorschau/)

If that is not enough new music, the opera is followed by a recent - 2008 - 35 minute Percussion concerto by Friedrich Cerha.

The Tragedy of the Devil is a strange opera, alright. I very much like Eötvös; Tri Sestri is awesome and his South American Opera is like modern-day Puccini, except good. But "Tragedy" was an experience akin to touching a Marcel Duchamp sculpture: You sense you are very close to great art, and yet you're still reaching into a toilet. It's "simple complexity"; inoffensive white noise. Not enough for outrage and not enough for appreciation.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 03:17:41 PM
The tenor Philip Langridge died yesterday. I have seen no obits at all yet, too soon possibly. Just the announcement.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: yashin on March 06, 2010, 06:42:36 PM
I have seen the announcement on some website. This is very sad news indeed. What a beautiful voice and such an elegant looking man.  I treasure his Vere and his Grimes recordings -both the cd and especially the Video of his Grimes. Deifinitive in these roles is such a subjective term but he 'owned' these roles for a long, long time.
I also recall him in the terrific Boris Godunov from the Liceu, Barcelona that appeared on DVD not so long ago. And i think he played Laca in katya Kabanova...
Very sad news.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 07, 2010, 12:14:49 AM
I was never very fond of his singing, the tone too dry for me. But I admired his ability and artistry. He managed his voice well and had a very successful 70th birthday concert. I think he was married to Ann Murray.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 07, 2010, 04:43:28 AM
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-audible-memory-of-philip-langridge.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-audible-memory-of-philip-langridge.html)


In Audible Memory of Philip Langridge (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-audible-memory-of-philip-langridge.html)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 07, 2010, 08:35:36 AM
A nice summation of his steady carear. It seems a little odd to me that the British in particular value a voice so devoid of glamor. Perhaps we can congratulate ourselves that we are content to have a singer explore more than sheer beauty of tone. Robert Tear is another such singer.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 07, 2010, 01:25:07 PM
His Dies Natalis (Finzi) is one of the most beautiful and sensitive things committed to record. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who doesn't think he was a sensational singer. It's my favourite of the 8 versions I have heard of this piece (yes even more than the famous original recording with Wilfred Brown).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 07, 2010, 01:57:51 PM
Langridge in fine form on home territory

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgxskbGbJ5o

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on March 10, 2010, 01:18:56 PM
NEW YORK CITY OPERA INCLUDES FELDMAN AND SCHOENBERG 2010 - 2011 season
 
(New York, NY, March 9, 2010)  New York City Opera General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel today announced the company’s 2010-2011 season, which spotlights American composers and 20th-century works within a mix of world premieres, New York premieres and new productions. Offering audiences the opportunity to experience new and rarely performed operas as well as modern interpretations of traditional repertoire, the 2010-2011 season will also feature the launch of a concert series showcasing the non-operatic works of several of the composers of this season’s operas. Taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the recent renovation of the company’s home, the David H. Koch Theater, the concert series expands the repertoire and programming of City Opera and casts new light on the season’s productions. 
 
Among the artists to be featured during the season are soprano Lauren Flanigan as Myra Foster (a role created for her) in Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, soprano Stefania Dovhan (who debuted as Donna Anna in City Opera’s 2009 production of Don Giovanni) as Adina in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, soprano Mary Dunleavy as Christine in Strauss’s Intermezzo, baritone Louis Otey as Sam in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, and soprano Cyndia Sieden in Morton Feldman’s “Neither.” Joining them will be a host of debut artists, continuing City Opera’s mission of nurturing young singers, while the concert series will bring talents including Christine Brewer, Kristin Chenoweth, Raúl Esparza, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson to the City Opera stage.
 
“With this season, we take another step forward on an exciting journey for New York City Opera,” stated George Steel. “I’m thrilled that we have three new productions, that we’re presenting four premieres of works by American composers—all of them New Yorkers—and that we’re exploring new programming possibilities, both with our triple bill of mini-operas and with the new concert series. Most of all, I love the incredible range of compositional styles this season: from the transparent simplicity of Donizetti to the opulent middle-period Richard Strauss to the blend of the popular and classical worlds in Bernstein and Stephen Schwartz—all this topped off by the delicious trio of Schoenberg, Feldman and Zorn. This is what City Opera was made to do, and what makes City Opera unique.”

The fall season will feature two operas that present contrasting takes on dysfunctional domesticity: Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place – a work never before performed in New York, in a new production directed by Christopher Alden – and Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo. Adding to the excitement of the fall season will be a concert program, performed twice, that will illuminate A Quiet Place by celebrating the range of Leonard Bernstein, including music from the Kaddish Symphony and Mass to On the Town and West Side Story.
 
The new capabilities of the renovated David H. Koch Theater, including an enlarged and adjustable orchestra pit coupled with a new fire curtain that provides an acoustically reflective surface, transform the theater into an ideal concert hall for special programming.  City Opera’s Fall Gala, An Evening with Christine Brewer, on Thursday, October 28, stars one of the world’s most sought-after sopranos and takes advantage of this increased flexibility of the renovated theater. The evening will include selections from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Puccini’s Turandot and Richard Strauss’s lieder, with Ms. Brewer joined by the New York City Opera Orchestra and Music Director George Manahan.
 
The spring season will open with a revival of Jonathan Miller’s production of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love.  This is followed by an audacious triple bill called Monodramas: Arnold Schoenberg’s “Erwartung” (Expectation), Morton Feldman’s “Neither” (with a libretto by Samuel Beckett) and John Zorn’s “La Machine de l’être”, a program that epitomizes City Opera’s mission through both its innovative format and progressive repertoire.  As its final production of 2010-2011, City Opera will present the New York premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s first opera, the psychological thriller Séance on a Wet Afternoon.
 
This season’s new concert series continues through the spring with John Zorn & Friends, featuring the experimental music master with avant-garde innovators Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Mike Patton, Marc Ribot, Dave Douglas, Uri Caine and Zorn himself; and Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz, a program of the composer’s songs from his acclaimed Broadway shows and film scores.  Scheduled to appear are two major stars of screen and stage, Kristin Chenoweth and Raúl Esparza.
 
For the whole family, City Opera presents a special matinee concert, a benefit performance of Where the Wild Things Are, based on the beloved children’s book by Maurice Sendak, with a score by Oliver Knussen set to a libretto by Sendak himself.
 
VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab, City Opera’s annual showcase of new American operas, will continue in the 2010-11 season in its 12th edition.

comlete press release at  http://pressroom.nycopera.com/pr/nycopera/news/20th-century-opera-takes-center-154809.aspx
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on March 11, 2010, 11:37:53 AM
 BBC NEWS
Anna Nicole story made into opera

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is to stage the world premiere of an opera about the life of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007.

The work, by composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and writer Richard Thomas, will be "a major event in the UK arts calendar" the ROH said.

Thomas was a co-creator of the controversial production Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Smith died aged 39 of an accidental prescription drug overdose in Florida.

Oil tycoon

At the time of her death, Smith - a stripper who went on to find fame as a model and actress - was embroiled in a long-running legal battle to claim a share of the estate of her late husband.

Billionaire oil tycoon J Howard Marshall was 89 years old - 63 years her senior - when they married.

Thomas said the opera would end with Smith's death rather than the court battle over the disposal of her remains and custody of her daughter that followed.

Anna Nicole will have its world premiere at the Covent Garden venue on 17 February 2011 with Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek in the lead role.

Other highlights in the ROH 2010/11 season includes the Royal Ballet's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a co-production with the National Ballet of Canada, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

The UK premiere of Philip Glass's In The Penal Colony, based on a short story by Franz Kafka about an execution machine, will be seen in September.

And world renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiou will star in the title role of Adriana Lecouvreur, based on the life of the tragic French actress, in November.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8560635.stm

Published: 2010/03/10 16:16:58 GMT

© BBC MMX
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 21, 2010, 05:33:16 PM
Sorry - I realise that this isnt exactly news, but is Lesley Garrett as crap as I think she is? I just thought I'd check her out on Spotify having never really heard her before... How was she ever a lead soprano with the ENO? What recordings is she good in?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 21, 2010, 06:38:32 PM
I rented a couple of DVDs from Netflix of Handel ENO productions with her (Serse and Ariodante, I think, it's been a while) and was surprsed at how not bad she was, compared to her more recent and famous recordings.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2010, 11:35:03 PM
Once upon a time she was a perfectly good Handel singer. Then TV and a recording contract took the place of the stage. Her discs could not really be called recitals, as she moons round most of the material managing to make it sound like crossover even where the music is from the standard repertoire.

It is many years since she was involved in a full scale live opera. On TV I heard her croon her way through Casta Diva, it was poor in so many ways. A couple of her early discs passed through my collection like s**t through a pipe.

The most recent disc I am aware of is her Papagena in the marvelous Mackerras English language Magic Flute. In the dialogue she uses her eeh by gum cheeky northern lass persona where for once it is acceptable though just as irritating. She sings the part well, but that part has so little in it, I could just about manage it myself.

I am sure I have conveyed my feelings without having to expand further...my advice; avoid all of her solo discs or appearances.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 22, 2010, 04:13:57 AM
Once upon a time she was a perfectly good Handel singer. Then TV and a recording contract took the place of the stage. Her discs could not really be called recitals, as she moons round most of the material managing to make it sound like crossover even where the music is from the standard repertoire.

It is many years since she was involved in a full scale live opera. On TV I heard her croon her way through Casta Diva, it was poor in so many ways. A couple of her early discs passed through my collection like s**t through a pipe.

The most recent disc I am aware of is her Papagena in the marvelous Mackerras English language Magic Flute. In the dialogue she uses her eeh by gum cheeky northern lass persona where for once it is acceptable though just as irritating. She sings the part well, but that part has so little in it, I could just about manage it myself.

I am sure I have conveyed my feelings without having to expand further...my advice; avoid all of her solo discs or appearances.

Mike

OK cheers! Good summary. I got the exact same feeling that she makes everything sound like crossover!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 22, 2010, 04:49:38 AM
Once upon a time she was a perfectly good Handel singer. Then TV and a recording contract took the place of the stage. Her discs could not really be called recitals, as she moons round most of the material managing to make it sound like crossover even where the music is from the standard repertoire.

It is many years since she was involved in a full scale live opera. On TV I heard her croon her way through Casta Diva, it was poor in so many ways. A couple of her early discs passed through my collection like s**t through a pipe.

The most recent disc I am aware of is her Papagena in the marvelous Mackerras English language Magic Flute. In the dialogue she uses her eeh by gum cheeky northern lass persona where for once it is acceptable though just as irritating. She sings the part well, but that part has so little in it, I could just about manage it myself.

I am sure I have conveyed my feelings without having to expand further...my advice; avoid all of her solo discs or appearances.

Mike

Come on. Tell us how you really feel!  :P
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 24, 2010, 07:08:37 AM
Technically this isn't quite opera news, but close enough. And if there is a thread "General Symphonic Orchestra News", I didn't find it. (Or look.)

In any case, this is the story that just broke:


Lorin Maazel succeeds Christian Thielemann in Munich (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/lorin-maazel-succeeds-christian.html), with plenty comment.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Renfield on March 24, 2010, 09:30:55 AM

Lorin Maazel succeeds Christian Thielemann in Munich (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/lorin-maazel-succeeds-christian.html)

:-\
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Franco on March 24, 2010, 10:42:11 AM
Wow. I didn't know they made an emoticon for exactly the way I feel about this!

I would *love* to be at the official press conference when he is introduced. Someone would have to ask the tough questions, after all.
Alas, I'll be in Dubai, of all places.

Quote
It needs to be spurned on to live up to its own (and the audience’s) expectations.

Like, "How badly will you spurn the orchestra?"
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on March 24, 2010, 03:12:40 PM
I don't get the Maazel hatin'.  I haven't heard him live, but he conducted some of the most marvelous recordings in my collection.  I think this is great for Munich.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 24, 2010, 03:30:10 PM
I don't get the Maazel hatin'.  I haven't heard him live,

therein lies the problem...

Quote
I think this is great for Munich.

Well... judging a patient from afar, are we?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Sergeant Rock on March 24, 2010, 03:34:50 PM


Lorin Maazel succeeds Christian Thielemann in Munich (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/lorin-maazel-succeeds-christian.html), with plenty comment.

Hey, I survived Maazel for a decade in Cleveland. You can tough it out for a couple of years in Munich  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 27, 2010, 08:13:27 AM

Trophy Wife for the Munich Philharmonic: Maazel Signs His Contract (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/trophy-wife-for-munich-philharmonic.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 05, 2010, 10:48:20 PM
The famous Russian Mezzo Irina Arkhipova has died age 85.
Here she is in typically authorative form in one of her most famous parts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQPJtWOSueM&feature=related

Mike


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Drasko on April 18, 2010, 12:50:04 PM
Isn't news exactly but didn't know where to post this. Was just listening on youtube to bunch of basses sing The Song of Viking Guest from Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko. Liked all, with Reizen probably carrying the day.

Boris Christoff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCCvXE7ag78)
Boris Gmyria (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqXH7K9WYyM)
Maxim Mikhaylov (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2yBOjZL19I)
Alexander Kipnis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTaP187h2go)
Mark Reizen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mib5hdWcqfI)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on April 22, 2010, 08:24:00 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2010/whatson/season/

Simon Boccanegra

 :D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2010, 09:11:05 AM
Thanks for that. There are lots of concerts I would like to book. I will be out of the UK when booking opens. I will have to see whether I can phone a friend to phone early on.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on April 22, 2010, 09:26:37 AM
It's going to be a Boccanegra summer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/a-passion-for-opera/

from an email from ROH  We are also delighted to let you know that Simon Boccanegra is being recorded for television and is due to be shown on BBC2 Saturday 10 July- details to be confirmed closer to the time.



Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on May 06, 2010, 08:45:56 AM
Santa Fe looks interesting, I could put up with another Bohème, Faust, to get the Vivaldi, Wozzeck and possibly King Roger.
2011 SEASON

Gounod, Faust

Puccini, La Bohème

Vivaldi, Griselda

Menotti, The Last Savage

Berg, Wozzeck



2010 SEASON

Puccini, Madame Butterfly

Mozart, The Magic Flute

Lewis Spratlan, Life is a Dream

Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffmann

Britten, Albert Herring
http://www.santafenewmexican.com/LocalNews/Santa-Fe-Opera-Composer--pianist-takes-on-new-role-as-chief-con
link at
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on May 06, 2010, 09:05:01 AM
Minnesota Opera has postponed The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, replaced it with Wuthering Heights.
story at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/state-of-the-arts/archive/2010/05/minnesota-opera-postpones-major-commission.shtml
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on May 07, 2010, 06:52:52 AM
That's nice. I hope they record it!
Title: #Operaplot 2010 winners
Post by: Brewski on May 07, 2010, 12:34:56 PM
For the last few years, a blog called The Omniscient Mussel has hosted a funny contest called #Operaplot, in which contestants are invited to use a Twitter post to summarize an opera--i.e., in 140 characters or less.  (Apparently in past years some have attempted to describe the entire Ring Cycle.)

Anyway, this year's winners are pretty hilarious.

http://theomniscientmussel.com/2010/05/operaplot-2010-winners/

--Bruce

Title: Re: #Operaplot 2010 winners
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 07, 2010, 01:24:25 PM
For the last few years, a blog called The Omniscient Mussel has hosted a funny contest called #Operaplot, in which contestants are invited to use a Twitter post to summarize an opera--i.e., in 140 characters or less.  (Apparently in past years some have attempted to describe the entire Ring Cycle.)

Anyway, this year's winners are pretty hilarious.

http://theomniscientmussel.com/2010/05/operaplot-2010-winners/

--Bruce

I thought the Runners Up were funnier, with the exception of Eugene Onegin.  I'm not a tweeter though, so maybe I am not the ideal judge. Thanks for the link...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Papy Oli on May 30, 2010, 12:16:33 AM
for UK viewers only, as part of the BBC4 Opera season :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sjdmp/Opera_Italia_Beginnings/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sjdmp/Opera_Italia_Beginnings/)


I found it very interesting and informative for an opera ignoramus like me ( ;D ) with lots of practical examples on the cases at hand. I thought this 1st part of the documentary was much better conceived than the Fry/Wagner one a few days ago (I like Fry, but that was too much of a fanboy trip, not enough in depth or music in there).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on May 31, 2010, 10:26:54 PM
Interesting interview (http://www.estadao.com.br/estadaodehoje/20100530/not_imp558809,0.php) with the old guy.

English translation

JOSE CARRERAS - A SINGER ON THE CROSS BETWEEN GENERATIONS.

"There is remarkable talents among the new performers", the tenor states. But he warns: "'Those who think it is enough to have a beautiful voice, they are wrong".

In the corridor of the hotel, the elegant gentleman, in dark suit and light blue tie, walks carefully among the multitude of equipment from a muddled television crew. Patiently, he leans against the wall and begins to hum "Aquarela do Brasil", until someone gets aware of what is happening. "Guys, he is already here. The room must be empty now!" Moments later, it is the time for tenor Jose Carreras to talk with the "Estadão". Again he jokes with Ary Barroso melody, by humming it. "There are many points of contact between the Brazilian and Spanish cultures. We are all Latins. And besides culturally, we share many idiosyncrasies," he says.

The tenor returns to Brazil after two years - in 2008, he inaugurated a theatre in Curitiba. This time, he is offering two concerts at HSBC Brazil, along with soprano Ailyn Perez and conductor Miguel Ortega. The repertoire comprises pieces by Gounod, Ponce, Bernstein, Luna and Caballero.

Talking with Carreras is to some extent, as to talk with a bit of what the opera world has been, in the last 30 years. Alongside with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, he formed a trio that has monopolized the genre in the second half of the 20th century. They were a big hit among their fans - but also reached audiences that had never set foot in an opera house. Talent, charisma, a phenomenon of marketing, each one has his own explanation - but the fact is that the opera world is still waiting for tenors with such fame.

"It's fair to say that the new generation has great artists, prominent voices, from Juan Diego Flórez to Jonas Kaufman," Carreras begins. "Now, there are voices that are truly unique, as was the case of Luciano. And there are special musical talents, from the interpretation and musical quality point of view, like Plácido. But, this said, I think what is happening today has nothing has to do with the instrument itself, but with personality, ability to communicate, what we call charisma. It's difficult for me to judge these things because, ultimately, they are related to feelings and sensations experienced by the public."

If charisma is part of the equation, it also is not the only one of its variables. The generation of the three tenors grew up in a moment when opera was changing, with the arrival of the video, the developing of the new recording technologies and even the marketing techniques. "Challenges and characteristics of each generation are interesting," he says. "Singers who came before us were fantastic. Giuseppe di Stefano, Mario Del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Jussi Björling, Richard Tucker, the list is endless. It was unbelievable. But my generation has benefited from the new possibilities offered by the television, the recordings technologies - all this made it easier to reach a wider audience. But we lost too. The world of opera became to fast. A new production at the Met or La Scala should mean hard work with the conductor, with the director, together with many rehearsals. And that is no longer happening. "

But there was also something less tangible in the context. "Singers from the past had the advantage of working with the great maestros who often had worked with the composers themselves. I remember a joke. Still young, Gianandrea Gavazzeni was working as a pianist in Naples and was rehearsing with the legendary Beniamino Gigli. The opera was The Elixir of Love and Gigli was singing the famous tenor aria. Suddenly, he made a long phrase, breathlessly. Gavazzeni, alarmed, told him: "Maestro, you may need to breathe in the middle of this sentence." Gigli replied, "Okay, if you want you can breathe." (laughs) We have been loosing this kind of things."

Do we need more? Catalan José Carreras was discovered, the legend says, by Charles, brother of the soprano Montserrat Caballe - and the two eventually helped him to achieve his first contracts. But it was conductor Herbert von Karajan who led him to fame, in the '70s. Reviews from those times tell us about a clear, powerful voice. A German critic, completely under his spell wrote, after a function of La Bohème: "He is young, talented, musical and beautiful. Do you need more?
 
By that time, Domingo and Pavarotti were already fighting for post of the greatest tenor of the moment. Carreras began as if running "out of the race", portraying lighter roles, the ones of a lyric tenor, then followed by heavier ones. By then, some were commenting that he would be damaging his voice for facing such roles. "We all make mistakes," he says. "Actually, I might have arrived to some roles before then. But, please understand me. Some of my greatest hits, as La Forza del Destino and Carmen, were heavy roles. And I'm convinced that if a conductor such as Claudio Abbado or Karajan invites you to be part of a new production, you just can't say no. Should Karajan ask me to sing Micaela, I would! (laughs). You live this passion for singing and the chance to work with these people is the ultimate expression of what opera can be. There's no way you will not want to be part of it. That is the healthy ambition of the artist. And mistakes...well, mistakes give flavour to the experience of living. "

In the late '80s, however, Carreras was diagnosed with leukaemia. "I remember the first 24 hours of despair. I was young, was 40 years old, was happy with my career, with every opportunity. And suddenly the diagnosis. In 24 hours. And then, even though I knew how difficult it would be, felt the need to find determination to fight. I was lucky, had the support of family and friends, had expressions of affection coming from everywhere. " The nightmare ended with a bone marrow transplant. "That gave me strength and made me to create a foundation to help people in the same situation I had lived. After so much love and support you feel in debt, you need to pay back."

In addition to charity work, in the present Carreras tours the world offering concerts and giving master classes. In Sao Paulo, he will not be giving lessons, but for yesterday and today, open rehearsals were scheduled, with the Symphony Orchestra of USP (Saint Paul University) who will be accompanying him.

What message do you give to young students? "There are always many questions they ask us and the truth is we still have a lot of questions to answer. However, the most important message has nothing to do with technic, emission, things like that. What I try to find out is if the singer is sure that this is the career he wants to chose, if he really understands what is he dealing with, the need for discipline. The one who thinks that a good voice is enough, is wrong. Mascagni, (composer Pietro Mascagni) used to say: to sing opera you also need a good voice."

Among his maestros he speaks fondly about Englishman Colin Davis, "a gentleman and a great musical thinker" - and laughs when reminded of his work with Leonard Bernstein, with whom he recorded the musical West Side Story. "The Making of" shows a scene where the two have a disagreement. Carreras comments it with a short "Very different personalities," and a mischievous smile on his face. He identifies in Karajan the model of the great conductor. "Of course, should he like you and understand that your singing was close to what he had previously dreamed." he says. But he quickly throws another name on the wheel, the Italian Claudio Abbado, with whom he recorded Simon Boccanegra, by Verdi. "Not a bad that the cast, right? Piero Capuccili, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov."

"I have no response," he says, when asked about what role of his repertoire does he think as the most appropriate one, the one in which he felt more able to make the maximum use of his skills as a singer. But he risks. "There are characters I feel very close to me, even in terms of personality. Rodolfo, from La Bohème, Don José, from Carmen, Riccardo, from Ballo in Maschera, Andrea Chenier. Should I have to remember my best live performance, would probably say it happened during the performances of some of these operas. "

We bring to his memory a recent interview by Marcelo Alvarez during which the Argentine tenor said it was time for the generation of the Three Tenors to leave the stage, living the space to those who are now beginning and trying to build their carriers. Carreras laughs, an open laugh. "Alvarez is a great singer. And he does not have to worry about that. At the present, am only singing concerts and recitals, am not at the opera stage any more. And he is great, his place is guaranteed." Another young tenor, Marcello Giordani, joked about the controversy, noting that recently he shared the stage with Domingo, who was making his debut as a baritone at the Metropolitan, in New York. "Well, with Domingo, that might be a problem! Mind you he also conducts", he jokes. "But seriously, those who are now starting do not need to worry. Do not panic."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on May 31, 2010, 11:39:51 PM
I take it that you translated this for us....thanks for that effort. It was an interesting read. He was never a favourite of mine. I never felt he had the heft of the other two of the three, but in the right part, he was possibly best of the three, Don Jose for example.

It was a surprise to me that he is still singing, I wonder how he sounds. His illness was a great blow to his career. He never sounded the same when he recovered.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on May 31, 2010, 11:57:42 PM
I take it that you translated this for us....thanks for that effort. It was an interesting read. He was never a favourite of mine. I never felt he had the heft of the other two of the three, but in the right part, he was possibly best of the three, Don Jose for example.

It was a surprise to me that he is still singing, I wonder how he sounds. His illness was a great blow to his career. He never sounded the same when he recovered.

Mike

I can't take any credit for translation (wish I could).

I've always preferred JC to the other Two but I do admit Domingo & Pavarotti were better & more skilful. I just fancied JC that's all!

He sounds awful now by the way but most of his recitals/concerts are to support his charity so I can forgive him.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on June 11, 2010, 09:43:14 AM
LONG BEACH OPERA  GOES FOR THE UNUSUAL
The current season began in January with Robert Kurka's "The Good Soldier Schweik," followed by John Adams' "Nixon in China" and "Orpheus." The company also presented a performance of Grigori Frid's "The Diary of Anne Frank" for the 20th anniversary of the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine.

Appearing in venues outside of Long Beach has helped to raise LBO's profile, says Mitisek. "We can reach out to where people are much easier than other opera companies can."

He says he plans to continue expanding that reach with a 2011 lineup that will include one West Coast and three Southern California premiere productions.

The company's 32nd season will open Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 with Luigi Cherubini's "Medea," in a site-specific production of the 18th-century opera based on Euripides and Corneille at the EXPO Building, a former furniture store in Long Beach.

Lbopera Philip Glass' "Akhnaten," which follows the rise and fall of the Egyptian pharaoh, will be performed March 19 and 27 at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach in what the company says is the West Coast premiere of the 26-year-old opera in its original form.
 
Dmitri Shostakovich's"Cherry Town" -- a  satirical Soviet-era musical comedy -- will be presented May 15 at the Center Theatre in Long Beach, May 18 at the Irvine Barclay Theater and May 22 at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica.

The season will conclude June 15 and 18 with "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" by Pulitzer-winning composer David Lang and playwright Mac Wellman. The work, which premiered in 2002, is based on an Ambrose Bierce story about a pre-Civil War slave owner who walks across a field and disappears. The venue has yet to be determined.

full story at  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/06/long-beach-opera-ends-2010-in-the-blackand-unveils-a-2011-lineup-that-offers-more-of-the-unexpected.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on June 11, 2010, 10:02:38 AM
They certainly don't go for the standard offerings. I imagine that after so many years they know what the audience will come to.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on June 11, 2010, 11:57:17 AM
They certainly don't go for the standard offerings. I imagine that after so many years they know what the audience will come to.

There's a noticeable trend amongst smaller companies to programme this kind of repertoire, because it will attract audiences.  Increasingly audiences demand "famous name performers" in the more traditional repertoire, and will stay at home and watch Nathalie Dessay on DVD rather than go to see a live performance.  Having those kind of blockbuster casts beamed into cinemas worldwide is in fact killing the market for mainstream repertoire performed "live". 

It's great to see audiences turning-out for contemporary works by living composers - but I hope the pendulum doesn't swing so far that a generation will grow up who never saw CARMEN, TRAVIATA, BOHEME etc except on the tiny screen in a performance so highly edited that no live performance could ever achieve it :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on June 11, 2010, 01:00:18 PM
Indeed, there are certainly pieces there I would go to, but I would not like to think that was my sole range of live opera. I have no idea whether there is a ready supply of regular fare in their stamping ground.

I enjoyed the Met broadcasts when they were screened locally, but it was a very different experience from the real thing.

Mike
 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on June 11, 2010, 01:56:03 PM
I have no idea whether there is a ready supply of regular fare in their stamping ground.
Long  Beach is about a 1-hr drive from Los Angeles, so they might attract a lot of their audience from the"big city".

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on June 22, 2010, 08:29:55 PM
CARAMOOR FESTIVAL presents "Norma" and "Maria de Rohan"
The complete lineup for the 65th Caramoor International Music Festival - held annually at the Center’s distinguished 90-acre garden estate in Katonah, New York - has been announced.

The summer festival program, which will run from June 26 to August 8, offers enormous appeal to all audiences with a rich array of artists and repertoire from the worlds of classical, jazz, Latin, bluegrass and pop music.

Maintaining his deep commitment to presenting great opera at Caramoor, Director of Opera Will Crutchfield leads the festival’s 14th annual Bel Canto at Caramoor series with Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan on July 24 and two performances of Bellini’s Norma on July 10 and July 16. Maestro Crutchfield conducts the Orchestra of St. Luke's in both operas, which will be semi-staged with supertitles in the Venetian Theater.
full article at http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/8395.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 08, 2010, 04:55:34 AM
Nagano Leaves Munich
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/07/nagano-leaves-munich_08.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/07/nagano-leaves-munich_08.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 09, 2010, 06:27:57 AM
(http://www.dw-world.de/skins/std/channel1/pics/dw_logo1024.gif)
Latest on Deutsche Welle

MUSIC | 09.07.2010
Conductor Nagano's decision to leave Munich stirs up culture scandal

Munich's cultural scene likes scandals. And it is being turned into a scandal that Music Director Kent Nagano announced this week that he will not renew his contract with the Bavarian State Opera beyond 2013...

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5779005,00.html (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5779005,00.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 09, 2010, 06:38:44 AM
Local politicians!

Perhaps Nagano is not really suited to the opera house. From what I read, he seems most vitally engaged with modern and obscure pieces, the standards do not seem to draw the best from mim. Am I wrong?

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 09, 2010, 07:01:01 AM
Local politicians!

Perhaps Nagano is not really suited to the opera house. From what I read, he seems most vitally engaged with modern and obscure pieces, the standards do not seem to draw the best from mim. Am I wrong?

Mike

No, you're right-on, I'd say... and so would most observers I know. I'd modify "modern and obscure", because Ravel, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Britten, and Poulenc are not necessarily either... but I know what you mean. Unsuk Chin. Messiaen. Busoni. et al.. He did great work in Lyon... but a repertoire house like Munich, with an audience with very set tastes, might ask for a little more than that.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 12, 2010, 05:09:04 AM
No, you're right-on, I'd say... and so would most observers I know. I'd modify "modern and obscure", because Ravel, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Britten, and Poulenc are not necessarily either... but I know what you mean. Unsuk Chin. Messiaen. Busoni. et al.. He did great work in Lyon... but a repertoire house like Munich, with an audience with very set tastes, might ask for a little more than that.

Just up on WETA

The Politics of Opera: Kent Nagano Leaves Munich
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2152 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2152)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 22, 2010, 09:50:54 AM
UK opera next season

ENO:Faust (opens 18 September) NEW
Director – Des McAnuff   Conductor – Edward Gardner
Cast includes Toby Spence, Melody Moore, Iain Paterson, Benedict Nelson

The Makropoulos Case (opens 20 September)
Director – Christopher Alden   Conductor – Richard Armstrong
Cast includes Amanda Roocroft, Andrew Shore

Radamisto (opens 7 October) NEW
Director – David Alden   Conductor – Laurence Cummings
Cast includes Lawrence Zazzo, Christine Rice, Sophie Bevan, Ailish Tynan

La bohème (opens 18 October)
Director – Jonathan Miller   Conductor – Stephen Lord
Cast includes Gwyn Hughes Jones, Alfie Boe

Don Giovanni (opens 6 November) NEW
Director – Rufus Norris   Conductor – Kirill Karabits
Cast includes Iain Paterson, Katherine Broderick, Rebecca Evans, Brindley Sherratt, Robert Murray, Sarah Tynan

A Dog’s Heart by Raskatov (opens 20 November) NEW, UK premiere
Director – Simon McBurney for Complicite   Conductor – Garry Walker
Cast TBC

Lucrezia Borgia (opens 31 January) NEW
Director – Mike Figgis   Conductor – Paul Daniel
Cast includes Claire Rutter, Michael Fabiano

Parsifal (opens 16 February)
Director – Nikolaus Lehnhoff   Conductor – Mark Wigglesworth
Cast includes Iain Paterson, John Tomlinson, Tom Fox, Stuart Skelton, Irene Theorin

The Mikado (opens 26 February)
Director – Jonathan Miller   Conductor – Peter Robinson
Cast includes Alfie Boe, Sophie Bevan, Richard Suart, Donald Maxwell

The Return of Ulysses (opens 24 March at Young Vic) NEW
Director - Benedict Andrews   Conductor – Jonathan Cohen
Cast includes Tom Randle, Pamela Helen Stephen

The Damnation of Faust (opens 6 May) NEW
Director – Terry Gilliam   Conductor – Edward Gardner
Cast includes Christine Rice, Christopher Purves

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (opens 19 May) NEW
Director – Christopher Alden   Conductor – Leo Hussain
Cast includes Iestyn Davies, Willard White, Sarah Tynan, Allan Clayton, Benedict Nelson, Kate Valentine

Simon Boccanegra (opens 8 June) NEW
Director – Dmitri Tcherniakov   Conductor – Edward Gardner
Cast includes Bruno Caproni, Brindley Sherratt, Roland Wood

Nico Muhly new commission (opens 24 June) NEW World premiere
Director – Bartlett Sher   Conductor – TBC
Cast TBC

Covent Garden

REVIVAL / The Duenna Thomas Linley / Production: English Touring Opera

UK PREMIERE / In the Penal Colony Philip Glass / Production: Music Theatre Wales / September 2010

REVIVAL / Cosí fan tutte Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Director: Jonathan Miller / Conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock / With: Pavol Breslik, Stéphane Degout, Thomas Allen, Maria Bengtsson, Jurgita Adamonyte, Rebecca Evans / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 10th – 24th September 2010

REVIVAL / Don Pasquale Gaetano Donizetti / Director: Jonathan Miller / Conductor: Charles Mackerras / With: Barry Banks, Paolo Gavanelli, Iride Martínez / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 12th – 21st September 2010

UK PREMIERE / Niobe, regina di Tebe Agostino Steffani / Director: Lukas Hemleb / Conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock / With: Véronique Gens, Jacek Laszczkowski, Iestyn Davies / 23rd September – 3rd October 2010

NEW PRODUCTION / Les Pêcheurs de perles (concert performances) Georges Bizet / Conductor: Antonio Pappano / With: Nicole Cabell, John Osborn, Gerald Finley, Raymond Aceto / Production: Royal Opera / 4th – 7th October 2010

WORLD PREMIERE/ Promised End Alexander Goehr / Theatre: Linbury Studio Theatre / Production: English Touring Opera / 9th October 2010

REVIVAL / Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi / Director: David McVicar / With: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Paolo Gavanelli, Eglise Gutiérrez, Wookyung Kim / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 11th October – 6th November 2010

JPYA / L’isola disabitata Joseph Haydn / With: ROH Jette Parker Young Artists / 25th – 30th October 2010

REVIVAL / Roméo et Juliette Charles Gounod / Director: Nicolas Joël / Conductor: Daniel Oren / With: Piotr Beczala, Nino Machaidze, María Alejandres / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 26th October – 17th November 2010

Songs From a Hotel Bedroom Weill / Director: Kate Flatt / With: Frances Ruffelle / Theatre: Linbury Studio Theatre / November 2010

NEW PRODUCTION / Adriana Lecouvrer Francesco Cilea / Director: David McVicar / Conductor: Mark Elder / With: Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Olga Borodina, Michaela Schuster, Alessandro Corbelli / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 18th November – 7th December 2010

NEW PRODUCTION / Tannhäuser Richard Wagner / Director: Tim Albery / Conductor: Semyon Bychkov / With: Johan Botha, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Michaela Schuster, Christian Gerhaher / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 11th December 2010

REVIVAL / Hänsel und Gretel Engelbert Humperdinck / Director: Patrice Caurier & Moshe Leiser / With: Christine Rice, Ailish Tynan, Thomas Allen, Yvonne Howard, Jane Henschel / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 23rd December 2010 – 7th January 2011

REVIVAL / Il barbiere di Siviglia Gioachino Rossini / Director: Patrice Caurier & Moshe Leiser / Conductor: Rory Macdonald / With: Aleksandra Kurzak, Levente Molnár, John Osborn, Bruno Praticò / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 18th January 2011

REVIVAL / Die Zauberflöte Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Director: David McVicar / Conductor: Colin Davis / With: Joseph Kaiser, Kate Royal, Christopher Maltman, Franz-Josef Selig / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 1st February 2011

WORLD PREMIERE / Anna Nicole Mark-Anthony Turnage / Director: Richard Jones / Conductor: Antonio Pappano / With: Eva-Maria Westbroek / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 17th February – 4th March 2011

REVIVAL / Aida Giuseppe Verdi / Director: David McVicar / Conductor: Fabio Luisi / With: Micaela Carosi, Roberto Alagna, Olga Borodina / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 11th March 2011

NEW PRODUCTION / The Tsar’s Bride Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Director: Paul Curran / Conductor: Mark Elder / With: Marina Poplavskaya, Ekaterina Gubanova, Dmytro Popov / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Producton: Royal Opera / April 2011

WORLD PREMIERE / Untitled Project James MacMillan / Director: Kate Mitchell / Theatre: Linbury Studio Theatre / Production: ROH2 / May 2011

REVIVAL / Werther Jules Massenet / Conductor: Antonio Pappano / With: Rolando Villazón, Sophie Koch / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 5th May 2011

REVIVAL / Macbeth Giuseppe Verdi / Director: Phyllida Lloyd / Conductor: Antonio Pappano / With: Simon Keenlyside, Martina Serafin / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 24th May 2011

REVIVAL / Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven / Director: Jurgen Flimm / Conductor: Kirill Petrenko / With: Nina Stemme, Endrik Wottrich / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 29th May 2011

REVIVAL / Tosca Giacomo Puccini / Director: Jonathan Kent / Conductor: Antonio Pappano / With: Karita Mattila, Angela Gheorghiu, Marcello Giordano, Jonas Kaufmann, Bryn Terfel / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 7th June 2011

REVIVAL / Peter Grimes Benjamin Britten / Director: Willy Decker / Conductor: Andrew Davies / With: Ben Heppner, Amanda Roocroft, Jonathan Summers / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 21st June 2011

REVIVAL / Madama Butterfly Giacomo Puccini / Director: Patrice Caurier & Moshe Leiser / Conductor: Andris Nelsons / With: Patricia Racette, James Valenti, Anthony Michaels-Moore / Theatre: Main Auditorium / Production: Royal Opera / 25th June 2011

WORLD PREMIERE / Paradise Lost Project Luke Bedford / Director: John Fulljames / Production: The Opera Group / July 2011

NEW PRODUCTION / Cendrillon Jules Massenet / Director: Laurent Pelly / Conductor: Betrand de Billy / With: Alice Coote, Joyce DiDonato, Ewa Podlés, Eglise Gutiérrez / Production: Royal Opera / July 2011

Glyndbourne

Richard Wagner

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
A new production for the 2011 Festival
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski Director David McVicar


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Don Giovanni
A revival of the 2010 Festival production
Conductor Robin Ticciati Director Jonathan Kent


Gaetano Donizetti

L'elisir d'amore
A revival of the 2007 Glyndebourne on Tour production
Conductor Enrique Mazzola Director Annabel Arden


Georg Frideric Handel

Rinaldo
A new production for the 2011 Festival
Conductor Ottavio Dantone Director Robert Carsen


Antonín Dvorák

Rusalka
A revival of the 2009 Festival production
Conductor Andrew Davis Director Melly Still


Benjamin Britten

The Turn of the Screw
A revival of the 2006 Glyndebourne on Tour production
Conductor Jakub Hruša Director Jonathan Kent
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 22, 2010, 09:59:34 AM
I'm not completely desperate to see anything here, though Makrupolos, Rusalka, Simon Boccanegra and a few of the premieres appeal. Nothing by my beloved Strauss either.

Nico Muhly is an interesting young composer and completely charming in person - I'll be interested to see his opera. I have very much liked the music of Turnage that I have heard, but is it really in good taste to dramatise and make an entertainment a woman's tragic story, especially as she died only 3 years ago? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Is it usual for the ROH to have 8 world premieres? Seems extraordinary.

Also Glyndbourne - Gerald Finley is going to be Hans Sachs - can't quite see how that is going to work. I know Glyndbourne don't hire "stars" but surely if the project is going to cost this much anyway they can afford Tomlinson (and he only lives down the road!) I can't imagine he'll be doing the role all that much longer.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on July 22, 2010, 11:11:10 AM
The Makropoulos Case (opens 20 September)
Director – Christopher Alden   Conductor – Richard Armstrong
Cast includes Amanda Roocroft, Andrew Shore

(http://www.public-cyprus.com.cy/images/stores/icon_hot_ticket.gif)
Roocroft as Emilia Marty - doesn't get better  :)

Radamisto (opens 7 October) NEW
Director – David Alden   Conductor – Laurence Cummings
Cast includes Lawrence Zazzo, Christine Rice, Sophie Bevan, Ailish Tynan

(http://www.public-cyprus.com.cy/images/stores/icon_hot_ticket.gif)
Fight for a ticket!  Alden directing Handel, with a top-end cast and Cummings at the harpsichord? Fab!

La bohème (opens 18 October)
Director – Jonathan Miller   Conductor – Stephen Lord

If the sets and costumes haven't been gifted to a museum by now!

A Dog’s Heart by Raskatov (opens 20 November) NEW, UK premiere
Director – Simon McBurney for Complicite   Conductor – Garry Walker
Cast TBC

(http://www.public-cyprus.com.cy/images/stores/icon_hot_ticket.gif)
McBurney is the hand to trust in this repertoire!

The Return of Ulysses (opens 24 March at Young Vic) NEW
Director - Benedict Andrews   Conductor – Jonathan Cohen

Errr, is that Jonathan Cohen who used to be the pianist in "Playaway" with Brian Cant???

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (opens 19 May) NEW
Director – Christopher Alden   Conductor – Leo Hussain
Cast includes Iestyn Davies, Willard White, Sarah Tynan, Allan Clayton, Benedict Nelson, Kate Valentine

(http://www.public-cyprus.com.cy/images/stores/icon_hot_ticket.gif)
This has all the ingredients of a super show - I would want to know who is designing, though?

Simon Boccanegra (opens 8 June) NEW
Director – Dmitri Tcherniakov   Conductor – Edward Gardner
Cast includes Bruno Caproni, Brindley Sherratt, Roland Wood

Russia's worst opera director comes to London - why???  Look forward to all the empty mannerisms of post-modern opera, without an ounce of intelligence

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 22, 2010, 12:54:42 PM
This is where having someone "in the know" about directors and productions is great. I'll avoid the Simon Boccanegra then! Makropoulos sounds even more appetising now! It's his toughest opera I think - the music often so harsh like its heroin, but I love the idea.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on July 23, 2010, 12:04:48 AM
It's his toughest opera I think - the music often so harsh like its heroin, but I love the idea.

I can see why you'd think so - it's been performed in that way rather too often, and I think it also depends how you view what happens in the final scene... terrible suffering, or blessed release?   I was lucky enough to hear Rozhdestvensky conduct it here in Moscow (Helikon Opera), and it was a revelation...  he found the lyricism and decadence that's latent in that score :)   The lead role in that production has lately been taken over by Svetlana Sozdateleva (who was singing Lady Macbeth/Verdi in some Glyndebourne Festival performances two years ago, and also did the whole Glyndebourne-On-Tour run).  She had an unfortunate time with Lady Mac, but she's been doing some vocal work with a new coach, and her Emilia Marty is an astounding achievement.  Rozhdestvensky has passed the production to his pupil & assistant, Alexei Osetrov - claiming that at his age he can no longer stand for so long without extreme discomfort :(   But Osetrov does a super job with his master's work :)   Roocroft - after her triumphs in the other Janacek roles at the Coli - is a natural for this role, and I would very much like to hear her.  I'm not a fan of the "oh my dear, you should have heard Tagliabue in 1923" school (!), but Roocroft will be well aware of whose shoes she must fill in that role at the Coliseum - Josephine Barstow's legendary performance, which I still remember :)   I often think that MAKROPOULOS is my favourite of the Janacek output... but then I think about the others, and I realise that they're all astounding, gripping works :)

(http://www.helikon.ru/img/wysiwyg/PICT8457.gif)
Natasha Zagorinskaya (E.M.) & Svetlana Rossiyskaya (Krista) Helikon Opera Moscow, dir Bertman cond Rozhdestvensky

(http://www.helikon.ru/img/wysiwyg/PICT8464.gif)
Sergey Yakovlev (Jaroslav Prus) & Natasha Zagorinskaya (E.M.) Helikon Opera Moscow, dir Bertman cond Rozhdestvensky


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 23, 2010, 12:53:23 AM
Oh yeah, of course, the final scene is key and a beautiful lyrical release, but that's just it, it comes as relief from the music in the rest of the opera, so much of the music dry and uninspired as it tries to make its way and create itself with its poor building blocks, so unfecund compared to say Vixen - this is surely deliberate and a direct reflection of Marty's character, and though in that sense its completely apt and ingeniously done, it doesn't make it easier to listen to. I think we're meant to squirm in our seats.

I've seen the Glyndbourne production.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on July 23, 2010, 01:14:43 AM
so much of the music dry and uninspired as it tries to make its way and create itself with its poor building blocks,

I shall beg to disagree ;)  The "backstage-at-the-opera" stuff (with the cleaner & the stagehand disappearing into the wings for an illicit liaison) and the impassioned memories of the half-dotty Count Hauk-Sendorf (who of course is right, is Elena Montez!  But everyone thinks he's barmy...) add a wistful charm to the whole thing.  :)

I agree with you about the delicious musical attractions of VIXEN, of course :)   Although on another thread just recently someone was saying they find the forest-creature setting makes it impossible for them to take the piece seriously :(   Personally I wish that LJ had found time to turn his attentions to another of the Capek brothers works in addition to MAKROPOULOS...  THE INSECT PLAY.   Now that would have made an astonishing opera indeed :)  And what a role for a leading tenor!  :)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 23, 2010, 01:43:47 AM
I'm not saying its a bad opera by any means, just that as it is completely apt for Vixen to be fresh, vernal, seething, overflowing with life, Makropoulos (is there a "most correct" spelling?) is dry and barren and unlovely and uningratiating musically*... at least that's to my ears! I agree there are these tiny little moments in the score that offer respite - little beautiful patches of warmth, in actions, characterisations, but I'm describing my overal impression. I definitely want to see it again - its an amazing piece of theatre!

*all in the context of Janacek's music of course which is still miles more ingratiating than many other composers.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 24, 2010, 04:07:04 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/susan-boyle/7734530/Dame-Kiri-Te-Kanawa-not-interested-in-Susan-Boyle.html

Did anyone see this article a few months back? I find her rage bizarre, and it's possibly a case of the lady protesting too much - she's sung more cross over Andrew Lloyd Webber, Karl Jenkins schlock than just about any serious opera singer out there...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 24, 2010, 10:43:05 PM
Over the years the odd unpleasant story about te Kanawa emerges. There is one where she refused to sing with a specific young singer at the Met; probably blighting that career. I don't recall the detail, but I did wonder at the time why she was taking this onto herself. There is an element within her that seem to imply disrespect to herself if things are not quite as she thinks they ought to be.

I stopped listening to her live performances years ago and frankly, her crossover is often stylistically awkward. She claims it predates her move into serious music and is an authentic part of her; but she drags her operatic technique into music where it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Clearly she is going to hawk her bones around for as long as the paycheck turns up.

BBC Radio 2 is a middle of the road/easy listening station with the occasional mix of comedy and serious music. The fact of this being the medium for her competition indicates they are trying to catch the crossover audience. She is right about Bocelli and Jenkins; but ought to be wiser, and perhaps more generous, than to be so hostile.

I doubt if this competition will be full of Wolf, Mahler and Poulenc.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on July 24, 2010, 11:16:34 PM
I have never been a te Kanawa groupie - but I see the malign hand of PR thuggery in this piece, and it leaves a nasty taste.

Why was this "interview" even conducted?  Boyle has no claim or interest in singing in opera. te Kanawa has said nothing out of place.   There's no more reason she should have any "interest" in Boyle or her career than an Olympic gold-medallist on the parallel bars would be interested in someone who'd won a Cheerleading competition.  The two disciplines are so far from each other that it's entirely reasonable for one not to be interested in the other.

Scrawny gutter journalism of the worst kind - pure muck-raking.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on July 25, 2010, 12:14:50 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/susan-boyle/7734530/Dame-Kiri-Te-Kanawa-not-interested-in-Susan-Boyle.html

Did anyone see this article a few months back? I find her rage bizarre, and it's possibly a case of the lady protesting too much - she's sung more cross over Andrew Lloyd Webber, Karl Jenkins schlock than just about any serious opera singer out there...
The person asking the questions probably hoped for this kind of an answer to give him a story.

As for opera singers doing crossover material, I don't think Kiri objects to that. I don't even think she objects to singers doing nothing but crossover material. What she objects to is microphone singers who have never sung in an opera house in their lifes being sold to the public as 'legitimate' opera singers. And she's right of course. There's something wrong when the average guy who wouldn't know Fleming, Mattilla, Netrebko or Gheorgiu from a hole in the ground thinks that the Jenkins girl is the greatest operatic soprano in the world. Kiri has no problem with the fact that the public likes Jenkins - she has a problem with them considering her a 'real' opera singer
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 25, 2010, 12:34:49 AM
I think you are both right to an extent.

But the packaging of this competition is in the context of the 'X Factor' and 'Britain's Got Talent'. Without these populist competitions, I doubt the new one would exist.

So, to an extent questions about that wider context are legitimate. They were the wrong questions and her replies, which may have been edited, will hardly endear her to the very audience that Radio 2 normally attracts and which is the target audience of the new competition.

Her remarks would be applauded on a forum such as this; but the people here are not the people she is trying to influence.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on July 25, 2010, 01:14:59 AM
she has a problem with them considering her a 'real' opera singer

Surely the criterion for being an "opera singer" would be to, errr... sing in an opera?  Jenkins never has.

Quote
Her remarks would be applauded on a forum such as this;

I am not so sure, y'know?  Mostly people on this forum can appreciate different genres for what they are - rather than criticising people for what they never tried to be anyhow ;)

But yes, I'm more than certain that some PR guys (such as Max Clifford, who represents Boyle) is involved in artificially manufacturing this story and the schtick that lies behind it.   It's all part of "bashing" classical music and making the people involved in it appear to be unsympathetic personalities... and wheeling out the stand for singers like Boyle (who frankly has nowhere to go now - except to cash-in while she can).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 25, 2010, 03:34:58 AM
Well, let me put it this way; I think she is right about Bocelli, who has had a career created on the idea that he is an opera singer, he is nothing of the sort. Also right about Jenkins, who has a pleasant voice, but is a microphone singer. She is classically trained, but shows no inclination to perform without electronic enhancement.

In one case the selling point was that the singer is blind, a fact thoroughly exploited. In the other the girl is very pretty. Had she been plain, she would have got no where. It is about entertainment not art. These people pretend to be serious musicians. Radio 2 devotees who have no contact with, for example, radio 3, would probably describe both of these products as opera singers.

I agree that Boyle would not be attempting to move across into a different genre of music. She is not trying to encroach on Dame Kiri's territory and with her, the man on the omnibus would not imagine her to be a classical singer.

So the bottom line; I agree with what she says, I disagree with her fairly brutal way of expressing herself. People with sound opinions can often express them in such a way as to alienate those who would otherwise agree with them.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on July 25, 2010, 07:35:59 AM
So the bottom line; I agree with what she says, I disagree with her fairly brutal way of expressing herself. People with sound opinions can often express them in such a way as to alienate those who would otherwise agree with them.

yes absolutely.

And yes my main point was that - she was so outraged that it was being compared to Xfactor, but that's what she's making - a talent search, even if its for talent "that lasts"...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on July 26, 2010, 11:39:23 AM
yes absolutely.

And yes my main point was that - she was so outraged that it was being compared to Xfactor, but that's what she's making - a talent search, even if its for talent "that lasts"...
She may be a little bit grumpy at times but maybe something good will come out of that talent search, and she's got her foundation which helps young singers, so at least she's trying to do something positive. Nobody's perfect.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on July 26, 2010, 11:46:49 AM

Clearly she is going to hawk her bones around for as long as the paycheck turns up.

Mike
Could also be that she just loves to sing of course. I doubt if she would have sung the Marschallin again like she did a few months ago if she didn't love the music.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 26, 2010, 11:53:29 AM
Like Victoria de los Angeles; in the autumn of her career she has hit substantial financial problems. In each case, the cause was divorce and connected management issues. With the former, her husband swiped all her earnings, he had been her manager. In the latter, a bit different, but the same end result. So, I think she basically has to keep working in order to rebuild her finances for her retirement.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on July 26, 2010, 12:14:21 PM
I don't know. I would have thought that Te Kanawa is settled for life. But whatever the case may be, if she was willing to invest the time preparing to sing only two performances of the Marschallin - especially considering the risks involved , that tells me that there is a deep love for the music as well.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 26, 2010, 12:43:49 PM
I don't think anyone implied she does not love the music.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jhar26 on July 26, 2010, 12:54:22 PM
I don't think anyone implied she does not love the music.

Mike
Ok, no problem.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 04, 2010, 12:59:46 PM
SINAISKY APPOINTED MUSIC DIRECTOR AT BOLSHOI

http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/08/03/14378284.html (http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/08/03/14378284.html)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 07, 2010, 10:26:25 PM
Opera singer sues for injuries (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/7929081/Injured-opera-star-sues-over-set-collapse.html).

Quote
On the night in question the stage above went sideways instead of up, resulting in the destruction of the set. I was knocked down at least 15ft and tried to crawl to safety to avoid being crushed.


Quote
The accident was not Mr Rendall's first brush with misfortune.

During a performance of I Pagliacci in Milwaukee in 1998, he accidentally stabbed another singer in the stomach with a flick knife. The blade was supposed to retract but instead plunged three inches into American baritone Kimm Julian's abdomen.

 :o

Mr Julian required emergency surgery and the production continued with a replacement baritone and a retractable toy knife.



Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 07, 2010, 11:46:35 PM
Opera singer sues for injuries (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/7929081/Injured-opera-star-sues-over-set-collapse.html).

The non retracting knife story sounds like it could be a plot for Midsomer Murders.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 07, 2010, 11:50:23 PM
This is the first I was aware of either incident; or that he is married to another singer. We don't know what damages were paid out, but on the surface, what is being asked for seems quite modest. He was well known on the concert platform, so I would have thought that he ought to have been able to get quite a bit of work by that route.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 07, 2010, 11:51:34 PM
Opera singer sues for injuries (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/7929081/Injured-opera-star-sues-over-set-collapse.html).

Hmmm, I can't say he was ever famous for being easy to work with :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 07, 2010, 11:54:55 PM
Yes, I held off on that one, but my direct observations of him when I was in chorus, was that he was testy and irritable. But the real problem was that he did not seem to rise above the capable and efficient.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 09, 2010, 10:26:55 AM
Die Oper kocht: Die Lieblingsrezepte großer Stimmen
(The Opera Cooks: Favourite Recipes Of Great Voices)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Uo6LtnIRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMRXSQzSHOs&feature=player_embedded


Among the cooks:

Roberto Alagna
Piotr Bécala
Barbara Bonney
Joseph Calleja
José Carreras
Joyce DiDonato
Ferrucio Furlanetto
Elina Garanca
Thomas Hampson
Jonas Kaufmann
Simon Keenlyside
Angelika Kirchschlager
Ambrogio Maestri
Anna Netrebko
René Pape
Adrienne Pieczonka
Michael Schade
Neil Shicoff
Deborah Voight
Markus Werba


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on August 10, 2010, 11:14:51 AM
The Met Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of James Levine’s Company Debut with James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met, Two Special Box Sets of 21 DVDs and 32 CDs

The two sets contain 22 complete performances, 19 of which have never been previously available in any format.

11 Titles on 32 CDs

Berg: Lulu
Christine Schäfer, Hanna Schwarz, David Kuebler, Clifton Forbis, James Courtney; April 21, 2001

Berg: Wozzeck
José van Dam, Anja Silja, Ragnar Ulfung, Richard Cassilly, Dieter Weller; March 8, 1980

Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini
Marcello Giordani, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Kristine Jepson, Peter Coleman-Wright, John Del Carlo, Robert Lloyd; December 27, 2003

Berlioz: Les Troyens
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Deborah Voigt, Ben Heppner, Dwayne Croft, Robert Lloyd; February 22, 2003

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande
Jeannette Pilou, Dale Duesing, Jocelyne Taillon, José van Dam, Jerome Hines; January 22, 1983

Harbison: The Great Gatsby
Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Dwayne Croft, Susan Graham, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Mark Baker; January 1, 2000

Parade (triple bill)—Satie: Parade / Poulenc: Les Mamelles de Tirésias / Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges
Ainhoa Arteta, Danielle de Niese, Earle Patriarco, Ruth Ann Swenson, Wendy White; March 16, 2002

Schoenberg: Moses und Aron
Philip Langridge, John Tomlinson; February 20, 1999

Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
Dawn Upshaw, Paul Groves, Samuel Ramey, Stephanie Blythe; April 19, 2003

Stravinsky (triple bill)—Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps / Le Rossignol / Oedipus Rex
William Lewis, Florence Quivar, Franz Mazura, Gianna Rolandi, Philip Creech; February 25, 1984

Wagner: Lohengrin
Ben Heppner, Deborah Voigt, Deborah Polaski, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Eric Halfvarson; March 21, 1998

Two of the operas on CD are accompanied by bonus discs that include excerpts from other Met performances of the same opera. The complete Pelléas et Mélisande is from 1983 and has Jeannette Pilou, Dale Duesing, van Dam, and Jerome Hines in the cast. The bonus CD contains excerpts from two other performances: one from 1978 with Stratas, Gabriel Bacquier, and Hines, and a second from 1995 with Frederica von Stade and Dwayne Croft. The bonus CD accompanying the complete Lohengrin from 1998 with Ben Heppner, Deborah Voigt, Deborah Polaski, and Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, features excerpts from a 1985 performance with Domingo, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, and Eva Marton, as well as a 1976 version with René Kollo and Pilar Lorengar.


12 Titles on 21 DVDs

Berg: Lulu
Julia Migenes, Franz Mazura, Evelyn Lear, Kenneth Riegel; December 1980

Berg: Wozzeck
Falk Struckmann, Katarina Dalayman, Wolfgang Neumann, Graham Clark, Michael Devlin; October 2001

Corigliano: The Ghosts of Versailles
Teresa Stratas, Håkan Hagegård, Marilyn Horne, Gino Quilico, Graham Clark, Renée Fleming; January 1992

Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
Carol Vaness, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Allen, Ruggero Raimondi; December 1985

Puccini: Il Trittico
Renata Scotto, Cornell MacNeil, Vasile Moldoveanu, Betsy Norden, Jocelyne Taillon, Gabriel Baquier, Italo Tajo, Philip Creech; November  1981

Smetana: The Bartered Bride
Teresa Stratas, Nicolai Gedda, Jon Vickers, Martti Talvela; November 1978

R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos (Virgin Classics release)
Deborah Voigt, Natalie Dessay, Susanne Mentzer, Richard Margison, Nathan Gunn; April 2003

R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
Tatiana Troyanos, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kurt Moll, Judith Blegen, Derek Hammond-Stroud, Luciano Pavarotti; October 1982

R. Strauss: Elektra
Hildegard Behrens, Deborah Voigt, Brigitte Fassbaender, James King, Donald McIntyre; January 1994

Verdi: Don Carlo
Vasile Moldoveanu, Renata Scotto, Tatiana Troyanos, Sherril Milnes, Paul Plishka, Jerome Hines; February 1980

Weill: The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Teresa Stratas, Astrid Varnay, Richard Cassily, Ragnar Ulfung, Cornell MacNeil; November 1979

In Concert at the Met (Highlights)
Plácido Domingo, Tatiana Troyanos (February 28, 1982); Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne (March 28, 1982); Plácido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes (January 30, 1983).

 The complete collection will be available at the Met Opera Shop, its online store www.metoperashop.org, and Amazon.com on Tuesday, September 21. The CD and DVD collections are sold separately with the CD set priced at $200.00 and the DVD set at $300.00.

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=12326
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on August 10, 2010, 11:23:08 AM
The Met Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of James Levine’s Company Debut with James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met, Two Special Box Sets of 21 DVDs and 32 CDs

The two sets contain 22 complete performances, 19 of which have never been previously available in any format.

 :o  :o  :o

Quite spectacular-looking.  (I only wish I hadn't just bought the Lulu with Migenes.)  But some treasures there, for sure.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on August 11, 2010, 01:58:54 AM
:o  :o  :o

Quite spectacular-looking.  (I only wish I hadn't just bought the Lulu with Migenes.)  But some treasures there, for sure.

--Bruce

Yeah, I've got the Lulu DVD too, but I'm sure I can find a good home for the extra copy.  I'm just glad I was able to (only just barely) restrain myself from ordering the Ariadne from one of the European sites. 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DarkAngel on August 11, 2010, 02:56:51 PM
Don't want entire Levine 21 DVD $300 boxset..........but
 
I have always wanted to get that Mozart Marriage of Figaro with Carol Vaness, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade......perhaps it will also soon be sold seperately
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on August 12, 2010, 02:27:49 AM
Don't want entire Levine 21 DVD $300 boxset..........but
 
I have always wanted to get that Mozart Marriage of Figaro with Carol Vaness, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade......perhaps it will also soon be sold seperately

It would seem foolish not to eventually release them separately.  In any case, as someone commented on another site, "I'm sure one will be able to find copies of broken sets on eBay shortly after Day 1."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 12, 2010, 03:51:58 PM
:o  :o  :o

Quite spectacular-looking.  (I only wish I hadn't just bought the Lulu with Migenes.)  But some treasures there, for sure.

--Bruce

Is that Lulu good?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 13, 2010, 03:49:28 AM
Article in The Independent - an interview with Tony Hall, CEO of the ROH, about making its work accessible, and succeeding as a business against a background of cuts for the arts:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/tony-hall-taking-high-culture-to-the-mass-market-2050088.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/tony-hall-taking-high-culture-to-the-mass-market-2050088.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: mamascarlatti on August 13, 2010, 11:14:03 AM
I'd consider getting the Met DVD box set - but you have to phone in an international order?!? - I'm quite surprised as usually the Met is good at exploiting the Internet.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on August 13, 2010, 11:17:04 AM
Is that Lulu good?

I actually haven't watched it yet--it's still shrink-wrapped... :-[  But I've heard through the grapevine that it is very good. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on August 13, 2010, 11:43:56 AM
Article in The Independent - an interview with Tony Hall, CEO of the ROH, about making its work accessible, and succeeding as a business against a background of cuts for the arts:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/tony-hall-taking-high-culture-to-the-mass-market-2050088.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/tony-hall-taking-high-culture-to-the-mass-market-2050088.html)

I'm amazed that the cut isn't more - its just more than half a percent. Considering most departments are being cut 25-40% they've done bloody well!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 13, 2010, 11:59:59 AM
I'm amazed that the cut isn't more - its just more than half a percent. Considering most departments are being cut 25-40% they've done bloody well!

If the ROH wants to broaden its appeal if could find a way to reduce ticket prices.  Nearly $400 for a good seat for an opera performance is not compatible with broad appeal.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 13, 2010, 12:24:35 PM
If the ROH wants to broaden its appeal if could find a way to reduce ticket prices.  Nearly $400 for a good seat for an opera performance is not compatible with broad appeal.

How would you suggest they do that, against a background of cuts in financial support and businesses hurting from the knock-on effects of recession, though?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 13, 2010, 06:43:44 PM
How would you suggest they do that, against a background of cuts in financial support and businesses hurting from the knock-on effects of recession, though?

I don't suppose they it would be easy, but their ticket prices are high even to other comparable opera houses.  I'm not sure it is sustainable for artists to command very high fees if they have to be supported by government subsidies.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 13, 2010, 09:44:05 PM
I don't suppose they it would be easy, but their ticket prices are high even to other comparable opera houses.  I'm not sure it is sustainable for artists to command very high fees if they have to be supported by government subsidies.

Hmmm, I can't find the bit here where you explain how to make the tickets cheaper.  Can you run it by me again?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 13, 2010, 09:54:34 PM
Hmmm, I can't find the bit here where you explain how to make the tickets cheaper.  Can you run it by me again?

Pay singers and conductors less.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 13, 2010, 10:13:06 PM
Pay singers and conductors less.

I meant the actual realistic suggestion? 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 13, 2010, 10:18:16 PM
I meant the actual realistic suggestion?

It may become more realistic when government subsidies are cut and people can't afford to buy tickets.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 13, 2010, 11:31:46 PM
It may become more realistic when government subsidies are cut and people can't afford to buy tickets.

I just checked on the ROH's website, and for next month's COSI FAN TUTTE you can have a perfectly acceptable seat in the Amphitheatre for £24 (US$37.50).  A midprice seat would go for US$80-120. 

If you don't have that kind of money, then you can still sit in the Upper Slips for £8 (US$12.50).  That's a *seat*, not standing.  I saw Heppner & Fleming in OTELLO from the Upper Slips, and didn't regret going (despite my poor opinion of Fleming generally).

Some comparisons:

For myself when visiting London (my original place of birth), I slip a sandwich and a Coke in my bag (the ROH don't object at all) for the intermission, and then I take public transport back to where I'm staying when in London.  For my mid-price ticket (cheaper than a ball-game) I've seen and heard world-class artistes,  a world-class orchestra of some of Europe's finest players,  and seen an extensive high-cost show involving huge scenery and costly costumes.   Frankly - it's a bargain.

I know I will never convince you of that - you and I have disagreed about this before, and the opera-house across the road from your house where you - as an alleged music-lover - disdain to go??   :-X

The idea that there will be rebellion against the prices at the ROH is, I'm afraid, a fiction of your fertile imagination.  ROH shows are always sold-out,  and there is considerable difficulty in getting tickets if you are not a member of The Friends.   Nor is it true to say that the "real music-lovers" are priced out of events - not when you can have a good Amphitheatre seat for the price of a take-out Chinese meal.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 13, 2010, 11:46:05 PM
Scarpia, I don't see how the scenario you suggest would lower seat prices.

If funding is reduced, it might be that star performers accept less in fees, but even if they did; you have lowered the income and the outgoings. Surely you are back where you started, the prices would not fall.

There is in any case still an astonishing amount of money sloshing around in London and whatever the seats cost, there will be people who can afford the prices asked.

I agree with FD's points above. I tend not to go because I have back problems. Most theatre seats are a trial, pity they are not like cinema seats. Last time I saw Elektra at the ROH, I ended up standing at the back for half of it, same with Flying Dutchman. I would happily pay the mid price cost if I could sit in reasonable comfort in the seat.

Mike

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 14, 2010, 06:46:15 AM
Scarpia, I don't see how the scenario you suggest would lower seat prices.

If funding is reduced, it might be that star performers accept less in fees, but even if they did; you have lowered the income and the outgoings. Surely you are back where you started, the prices would not fall.

There is in any case still an astonishing amount of money sloshing around in London and whatever the seats cost, there will be people who can afford the prices asked.

I agree with FD's points above. I tend not to go because I have back problems. Most theatre seats are a trial, pity they are not like cinema seats. Last time I saw Elektra at the ROH, I ended up standing at the back for half of it, same with Flying Dutchman. I would happily pay the mid price cost if I could sit in reasonable comfort in the seat.

Mike

Quite right, but at least I'd have the satisfaction of knowing that my tax dollars are not paying to subsidize rich people attending operas I can't affort to attend. 

In any case, my fantasy of going to the opera again someday is gone.  The only seats I can reasonably afford are less satisfying than listening to a CD.

BTW, the one time I attended the ROH the hall was half empty.  Of course, it wasn't La Traviata.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DarkAngel on August 14, 2010, 06:57:54 AM
Quite right, but at least I'd have the satisfaction of knowing that my tax dollars are not paying to subsidize rich people attending operas I can't affort to attend. 

In any case, my fantasy of going to the opera again someday is gone.  The only seats I can reasonably afford are less satisfying than listening to a CD.

BTW, the one time I attended the ROH the hall was half empty.  Of course, it wasn't La Traviata.

This discussion goes back to another thread recently about preferred way to experience opera.........
 
I remain a strong advocate for high quality home theater system and Blu ray /DVD playback of opera, the numerous advantages are very compelling......including cost savings over live performances
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 14, 2010, 07:27:46 AM

......including cost savings over live performances

Although I appreciate what you are saying here,  the argument about home-theatre has one logical flaw in it.  The productions that you get on blu-ray disks have all originated in opera theatres ;)  Without opera theatres and the people who work in them,  those disks would never exist.  It is the "film of the show".  The economics of the video industry would never support the creation and filming of an opera that didn't originate in an opera theatre, and to that extent the blu-ray format is a parastical venture that feeds off an existing production.

Nor is it true to say that the recording/broadcast revenues that result from a production "going to disk" help to subsidise the original creation costs of a production,  because video deals on productions are not cut that way.  Instead some hard-working opera-house tries its damndest to create a superlative production.  It may, or may not, catch the imagination of the audience, and if it sells-out for weeks and gets revived due to enormous demand, THEN and only then will a production company approach the opera-house concerned.   Most productions are never filmed in this way - because an entirely different set of market-forces are at work.  The opera-house, cast, conductor and director were trying to make a great show that their catchment audience would like.  But suddenly a new field opens...   "your production of DON GIOVANNI is superlative, guys...   but there are 18 others on the market and you haven't got Damrau or Netrebko in yours, so, well, sorry". 

So the reality is that it's the RICH WELL-HEELED PUBLIC attending the opera-house performances who are cross-subsidising the blu-ray disk...  and not vice-versa!   And the corporate sponsor of the show, and the general sponsor of the opera-house,  and the Friends Of The Opera House, and the Opera Circle who paid to have adequate showers installed in the Chorus dressing-rooms...   they have all cross-subsisidised the blu-ray disk.

And one other thing...   there is no experience at all remotely similar to being in the audience when a major star has a big difficult moment coming up...  you can't replicate it at home.  Down there on the stage someone is about to attempt something that goes beyond all human expectation...    be it O PATRIA MIA, or EMBROIDERY or I AM THE WIFE OF MAO-TSE-TUNG,  a hushed expectation goes through the audience when it happens.  As the best showbiz anecdotes always end...  "I guess you had to be there"  :)    Even the band are part of this shared emotional experience. 

Last night in our current show (about the life of Handel), the final aria is "Where shall I fly?" from HERCULES - a mezzo-soprano warhorse that's incredibly difficult to pull-off in live performance (no chance for "Take-13" on stage...).  We knew she was going to change the final cadenza, and were ready...   she pulled a sustained ff top B-natural out of the hat, then shot down in semiquavers through two octaves to bottom B-natural.  It brought the house down :)  The band were crying bravo louder than the audience, and they're a bunch of hardened cynics who've heard it all before :)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 14, 2010, 07:31:52 AM
I'm not rich but I do love the whole experience of seeing a live performance of one of my favourite operas.

I'm also a fan of F1 & I'm going to Monza & if you think opera is expensive, have a look at these (http://uktickets.formula1.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=tsdt&stat=5&flgc=0&loid=180012&ofid=10845&sdat=10/09/2010&edat=12/09/2010&wtid=28&rfrr=Italy&mdpcid=wwte.uk.300-30004.mnc.tsh.trv.it&eapid=300-30004) prices.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 14, 2010, 07:32:12 AM
If we make it difficult for opera houses to produce good work, it becomes much less likely that they can produce the kind of home viewing performances you are prepared to buy. No doubt there is a profit in BluRay products, but they would cost a lot more if the performances filmed had not been subsidised in some way or other. Opera is simply not a commercial proposition. Nor is a full scale symphony orchestra.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DarkAngel on August 14, 2010, 07:52:39 AM
Last night in our current show (about the life of Handel), the final aria is "Where shall I fly?" from HERCULES - a mezzo-soprano warhorse that's incredibly difficult to pull-off in live performance (no chance for "Take-13" on stage...).  We knew she was going to change the final cadenza, and were ready...   she pulled a sustained ff top B-natural out of the hat, then shot down in semiquavers through two octaves to bottom B-natural.  It brought the house down :)  The band were crying bravo louder than the audience, and they're a bunch of hardened cynics who've heard it all before :)

Bravo....
Nothing I like more than vocalists walking the high wire with ornamented runs on the fly and dazzling the house
 
But my Blu ray home theater system allows me to relive them again and again  ;)
(and interview her after the show and get her comments)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 14, 2010, 08:02:36 AM

Bravo....
Nothing I like more than vocalists walking the high wire with ornamented runs on the fly and dazzling the house
 
But my Blu ray home theater system allows me to relive them again and again  ;)
(and interview her after the show and get her comments)

Ah, but the thrill of the high wire is disipated by the safety-net of sixteen different studio takes, and the production software that can correct intonation,  and tidy-up each of the semiquavers in the long coloratura runs  (ooooh yes, it can do all of that, and much more, I've watched them at work ;) )

Bluray captured from live performance...  well yeah, maybe ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 14, 2010, 08:22:58 AM
I agree and, there is the occasion when it goes wrong. That never reaches the DVD, yet it is vital to the experience.

Slightly unconnected: 20 years ago I watched the live relay of Tosca filmed in the specified Roman locations over a day. In act 1 Domingo fell as he ran down the ramp from the painting above the altar in the church. It was a heart stopping moment; would this ruin the entire live project. He got up and never missed a beat.

I just bought the DVD version of that broadcast and was disappointed to see that the fall had been eliminated; a cut to an alternative camera shot. Now why do that? Part of what makes the live experience so valuable is that tension about whether the aria, ensemble, stagecraft etc will gel together or....not.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: False_Dmitry on August 14, 2010, 01:29:59 PM
the fall had been eliminated; a cut to an alternative camera shot. Now why do that? Part of what makes the live experience so valuable is that tension about whether the aria, ensemble, stagecraft etc will gel together or....not.

Entirely agreed.  It's this over-produced, unrealistically flawless element that creates anodyne, dull performnces on disk.  It's performance without cojones. 

I know this forum is primarily directed towards recorded performance.  But frankly it drives me crazy.  I can't even bear to watch my own recorded performances either.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on August 15, 2010, 02:00:28 AM
I agree with all those who extol the values of live performance. Even watching a live relay on tv or in the cinema cannot replicate the thrill of 'being there', filtered, as it is, through the eyes of some film or tv producer, or some camera director.

Of course, now that we have film in one format or another, there are numerous advantages. Future generations will not only be able to hear what Domingo sounded like, but will be able to see him act, whereas we will never really know what Caruso was like. They can also see a cross section of different productions and styles, whereas we can only read about Visconti's fabled productions for Callas at La Scala in 1957, Wieland Wagner's ground breaking productions at Bayreuth. (Nowadays, no doubt they would have made it to blu-ray.)  And of course, ultimately, it also means that those performances which are recorded reach a far greater audience than they could ever hope to in the theatre. But I refuse to accept that they can ever really replace the thrill of a live event.

Indeed, if the live event weren't so important, why would thousands flock to stadiums the world over to see pop stars live? The sound is invariably not as good as the record; unless you mange to get a space right up at the front, the artists will only be dots on the horizon, viewed mainly on large screens relayed into the stadium. Surely it would be better just to wait for the DVD which will no doubt be produced. But actually no. Those fans are there because nothing can ever match that atmosphere, and so they can say, "I was there when....". It is the same reason why people who enjoy sport prefer to watch it live than on tv. The view might be better on tv, but the experience is not.







Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 17, 2010, 12:37:15 PM
Just had an email from ROH. It's advertised as Mozart meets Sex and the City - not really tempted.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

10 / 13 / 15 / 17 / 22 / 24 September at 7pm
19 September at 3pm

Così fan tutte, it's Italian for 'all women do it' and that doesn't just mean buying shoes. These two very modern ladies are both convinced they've found 'The One'. They've even saved their fiancés' pictures in their iPhones to prove it.

Then the guys are suddenly called off to a war zone and OMG - two handsome strangers turn up out of nowhere. The new arrivals are definitely interested. The girls are tempted. But hello? Isn't there something a bit familiar about them?

Treat yourselves to a sophisticated evening out at the Royal Opera House, complete with comic disguises, erotic intrigue and Mozart's wonderful music. Plus a surprisingly recognizable setting, where must-have gadgets and hot chocolate-to-go are all part of the drama.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on August 17, 2010, 01:41:50 PM
Just had an email from ROH. It's advertised as Mozart meets Sex and the City - not really tempted.

COSÌ FAN TUTTE
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

10 / 13 / 15 / 17 / 22 / 24 September at 7pm
19 September at 3pm

Così fan tutte, it's Italian for 'all women do it' and that doesn't just mean buying shoes. These two very modern ladies are both convinced they've found 'The One'. They've even saved their fiancés' pictures in their iPhones to prove it.

Then the guys are suddenly called off to a war zone and OMG - two handsome strangers turn up out of nowhere. The new arrivals are definitely interested. The girls are tempted. But hello? Isn't there something a bit familiar about them?

Treat yourselves to a sophisticated evening out at the Royal Opera House, complete with comic disguises, erotic intrigue and Mozart's wonderful music. Plus a surprisingly recognizable setting, where must-have gadgets and hot chocolate-to-go are all part of the drama.


When does the Blu-ray come out?   8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Drasko on August 17, 2010, 02:16:37 PM
When does the Blu-ray come out?   8)

Don't know if it is the same production but blu-ray of last years Salzburg production is just coming out. I understand the production created some stir and youtube clips do look somewhat sexandthecity-ish.

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/euroarts2072534.jpg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzmNqbFDikU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocb3X7Tf3WM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=786_wsNY7kU
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on August 19, 2010, 07:21:36 AM
The view might be better on tv, but the experience is not.

The opera blogger Operachic put it accurately, if crudely when she said it's like the difference between renting a porno and the real thing - obviously it's better.

I agree of course, but only for seats that I can't afford!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on August 21, 2010, 05:14:20 AM
21.8.10

Christoph Schlingensief is  (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/08/christoph-schlingensief-is-dead.html)Dead
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 28, 2010, 08:25:47 AM
Some amazing photos (http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/bilderserie/1121088/Probenbilder+von+%22Rigoletto+aus+Mantua%22#/beitrag/bilderserie/1121088/Probenbilder-von-Rigoletto-aus-Mantua) of rehearsals for the live Rigoletto from Mantua.

(I'm sure most people will have seen these but just in case)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 28, 2010, 09:21:35 AM
It was new to me and news, interesting look to the production. Domingo really is remarkable. I wonder if he will be singing Wotan at age 85?

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 28, 2010, 09:25:02 AM
It was new to me and news, interesting look to the production. Domingo really is remarkable. I wonder if he will be singing Wotan at age 85?

Mike

Wouldn't be surprised!

BBC2 is showing the live Rigoletto on 4th & 5th September.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on August 28, 2010, 09:54:11 AM
Wouldn't be surprised!

BBC2 is showing the live Rigoletto on 4th & 5th September.

I will look out for that. I watched his live Boccanegra recently. He was good but not great; in that the role really lies in the wrong part of the voice. I suspect it will be the same with Rigoletto. The high phrases that ought to sound trumpet like and to a certain amount stressed, passed you by, as they sat in the middle of his voice.

However, within that Boccanegra production  was one of the best singers I have encountered for years: Marina Poplavskaya. Beautiful to look at, to hear and an above average actor. I then bought a live DVD Otello with her as Desdemona, I am going to post a review. This month the DVD issues show her in Don Carlos, I will be buying that too.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 28, 2010, 10:12:15 AM
I will look out for that. I watched his live Boccanegra recently. He was good but not great; in that the role really lies in the wrong part of the voice. I suspect it will be the same with Rigoletto. The high phrases that ought to sound trumpet like and to a certain amount stressed, passed you by, as they sat in the middle of his voice.

However, within that Boccanegra production  was one of the best singers I have encountered for years: Marina Poplavskaya. Beautiful to look at, to hear and an above average actor. I then bought a live DVD Otello with her as Desdemona, I am going to post a review. This month the DVD issues show her in Don Carlos, I will be buying that too.

Mike

Agree with all of that. I was disappointed with Domingo's Boccanegra on TV but saw it live at ROH & it seemed better & loved every second. My star of the show though was Joseph Calleja - he was absolutely amazing.

(http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/2734/img1202x.th.jpg) (http://img90.imageshack.us/i/img1202x.jpg/)

Top Pappano, middle Calleja, bottom Domingo

(http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/7973/img1217xd.th.jpg) (http://img411.imageshack.us/i/img1217xd.jpg/)

I have that Don Carlo (recorded off the TV) & love it especially Simon Keenlyside & am looking forward to a much better quality version.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on August 29, 2010, 08:24:07 PM
SANTA FE OPERA SCHEDULE 2010-2011

Santa Fe Opera will stage five productions during its 2011 festival season: Faust, Boheme, Griselda, Last Savage and Wozzek. Frédéric Chaslin will assume the Chief Conductor role starting Oct. 1, 2010.
Three of these operas are being presented for the first time. Heading the list is the first major U.S. production of Vivaldi’s opera, Griselda. Also featured are Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Last Savage, marking the centennial of the composer’s birth, and Gounod’s beloved masterpiece, Faust. Returning are the 2007 production of Puccini’s La Bohème and the acclaimed 2001 staging of Berg’s Wozzeck.

“The 2011 season is in the best Santa Fe Opera tradition, staying true to its mission of presenting a mix of repertory with a rarity in Menotti’s The Last Savage, a premiere -- in this case something very old that is new -- Vivaldi’s Griselda written in 1735, and a major 20th century masterpiece, Berg’s Wozzeck, along with Faust and La Bohème,” General Director Charles MacKay said in his announcement.

cast lists, etc. at  http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/8385.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on August 30, 2010, 09:15:16 AM
40% off EMI box sets from http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/emiboxes.php
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on August 30, 2010, 11:48:15 AM
Elektra * Gatti * VPO * Theorin, Meier, Pape, Westbroek, Gambill et al.


Notes from the Salzburg Festival ( 14 )

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/08/notes-from-salzburg-festival-14.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/08/notes-from-salzburg-festival-14.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on September 02, 2010, 07:33:11 PM

La Monnaie to Kick Off Brussels Season With Yvonne

By Frank Cadenhead
30 Aug 2010

Brussels' opera La Monnaie opens its season Sept. 9 with Philippe Boesmans' Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy, starring Mireille Delunsch, Paul Gay and Dorte Lyssewski. Full season details announced.

**
It is the Cinderella story turned upside down. The new opera by Belgium's most renowned living composer, Philippe Boesmans, Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy, opens the season at Brussels' opera La Monnaie with nine performances from September 9 to 21.

The libretto, by Luc Bondy and his wife Marie-Louise Bischoffberger, retells the story of the Polish playwright Witold Gombrowicz. The introspective prince, constantly badgered to get married, as a protest marries a plain girl, speechless and passive, to spite the royal court. Her presence, according to the opera's announcement, "has the tremendous capacity to reveal everyone's inner turmoil and frustrations" and she is thus marked for assassination.

Yvonne had its world premiere at the Opera National de Paris in January of 2009 where it was applauded warmly by both the audience and critics (including this writer) - not the typical reaction to contemporary fare. Librettist and acclaimed stage director Luc Bondy, who directed the work in Paris, will supervise the production in Brussels. Bondy has been a regular collaborator with Boesmans and this marks their third effort together. With Patrick Davlin conducting the orchestra and chorus of La Monnaie, the excellent French soprano Mireille Delunsch repeats her success as the dissolute Queen Marguerite and baritone Paul Gay returns as King Ignace. Also returning in the title role is the amazing actress, Dorte Lyssewski whose mute but very physical presence is a key to the drama.

La Monnaie (De Munt, in Flemish) will continue their ten-opera season, under the theme "Tolerance,/Intolerance," with new productions of Janacek's Kat'a Kabanova in October directed by Andrea Breth, Puccini's La Boheme directed by Andreas Homoki, Wagner's Parsifal directed by Romeo Castellucci and Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots in a production conceived by Olivier Py. Luigi Nono's opera Intolleranza 1960 was to be newly staged by Christoph Schlingensief in April but his recent passing has La Monnaie searching for a replacement. A world premiere in May is Toshio Hosokawa's new opera Matsukaze which was commissioned by La Monnaie. His 2005 opera, Hanjo was first seen at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2005 and is also part of the Brussels season.

from http://www.playbillarts.com/features/article/8446.html

The opera's website, in English, is at http://www.lamonnaie.be/en/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on September 08, 2010, 09:09:04 AM
Just booked for the premiere of Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage at Covent Garden next February.

How exciting. You must do a review when you've seen it.

It's only quite recently that people saw operas by composers who were dead. I've read that in Verdi's time the public were always more interested in brand new operas.

Title: László Polgár dies at 63
Post by: Brewski on September 21, 2010, 05:30:08 AM
This morning I was very sad to learn of the death of László Polgár, the Hungarian bass who was so remarkable in Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle.  One writer commented that he made his career doing the role.  His recording, with Jessye Norman, Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is one of my favorites.

The AP obituary is here (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5glkeFzjkGy5AwdNf7C2hjCyXT4mgD9IB7J4G0).

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on October 11, 2010, 08:24:37 AM
R.I.P., Joan Sutherland:

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/joan-sutherland-stupendous-soprano-dies-at-83/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on October 11, 2010, 09:30:14 AM
RIP Dame Joan

Thank you for your music
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: yashin on October 11, 2010, 05:01:08 PM
La Stupenda indeed. Heaven gets another angel for its choir.

I must admit i was not the greatest fan of her voice, i prefer Tebaldi, Scotto and Freni but you have to admit she was one amazing Lucia - i have not seen anyone do the death scene like she did on the Sydney opera Australia DVD. I will rewatch some of it today and look in awe.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on December 04, 2010, 07:50:57 AM
I noticed on the Warner Classics site that a Walkure from La Scala with Barenboim is being broadcast to theaters (similar to the Met series, I guess). 

http://www.warnerclassicsandjazz.com/newsstory.php?news=272

but when you click through to the La Scala site

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/stagioni/2010_2011/cinema_tv_radio/cinema.html

they give a list of venues for shows in non-existent places like "Wahington" and a dead link which is supposed to give detailed information.  (Seems to reinforce the stereotype that nothing made or done in Italy works.)  Anyone heard of this before?

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 04, 2010, 08:14:29 AM
That's what I get:

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/index.html

The basic Scala link, no mention of it being broadcast, but lots of short video clips!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on December 04, 2010, 08:22:02 AM
That's what I get:

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/index.html

The basic Scala link, no mention of it being broadcast, but lots of short video clips!

I only found one dull video with interviews with the director.

The link with scheduling information is working now.  I might be able to see it during a replay.  The "live" version is 11am on a Tuesday Morning in the Eastern US.   I guess in Italy they do not realize that Americans typically have jobs.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 04, 2010, 11:36:52 AM
click on: "All the vidoes" and you'll get Simon O'Neil as Siegmund, Waltraut Meier as Sieglinde and John Tomlinson's Wotan.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 08, 2010, 10:20:00 AM
Let's go to the Opera!   8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t95L3K3cJNA&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 10, 2010, 09:31:12 PM
Peter Hofmann, RIP

Opera lovers will remember him as the true White Knight in Shining Armour in his performances as Lohengrin among other Wagner roles. He died at age 66 from pneumonia after battling Parkinson's for some time.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on December 10, 2010, 11:12:33 PM
Oh, I did not know that he had died. I have an aria disc of his from way back. An awful lot seem to be dropping off their logs recently.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 11, 2010, 08:17:24 AM
Peter Hofmann was Siegmund in the historic Boulez/Chéreau Centenary Production in Bayreuth Die Walküre.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on December 11, 2010, 09:30:04 AM
And here is your knight in shining armour:

http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Lohengrin-Armstrong-Elizabeth-Woldemar/dp/B000FVQUNA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1292088493&sr=1-1
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on January 01, 2011, 01:31:45 PM
Netrebko performing yesterday. Is it just me, or is this just awful?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH5Kmoh9JHI&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on January 01, 2011, 01:47:56 PM
Love it! Thank you, Guido. Haven't seen Christian Thielemann move that fast, involved, in the many years I have been following his career!  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 01, 2011, 01:57:26 PM
Netrebko performing yesterday. Is it just me, or is this just awful?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH5Kmoh9JHI&feature=player_embedded

Heia! Hieeeeyaaaa! Bloody hell. It is awful.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Scarpia on January 01, 2011, 01:59:52 PM
Netrebko performing yesterday. Is it just me, or is this just awful?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH5Kmoh9JHI&feature=player_embedded

Hmmm, my theory is that now that she is chubby, people are starting to listen to her sing.   8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 01, 2011, 02:06:46 PM
The voice is darker than ever, but although I have heard her sing colouratura with some approximation, the swoop and wobble are a newish development. Move over Dame Gwyneth Jones.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on January 01, 2011, 03:52:21 PM
Why does she do the Bel Canto rep? She is completely unsuited for it. She's better in more traditional lyric acting roles, though I've never really got her appeal - I'm too concerned with the sound she makes. But I can't see her going on too much longer, with so much out of tune (she's sharp at the bottom and really flat at the top*, that huge wobble (someone hear said it perfectly - she seems to sing around the note, without ever hitting it fully), and the pure bellowing when she sings loud. Not good signs.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on January 01, 2011, 04:39:45 PM
Heia! Hieeeeyaaaa! Bloody hell. It is awful.

Mike

Beginning of a Wagner Aria, I reckon?  ;)

Still, probably not fair to judge her in music like that, in a circus concert like that, especially if it is true that she took over the concert from Renee Fleming with just a few hours of notice.

Btw. That's the concert that made Luisi quit his job in Dresden.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on January 01, 2011, 06:19:07 PM
No but it doesn't reflect well. This should be a party piece, easily whipped off, and yet she's struggling. Just because you've been given a short time to prepare, that doesn't mean that flaws in basic vocal technique such as pitch and vibrato are understandable. I guess you could say 2 days could be counted in hours, but one would have to be very generous.

Also what language does she think she's singing in?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on January 01, 2011, 08:16:11 PM

Also what language does she think she's singing in?

Not too difficult to understand: She is singing in German.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: sospiro on January 02, 2011, 12:07:00 AM
http://www.seattleopera.org/tickets/2011-2012.aspx

I really like John Relyea and would love to see his Attila but Seattle's a bit too far for me.  :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 02, 2011, 02:52:03 AM
Beginning of a Wagner Aria, I reckon?  ;)

Still, probably not fair to judge her in music like that, in a circus concert like that, especially if it is true that she took over the concert from Renee Fleming with just a few hours of notice.

Btw. That's the concert that made Luisi quit his job in Dresden.

I don't agree with that judgement call. I was involved long enough to know that some concerts do get thrown together, but I don't think that has anyhing to do with poor vocal technique. Having fun with the music does not involve carelessness.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 02, 2011, 04:11:52 AM
Netrebko performing yesterday. Is it just me, or is this just awful?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH5Kmoh9JHI&feature=player_embedded

Is this what passes for good singing these days? She may have been a substitute for Fleming, but in no way was she a replacement.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on January 02, 2011, 04:44:42 AM
I don't agree with that judgement call. I was involved long enough to know that some concerts do get thrown together, but I don't think that has anyhing to do with poor vocal technique. Having fun with the music does not involve carelessness.

Mike

The point is that this was presumably not the repertoire of her choice. The fact is that she's one of the finest opera performers around, and for the most part a more-than-decent singer. This wobbly mess is surely no better an indication of her performances than  any number in which she pulled things off admirably.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 02, 2011, 05:03:39 AM
The point is that this was presumably not the repertoire of her choice.

Isn't it? I remember her mauling Lehar's Meine Lippen sie kussen so heiss at the proms a couple of years ago. I'm with  Mike, a last minute substitution does not excuse bad singing. The voice sounds to be in big trouble to me.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on January 02, 2011, 06:05:44 AM
The point is that this was presumably not the repertoire of her choice. The fact is that she's one of the finest opera performers around, and for the most part a more-than-decent singer. This wobbly mess is surely no better an indication of her performances than  any number in which she pulled things off admirably.

No this is what she chose to sing - it's what she does instead of "Lippen" these days.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on January 02, 2011, 06:57:27 AM
The point is that this was presumably not the repertoire of her choice. The fact is that she's one of the finest opera performers around, and for the most part a more-than-decent singer. This wobbly mess is surely no better an indication of her performances than  any number in which she pulled things off admirably.

I am puzzled here. If the wobbly mess here is not indicative of her general abilities and nor are the performances that she pulls off admirably....then what is typical of her standard?

I used to enjoy some of her performances, but found this dark quality to her voice to be unsuited to a number of the roles she took on: eg Guilda. I have also found her ability to get round the notes to be variable in colouratura. Latterly however, what I have heard has been less successful with occluded tone, also different sound qualities shooting out from different parts of the voice. As she moves up and down through her voice it no longer sounds integrated. It also seems less agile than it used to be and clearly evinces intonation problems.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I get the impression of a fair few cancellations. All of these are bad signs. No doubt she is booked up now for five years ahead, so she will not be disappearing any time soon. But unless she retrenches, her best is already behind her.

I have her Russian Arias disc and value it highly. Perhaps Russian Mezzo roles would bring rewards; but who would be scheduling such showcases for her?

Here is what there was seven years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vm2VoXuXA&feature=related

Perhaps this is what lies ahead: a warning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz_FkqdCZTw

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on January 02, 2011, 08:05:50 PM
Perhaps this is what lies ahead: a warning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz_FkqdCZTw

Ouch. That was cruel. To everyone involved.  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 02, 2011, 04:45:33 AM
The Met premiere of Nixon in China is tonight.  It'll be on XM/Sirius, or available for free from the Met's website via their "listen live" feature.  Four videos from Monday's dress rehearsal are here:  http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/broadcast/template.aspx?id=14928&utm_source=FB&utm_medium=FB&utm_content=videos&utm_campaign=Nixon

I can't wait for the HDcast (and eventually, a DVD, I hope).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on February 02, 2011, 09:09:46 AM
The Met premiere of Nixon in China is tonight.  It'll be on XM/Sirius, or available for free from the Met's website via their "listen live" feature.  Four videos from Monday's dress rehearsal are here:  http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/broadcast/template.aspx?id=14928&utm_source=FB&utm_medium=FB&utm_content=videos&utm_campaign=Nixon

I can't wait for the HDcast (and eventually, a DVD, I hope).

Thanks for posting those videos! I'll be in the audience, and very much looking forward. Heard from people at the dress that it was pretty spectacular.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 02, 2011, 05:32:43 PM
Thanks for posting those videos! I'll be in the audience, and very much looking forward. Heard from people at the dress that it was pretty spectacular.

--Bruce

I'm jealous!  Though listening to the broadcast, James Maddalena's in major distress, with a frog in his throat, losts of coughing and throat-clearing.  I wonder if he'll make it through the performance (they're just in Act I, scene ii as I type this).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on February 03, 2011, 08:16:22 PM
An entertaining, educational and interesting interview with Franz Hawlata:

http://www.kcstudio.com/hawlata.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 16, 2011, 04:27:52 AM
3-D Comes to Met Opera, but Without Those Undignified Glasses (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/arts/music/16siegfried.html)

Quote
the Metropolitan Opera said it planned to introduce 3-D projections for its production of “Siegfried” next season, the third installment in its new “Ring” cycle, directed by Robert Lepage.

If the technology works as advertised, the singers will appear to move inside a three-dimensional world created by projections.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on February 16, 2011, 08:32:02 AM
3-D Comes to Met Opera, but Without Those Undignified Glasses (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/arts/music/16siegfried.html)

Which would be highly absurd: to turn the three dimensional space of the opera house into 2D with screens... only to make it three dimensional again. Argh...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 18, 2011, 04:17:10 AM
Earlier this week, a Met press release announced the next season, including the "Live in HD"s.  I'm particulary looking forward to seeing Rodelinda and Satyagraha, and a bit disappointed that neiter Billy Budd or Markopulos Case will be Live in HD.

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/news/press/detail.aspx?id=15282
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on February 27, 2011, 02:20:30 PM
How to classify it: Opera or Film? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYdIgZ40Xhw&feature=player_embedded

You decide:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1465491/

In any case, can't wait to see it; with Maltman in the title role and Holten the director, can't go wrong!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on February 27, 2011, 04:09:39 PM
That trailer makes me really want to see it - I've never liked the opera-film genre (as opposed to filmed live productions) because it's never filmic enough (not to mention the often terrible "stagey" acting), but this looks really well done. It could be a bit gratuitous or ott, but this is a trailer, and they always are for stories as raunchy and violent as Don Giovanni. Will definitely look it out!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on February 27, 2011, 04:29:18 PM
It could be somewhat in the style of the old Losey film with Rugero Raimondi, but Holten ain't no Losey! - If you have seen his Copenhagen Ring of the Nibelung you know what I mean. -  ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on February 27, 2011, 05:08:58 PM
I haven't, so don't really know what you mean. Care to elaborate?  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on February 27, 2011, 06:00:56 PM
Should give you a rough idea!

http://www.wagneropera.net/DVD/RingDesNibelungen/DVD-Ring-Copenhagen.htm
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 24, 2011, 04:01:02 AM


Ionarts-at-Large: A Midget, Frogs, and Broken Tea Cups


(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yPo3CLIp3bg/TYiLChhoKYI/AAAAAAAABeo/1t6LHysXTKk/s400/BSTOPRavelZemlinsky.png)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/ionarts-at-large-midget-frogs-and.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/03/ionarts-at-large-midget-frogs-and.html)

I love the music of Zemlinsky. How superb to hear his “The Dwarf”. Too bad it’s not a particularly good opera...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Harry Powell on March 25, 2011, 03:14:37 PM
I'm not a huge fan of German post Wagnerism, but consider "The Dwarf" an appealing opera: much more valuable than simple craftmanship.
That production seems to be incredibly stupid.S
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 26, 2011, 08:43:42 AM
I'm not a huge fan of German post Wagnerism, but consider "The Dwarf" an appealing opera: much more valuable than simple craftmanship.
That production seems to be incredibly stupid.S

Well, the music or the drama or both? On CD or on stage?
I was a little disappointed (obviously)... but then a better staging might have made more of it. It didn't seem up to any of the Schreker I have seen staged, though.
Still, very valuable to have had the opportunity to see/hear it.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Harry Powell on March 26, 2011, 11:31:33 AM
It was staged in Seville three years ago and made a great impression even if it shared the performance with Zemlinsky's "Eine Florentinische Tragödie".
There's a remarkable recording of a Paris performance by Conlon.
Title: Operaplot 2011 is underway
Post by: Brewski on April 13, 2011, 11:15:08 AM
The 2011 #Operaplot contest is underway, and this year the judge is the bass-baritone Eric Owens. More details on The Omniscient Mussel (http://theomniscientmussel.com/) (whose creator hosts the contest). They have quite a few nice prizes, e.g., tickets to operas around the world.

If you want to see some of the entries--many already pretty funny--just go to Twitter and search for #operaplot, and all the entries will miraculously appear. A few examples (I love the last one):

- "You need anything dusted? Swept? OK, we'll just...stare at the harbor all day again," Suzuki says, mentally updating her résumé.
- You stole my husband? So I stole him first, big deal. Rot in hell. I’m off to meet the executioner.
- Whatever, Tatyana. Too long, didn't read.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Harry Powell on July 16, 2011, 04:00:46 PM
I'm very sad to announce that, according to some sources, Cornell MacNeil has died.

He was the greatest Verdi baritone in the Postwar years and a favourite of mine.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on July 23, 2011, 02:01:50 AM
Dallas Opera cancels Káťa Kabanová.  Press release here:  http://blog.dallasopera.org/2011/07/22/the-dallas-opera-announces/

I've planned a November trip to Texas:  Fidelio (with Mattila) in Houston, the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Tour in Austin, and Káťa in Dallas.  I'd even ordered the study score, which just arrived a couple of days ago.  Oh, well.  Less driving for me.
Title: James Levine Withdraws from Met Through End of 2012-2013 Season
Post by: Brewski on December 09, 2011, 12:50:53 PM
Sad. Alex Ross has the full statement here (http://www.therestisnoise.com/2011/12/statement-from-james-levine.html#more).

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on December 09, 2011, 01:37:23 PM
On the up side, it reads as though he should make an eventual recovery. I had rather assumed that his conducting career was over.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zdic on February 12, 2012, 09:03:42 AM
Rising baritone star, newcomer Piotr Prochera

http://www.youtube.com/user/PiotrProchera?feature=mhee
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on February 29, 2012, 06:44:22 AM


Happy 53rd Birthday, Rossini


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_fvqDJniJWuw/R8fWiT9UjZI/AAAAAAAAALY/5EZlY2abHf8/s400/Rossini_oneandonly.jpg)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-53rd-birthday-rossini.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-53rd-birthday-rossini.html)

Quote
Fifty-three is no age for a composer and so it is little wonder that Rossini - or at least
 his music - is alive and well. Born on February 29th, 1792, Gioachino Antonio Rossini soon
discovered a penchant and talent in culinary appreciation as well as note-churning. The latter
he put to use for the creation of almost 40 operas, the former to support his stately
appearance...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 29, 2012, 07:09:06 AM
Nice article Jens. There's lots I don't/didn't know about Rossini, except that I greatly enjoy his music. :)

8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 08, 2012, 03:22:35 AM
Well, he's not going to tell us that, if it were so. I think it's pretty much over, though.
(Without a steady supply of chorister boys, his powers of recuperation will quickly wane.)
Luisi is a very handy stand-in for the MET; people will be surprised (and possibly Luisi among them) when the MD-ship of the MET goes to Pappano, not Luisi, though.

I was pretty sure that non of that was ever proven or substantiated, the stuff with the young boys.

Where's this Pappano Met rumour come from? We need him here in London! Wonder who would take over if Pappano did leave the ROH? Jurowski?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 09, 2012, 09:09:28 AM
It was never brought to a court of law, if that's what you mean.

Re: Pappano... I have no idea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Jordan) who might follow him at the ROH, if Pappano were to go to the MET in the first place.

Where are you getting this info?! Hope we get to keep Pappano.

With the Levine stuff - I was under the impression that aside from a whispered rumour, no one actually came forward, which seems remarkable in these days if there's compensation to be had. Of course it may all have been covered up, but seems unlikely that nothing was leaked to the press in 30 years in a case as high profile as this. Unless you have special information...!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on March 12, 2012, 03:41:57 AM


Memories of Another Past: Stefan Herheim's "La Bohème"


(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-H4GhP2Nr0kA/T1uTY9h0fwI/AAAAAAAAB3M/PDgDWBo9eGA/s1600/La%252BBoh%25C3%25A8me_11_Foto_Erik_Berg.jpg)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/memories-of-another-past-stefan.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/memories-of-another-past-stefan.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 14, 2012, 03:19:22 AM
Is it a decent piece of music?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 15, 2012, 09:23:43 AM
Yes, but is it a decent piece of music?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on March 15, 2012, 10:54:22 AM
Yes, but is it a decent piece of music?

I found this  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKmF7KkB5Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKmF7KkB5Q)  It didn't do much for me, but what do I know? I liked Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire and Corigliano's Ghosts of Versailles, contemporary operas that weren't much liked by the critics.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on March 15, 2012, 07:07:06 PM
I found this  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKmF7KkB5Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKmF7KkB5Q)  It didn't do much for me, but what do I know? I liked Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire and Corigliano's Ghosts of Versailles, contemporary operas that weren't much liked by the critics.

I remember trying to listen to Ghosts of Versailles on a rather scratchy FM radio when it took its turn on the Met Saturday afternoon broadcasts.  I'm not sure if I liked what the radio let me hear, but I certainly couldn't understand why people seemed to be knocking it, and almost everything I have heard by Corigliano since then has struck me as being at a minimum decent music.   Has GoV ever been released on audio or DVD?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on March 17, 2012, 04:06:27 AM
  Has GoV ever been released on audio or DVD?

The Met production with Stratas, Fleming and Horne was definitely available on video and laserdisc. I don't know whether it ever made it to DVD though.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 17, 2012, 09:24:12 AM
The Met production [of The Ghosts of Versailles] with Stratas, Fleming and Horne was definitely available on video and laserdisc. I don't know whether it ever made it to DVD though.

It was released as part of the Levine 40th anniversary box.  It's now available separately as well (in the U.S., at least):

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ghosts-Versailles-Metropolitan-Recording/dp/B0064R55VC/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1332004709&sr=1-1
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on March 23, 2012, 09:29:48 AM
That's the last scene from the 1st act of the very first opera (Donnerstag) in the cycle which was written between 1977-1980 and staged by La Scalla in 1981. Each opera in the cycle is completely different. The one I am posting about (Mittwoch) was written between 1995-1998 and is getting staged this summer at the Olympics 2012.

I know James. But: Is it good music?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on March 25, 2012, 01:52:37 PM
http://www.dongiovannitheopera.com/index.html (http://www.dongiovannitheopera.com/index.html)

Don't quite know what to say about this. The updating bothers me far less than the reassignment of roles. Apart from the Don, all the other roles are assigned to the opposite gender. I really cannot imagine Donna Anna's Non mi dir, sung by a tenor!. And what on earth happens to the ensembles?

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 26, 2012, 03:46:23 AM
http://www.dongiovannitheopera.com/index.html (http://www.dongiovannitheopera.com/index.html)

Don't quite know what to say about this. The updating bothers me far less than the reassignment of roles. Apart from the Don, all the other roles are assigned to the opposite gender. I really cannot imagine Donna Anna's Non mi dir, sung by a tenor!. And what on earth happens to the ensembles?

Yikes!  Fortunately, Mozart and da Ponte will survive long after this production's an unpleasant memory.  There was a similar, all-male Così fan tutte tutti, a few years back.  There was also a "gay" production of Wedekind's Lulu plays.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on April 12, 2012, 07:06:13 AM
I may well be going to that Don... I'll let you know how it is.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 12, 2012, 09:28:28 AM
I may well be going to that Don... I'll let you know how it is.

I'm in Cape Town now and won't be back till the end of May, so will miss it. Though I abhor the idea of gender switching on musical grounds, (aside form the arias, what on earth will it do to the sublime ensembles) the idea in itself sounds very interesting. I look forward to your reaction.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on April 14, 2012, 01:32:16 AM
I'm in Cape Town now and won't be back till the end of May, so will miss it. Though I abhor the idea of gender switching on musical grounds, (aside form the arias, what on earth will it do to the sublime ensembles) the idea in itself sounds very interesting. I look forward to your reaction.

Are you going to Les Troyens by the way? Fastest selling ROH production ever!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 14, 2012, 01:24:51 PM
Are you going to Les Troyens by the way? Fastest selling ROH production ever!

If it's selling that fast, I doubt it. Just tried accessing booking on the web from here in Cape Town, and the site seems to be down.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Guido on April 14, 2012, 02:42:44 PM
It's sold out. But you'll obviously be able to get tickets on the day, by queuing. I can't wait.
Title: Mobile Opera will be doing ALL 12 Puccini operas between 2013 and 2022 (yawn)
Post by: Wendell_E on April 27, 2012, 01:24:00 PM
Yes, even Edgar and Le villi.

This from a company that hasn't had a Nozze di Figaro since 1974, and has never done Così fan tutte, or anything older than Figaro.  Still, it'll be interesting to see if it actually happens.  They replaced what was to have been their first Manon Lescaut a few season ago with a "Love & Lust" concert.

http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/04/mobile_opera_will_launch_pucci.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 27, 2012, 11:42:08 PM
Frankly, it all looks a bit grim. Don P and Puccini. I don't see how a company can avoid Mozart so assiduously yet expect to gain a decent reputation. I guess I ought to look for the whole season before I make any judgements.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on April 28, 2012, 02:01:39 AM
Frankly, it all looks a bit grim. Don P and Puccini. I don't see how a company can avoid Mozart so assiduously yet expect to gain a decent reputation. I guess I ought to look for the whole season before I make any judgements.

We're talking Mobile, Alabama here.  Don Pasquale and Fanciulla ARE the whole season!  Actually, it's first one in a while that's actually excited me, Fanciulla being one of my favorites (and I've never seen it live).  My other local(ish) companies aren't doing any better:  Pensacola has Barbiere, Tosca, and a semi-staged Sweeney Todd, New Orleans another Barbiere, Butterfly, Samson et Dalila, and, if you're willing to pay extra (I'm not), a Domingo gala.  I'm thinking about trying to go to Santa Fe in August for all five operas they're giving:  Tosca, Pêcheurs de perles, Maometto II, Król Roger, and Arabella.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on April 28, 2012, 09:37:54 AM
Santa Fe sounds like the way to go. I am sure it is hard going for a lot of opera companies to risk anything demanding that does not guarantee a full box office.

I really ought to take more advantage of what is around me.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on May 26, 2012, 01:34:02 AM


Pathetic, Peter Gelb?
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/pathetic-peter-gelb.html)
Quote
Peter Gelb, and with him the Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed “an 8-hour New Coke/Coca-Cola Classic day” last week… an inadvertent (yet perfectly predictable)
PR debacle about alleged censorship. The background is best provided by Dan Wakin in the New York Times, here. Shortly after that came the turn-around
(well covered here and here and here) – although Gelb’s “I think [!] I made a mistake” (emphasis mine) confession will hardly undo much of the damage...
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kJRhVBdzQm0/T8CZoSjpGoI/AAAAAAAACEE/lY7rKRHX8IQ/s1600/operanews_peter_gelb.png)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/pathetic-peter-gelb.html[/url]
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DavidRoss on July 07, 2012, 06:10:29 AM
SFO's new production of The Magic Flute was wonderful! Every performer was first-rate, especially Norman Reinhardt (subbing for Nathaniel Peake as Tamino), whose creamy smooth voice makes him the best sounding tenor I've ever heard! But the real star of this production is artist Jun Kaneko. His set and costume design was out of this world, fabulously beautiful and inventive! (The video clips and photos at the link below don't begin to do his work justice.)

http://sfopera.com/Season-Tickets/2011-2012-Season/The-Magic-Flute.aspx#media-videos
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 25, 2012, 04:29:24 AM



Bayreuth and its Swastikas


Dutchman Overboard

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NAZ4HFopKOY/UA_zpKqgbjI/AAAAAAAADX8/dbnHFIO4IdA/s1600/Hitler_Winifred_600.jpg)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/07/bayreuth-and-its-swastikas.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/07/bayreuth-and-its-swastikas.html)
Title: Levine returning to the Met
Post by: Wendell_E on October 12, 2012, 03:37:28 AM
According to a press release at the Met website, he'll be conducting the Met orchestra's May 19th Carnegie Hall concert, and in the 2013-14 season, he'll be conducting revivals of Wozzeck and Così fan tutte and the new production of Falstaff, plus three more Carnegie Hall concerts.

http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/levinereturns.aspx?sn=nf
Title: Met 2013-14 season press release
Post by: Wendell_E on February 27, 2013, 03:43:31 AM
http://www.metoperafamily.org/en/news-and-features1/press-releases/releases/2013-14-Season-Announcement/

Three Bellini operas, but no Wagner!  Apparently, the original plan was for a new Tannhäuser and additional performances of this season's new Parsifal, but the first fell through, and the second was replaced with some Wozzecks for the returning Levine.

After a season without a single Slavic opera, and two without one by Richard Strauss, they'll have three Russian operas (including the first Prince Igor there in nearly a century), one Czech, and three by Richard Strauss.
Title: New Orleans Opera 2013-14. Not business as usual.
Post by: Wendell_E on March 17, 2013, 04:17:27 AM
While I'm excited, and will probably make the 2½ hour trip multiple times to catch both performances of the Marschner and Massenet, I do wonder what drugs they were taking when they chose the season.

October 11 & 13, 2003
Marschner: Der Vampyr
"recast in modern New Orleans"

November 15, 16, & 17
Britten: Noye's Fludde
it'll be performed in a church, hence the extra performance

Valentine's Day (awwww!) and Feb 16
Massenet: Cendrillon

April 4 & 6
Some Puccini thing about a bunch of bohemians
Title: Handel's Giulio Cesare, John Adams Latest
Post by: Cato on April 09, 2013, 12:18:28 PM
From a review by Heidi Waleson in the April 9, 2013 Wall Street Journal:

Quote
The Metropolitan Opera's new "Giulio Cesare" (1724), which opened last week, is a Handel production in its Platonic form. The funny yet poignant staging (originally from the Glyndebourne Festival) of David McVicar; the conducting of Harry Bicket, who knows better than anyone how to make a modern orchestra understand baroque music; and a top-flight cast, including countertenor David Daniels and soprano Natalie Dessay in captivating performances, made for 4½ hours (including intermissions) of musical and theatrical bliss. ...

The evening was paced with superb sensitivity by Mr. Bicket, who also played harpsichord. Every moment was full of life, with a constant awareness of the underlying pulse of the music and the breath between the notes; the orchestra and continuo felt like a cushion supporting the singers. The wrenching duet that concludes Act I, as Cornelia and Sesto are about to be dragged off to separate prisons, sounded like a series of sighs; and after hearing (and seeing) this version of Cleopatra's victory aria, "Da tempeste," one could never imagine it as anything but a dance.



And John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary


Quote


"The Gospel According to the Other Mary" by John Adams and Peter Sellars, recently given its New York premiere by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, approximates the structure of Bach's Passions but has neither the devotional fervor nor the narrative energy that make those works unforgettable. Instead, the "Gospel," which ran close to 3 hours with intermission, nearly as long as the "St. Matthew Passion," felt bloated and episodic...

Act I centers on the death and resurrection of Lazarus; Act II the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The idea was to present the tale from a female perspective. ... the texts don't mesh, and the interpolated situations (women are jailed and beaten) and the fragments of character development ...read more like random bits of political correctness and sexual politics than organic storytelling.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, led by Gustavo Dudamel, sounded harsh and percussive in Mr. Adams's aggressive score. Sometimes this was effective, as in the heaving orchestra at the death of Lazarus, or when the chorus represented the wordless menace of the crowd at Golgotha...



See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323550604578410423704652476.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323550604578410423704652476.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on April 24, 2013, 07:19:56 AM

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mx-5Lh8IsKQ/UXf1YxECZ2I/AAAAAAAAGbU/PzL8DHmloUc/s1600/Hansel&Gretel_Munich_standard_laurson_600.jpg)
Crunch Time for Missing Children

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/04/crunch-time-for-missing-children.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2013/04/crunch-time-for-missing-children.html)
The Scoping Report on Missing and Abducted Children 2011 states the following: “Children who go missing are at risk of harm. When a child goes missing, there is something wrong, often quite seriously, in that child’s life. The reasons behind missing incidents are varied, where children go missing as a consequence of specific, distinct circumstances. The serious problem of missing and abducted children is a broad, complex and challenging issue. It tends to be poorly defined, lacking in accurate statistics, and is subject to an array of responses at local, national and international levels. At the same time, there is a pressing and urgent concern for improving responses to cases of missing and abducted children. Being missing from home or a place of residence not only entails several inherent risks for children and young people, but is also a cause and consequence of other grave concerns in any child’s life.”

The FBI cites a 2002 federal study on missing children according to which a heartening 99.8 percent of children reported missing “were located or returned home alive. The remaining 0.2 percent either did not return home or were not found. The study estimated that most of missing children cases involved runaways from juvenile facilities and that only an estimated 0.0068 percent were true kidnappings by a stranger. The primary conclusion of the study was that child abductions perpetrated by strangers rarely occur. However, when they do occur, the results can be tragic.”

Tragic, indeed. Which makes the following events all the more dramatic: After a domestic altercation on the evening of April 1st, two underage siblings went missing near Munich...

Title: Tannhaeuser with Gas Chambers Canceled
Post by: Cato on May 09, 2013, 07:22:00 AM


Quote
In a statement, the opera house management said it was aware that the production would "arouse controversy".

The statement read: "We are responding to the fact that some scenes, especially the shooting scene depicted very realistically, have caused such physical and psychological stress that some audience members have had to receive medical treatment.

"After considering all the arguments we have come to the conclusion that we cannot justify our artistic work having such an extreme impact.

"In intensive discussions with the director Burkhard C. Kosminski we have considered the possibility of changing individual scenes. This he refuses to do for artistic reasons. Of course, we have to respect the director's artistic freedom."

See:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10046415/Nazi-themed-Wagner-opera-cancelled-in-Germany.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10046415/Nazi-themed-Wagner-opera-cancelled-in-Germany.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 09, 2013, 07:38:36 AM
Quote
In a statement, the opera house management said it was aware that the production would "arouse controversy".

"Well, duh! That's how we sell tickets these days."
Title: Re: Tannhaeuser with Gas Chambers Canceled
Post by: jlaurson on May 09, 2013, 09:01:54 AM
I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that this director felt it necessary to take this plot and portray graphic violence and other sordid stage action?

Oh, yes, his artistic standards could not be compromised.

 >:(

We can't possibly, not having seen it, judge by a report from someone who also hasn't seen it (and doesn't sound like s/he would know what to make of it, if s/he had), whether it turned out well or not. Even if everything about that report seems to scream "gratuitous"!

Aside, the article's very opening sentence is questionable... "Deutsche Oper am Rhein, a leading German opera house..."

Well, if by "leading" you mean... somewhere in the Top 20, but definitely not Top 10...

Oh, yeah: and What Parsifal below said.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Parsifal on May 09, 2013, 09:51:46 AM
To say that Tannhauser "portrays a singing contest at a medieval castle" is not accurate.  It contains supernatural/mythical elements (a goddess) and portrays the abstract conflict between sensuality and reason.  A symbolic casting of the story (not necessarily the one referred to) is not inappropriate.

That said, it's not clear to me what Nazis have to do with it.
Title: Poulenc's "Dialogues" in Canada
Post by: Cato on May 15, 2013, 06:45:33 AM
A review of a Canadian performance of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal.

An excerpt:

Quote
I thought nothing could better the Metropolitan Opera's indelible John Dexter production of "Dialogues," also a minimalist interpretation, which I first saw more than 30 years ago and revisited in New York the night after the Toronto performance. But Mr. Carsen's staging sometimes did. In lessening the period specificity and heightening the tension throughout, it created an undercurrent of doom even in the opera's most serene moments. Still, the final scene of the Dexter production, with the nuns facing their end like human beings rather than as Mr. Carsen's abstract, gesticulating saints, remains the more harrowing of the two.

See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578480860986312372.html?KEYWORDS=Poulenc (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578480860986312372.html?KEYWORDS=Poulenc)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: snyprrr on May 15, 2013, 12:36:33 PM


Springtime for Hitler!
Title: Respect for Wagner's 3 Earliest Operas
Post by: Cato on May 21, 2013, 06:16:24 AM
The Wall Street Journal today (May 21, 2013) has an article on Wagner's earliest efforts:  Die Feen (The Fairies), Das Liebesverbot (The Ban On Love), and  Rienzi.

Concerning Die Feen:
Quote

...musically it's a magic-carpet ride. Defying fate, a mortal and a deathless fairy have married. ... the vocal lines soar and the spell of the tempestuous, star-spangled orchestral writing is hard to resist.

Das Liebesverbot:

Quote
...At moments of impetuous ardor, the gallants Claudio and Luzio, both tenors, seem ready to fly off into the sunset of Viennese operetta....

Rienzi:
Quote
...Some critics have mocked "Rienzi" as Meyerbeer's best opera, some as his worst, proving between them that Wagner hit his target.

The orchestral and choral writing sweeps all before it; the overture and the preparations for battle build with awesome force..
.

See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578481431543314390.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578481431543314390.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on May 26, 2013, 09:50:21 PM
I was at a lecture by Dr Jonathan Miller over the weekend. He explained some of his methods of opera direction. He has strict  rules for himself over whether or not he would consider updating the era in which the original opera is set.

He would never consider updating an opera where the composer had set a story that was contemporary to him. So for instance, Traviata was a contemporary story to Verdi and he feels the setting and mores are authentic.

He feels free to update a setting for any opera where the composer has basically setnit in a never-never land of history that almost always is inaccurate to the time in which it is set, for instance Rigoletto where he feels the opera does not attempt historical accuracy.

But when he considers updating, it has to be done carefully and he was contemptuous for the style of automatically updating everything, which he feels the ENO has been doing for some time. There has to be a point to it which brings the audience closer to the work, not alienating them from it.

I asked him whether he felt it akin to cheating when the only way to understand the 'concept' was to read the director's notes or interviews. He felt the work of art needed to stand by itself and that if it needed the kind of explanations he knew of, the project was a failure. The audience has to 'get it' by watching it, not by reading about the work itself.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on May 26, 2013, 10:49:06 PM
I was at a lecture by Dr Jonathan Miller over the weekend. He explained some of his methods of opera direction. He has strict  rules for himself over whether or not he would consider updating the era in which the original opera is set.

He would never consider updating an opera where the composer had set a story that was contemporary to him. So for instance, Traviata was a contemporary story to Verdi and he feels the setting and mores are authentic.

He feels free to update a setting for any opera where the composer has basically setnit in a never-never land of history that almost always is inaccurate to the time in which it is set, for instance Rigoletto where he feels the opera does not attempt historical accuracy.

But when he considers updating, it has to be done carefully and he was contemptuous for the style of automatically updating everything, which he feels the ENO has been doing for some time. There has to be a point to it which brings the audience closer to the work, not alienating them from it.

I asked him whether he felt it akin to cheating when the only way to understand the 'concept' was to read the director's notes or interviews. He felt the work of art needed to stand by itself and that if it needed the kind of explanations he knew of, the project was a failure. The audience has to 'get it' by watching it, not by reading about the work itself.

Mike

Wise man. No wonder he has presided over so many successful productions.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on May 31, 2013, 03:15:47 AM

HOW TO DO AN OPERA GERMANLY

1) The director is the most important personality involved in the production. His vision must supersede the requirements of the composer and librettist, the needs of singers, and especially the desire of the audience, those overfed fools who want to be entertained and moved.

2) The second most important personality is the set designer.

3) Comedy is verboten except when unintentional. Wit is for TV-watching idiots.

4) Great acting is hyperintens...See More
The music must stop once in a while for intense, obscure miming.

9) Sexual scenes must be charmless and aggressive. Rolling on the floor a must here.

10) Unmotivated homosexual behavior must be introduced into the staging of the opera at least a few times no matter that it has no relevance to the opera.

11) Happy endings are intellectually bankrupt. Play the opposite. Insert a sudden murder or rape somewhere if at all possible no matter that it has no place in the opera.

12) Avoid entertaining the audience at all costs. If they boo, your vision has succeeded artistically.

13) Rehearse the performance until it's dead. Very important.

14) Any suggestion of the beauty and mystery of nature must be avoided at all costs! The set must be trivial, contemporary and decrepit. Don't forget the fluorescent lights! (Klieg lights also acceptable.)

15) The audience must not know when to applaud or when the scene/act ends.

16) Historical atrocities such as the Holocaust or the AIDS epidemic must be incorporated and exploited as much as possible. Also, the lifestyle of the audience must be mocked.

17) Colors are merely decorative. Black, white and gray only! If you must have color, let it be garish eye-watering primaries in huge blocks, Toytown style. And with vast coarse flowery prints for the costumes — and something bolder for the women. (Under the trench coats, of course. See article 18.)

18) The chorus must be bald, sexless, faceless and in trench coats. The ideal is a line-up of devitalized Uncle Festers. For a court audience or other aristos (axiomatically boorish sneering decadents, especially if the music implies otherwise) tail-coats are permissible, as are crowns, provided they are jagged card circlets.

19) If the audience is bored it's proof positive that this is art.

20) Props are items of junk piled in a corner of the set. They must be overused pointlessly, then dropped on the floor, loudly. Best done when the music is soft so as to call attention to it. Be careful to keep dangerous objects at the lip of the stage so the blindfolded dancers can kick them into the pit.

21) All asides must be sung next to the person who is not supposed to hear them.

22) The leading performers faces must be painted as a white mask to ensure no individuality or variety of expressions as opera singers can't act anyway. This is already a fundamental Brechtian technique to conceal a) the limited range endemic to actors being ideologically sound, and b) the stereotypical nature of agitprop material. Less obvious if delivered by a stereotype where it can then be called stylization, and hailed as genius.

23) Preparation is important for the director. Try not to read the libretto in advance to make sure it doesn't interfere with your staging ideas. Not much harm in listening to the CD once, though that's not really your job.

24) Make the conductor feel useful though he's really nothing but a literal-minded hack.

25) The stage director must avoid any idea that is not his own. (This instruction is largely pointless as that idea is surely implied in this list already.)

26) A costume must serve at least two of the following criteria: a) make the singer look unattractive, b) obscure his vision, c) make hearing the orchestra difficult, d) impede movement, or e) contradict the period in which the opera is set (that last hardly worth mentioning).

27) Every once in a while, try to compensate for generating trash at the taxpayer's expense by producing an "opera for children." Nothing difficult here. Just have The Magic Flute performed around midafternoon by mediocre singers in an inappropriate setting, in a translocated staging, and by altering the story which you’ve determined is anything but suitable for children.

28) Hire your singers in the largest size possible, making every love scene look like a parody. Act surprised when no-one likes it, and afterwards declare in front of the press that contemporary audiences just don't connect with opera anymore, and that, further, more modernizing productions are needed.

29) Include references to Nazis or Nazi atrocities, directly or by way of suggestion or metaphor. This is de rigueur no matter how non sequitur.


To which I add a number....

30) On no account miss that obvious point in Dutchman in which to display a session of bukkake.

Mike

Title: Re: General Opera News: George Benjamin's "Written on Skin"
Post by: Cato on August 20, 2013, 08:21:31 AM
George Benjamin's opera Written on Skin received a rave review from Heidi Waleson in the Aug. 20, 2013 Wall Street Journal:

Quote
George Benjamin's "Written on Skin," ... arrived in the U.S. last week in a shattering concert performance by the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows, conducted by the composer. A savagely beautiful score with a fierce, multilayered libretto, the 90-minute "Written on Skin" is an original. It pushes the boundaries of narrative while maintaining constant theatrical tension, and its musical inventiveness serves the drama impeccably...

...Every scene has its own musical character—the Protector's weight and obsession with power is heard in the horns, Agnès's sensuality in the sound of the solo viola da gamba, backed by high harmonics in violins; when the Boy sings "I've painted the woman's heart," you hear the heart's irregular beat in the double basses. Mr. Benjamin's music can conjure up the ferocity of Richard Strauss or Belà Bartok and delicacy of Claude Debussy or Kaija Saariaho, but the combination is all his own

See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324108204579022703204814982.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324108204579022703204814982.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_5)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on August 20, 2013, 08:45:15 AM
Thanks, Cato, for posting this (for non-regular readers of the WSJ  8)). Though I couldn't go - and really wanted to - several friends who did were also very impressed. I believe the fully-staged version is coming to the Lincoln Center Festival in 2014.

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Marc on September 07, 2013, 07:11:31 AM
Very sad news about Argentine soprano Florencia Fabris:

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/09/terrible-news-tragic-death-of-young-soprano-while-singing-verdis-requiem.html
Title: Minnesota Opera commission based on "The Shining"
Post by: Brewski on September 16, 2013, 07:29:07 AM
Composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell have been commissioned by the Minnesota Opera to do an opera based on Stephen King's The Shining, to be premiered in 2016.

http://www.mnopera.org/season/2015-2016/the-shining/

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2013, 07:31:25 AM
It isn't bad enough that Hollywood has no imagination, remaking all its own movies, now the opera world can do no better than to echo cinema?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Brewski on September 16, 2013, 07:37:22 AM
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2013, 07:39:32 AM
Understood, Bruce; and of course this is Minnesota, the Land of the Orchestra Gone Under, so the Opera may be a little twitchy to try anything that might be Popular.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2013, 07:40:59 AM
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

--Bruce

Another irony being that King will draw royalty payments for adaptations which are superior to his own work.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on September 16, 2013, 08:07:47 AM
I get your point, but I'm sort of looking forward to this! (Almost all adaptations of Stephen King's books that I've seen have been much better than their source material.)

--Bruce

That is the Alfred Hitchcock rule: Mediocre books offer the opportunity for a great movie.  Great books usually offer a movie adaptation which falls short.
Title: Re: General Opera News: Turnage Opera A Bomb?
Post by: Cato on September 18, 2013, 03:37:58 PM
From the Wall Street Journal: Mark Turnage has composed an opera about someone...unusual.

Concerning Anna Nicole as performed by the New York City Opera:

Quote
This reality-inspired tale of Anna Nicole Smith—the waitress-turned-bombshell, courtesy of breast implants, who died of an overdose of pills at age 39 in 2007—has neither irony nor tragedy to recommend it. Vulgar, exploitative and musically empty, it pokes fun at its lower-class subject and invites the audience to laugh along. The well-heeled BAM gala crowd did just that.

Titillation, whether through financial brinksmanship or F-cups, needs something solid to back it up, but "Anna Nicole" is of a piece with City Opera's recent artistic history: all surface flash. The dense libretto by Richard Thomas, who is best known for "Jerry Springer: The Opera," drives the piece with its frantically paced, profanity-laden rhyming couplets ("I'm gonna rape that goddamn American dream" is one of its more printable lines), while Mr. Turnage's music, a pastiche of styles, heavy on the blues and the raunchy burlesque, feels illustrative rather than authentic...

...nothing in the opera suggests depth, invites compassion or even provokes thought. For all its color and surface agitation, this is a cold, heartless piece, built on mockery. 

See:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083111684842196.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324492604579083111684842196.html?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Octave on October 16, 2013, 11:40:57 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this tidbit, but I see I'm posting it right after a relevant item from Cato.

Breaking Bad and Anna Nicole: Opera meets pop culture (Clemency Burton-Hill, from BBC Culture 'Counterpoint')
Quote
...Sung Jin Hong, artistic director of the small New York-based company One World Symphony, revealed he was planning to compose Breaking Bad−Ozymandias, an opera version of Vince Gilligan’s hit AMC TV show.
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20131016-is-breaking-bad-what-opera-needs (http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20131016-is-breaking-bad-what-opera-needs)
Title: Re: General Opera News: A Weird and Tedious Opera!!!
Post by: Cato on December 17, 2013, 01:11:39 PM
For those looking for the greatest opera of 2013.... well, don't look here:

A "weird" and "tedious" opera put together by three composers:

Quote
A successful memoir depends on the synergy of compelling raw material and the artistry of the teller, but Robert Wilson's "The Life and Death of Marina Abramović," a traveling production that opened last week at the Park Avenue Armory, brings out the worst aspects of both. The combination of Ms. Abramović, a performance artist known for long duration pieces (in "The Artist Is Present" at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010, she sat motionless for hours), and Mr. Wilson, a pioneer of cryptic, image-based, slow-motion theater (" Einstein on the Beach" lasts 41/2 hours), is weird and finally tedious. The content is repellent, and the artistry doesn't amaze...

The music is so amplified and mixed that although there are four live players in the pit, the instrumentals all feel electronic. Three musical genres overlap. The compositions of William Basinski, which repeat brief melodic figures in endless loops (like Philip Glass, another Wilson collaborator, but without the rhythmic drive), segue into the ululations of Svetlana Spajić and her four-voice ensemble. Their Serbian folk-inflected, straight-tone numbers, no doubt intended to evoke the heritage of Ms. Abramović, who was born in Belgrade, have more grit. Then there is Antony, a transgender singer and composer, who also wears a long black gown and sings croony, moony songs with few notes and little textual or textural variety.


As reviewed by Heidi Waleson:

See:  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511 (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511)

Title: Re: General Opera News: Mini-Operas
Post by: Cato on January 24, 2014, 04:45:12 PM
From the Wall Street Journal:

Quote
New York: The second annual Prototype Festival, a 12-day exploration of contemporary opera and music theater produced by Beth Morrison Projects and the arts center HERE, was even more ambitious than last year's inaugural event. With seven presentations, including four fully staged chamber operas that are designed to tour, Prototype hopes to encourage presenters to bring projects by new and unusual creators to their own theaters...

I admired "Paul's Case," a taut, hallucinatory drama, based on a Willa Cather short story, by Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat...

Also strong was "Have a Good Day!" by Lina Lapelytė and Vaiva Grainytė, a production from Operomanija in Vilnius, Lithuania, which imagines the inner lives of cashiers at a Lithuanian version of Walmart. .... Sometimes the other women back up the soloists in rhythmic syllables, creating folklike harmonies or vivid minimalist textures that evoke the swirl of everyday life—banality transformed into art. The occasional noodling piano part is perfunctory: It is the virtuosic voices that count here. The opera is witty and poignant, never lapsing into condescension or agitprop. 

See:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142.html (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304302704579332502491713142.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 27, 2014, 06:56:14 AM
For those looking for the greatest opera of 2013.... well, don't look here:

A "weird" and "tedious" opera put together by three composers:

As reviewed by Heidi Waleson:

See:  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511 (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579262263065673006?cb=logged0.1296555924572511)



Ah, well.  It is well that I read that ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News: Weinberg's Opera
Post by: Cato on January 30, 2014, 04:31:38 AM
Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera The Passenger: a rave review from the Wall Street Journal's Heidi Waleson.

An excerpt:



Quote
Conductor Patrick Summers shaped the evening with enormous care, building dramatic tension but also allowing the long, meditative scenes in the women's barracks to unfold naturally. Weinberg's vivid musical language is accessible and precise, grotesque or wrenching as the moment demands. Violently pounding drums and brass suggest Dmitri Shostakovich ; a mere shimmer of wispy, haunting strings, Benjamin Britten. The orchestration always left space for the voices and amplified their meaning, as in the brief instrumental chorale that echoed Bronka's prayer, or the percussion that smashed into the prisoners' reveries along with the guards. The chorus was a key player with its refrain about the "pitch black wall of death." Soft and insinuating in Act I, it was a memory working its way into Liese's head; in Act II, the refrain became a dead march with a tolling bell.

See:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304007504579348631567426454?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6 (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304007504579348631567426454?mod=WSJ_LifeStyle_Lifestyle_6)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on June 17, 2014, 04:50:12 PM
The Metropolitan Opera to cancel its Live in HD transmission of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer scheduled for this fall (http://www.metopera.org/en/news-and-features1/press-releases/releases/-The-Metropolitan-Opera-to-cancel-its-Live-in-HD-transmission-of-John-Adamss-The-Death-of-Klinghoffer-scheduled-for-this-fall/)

 :(
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on July 20, 2014, 01:20:31 PM
This might not be the proper place, but I just stumbled over it: in a few hours, German/French tv channel arte will repeat an Offenbach programme w/Minkowski, featuring Sabine Devieilhe among others:
http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048428-002/florilege-offenbach

Seems to be the fifth (and last) repetition of this concert recording - set my recorder (can't make copies there, alas, it's view and delete again only)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on September 08, 2014, 07:02:47 AM
Italian soprano Magda Olivero has died today in Milan, aged 104.

(ANSA) - MILANO, 8 SET - E' morta all'istituto Auxologico di Milano il soprano Magda Olivero. Classe 1910, aveva debuttato negli anni Trenta. Alla fine degli anni Cinquanta aveva anche partecipato alla trasmissione televisiva Il Musichiere, una delle tappe di una lunghissima carriera che la portò a debuttare al Metropolitan con Tosca nel 1975, a sessantacinque anni. Nel 2008 fu premiata dal presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano.

http://www.ansa.it/lombardia/notizie/2014/09/08/morta-a-104-anni-soprano-magda-olivero_390d13eb-3c44-4425-80d6-90cdbc4809cf.html

R.I.P.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on October 09, 2014, 01:15:52 PM
My idea of an ideal website:  Victoria BC is presenting Das Rheingold (the reduced orchestration of Alfons Abbass)  this month and their website is up, lots of good links at the end to the piano/vocal score even.
link    http://www.pov.bc.ca/pdfs/rheingold_guide.pdf
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on November 13, 2014, 09:57:55 AM
It seems that Marek Janowski will take over the Bayreuth Ring from Kyril Petrenko in 2016 and 2017.

http://slippedisc.com/2014/11/bayreuth-names-new-conductor-for-trashy-ring/

Rather than speculating (as Lebrecht does) that Petrenko is "not happy with the Frank Castoff Ring", I venture to say that the Bavarian State Opera is not amused by having their GMD retained in rehearsals in Bayreuth year after year, while not taking part in Munich's own opera festival in July.

Petrenko was superb this summer, and Castorf's production, controversial as it may be, is a thrilling theatrical experience with some fantastic insights (and many oddities as well). In any case, I think it is a great recognition to invite Janowski to Bayreuth at the twilight of his distinguished career (he'll, be 77 years old  in 2016), after having done excellent Wagner elsewhere and on record.

I do hope that this production (one of the sets of which graces my current avatar  ;)) is eventually preserved in video, as I think it deserves detailed analysis and wider circulation.


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 13, 2014, 10:37:12 AM
It seems that Marek Janowski will take over the Bayreuth Ring from Kyril Petrenko in 2016 and 2017.

http://slippedisc.com/2014/11/bayreuth-names-new-conductor-for-trashy-ring/

Rather than speculating (as Lebrecht does) that Petrenko is "not happy with the Frank Castoff Ring", I venture to say that the Bavarian State Opera is not amused by having their GMD retained in rehearsals in Bayreuth year after year, while not taking part in Munich's own opera festival in July.

Petrenko was superb this summer, and Castorf's production, controversial as it may be, is a thrilling theatrical experience with some fantastic insights (and many oddities as well). In any case, I think it is a great recognition to invite Janowski to Bayreuth at the twilight of his distinguished career (he'll, be 77 years old  in 2016), after having done excellent Wagner elsewhere and on record.

I do hope that this production (one of the sets of which graces my current avatar  ;)) is eventually preserved in video, as I think it deserves detailed analysis and wider circulation.

I've read the news, I'm sorry to hear Petrenko won't continue to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival; honestly, I don't know Janowski in Wagner's operas, is he a so good wagnerian interpreter? I really hope so anyway.
I completely agree about Petrenko, he was stunning in conducting the Ring this summer; his musical performance, very powerful, passionate, full of energy, tension and poetical beauty, was certainly the best part of that Bayreuth production (no comment about Castorf's direction).

Haha, the 'trashy' Ring. ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on November 14, 2014, 01:41:30 PM
More news from Bayreuth: the controversial Jonathan Meese will not produce Parsifal in 2016, as initially announced. Financial considerations have been invoked: apparently, Meese's ideas were imposible to carry out within budget. No substitute has been announced.

http://bayreuther-festspiele.de/deutsch/news_44.html

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 18, 2014, 03:17:40 PM
I wonder what he would have turned Parsifal into....
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on November 18, 2014, 03:28:28 PM
I wonder what he would have turned Parsifal into....
Well, rumour has it that the budget thing was more than anything an excuse in letting Meese go  ::) ...but we'll never know now. I as opposed (I think  ;)) to you Ilaria, like new approaches and radical stagings (I adored the Castorf Ring--inconsistencies and all--this summer  :) )...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 19, 2014, 03:18:20 AM
Well, rumour has it that the budget thing was more than anything an excuse in letting Meese go  ::) ...but we'll never know now. I as opposed (I think  ;)) to you Ilaria, like new approaches and radical stagings (I adored the Castorf Ring--inconsistencies and all--this summer  :) )...

You're not wrong, I'm not a fan of such modern, controversial productions; they completely distort Wagner's ideas and conception of Gesamtkunstwerk. For me, Castorf's Ring is heresy. Anyway, I respect your taste, Rafael. :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on November 19, 2014, 07:24:36 AM
You're not wrong, I'm not a fan of such modern, controversial productions; they completely distort Wagner's ideas and conception of Gesamtkunstwerk. For me, Castorf's Ring is heresy. Anyway, I respect your taste, Rafael. :)
And I respect yours, Ilaria !  :)  Where you say "distort", I say "enrichen"  :D. Except for that small word, we agree... ;)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 19, 2014, 09:56:21 AM
And I respect yours, Ilaria !  :)  Where you say "distort", I say "enrichen"  :D. Except for that small word, we agree... ;)

Yeah, so it seems. ;)

How that could enrich Wagner's operas......Gesamtkunstwerk should be the synthesis of arts, where poetry, music, dramaturgy, figurative arts converge via the theatre; in productions like Castorf's music, libretto and staging don't match at all (e.g. Siegfried sings he's forging a sword while assembling a gun), they don't respect Wagner's conception of myth and total work of art, they seem to be created just to stimulate the audience's attention with something extavagant. If you want to stage Wagner's operas, you can't go too far from the composer's original ideas, otherwise it's not Wagner anymore.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on November 22, 2014, 08:47:51 AM
Yeah, so it seems. ;)

How that could enrich Wagner's operas......Gesamtkunstwerk should be the synthesis of arts, where poetry, music, dramaturgy, figurative arts converge via the theatre; in productions like Castorf's music, libretto and staging don't match at all (e.g. Siegfried sings he's forging a sword while assembling a gun), they don't respect Wagner's conception of myth and total work of art, they seem to be created just to stimulate the audience's attention with something extavagant. If you want to stage Wagner's operas, you can't go too far from the composer's original ideas, otherwise it's not Wagner anymore.
Hmmm....Wagner's operas (probably more so than any other composer's) say many things to many people, and have been doing so for generations now...I'd go as far as saying that exploiting the immense riches of these works, to shed new light on them, is almost a duty for any decent stage director, and is to a certain extent what Bayreuth has been all about (since 1951)...

Wagner's works are not museum pieces...they are one of the greatest achievements the human mind has produced in the arts, and as such are (should be) subject to constant reinterpretation...

Kinder, schafft Neues!  :)

If you if you can read Spanish, Ilaria, here are my comments on the Castorf Ring from this summer, in case they interest you  ;) : http://gustav-mahler.foroactivo.com.es/t402p340-richard-wagner

(http://i62.tinypic.com/qxowe8.jpg)

Coi più cari saluti,
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on November 22, 2014, 11:39:56 AM
Netrebko vs. Neuenfels

Those two stars of the opera world have a difference of opinion and now she is out, he is in. It has something to do with the different interpretation of Manon, of her dealing with the two men in her life. Netrebko insist Manon has no problem, Neuenfels believes Manon should express difficulties. Neuenfels relies on his male star Jonas Kaufmann, who presents his artistic creativity and manages to find a solution, and Kristine Opolais, who sang Manon with him in London, was available for the successful performance at the Münchner Staatsoper.

Btw: Netrebko is getting, ahem: hefty?
 
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 22, 2014, 02:19:04 PM
Hmmm....Wagner's operas (probably more so than any other composer's) say many things to many people, and have been doing so for generations now...I'd go as far as saying that exploiting the immense riches of these works, to shed new light on them, is almost a duty for any decent stage director, and is to a certain extent what Bayreuth has been all about (since 1951)...

Wagner's works are not museum pieces...they are one of the greatest achievements the human mind has produced in the arts, and as such are (should be) subject to constant reinterpretation...

Kinder, schafft Neues!  :)

If you if you can read Spanish, Ilaria, here are my comments on the Castorf Ring from this summer, in case they interest you  ;) : http://gustav-mahler.foroactivo.com.es/t402p340-richard-wagner

(http://i62.tinypic.com/qxowe8.jpg)

Coi più cari saluti,

Wagner also said by Wotan: "Stets Gewohntes nur magst du verstehn: doch was noch nie sich traf, danach trachtet mein Sinn"; but I don't think he meant precisely that kind of productions at all. I agree directors mustn't fossilize in the same staging (as Cosima did), they should explore the immense, rich wagnerian world to look for different keys of interpretation (those operas are so full of mysterious symbolism and meanings), but in my opinion, without forgetting and going too far from, as they stage Wagner's works, the elements of Wagner's ideology and musical conceptions.

Thank you, Rafael! I can speak a bit of Spanish, I'll read your comment with pleasure. ;)

They have chosen Meese's replacement, Uwe Laufenberg; I don't know this director, but I hope he'll do a good job: http://www.bayreuther-festspiele.de/news/142/details_44.htm (http://www.bayreuther-festspiele.de/news/142/details_44.htm)

Saludos grandísimos!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kaergaard on November 23, 2014, 03:11:52 PM
This Wagner issue gets discussed, argued, at least once a year without any positive result. If you get tired of it, switch to another discussed, argued, issue: Contemporary directors, like Tscherniakov. Finally a different Il Trovatore. I am looking forward to Arkivmusic's mail on December first.

http://www.belairclassiques.com/blog/opera/il-trovatore/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on December 04, 2014, 10:40:22 AM
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GS9pLMtbk04/VIB7VKbHqeI/AAAAAAAAHvs/QnxWx_SUGxc/s1600/Forbes_SOUND_ADVICE_laurson_2_600.jpg)

On Forbes: The Met's Klinghoffer Brouhaha
 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/on-forbes-mets-klinghoffer-brouhaha.html)

direct link (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2014/12/01/the-mets-klinghoffer-brouhaha/)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on December 17, 2014, 12:47:13 AM
Sadly, two prerstigious American mezzo-sopranos have passed away  :( :

- Janis Martin died on December 15, aged 75 in San Francisco. She tackeled both mezzo and soprano roles. I saw her as Kundry at the Vienna State Opera in the early 80s.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/music/article/Janis-Martin-operatic-mezzo-turned-soprano-is-5959088.php

- Irene Dalis died in Sacramento on December 14, aged 89. She is the Kundy in the legendary 1962 Knappertsbusch recording of Parsifal from Bayreuth.
http://www.sfgate.com/music/article/Opera-impresario-Irene-Dalis-is-dead-at-89-5956887.php

R.I.P.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on March 11, 2015, 03:28:10 AM
The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach in a 1950's movie version is now touring the U.S. in a restored version.


Quote
...Combining music, dance and cinema into a captivating whole in lush Technicolor, this gem of British cinema can now be seen in a new digital restoration that is the most complete version ever seen in the U.S. “The Tales of Hoffmann” was restored by the Film Foundation and the BFI National Archive in association with Studiocanal. The restoration was supervised by Powell’s widow, the film editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell; Martin Scorsese; and Ned Price of Warner Bros. It will have its U.S. theatrical premiere starting Friday at New York’s Film Forum and the Cinefamily in Los Angeles, before traveling to cities including Boston, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, Santa Fe, N.M., San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif....

It was Sir Thomas Beecham, who had conducted music for “The Red Shoes,” who first suggested that Powell and Pressburger film Jacques Offenbach’s opera adapted from a play based on tales by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The score, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Beecham’s baton using an English version of the libretto, was prerecorded, making it unnecessary to use a blimp to muffle the noise of the three-strip Technicolor camera. “The Tales of Hoffmann” was thus made with the freedom of a silent movie

See:

[url][/http://www.wsj.com/articles/three-lovers-lost-on-the-tales-of-hoffmann-1426023482url]
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on June 25, 2015, 01:53:12 AM
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/dmitri-hvorostovsky-cancels-appearances-for-brain-tumor-treatment/?_r=0
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on June 25, 2015, 03:47:02 AM
Sad news, and fingers crossed. Really as for anyone who is in treatment for this kind of illness.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: DavidA on June 30, 2015, 09:00:21 PM
You're not wrong, I'm not a fan of such modern, controversial productions; they completely distort Wagner's ideas and conception of Gesamtkunstwerk. For me, Castorf's Ring is heresy. Anyway, I respect your taste, Rafael. :)

Castorf's Ring is not heresy unless you're one of these people who believe Wagner is religion rather than an entertainment. Castoff is one of a growing number of theatrical rejects who have no talent and who can therefore only make an impression by being perverse. Kasparov Holton is another at ROH. I saw his Giovanni and it was a stinker. They are egotists to the extent that they believe it is there perogative to reinterpret the opera rather than serve the vision of the composer librettist. I hear the trash production at ROH was roundly booed the other night. I for one will not be wasting my money on such tripe. When I see an opera I want to see Mozart, verdi, Rossini, Wagner etc, without being distracted by an idiot's ego trip.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 01, 2015, 08:45:43 AM
I also thought the Don Giovanni was dire and Holton' production of King Roger had severe problems. The critics substantially ignored them though.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 08, 2015, 10:39:57 AM
  http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7253.msg249696/topicseen.html#msg249696 

Here is my review of the broadcast. I hoped that the production would be made available on DVD, but not so far appeared.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on July 08, 2015, 11:10:06 AM
I liked some aspects of it and disliked others, as I reported.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on July 10, 2015, 12:30:24 PM
Castoff is one of a growing number of theatrical rejects who have no talent and who can therefore only make an impression by being perverse.

Huh? Really? More like: he's a fantastic (though controversely discussed - but shouldn't all art be?) director of plays - but why do opera houses always feel they need to get those people to stage old warhorses? If they want to hire such folks, have them do 20c/contemporary operas, would make more sense.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on July 11, 2015, 01:32:51 PM
Jon Vickers has died: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/canadian-born-tenor-jon-vickers-dies
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Marc on July 11, 2015, 10:34:18 PM
Jon Vickers has died: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/canadian-born-tenor-jon-vickers-dies

I always liked his crystal clear, powerful and dramatic voice.

http://www.youtube.com/v/MOsfE37jlu8

Rest In Peace.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 12, 2015, 03:34:31 AM
Jon Vickers has died: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/canadian-born-tenor-jon-vickers-dies

I'm very sorry to read about that, he was one of my favourite tenors; I have always loved his performances with Karajan, for example in Tristan, Die Walkure and Fidelio. He could wonderfully portrayed the characters he sang with a passionate, dramatic voice. Rest in peace.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on July 12, 2015, 09:50:37 AM
Sad news indeed. I was lucky enough to see him onstage towards the end of his distinguished career as Parsifal in Chicago (1987?)...I must admit he was never a favourite of mine, but this in no way means I do not acknowledge his stature as one of the most distinguished tenors of the 60s and 70s.

RIP Jon Vickers...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on July 17, 2015, 02:42:16 AM
Alan Curtis (1934-2015)

http://slippedisc.com/2015/07/just-in-death-of-great-baroque-leader/
Title: Re: General Opera News: Cleveland Orchestra and Daphne by Strauss
Post by: Cato on July 21, 2015, 04:31:18 AM
From the July 21, 2015 Wall Street Journal:

Richard Strauss’s seldom-staged late opera “Daphne” (1938), a one-act retelling of the Greek myth of the reluctant nymph pursued by Apollo, is a long way from the clangorous ferocity of his popular one-acters, “Elektra” and “Salome.” Yet for all its pastoral beauties, the opera poses plenty of challenges for the orchestra and the principal singers, which were handily surmounted in the Cleveland Orchestra’s concert performance at Avery Fisher Hall as part of the Lincoln Center Festival last week.

Under the sensitive leadership of Franz Welser-Möst, who allowed it to erupt only when the moment demanded, the ensemble excelled in flexibility and transparency. In an opera that relies on evocative scene-painting, the performers used a full palette and brushes of many sizes. Segueing effortlessly from the delicacy of the woodwind opening, to the Dionysian dances that recall the catchy Viennese waltzes of “Der Rosenkavalier,” to the raucous violence of the livestock stampede near the end, Mr. Welser-Möst also underlined the explicit Freudian theme of the opera, which is, effectively, about a young girl who is terrified of adulthood and sex.


See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/daphne-and-la-favorite-reviews-1437429718 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/daphne-and-la-favorite-reviews-1437429718)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on July 25, 2015, 01:24:05 AM
Welser-Möst's lauded "Rosenkavalier" will be on tv tonight on German 3sat:
http://www.3sat.de/page/?source=/musik/182236/index.html
For those who read German, here's a review of it:
http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/buehne/vor-dem-grossen-einschnitt-1.18355785

Already watched the broadcast of "Turandot" from Bregenz last night (also on 3sat - first act was live, after that they had to move inside and thus 3sat offered the recording of the premiere on Wednesday). Good, not great, I found - but worth watching it surely was.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on July 25, 2015, 10:09:37 AM
Welser-Möst's lauded "Rosenkavalier" will be on tv tonight on German 3sat:
http://www.3sat.de/page/?source=/musik/182236/index.html
For those who read German, here's a review of it:
http://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/buehne/vor-dem-grossen-einschnitt-1.18355785

Already watched the broadcast of "Turandot" from Bregenz last night (also on 3sat - first act was live, after that they had to move inside and thus 3sat offered the recording of the premiere on Wednesday). Good, not great, I found - but worth watching it surely was.

I'll see Turandot in Bregenz tomorrow... I'm so glad it's my least-unliked opera by Puccini. :-)

Here's a review of said Rosenkavalier in English, btw: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/08/notes-from-2014-salzburg-festival-13.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2014/08/notes-from-2014-salzburg-festival-13.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on July 26, 2015, 10:27:48 PM
So, what did you think Lars?

The "Rosenkavalier" was amazing, I found! Truly outstanding in every respect. And having the entire slippery account of the Baron and his affairs in act 1 was hilarious indeed - they should switch to only play the unshortened opera now and forever!
Title: "Appomattox" by Glass
Post by: Cato on November 18, 2015, 11:39:42 AM
A somewhat lukewarm review of Appomattox by P. Glass.

Quote
...For the new version, the creators compressed the Civil War story into Act I, taking out some of the vivid 20th-century events that depicted the continuing struggle and moving others into Act II. Act I now seems flat without them, its overwhelming musical environment one of exhaustion after years of war...

...a handful of such lyrical set pieces; another is Julia Grant’s poignant aria about how her husband is not really a butcher. ( Melody Moore, a luxuriantly voiced soprano, was imposing; as Gen. Grant, Richard Paul Fink sounded strained and harsh.) Otherwise, the vocal writing is set for maximum intelligibility, more recitative than aria, leaning on Mr. Hampton’s compelling text without musically illuminating individual characters. ...

Composer and librettist tried to suggest (Martin Luther) King’s distinctive preacherly eloquence, but the smooth surface of their creation, even with the original setting of lines from the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” doesn’t evoke the rhythm of his speech or transmit its full weight and power....



See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/appomattox-review-the-war-were-still-fighting-1447799780?alg=y (http://www.wsj.com/articles/appomattox-review-the-war-were-still-fighting-1447799780?alg=y)
Title: Re: "Appomattox" by Glass
Post by: kishnevi on November 18, 2015, 07:29:38 PM
A somewhat lukewarm review of Appomattox by P. Glass.


See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/appomattox-review-the-war-were-still-fighting-1447799780?alg=y (http://www.wsj.com/articles/appomattox-review-the-war-were-still-fighting-1447799780?alg=y)

Equally lukewarm is Jens's blogmate
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2015/11/glasss-new-appomattox-long-battle.html
Title: Re: "Appomattox" by Glass
Post by: Cato on November 19, 2015, 04:19:36 AM
Equally lukewarm is Jens's blogmate
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2015/11/glasss-new-appomattox-long-battle.html

Ironic that a composer known for Minimalism is accused of being long and tedious.   0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2015, 04:36:53 AM
Ironic that a composer known for Minimalism is accused of being long and tedious.   0:)

(* bites his tongue, only not terribly hard *)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on February 08, 2016, 07:02:53 AM
A production of GINASTERA'S Beatrix Cenci is scheduled in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires this March.
details  http://www.boosey.com/cr/news/Ginastera-s-Beatrix-Cenci-in-Buenos-Aires/100775
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 19, 2016, 04:24:44 AM
MODO reframes 'Carmen' against 'Orange Is the New Black'
Quote
Carmen is an inmate; Don Jose is a guard. All of the defining music is here, but there are other wrinkles that add layers of gender-bending metaphor. Carmen will be portrayed as transgender. Jennifer Trombley will sing the title role at two of the performances, but at the other two, countertenor Bryan DeSilva will take over the role. In addition, at two of the performances, Don Jose will be sung by soprano Melissa Crosby appearing as a woman (not as a man in a so-called trouser role) — a nod to the numerous lesbian relationships in "Orange Is the New Black."

Carmen is an inmate; Don Jose is a guard. All of the defining music is here, but there are other wrinkles that add layers of gender-bending metaphor. Carmen will be portrayed as transgender. Jennifer Trombley will sing the title role at two of the performances, but at the other two, countertenor Bryan DeSilva will take over the role. In addition, at two of the performances, Don Jose will be sung by soprano Melissa Crosby appearing as a woman (not as a man in a so-called trouser role) — a nod to the numerous lesbian relationships in "Orange Is the New Black."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 19, 2016, 06:52:31 AM
In which case, is it really Bizet's Carmen?

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 19, 2016, 06:56:39 AM
Baz Luhrmann's Carmen?...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on February 19, 2016, 10:46:40 AM
If naught else, Bizarre Carmen....

What is MODO? For future reference, so if I encounter them, I can run away in time.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on February 19, 2016, 11:21:23 AM
Baz Luhrmann's Carmen?...

Is Baz Luhrmann involved? I loved his La Boheme for Australian Opera back in the 1990s, which, though set in the 1950s, was completely true to the work.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 19, 2016, 12:59:24 PM
Is Baz Luhrmann involved? I loved his La Boheme for Australian Opera back in the 1990s, which, though set in the 1950s, was completely true to the work.
Not that I know, I was being facetious. (I love Strictly Ballroom but cannot help feeling that Moulin Rouge was severely overhyped.)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on February 19, 2016, 01:03:45 PM
Not that I know, I was being facetious. (I love Strictly Ballroom but cannot help feeling that Moulin Rouge was severely overhyped.)

I LOVED Moulin Rouge  :) It's one of my favourite movies!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 19, 2016, 02:59:23 PM
Greg, I could not get through it. I managed about half of it.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on February 20, 2016, 03:01:16 AM
Greg, I could not get through it. I managed about half of it.

Mike

It is rather a Marmite movie, it would seem  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 20, 2016, 11:55:01 AM
In which case, is it really Bizet's Carmen?

Mike

Is the version with Guiraud's recitatives really Bizet's Carmen,
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 21, 2016, 10:34:32 AM
Is the version with Guiraud's recitatives really Bizet's Carmen,

Who uses those now? In any case changing the sex and voice register of the main characters is a whole lot different from adding recits instead of spoken words. In the latter, none of Bizet's music is being mucked about.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 22, 2016, 04:34:10 AM
Who uses [the Guiraud recitatives] now?

The Met does, in its last two productions.  The two before that started out using dialogues, but eventually switched over to Guiraud.  Some of the regional companies I usually attend do, sometimes.  I can't believe those are the only ones.  I imagine most companies that do use them don't even mention Guiraud, so it's difficult to research.  I did find that last summer's Chorégies d’Orange production, with Kaufmann and Aldrich, used the recitatives.

I'm not defending the MODO, production and agree that the changes are quite different from Guiraud's, but I still think the Guiraud version really isn't Bizet's Carmen.  Closer than MODO, certainly.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on February 22, 2016, 08:53:41 AM
Thanks, I really thought the old recits had died a death. Perhaps they are easier for singers than rattling off some authentic sounding French. It all goes so much more dramatically with the spoken dialogue.

Mike

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on February 24, 2016, 04:10:32 AM
Thanks, I really thought the old recits had died a death. Perhaps they are easier for singers than rattling off some authentic sounding French. It all goes so much more dramatically with the spoken dialogue.

Mike

I've heard the spoken dialogues require extra rehearsal time, and particularly in a repertory house like the Met, often with changing casts throughout a run, it's just easier.  The first time Crespin did Carmen at the Met, they were still using the dialogues, and she did them wonderfully, but three years later when she sang it, it was back to Guiraud, and that really was a letdown.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on February 26, 2016, 08:06:33 AM
For those interested, here is the program of the 2016-2017 season of the Dutch national opera

http://www.operaballet.nl/en/program?filter=179
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: betterthanfine on March 01, 2016, 07:03:41 AM
For those interested, here is the program of the 2016-2017 season of the Dutch national opera

http://www.operaballet.nl/en/program?filter=179
SO excited for Salome with Gatti and the RCO.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on March 01, 2016, 10:42:20 AM
SO excited for Salome with Gatti and the RCO.
+Parsifal and Dog Heart.  I think I am going to fly to Amsterdam for Salome and Parsifal.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on April 01, 2016, 12:43:40 PM
For the US GMG members: free broadcast of Simon Boccanegra by the MET:

Tune-in Alert! Opening of #SimonBoccanegra w @PlacidoDomingo @MalteseTenor 725pm ET online & @SIRIUSXM

https://t.co/Ul4BwtZUsO (https://t.co/Ul4BwtZUsO)
Title: Re: The Shining as an opera + The Scarlet Letter
Post by: Cato on May 17, 2016, 03:05:11 AM
In the May 17, 2016 Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson reviews two new operas based on books: The Shining by Paul Moravec and The Scarlet Letter by Lori Laitman.

Some excerpts:

Quote
...Mr. Moravec’s witty, evocative music strikes a good balance between the sincere and the creepy. Act I, though slowed by too much exposition, gives Jack and Wendy some heartfelt arias and duets that express their bond, while groans from the orchestra and glassy violins suggest the evil that threatens them. At first, the ghosts are just implied, but from the riotous Act I finale on, they are corporeal. In Act II, the music fragments and disintegrates, and piles on the sardonic darkness with some Kurt Weill-tinged party scenes, as Jack goes over the edge....

...Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”... has the kernel of an operatic plot: Secret lovers, trapped in a rigid Puritan community, are tormented by a malevolent enemy. But in Lori Laitman’s relentlessly tuneful setting, which had its world premiere at Opera Colorado, the darkness of the story goes unplumbed. The tale is there, efficiently distilled into six scenes by the poet David Mason. But his verse libretto is both constraining and occasionally jarring (“scrimp / imp”; “myself / dear elf”), and the too-pretty music rarely breaks out of this rhythmic straitjacket...

...tenor Dominic Armstrong captured (Dimmesdale's) increasing guilt and torment with wide-eyed bewilderment and his public confession was the opera’s one moment of real connection. With her high, slender soprano, Laura Claycomb’s Hester was a secondary figure, never budging from her stoic acceptance of her fate. As Roger Chillingworth... baritone Malcolm MacKenzie was severely limited by the vocal writing, which was plodding and repetitive rather than poisonous. The repressive community also seemed under-characterized (“Repent, the world was born in sin” sounded positively sunny); the witchy Mistress Hibbons (mezzo Margaret Gawrysiak) gave voice to Dimmesdale’s secret guilt in waltz time, supplying some welcome rhythmic variety. As with the voices, Ms. Laitman favored cheerful colors and lush timbres in the orchestra...


See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-shining-and-the-scarlet-letter-reviews-1463432951 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-shining-and-the-scarlet-letter-reviews-1463432951)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 17, 2016, 03:19:38 AM
The phrase relentlessly tuneful can only be ambiguous, can't it?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on June 02, 2016, 04:49:56 AM
The MET: it's Yannick !

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/06/02/arts/03METCONDUCTOR/03METCONDUCTOR-master768.jpg)


NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/arts/music/yannick-nezet-seguin-to-succeed-james-levine-as-met-operas-music-director.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/arts/music/yannick-nezet-seguin-to-succeed-james-levine-as-met-operas-music-director.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on June 02, 2016, 10:04:09 AM
Judging from the enthusiasm of a number of opera singers on their twitter threads,  he is extremely popular.  Quite a good start for an opera house musical director !!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on June 02, 2016, 08:41:03 PM
Alex Ross was not overwhelmingly positive. I have heard the conductor live at the Met and in London in an orchestral concert. Both times I was impressed. He seems not to have any track record in German opera which is a bit odd. As much as his conducting it will be his artistic leadership that will be important.

As usual, social media exposed its nut-jobs. One Twitter thread I read had a point, repeated by said nutter, asking whether it was unusual for a music director to be as short as Yannick is.

Sigh.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 02, 2016, 08:45:54 PM
Alex Ross was not overwhelmingly positive. I have heard the conductor live at the Met and in London in an orchestral concert. Both times I was impressed. He seems not to have any track record in German opera which is a bit odd. As much as his conducting it will be his artistic leadership that will be important.

As usual, social media exposed its nut-jobs. One Twitter thread I read had a point, repeated by said nutter, asking whether it was unusual for a music director to be as short as Yannick is.

Sigh.

Mike
It seems positive to me as well. It is good to get someone a bit younger too...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on July 01, 2016, 01:24:25 AM
Andris Nelsons pulls out of the new parsifal production in Bayreuth, which is due to open July 25th:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/arts/music/andris-nelsons-parsifal-bayreuth-festival.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fmusic&action=click&contentCollection=music&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

Some German papers openly blame Christian Thielemann(the recently appointed Generalmiskdirektor of the festival--a superfluos post if there ever was one  ::) for Mr. Nelsons's sudden decision: http://www.welt.de/kultur/buehne-konzert/article156704933/Eklat-in-Bayreuth-Parsifal-ohne-Dirigent.html

No replacement for Mr. Nelsons has been announced (or found yet, I suppsoe). To complicate matters even more,. Mr. Nelsons is (was?) slated to conduct the new production of the Ring in 2020.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on July 05, 2016, 12:10:10 PM
Andris Nelsons pulls out of the new parsifal production in Bayreuth, which is due to open July 25th:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/arts/music/andris-nelsons-parsifal-bayreuth-festival.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fmusic&action=click&contentCollection=music&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

Some German papers openly blame Christian Thielemann(the recently appointed Generalmiskdirektor of the festival--a superfluos post if there ever was one  ::) for Mr. Nelsons's sudden decision: http://www.welt.de/kultur/buehne-konzert/article156704933/Eklat-in-Bayreuth-Parsifal-ohne-Dirigent.html

No replacement for Mr. Nelsons has been announced (or found yet, I suppsoe). To complicate matters even more,. Mr. Nelsons is (was?) slated to conduct the new production of the Ring in 2020.
Hartmut Haenchen has been appointed to replace Nelsons in this year's Parsifal production at Bayreuth. http://www.bayreuther-festspiele.de/news/171/details_44.htm
Title: Tenor Johan Botha has died
Post by: ritter on September 08, 2016, 12:23:00 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.
Title: Re: Tenor Johan Botha has died
Post by: Mandryka on September 08, 2016, 05:11:23 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.
Title: Re: Tenor Johan Botha has died
Post by: Wendell_E on September 08, 2016, 10:43:06 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
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on September 13, 2016, 06:30:19 PM
Latest (September 2016) from the future Met Opera MD:

http://montrealgazette.com/entertainment/music/arthur-kaptainis-yannick-nezet-seguin-leaves-them-grinning-in-vienna (http://montrealgazette.com/entertainment/music/arthur-kaptainis-yannick-nezet-seguin-leaves-them-grinning-in-vienna)

An interesting article.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: jlaurson on September 14, 2016, 12:04:08 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/ (http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on September 14, 2016, 12:43:41 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/ (http://www.crescendo.de/adios-jos-1000012723/)

Interesting. He never had a huge voice anyway, but a very beautiful expressive instrument.
Title: Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
Post by: Cato on September 21, 2016, 02:26:25 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 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/dream-of-the-red-chamber-and-andrea-chenier-reviews-opera-opts-for-old-over-new-1474404766)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on September 21, 2016, 02:29:24 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
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 21, 2016, 02:50:24 AM
. . . sounds like Puccini with dashes of Borodin and Bernstein . . . one hopes she means that positively.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on September 21, 2016, 03:04:00 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."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 21, 2016, 03:38:44 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 . . . .
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on September 21, 2016, 06:31:02 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"...
Title: Re: General Opera News: New Opera by Bright Sheng
Post by: kishnevi on September 21, 2016, 05:25:58 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 (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.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on September 21, 2016, 09:08:11 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
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on September 22, 2016, 02:59:46 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

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on September 26, 2016, 11:03:51 AM
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:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61pYiMq16OL.jpg)  (https://danielmestredotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/il-califfo-di-bagdad.jpg)

Both are very much in the Rossinan buffo vein, and quite accomplished and pleasant as I remember. The Quixote is available from AmES (here (https://www.amazon.es/Garcia-Chisciotte-Rodriguez-Obregon-Gallega/dp/B002WF8ZWQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1474919538&sr=1-1&keywords=manuel+garc%C3%ADa)). 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).



Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur 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 (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 (http://www.francemusique.fr/emission/dimanche-l-opera/2016-2017/l-ange-de-feu-l-opera-de-lyon-11-06-2016-20-00)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on February 09, 2017, 01:43:14 PM
Nicolai Gedda, swedish tenor just passed away.   His diction was flawless in french and german.   I really liked him.  He was an honor to his profession considering all what he has achieved in music.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on February 10, 2017, 06:47:44 AM
Nicolai Gedda, swedish tenor just passed away.   His diction was flawless in french and german.   I really liked him.  He was an honor to his profession considering all what he has achieved in music.

Just read the news elsewhere ... not a Gedda specialist, but what I've heard has always pleased me a lot, and as a result of a discussion about him someplace else a while ago, I have also bought his book (German edition, still on my shelves, unread).

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41d9yU8JnEL.jpg)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on February 10, 2017, 07:36:13 AM
Gedda's ease in so many languages (Russian, Swedish, French, German, Italian, English) was a wonder per se. His understanding of the vocal colouring and accenting in all these languages was just as astonishing. On any given day he could outshine locals in fluency. The only crack in his armoury was the rather dryish tones that developed in his artistic maturity, a bit like Alfredo Kraus.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 04, 2017, 04:12:37 AM
From the not-a-surprise-at-all department.  Kaufmann cancels on the Met. Again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/arts/jonas-kaufmann-withdraws-from-met-operas-tosca-next-season.html?_r=0
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on March 04, 2017, 04:21:18 AM
From the not-a-surprise-at-all department.  Kaufmann cancels on the Met. Again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/arts/jonas-kaufmann-withdraws-from-met-operas-tosca-next-season.html?_r=0
I saw the news.  I was fortunate to hear him his recent Lohengrin appearance at the Paris opera.  He still has trouble to recover from his hematoma at the vocal cords.As a result, he keeps cancelling his engagements these days.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on March 06, 2017, 01:40:25 PM
Kurt Moll has died.

http://slippedisc.com/2017/03/a-great-german-bass-has-died-at-78/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on March 07, 2017, 09:18:20 AM
Kurt Moll has died.

http://slippedisc.com/2017/03/a-great-german-bass-has-died-at-78/
A great bass...one of the greatest portrayals of Gurnemanz preserved on record (under Kubelik and Karajan). RIP.  :(

Alberto Zedda has died today in (fittingly) Pesaro (the birthplace of Rossini). All Rossini fans are indebted to this conductor / musicologist.  :(

http://milano.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/17_marzo_07/morto-maestro-alberto-zedda-rossini-opera-festival-pesaro-direttore-e3c03fca-031f-11e7-abb5-4486feee70af.shtml?refresh_ce-cp
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on March 08, 2017, 10:28:01 PM
Zurich Opera has just announced their 17/18 season programme:
http://www.opernhaus.ch/en/calendar/opera/

Highlights include, I guess, include "Lunea" by Heinz Holliger, Anja Harteros doing "Tosca", a new "Incoronazione di Poppea" (with Julie Fuchs in the title role, as well as Stéphanie d'Oustrac and Valer Sabadus, and Ottavio Dantone conducting), a new "Forza del destino" and some more ... not an all round great programme for the savvy ones, but for me, who has not seen all that many operas on stage, I guess there's plenty of interesting things coming up (including "Fidelio", and plenty of Puccini with "Madama Butterfly", "La Fanciulla del West", "Turandot" and the aforementioned "Tosca").
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: GioCar on March 09, 2017, 12:12:01 AM
^^^
and a Parsifal, Simone Young conducting. Tempting. Did you/anyone see that Claus Guth production? My only exposure was a weird Lohengrin at La Scala.
Hmmm, I have to think about it... :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on March 09, 2017, 12:34:08 AM
^^^
and a Parsifal, Simone Young conducting. Tempting. Did you/anyone see that Claus Guth production? My only exposure was a weird Lohengrin at La Scala.
Hmmm, I have to think about it... :)
Haven't opened up every item on the schedule yet, guess I'll wait for the more convenient paper edition ... but I did see "Parsifal" on the list of course, might be interested as well.

And I still have a mental note about the Sciarrino at La Scala ... but I would inquire with you which seats are proper ones that time  :)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on April 03, 2017, 10:37:58 AM
Not sure there's a better thread to ask about this ... anyone familiar with Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich? Planning a long weekend late in July and considering a visit to "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" there. What category do I have to buy at least to have a real seat, anything else I need to be aware of etc.?

https://www.staatsoper.de/en/productioninfo/les-contes-dhoffmann/2017-07-30-18-00.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 20, 2017, 07:26:50 AM
Has anyone seen this article or the actual production?

http://www.artsjournal.com/condemned/2017/04/the-mets-new-rosenkavalier-hello-robert-carsen-goodbye-maybe-to-renee-fleming/

"The production’s big picture was this: The original 18th-century Viennese setting was brought forward to World War I — a concept that raised the dramatic stakes effectively. Suddenly, the middle-aged Marschallin and the teen-aged Octavian weren’t just hopping in and out of bed, but seeking love, as war is threatening to wipe out their Old World way of life. So why, in the middle of this, was a nouveau-riche family marrying off their daughter Sophie to the obnoxious Baron Ochs? In this production, Daddy was an arms manufacturer and is making loads of money that can raise his social status.

What perhaps divides audiences is how Carsen executed his concept. Even with the opera set in a later age, I can’t imagine why designer Paul Steinberg made the boudoir of refined Marschallin a gaudy color that can only be described as Hello, Dolly! red. The low-class tavern of Act III became a house of ill repute, which made sense in this era of La Ronde, the 1897 Arthur Schnitzler play about Viennese sexual mores. But did the clients taking a tour of the place have to be grossed out by the smell?"
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on April 20, 2017, 09:14:37 AM
I only read what was said on the opera threads I follow on twitter.  Seems like Elina Garanca eclipses Renée Fleming.  As far as the reviewer comments on the staging, I would not take them so seriously.
I actually would like to see this modernized staging.  Time to get rid of the usual roccoco decors.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on April 20, 2017, 09:43:32 AM
Quote from: artsjournal
The production’s big picture was this: The original 18th-century Viennese setting was brought forward to World War I — a concept that raised the dramatic stakes effectively. ..."

...I actually would like to see this modernized staging.  Time to get rid of the usual roccoco decors.
Actually, stagings of Der Rosenkavalier with the action brought forward from the mid-18th century to the early 20th have become quite common. Prior to Carsen's, there's been--that I know of--Jonathan Miller's for the ENO in 1994 (which came to Madrid in 2000, with an outstanding Felicity Lott as the Marschallin) and Harry Kupfer's for Salzburg some years ago (available on DVD). I really don't understand the reporter's from the artsjournal apparent surprise...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on April 20, 2017, 10:32:06 AM
...
and a Parsifal, Simone Young conducting. Tempting. Did you/anyone see that Claus Guth production? My only exposure was a weird Lohengrin at La Scala.
Hmmm, I have to think about it... :)
I apologize for the delayed reply, as I had missed king ubu's post and your subsequent question, GioCar.

Claus Guth's production of Parsifal was given in Madrid about a year ago, superbly conducted by Semyon Bychov. My comments in a Spanish-language forum (here) (http://gustav-mahler.foroactivo.com.es/t402p375-richard-wagner) at the time were the following:

"Guth's production is intelligent, and manages to be quite faithful to Wagner's libretto, while simultaneously also exposing a Konzept (which to me seems the notion that Parsifal is a work which prophesies the events in Germany after WW1). Very meticulous Personenregie (even if having Parsifal acting in flashback the events retold by Kundry in Ich sah das Kind... was an unnecessary distraction). The lighting was also outstanding. Christian Schmidt's revolving set is quite impressive at first, but after a while becomes monotonous. And that was this production's weakness IMO: Parsifal is a work that can be interpreted at many levels, but I think a director should take advantage of all the riches provided by the words and the music. Guth's production appeared "one-dimensional" to me, the contrast between nature and the world of the Grail (so important in Act 3) is not exploited, and the Good Friday Spell was particularly devoid of poetry. Also, Klingsor's garden is no garden at all, and not seductive in the least (but the decadent "party" ambience provided is quite accomplished). In any event, the production is certainly not devoid of interest, and expertly executed."
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on April 20, 2017, 04:48:57 PM
Actually, stagings of Der Rosenkavalier with the action brought forward from the mid-18th century to the early 20th have become quite common. Prior to Carsen's, there's been--that I know of--Jonathan Miller's for the ENO in 1994 (which came to Madrid in 2000, with an outstanding Felicity Lott as the Marschallin) and Harry Kupfer's for Salzburg some years ago (available on DVD). I really don't understand the reporter's from the artsjournal apparent surprise...

This Carsen production from Salzburg 2004 is probably similar to the Met one


A quick Amazon search shows at least three others, two conducted by Welser-Most, and this one which I have and recommend (have not seen the others).  The setting is a mix of Europe between the wars, but the clisest approach to regietheater is having Kaufmann distracted from his singing by a bowl of spaghetti.


Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: GioCar on April 22, 2017, 09:31:53 PM
I apologize for the delayed reply, as I had missed king ubu's post and your subsequent question, GioCar.

Claus Guth's production of Parsifal was given in Madrid about a year ago, superbly conducted by Semyon Bychov. My comments in a Spanish-language forum (here) (http://gustav-mahler.foroactivo.com.es/t402p375-richard-wagner) at the time were the following:

"Guth's production is intelligent, and manages to be quite faithful to Wagner's libretto, while simultaneously also exposing a Konzept (which to me seems the notion that Parsifal is a work which prophesies the events in Germany after WW1). Very meticulous Personenregie (even if having Parsifal acting in flashback the events retold by Kundry in Ich sah das Kind... was an unnecessary distraction). The lighting was also outstanding. Christian Schmidt's revolving set is quite impressive at first, but after a while becomes monotonous. And that was this production's weakness IMO: Parsifal is a work that can be interpreted at many levels, but I think a director should take advantage of all the riches provided by the words and the music. Guth's production appeared "one-dimensional" to me, the contrast between nature and the world of the Grail (so important in Act 3) is not exploited, and the Good Friday Spell was particularly devoid of poetry. Also, Klingsor's garden is no garden at all, and not seductive in the least (but the decadent "party" ambience provided is quite accomplished). In any event, the production is certainly not devoid of interest, and expertly executed."

Well, thank you Rafael for your interesting review (just call me Gio - not to be confused with Amazon's Gio  ;))
Re. the Zurich performance I'll make a thought on it - I'm quite interested on Simone Young's rendering.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on April 26, 2017, 11:58:59 PM
Yup, thanks from my side as well @ritter. Got the printed programme and I guess I'll try and see about half of all the productions (I might wait for some reviews here and there).

@GioCar, if you make it to Zurich, do let me know and we'll at least have lunch or dinner together!
Title: Re: General Opera News: Review of "Voire Dire" by M. Peterson
Post by: Cato on May 03, 2017, 09:04:35 AM
From the May 3, 2017 Wall Street Journal:

Quote
‘Voir Dire,” Fort Worth Opera’s latest world premiere, had an unusual genesis: Jason Zencka, who wrote the smart libretto with Matthew Peterson, the composer, was a crime reporter in a small Wisconsin city, and its vignettes are adapted from real trials that he covered. The 90-minute opera is startlingly immediate and journalistic, as gripping as a great feature story, and made memorable by the depth and texture of the music. The opera drills unsentimentally into the tragedies of ordinary people, some of whom have committed terrible crimes; its power lies in how believable their emotions are.

The piece is deftly structured in 14 scenes, all in the courtroom or the mind of Judge Dodsworth (bass-baritone Nate Mattingly )...

...Mr. Peterson’s arresting and varied music ensures that the text can be understood, not just in the arias but in the sophisticated ensemble writing, of which there is a great deal. In a preliminary hearing on the matricide, it is fast, rhythmic and contrapuntal, as courtroom voices—the judge, the prosecutor, the psychiatrist, the defense attorney—overlap to form the teenage defendant’s sensory overload...

...The nine-member orchestra, ably led by Viswa Subbaraman, is sparely deployed and plays a major color role, particularly with percussion...

See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/voir-dire-review-true-crime-in-the-opera-house-1493672306 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/voir-dire-review-true-crime-in-the-opera-house-1493672306)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 03, 2017, 09:12:11 AM
Cool!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on May 03, 2017, 03:16:16 PM
Cool!

The Fort Worth Opera could be interested in a future Henning opera! ;) 0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on May 08, 2017, 11:33:06 AM
Politics meets Opera
Sylvain Fort is the coeditor of forumopera.com a french online opera magazine.  He has also been the communication manager of Emmanuel Macron, now french president.  At his initiative, an opera singer has helped Macron coach his voice.
I cant wait until he start "La donna Mobile" at one of the G20 meeting.  ;D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on May 09, 2017, 02:47:29 AM
Politics meets Opera
Sylvain Fort is the coeditor of forumopera.com a french online opera magazine.  He has also been the communication manager of Emmanuel Macron, now french president.  At his initiative, an opera singer has helped Macron coach his voice.
I cant wait until he start "La donna Mobile" at one of the G20 meeting.  ;D

Nahhh. It will be 'Cortigiani, vil razza !!'  >:D
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on May 18, 2017, 06:17:15 AM
I may be the last to find out, but WHHHHHHOOOOOOOOAH!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/maria-callas-live-box-set-of-remastered-live-recordings-to-be-released

 8)  8)  8)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2017, 06:54:04 AM
I may be the last to find out, but WHHHHHHOOOOOOOOAH!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/maria-callas-live-box-set-of-remastered-live-recordings-to-be-released

 8)  8)  8)

You found out before me, so you're not the last.  ::)

Bear in mind that the quality of the original tapes sets an upper boundary on how much can be done with remastering.  Some of them no doubt can be upgraded only from bad to not as bad.  Also some of these are available from Myto, so comparison of remastering would be in order, and some of the releases from Myto and other sources are not included at all.  And unlike the Remastered Studio set, the recitals are not included in regular CD format. (The reference to BluRay: that could be BluRay audio or BluRay video, I suppose.)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on May 18, 2017, 07:20:38 AM
You found out before me, so you're not the last.  ::)

Bear in mind that the quality of the original tapes sets an upper boundary on how much can be done with remastering.  Some of them no doubt can be upgraded only from bad to not as bad.  Also some of these are available from Myto, so comparison of remastering would be in order, and some of the releases from Myto and other sources are not included at all.  And unlike the Remastered Studio set, the recitals are not included in regular CD format. (The reference to BluRay: that could be BluRay audio or BluRay video, I suppose.)
I have seen quite a few takes from the DVDs.  They are not worth it.  On the other hand several live tapes are very much worth while.  I wonder if some of the remastered operas will be released seperately.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on May 18, 2017, 07:29:06 AM
I have seen quite a few takes from the DVDs.  They are not worth it.  On the other hand several live tapes are very much worth while.  I wonder if some of the remastered operas will be released seperately.

If they follow the same path as with the studio recordings, they will issue them individually.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on June 07, 2017, 09:45:04 AM
I may be the last to find out, but WHHHHHHOOOOOOOOAH!

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/maria-callas-live-box-set-of-remastered-live-recordings-to-be-released

 8)  8)  8)

Excitement for me is tempered. I heard on the grapevine that Warner approached Pablo Berruti of Divina Records, whose releases are exemplary in every way. Unfortunately, Warner were not prepared to pay him a proper fee, so negotiations broke down. I rather worry that, for the ones that EMI issued, they will just reproduce the awful EMI transfers (generally copies of unworthy sources). For the rest, they will probably just copy either Divina or Myto. I may be wrong, of course.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on July 25, 2017, 10:22:33 AM
Plácido Domingo will conduct three performances of Die Walküre at the 2018 Bayreuth Festival.

http://operawire.com/placido-domingo-to-conduct-wagner-opera-at-bayreuth-in-2018/

Weh!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on July 25, 2017, 11:05:21 AM
Plácido Domingo will conduct three performances of Die Walküre at the 2018 Bayreuth Festival.

http://operawire.com/placido-domingo-to-conduct-wagner-opera-at-bayreuth-in-2018/

Weh!
Indeed... Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden!

And to program a Ring opera in isolation like this must be a first in the festival's history. Weh!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on July 25, 2017, 02:44:09 PM
Indeed... Weh, ach wehe! Dies zu dulden!

And to program a Ring opera in isolation like this must be a first in the festival's history. Weh!

Since the Castrof Ring premiered in 2013, they've had one extra, non-cycle performance each summer (this year it'll be a Walküre on Aug. 18, between cycles 2 and 3), but yeah, this'll be a first, since they won't be doing the other three operas at all in 2018. Tutto declina.
Title: Re: General Opera News: An Opera about Steve Jobs
Post by: Cato on August 08, 2017, 04:32:10 AM
A Wall Street Journal review by Heidi Waleson of an opera about Steve Jobs by composer Mason Bates:

(Two excerpts)

Quote
Two scenes stand out in Mason Bates’ “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, ” now in its world premiere engagement at the Santa Fe Opera. In both of those scenes, the energy of the composer reacts with that of his mercurial subject to create something theatrically arresting and new. The first happens early. After a brief prologue that takes place in 1965 on Steve’s 10th birthday, we are suddenly plunged into the 2007 product launch of the iPhone (we know what it is, though Apple and its products are never named). The tempo picks up, the orchestra ticks and pulsates with rhythmic excitement, and as the adult Steve ( Edward Parks ) demonstrates—“One device / Does it all. In one hand”—images of computer icons and webpages (by 59 Productions) flash on Victoria “Vita” Tzykun’s paneled set. Steve’s jittery aria—“Tap / Get the news / Tap / Book a flight,” and so on, with every other function one could possibly wish—sweeps the chorus along in a moment of triumph that captures the zeitgeist of this revolution in technology. In the other memorable scene, which takes place about two-thirds of the way through the 90-minute opera, the rhythmic energy lurches toward chaos: Now we’re back in the 1980s, Apple’s fortunes are falling, and Steve, reacting to every design idea with “Wrong. All wrong,” sows discord in the company, pushes his old friend and collaborator, Steve Wozniak (“Woz”), away, and, after the board sidelines him, quits as the orchestral roar turns into the cacophony in his head.


Quote
This is the first opera for Mr. Bates, who is best known for integrating electronica and techno rhythms with classical instrumentation. His vocal writing here is tuneful and accessible, if not gripping; the opera’s most interesting music is for the orchestra and the complex, overlapping ensembles like the two driving, aforementioned scenes. Electronic sounds create unusual effects, like the moment right after the launch, as Steve’s illness overcomes him, when the whole orchestra seems to groan; so does the use of a guitar as a leitmotif for Steve.

See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-r-evolution-of-steve-jobs-review-the-apple-co-founder-gets-his-own-aria-1502141764 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-r-evolution-of-steve-jobs-review-the-apple-co-founder-gets-his-own-aria-1502141764)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on September 26, 2017, 09:09:57 AM
Just read that Australian opera is being fined 200000$ for ... using too many foreign talents.
Earlier this year Sidney opera got fined 15000 $ for...making too much noise.

It looks like the aussie judges do not like opera !!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on September 26, 2017, 01:06:51 PM
Listened last weekend to Philippe Boesmans' Pinocchio, broadcast from the Aix-en-Provence festival. Not being able to watch the show didn't help figuring out the work's value, but the musical part of it was stunning. Klangforum Wien was in the pit. Some of the soprano lines were eye-poppingly delivered by soprano Marie-Eve Munger. I look forward to an eventual DVD. Looks like the play and its adaptation in Aix were redolent of the craze about It, with its chucky-like portrayal of Pinocchio.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 26, 2017, 02:07:29 PM
Lyric Opera of Chicago is getting good reviews for their season's opening opera, Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice.


https://www.youtube.com/v/zpookxdQcmM

http://chicagoclassicalreview.com/2017/09/lyric-opera-and-joffrey-ballet-join-forces-for-a-stylish-imaginative-orphee/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/reviews/ct-ent-lyric-joffrey-orphee-review-20170924-story.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on September 29, 2017, 06:03:38 AM
Cocorico !

The German magazine Opernwelt has just published its lyrical charts for the past year. And a divine surprise, the Opera de Lyon is awarded the title of "best opera house" or rather Opernhaus der Jahres.

https://www.der-theaterverlag.de/opernwelt/aktuelles-heft/ (https://www.der-theaterverlag.de/opernwelt/aktuelles-heft/)

(http://www.rue89lyon.fr/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/H19_ACDCU_Opera_de_Lyon.jpg)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on October 18, 2017, 08:39:07 AM
Arte TV will broadcast the Don Carlos production (Paris Opera) directed by Philippe Jordan with Jonas Kauffmann and Sonia Yoncheva tomorrow (Thursday October 19th 2017).  The time depends on the place.  In Germany its 20:15, while in France its 20:55.
Title: Re: General Opera News: Ricky Writes An Opera!
Post by: Cato on December 05, 2017, 04:18:26 AM
It is a great thread regarding opera. Lots of new information is given by every member related to opera.

Making Opera Great Again! ;)

Today's Wall Street Journal has a review of a Christmas opera by a certain Ricky Gordon:

Quote
...“The House Without a Christmas Tree” is a charming, family-friendly piece that manages to be heartwarming without being sappy. Royce Vavrek’s skillful libretto, based on an original story by Gail Rock and the 1972 television movie of the same name, embraces its theme of how relentless holiday cheer can magnify the grief of loss. Preteen Addie, growing up in a small Nebraska town, cannot understand why her widowed father, James, won’t allow her to have a Christmas tree. Over the course of the well-structured, 72-minute opera, she learns that he associates that symbol with the only Christmas he had with her mother, Helen. When Addie wins a Christmas tree at school and brings it home, everyone is forced to confront the elephant in the room.

Mr. Gordon’s score employs accessible, Coplandesque tonality, which has its apex in Addie’s arias. Sung with appealing urgency by soprano Lauren Snouffer, they capture a young girl’s imagination and optimism. The darker side of the story, especially James’s seeming rejection of his daughter, is less clearly defined in the music. The text is clearly set, and well-crafted ensembles vary the texture, as do bigger choruses, most notably Mr. Gordon’s original carol, “Gather Round the Christmas Tree,” which also recurs as a motif in the orchestration....

See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-house-without-a-christmas-tree-review-a-temporary-home-for-the-holidays-1512426953 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-house-without-a-christmas-tree-review-a-temporary-home-for-the-holidays-1512426953)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2017, 04:23:39 AM
The magic A-word!  Accessible!  Let monies be showered upon him!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on December 05, 2017, 04:38:30 AM
The magic A-word!  Accessible!  Let monies be showered upon him!

I caught that, not to mention "Coplandesque"!  C'mon, what else could you want?! 8)

Hallmark Channel!  Are you listening?!  0:)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2017, 04:54:50 AM
I caught that, not to mention "Coplandesque"!  C'mon, what else could you want?! 8)

Hallmark Channel!  Are you listening?!  0:)

Look, Buffy! An opera for us!
Title: Re: General Opera News: Ricky Writes An Opera!
Post by: Cato on December 05, 2017, 05:41:46 AM
Look, Buffy! An opera for us!

Here is one song or aria from it:

https://www.youtube.com/v/0EhptLBla8o
Title: Povera Tosca!
Post by: Wendell_E on December 13, 2017, 10:30:53 AM
The Met's new production of Tosca, which has already lost the originally-scheduled Tosca (Opolais), Cavaradossi (Kaufmann), conductor (Nelsons), and replacement conductor (Levine), now has lost Bryn Terfel as Scarpia, who's withdrawn for enforced rest due to vocal fatigue. He'll be replaced by Željko Lučić.

Someone suggested this alternative:

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Tr-PrVGUboA/WjCf0nPsoZI/AAAAAAAACls/-q0HBCsRws4hsrWIibhpddxzHrjWtq48gCLcBGAs/s1600/addtext_com_MjIyOTAxMjU0Mzg.jpg
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 04, 2018, 02:44:40 AM
A new production of Carmen has Carmen kill Don Jose in the final act.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/02/italy-gives-world-famous-opera-carmen-defiant-new-ending-stand/ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/02/italy-gives-world-famous-opera-carmen-defiant-new-ending-stand/)

I can't really see the point of this. The character of Carmen is, in many ways, one of the world's first feminists, who lives her life on her own terms, unrestricted by the will of men. It is her misfortune to take up with an unstable psychopath (Don Jose), and she chooses death over subservience. Rather than run, she stares death in the face, even when she realises how dangerous Jose is (Tu me tuerais peut-etre). I don't see that changing the end adds anything to the opera at all.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on January 04, 2018, 10:46:39 PM
A new production of Carmen has Carmen kill Don Jose in the final act.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/02/italy-gives-world-famous-opera-carmen-defiant-new-ending-stand/ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/02/italy-gives-world-famous-opera-carmen-defiant-new-ending-stand/)

I can't really see the point of this. The character of Carmen is, in many ways, one of the world's first feminists, who lives her life on her own terms, unrestricted by the will of men. It is her misfortune to take up with an unstable psychopath (Don Jose), and she chooses death over subservience. Rather than run, she stares death in the face, even when she realises how dangerous Jose is (Tu me tuerais peut-etre). I don't see that changing the end adds anything to the opera at all.

Carmen already knocked out the pillars of Don José's emotional and social life. When she dumped him for someone more exciting, he was pushed into a corner. So I really don't see the point of making a feminist statement about a woman whose dealings with other people was "use and throw". Also her fancy dresses are not exactly what one would see in a gypsy factory worker of the 1980's.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 05, 2018, 01:13:01 AM
Carmen already knocked out the pillars of Don José's emotional and social life. When she dumped him for someone more exciting, he was pushed into a corner. So I really don't see the point of making a feminist statement about a woman whose dealings with other people was "use and throw".

I've never really seen it like that. I think Carmen was a free spirit, who used men as men often use women. I'm sure she'd have been just fine if she'd stuck with men like Escamillo. It's always the quiet ones you have to be careful of.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on January 05, 2018, 05:21:25 AM
I've never really seen it like that. I think Carmen was a free spirit, who used men as men often use women. I'm sure she'd have been just fine if she'd stuck with men like Escamillo. It's always the quiet ones you have to be careful of.

Like Micaela? Just kidding.
Apparently in Prosper Mérimée's book, Carmen had a few more tricks up her sleeve, like stealing his watch, as he wrote the story in the first person. Carlos Saura read from the book in his own dance film on Carmen (starting a fad of would be flamenco-ists including myself), saying that she had "wolf's eyes" and she "always lied".
The reason she was arrested by Don José in the cigar factory was her carving out x's in a co-worker's face. She seduced him into a life of crime and even used him to attract other guys. This sort of rounds out her character.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 06, 2018, 02:37:47 AM
Like Micaela? Just kidding.
Apparently in Prosper Mérimée's book, Carmen had a few more tricks up her sleeve, like stealing his watch, as he wrote the story in the first person. Carlos Saura read from the book in his own dance film on Carmen (starting a fad of would be flamenco-ists including myself), saying that she had "wolf's eyes" and she "always lied".
The reason she was arrested by Don José in the cigar factory was her carving out x's in a co-worker's face. She seduced him into a life of crime and even used him to attract other guys. This sort of rounds out her character.

Actually I always think Micaela quite a strong character too. She handles herself pretty well with the soldiers in Act I and proves herself quite brave when she goes to find Jose with the smugglers. It's wrong to portray her as a mousy milksop. Like many village women, she has quite a bit of pluck.

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on January 07, 2018, 09:05:35 AM
Maria Callas portrayed a more vixenish, even disdainful Carmen, than most singers. 

Finding the right living exemplar of Carmen was the premise of Saura's film in 1983.
Back then I ran the video countless times, enrolled in a flamenco course and must have watched the tabacalara scene at least 50x or more. I loved the raw singing and the faces of the women pounding on the table.
Now it is hard to find the whole scene online but fortunately I still have a VHS copy that hasn't yet disintegrated.

This Carmen is also on fire:
https://www.youtube.com/v/6fAkVNxmV5E
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 08, 2018, 04:05:17 AM
I too love the Carlos Saura film.

As for Callas, I think her unconventional, intelligently thought out Carmen enthralling. Callas, whose views on male/female relationships were entirely conventional, is on record as stating that she didn't much care for the character of Carmen, because she treats men the way men have traditionally treated women, and that is how she plays her. Carmen is actually a very modern woman, who doesn't believe her existence is defined by men, and, even in the face of death, she absolutely refuses to bow down to their will.

I review her recording on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/the-callas-carmen/ (https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/the-callas-carmen/).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on January 23, 2018, 03:51:45 AM
Canadian Opera Company (Toronto) for 2018-19
Electra, La Bohème, Cosi fan tutte, Eugen Onegin, Otello, Hadrian (Rufus Wainwright)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/canadian-opera-company-unveils-compelling-new-season-lineup/article37633179/
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on January 23, 2018, 05:48:31 AM
On June 1st, the Theater Erfurt (Erfurt being some 25 kilometers west of Weimar in Germany) will give the premiere of a new production of Gaspare Spontini's rarely heard last opera Agnes von Hohenstaufen (written to a German libretto by Ernst Raupach). (https://www.theater-erfurt.de/Programm/Alle-Stuecke/Agnes-von-Hohenstaufen.html). I still cannot see a cast list.

This "grand historical-romantic opera" stems from Spontini's Berlin years, and was first performed in 1829 (to be then revised in 1837) and is a sort of amalgam between German romantic opera (à la Euryanthe by Carl Maria von Weber) and French grand opéra, and is considered historically important (predating works such as Wagner's Rienzi by several years). It wasn't really that successful, as apparently many critics resented the appointment--by command of the Prussian king--of an Italian composer (whose greatest successus were in Napoleonic) to "revive" operatic life in Berlin.

As far as I know, the work has only been given twice in living memory, both times in Florence in Italian translation (conducted by Vittorio Gui in 1952--with Franco Corelli--, and by Riccardo Muti in 1974--with Montserrat Caballé). Recordings of both runs exist. I only know the Gui version, which was published on several bootleg versions (in dismal sound) and has now been reissued ("for the first time using the original recording") by the Maggio Musicale's house label.



I really hope some enterprising record label will record these performances, as the work in its original language, in a modern performance and in good sound would be a great contribution to the recorded repertoire of that now semi-forgotten but IMHO great operatic composer that was Gaspare Spontini.  CPO has collaborated in the past with the Erfurt forces, and recently given us a superb recording of Meyerbeer's Vasco da Gama (a.k.a. L'Africaine) from Chemnitz, so this would be in keeping with their publication policy  ;). Marco Polo has also recorded operas in Erfurt in the past (but I think they've stopped recording operas altogether--perhaps Naxos can take up the baton).
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on January 23, 2018, 11:43:40 AM
I have only listened to Spontini La Vestale and Olympie (my favorite).  The following aria "Oh déplorable mère" sung by Jennifer Borghi is a little wonder

https://m.soundcloud.com/outhere-music/spontini-olympie-o-deplorable-mere-jennifer-borghi-les-agremens-guy-van-waas (https://m.soundcloud.com/outhere-music/spontini-olympie-o-deplorable-mere-jennifer-borghi-les-agremens-guy-van-waas)

On the grand opera topic, there are confirmed  rumors that Meyerbeer Les Huguenots is going to be staged at Paris Opera next season.  Also among the other new productions will be Les Troyens.  Those two are sort of mandatory for me.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: listener on January 25, 2018, 03:12:28 PM
SAN FRANCISCO 2018-19
http://operatattler.typepad.com/opera/2018/01/sf-opera-2018-2019-season.html
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on January 27, 2018, 09:54:22 AM
Just got 2018-2019 program of the Paris Opera in the mail.  It is not even on their web site yet !!!

It is the 350 Birthday of this institution which was created by Louis XIV in 1669 as L'Academie Royale de Musique
For this exceptional season they are doing seven new productions.  They are

Les Huguenots, Giacomo Meyerbeer  :-*
Bérénice, Michael Jarrell. A worldwide creation (finally)  :D
Simon Boccanegra, Giuseppe Verdi  :-*
Il primo omicidio (Cain), Alessandro Scarlatti  :-*
Les Troyens, Hector Berlioz  :D
Lady MacBeth of Mzensk, Dimitri  Shostakovich  ::)
Don Giovanni, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  :-*

Plus some masterpieces from the repertoire which I have not seen (live) yet
Tristan und Isolde, Richard Wagner
La Forza del destino, Guiseppe Verdi

This is going to be an expensive year, and I better start saving !!
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: North Star on January 27, 2018, 12:12:50 PM
Just got 2018-2019 program of the Paris Opera in the mail.  It is not even on their web site yet !!!

It is the 350 Birthday of this institution which was created by Louis XIV in 1669 as L'Academie Royale de Musique
For this exceptional season they are doing seven new productions.  They are

Lady MacBeth of Mzensk, Dimitri  Shostakovich  ::)
Not a fan?
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on January 27, 2018, 01:40:56 PM
Not a fan?
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: North Star on January 27, 2018, 01:44:43 PM
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.
Fair enough, indeed.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on January 27, 2018, 05:29:52 PM
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.

I didn't know that. Oups! I just revealed I’ve never heard the opera, let alone see a production of it.  :-[ Well, I’m not sure I’ll buy it, now. Must be a depressing experience...
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: kishnevi on January 27, 2018, 08:58:16 PM
I have the CD plus 2 DVDs, so it is not an opera I have neglected. But it is a violent libretto - and most of it is "violence gratuite", which always bothers me.  So for this reason (and not the music) I will probably skip this performance.

LMoM is a dark opera, but it's not exceptional in its violence. Think of Tosca, which includes a torture session that is heard but not seen, a rape attempt ended by the rape target killing the rapist on-stage, an on-stage execution by firing squad, and a suicide that is partly performed on-stage. Madama Butterfly ends with an onstage suicide. Turandot has an off-stage execution and an on-stage torture session.  And that's just one composer.  And the violence in LMoM is fundamental to the story.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: TheGSMoeller on January 29, 2018, 11:41:23 AM
2018 International Opera Awards
http://www.operaawards.org/archive/2018/

Thrilled to see Lyric Opera of Chicago nominated twice, and the only U.S. Opera company as well.


Opera Company
Bayerische Staatsoper
La Fenice
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Oper Graz
Opera North
Teatro Real

Opera Orchestra

Bayerische Staatsoper
Bayreuth Festival
Deutsche Oper
Lyric Opera of Chicago
MusicAeterna
Teatro alla Scala
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on March 06, 2018, 09:41:14 AM

(https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fjenslaurson%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F03%2FSQUARE_Bavarian-State_Opera_Serge-Dorny_Jurowski_-bw-DoubleClassical-Critic_Forbes.jpg%3Fwidth%3D960)
New Bavarian State Opera Directors Have Been Announced In Munich
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/06/new-bavarian-state-opera-directors-have-been-announced-in-munich/#571e614a7a39 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/03/06/new-bavarian-state-opera-directors-have-been-announced-in-munich/#571e614a7a39)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Tsaraslondon on March 13, 2018, 08:21:53 AM
The Met sacks James Levine

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/the-met-sacks-james-levine (https://www.gramophone.co.uk/classical-music-news/the-met-sacks-james-levine)

Only a matter of time, I suppose. Like Jimmy Saville at the BBC, it was an inside secret for quite a few years.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Spineur on April 01, 2018, 02:01:21 AM
Sad news: Michel Sénéchal, tenor and advocate of the french art of singing passed away at age 91.

Here in Anges du Paradis from Gounod Mireille.  2018 is the 200 anniversary of Gounod birth.

https://www.youtube.com/v/unx6yv7mbK
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 01, 2018, 11:52:14 PM
Did anyone see "Mozart in Coney Island", or rather, the Met's "Cosi fan tutte"?

A friend of mine got a ticket and was not particularly impressed, even less so by the call for donations at the interval.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/nyregion/coney-island-sideshows-met-opera.html

https://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/metropolitanoperahouse/metropolitan-opera-cosi-fan-tutte.php?ppcsrc=ppc-adwords-event-c-e-23443-metropolitan%2520opera%2520cosi%2520fan%2520tutte%25202018&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4_zVBRDVARIsAFNI9eCIgLeTerSS-virvwujsWmydxyQmOq6iP_SevUFsiHNMY-l1ZF-DokaAsKlEALw_wcB

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on April 07, 2018, 04:16:57 AM

Parsifal At The Vienna State Opera: A Set In Lieu Of A Production
(https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960x0/smart/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fjenslaurson%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F04%2FVienna-State-Opera_ActII_Flower-Maidens_Otto-Wagner_Spital_c_Michael_Poehn.jpg)
A portmanteau of Otto Wagner visuals and works of his Viennese Secession friends, the Vienna State Opera’s Parsifal is often gorgeous to look at, and offers nothing to remember, except that vague sense of frustration and an opportunity widely missed.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/04/05/parsifal-at-the-vienna-state-opera-a-set-in-lieu-of-a-production/#54ef3377705a (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2018/04/05/parsifal-at-the-vienna-state-opera-a-set-in-lieu-of-a-production/#54ef3377705a)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on April 08, 2018, 04:12:16 AM
Did anyone see "Mozart in Coney Island", or rather, the Met's "Cosi fan tutte"?

A friend of mine got a ticket and was not particularly impressed, even less so by the call for donations at the interval.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/nyregion/coney-island-sideshows-met-opera.html

https://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/metropolitanoperahouse/metropolitan-opera-cosi-fan-tutte.php?ppcsrc=ppc-adwords-event-c-e-23443-metropolitan%2520opera%2520cosi%2520fan%2520tutte%25202018&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4_zVBRDVARIsAFNI9eCIgLeTerSS-virvwujsWmydxyQmOq6iP_SevUFsiHNMY-l1ZF-DokaAsKlEALw_wcB

I liked it better than I thought I would, but seeing it once was plenty.

Non-profits are always asking for money, and AFAIK, every Met "Live in HD" has included a request for contributions. It's brief, and necessary. I do wonder how many people who wouldn't give otherwise are inspired to do so, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 12, 2018, 12:21:24 AM
Review of “Out of Darkness: Two Remain,” by Jake Heggie, production in Atlanta. (http://www.earrelevant.net/2018/04/review-atlanta-opera-out-of-darkness/)
Title: Re: General Opera News: Young Adults Attending Operas!
Post by: Cato on June 18, 2018, 02:45:05 PM

The Wall Street Journal has an article about young European - and American adults - coming to hear operas:

Some excerpts:

Quote
...Opera is unexpectedly hip among many European young people. Through a series of innovative efforts, European cultural institutions like La Scala and the Paris Opera are attracting a younger set. La Scala’s longtime special season premieres in its Under30 program—with tickets at €20 ($23.22)—have proved to be wildly popular. The Paris Opera has introduced a similar program and in June debuted a “Phantom of the Opera” game that lets players roam through its historic venue. Membership in the youth chapter of the nonprofit Milano per la Scala foundation has risen by 60% since a new youth outreach coordinator was appointed last year.

Opera houses, ballet companies and orchestras in Europe and the U.S. face steep challenges in attracting younger audiences, and many are experimenting with new formulas to attract them. London’s Royal Opera is planning to expand its youth program next season. New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2015 started Fridays Under 40 with performances paired with a pre- or post-performance event, at $100 for an orchestra seat...

“Attracting new and younger audiences is critical to the future of the Met, as it is for all other performing arts companies,” says Tim McKeough, a Met spokesman, adding that 3,000 tickets were sold through Fridays Under 40 for the 2017-18 season. More than 700,000 people attend performances at the Met every season....

...La Scala‘s youth and elderly attendance has increased by 30% over the past three years and now some 20% of the theater’s tickets are sold to these two age groups, says Alexander Pereria, the theater’s manager and artistic director. He points to a new program of hour-long, simplified matinee performances of classic operas he introduced for children and their parents.,,,

See:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-europes-opera-houses-won-over-millennials-1529332646 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-europes-opera-houses-won-over-millennials-1529332646)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on June 30, 2018, 09:36:52 AM
Star tenor Roberto Alagna has cancelled his role debut as Lohengrin at this year’s Bayreuth Festival. Rehearsals were to start next Monday, and the premiere of the new production by Yuval Sharon (the first American director to be invited to the Green Hill), under the baton of Christian Thielemann, is set for July 25th.

Apparently, Mr. Alagna has not managed to learn the role (which is surprising, because his engagement was announced several years ago). German newspaper Die Welt (https://www.welt.de/kultur/article178526060/Festspiel-Skandal-Roberto-Alagna-sagt-Bayreuth-ab-Text-nicht-gelernt.html) goes as far as saying that this is the most unprofessional behaviour you could expect from an opera star. No replacement  has yet been announced.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: ritter on July 04, 2018, 10:20:30 AM
Star tenor Roberto Alagna has cancelled his role debut as Lohengrin at this year’s Bayreuth Festival. .... No replacement  has yet been announced.
Well, the replacement has been found. It’s Piotr Beczala, who already debuted the role under Thielemann in Dresden last year IIRC.  He’s been released from an engagement at the Granada Festival next Friday (July 6), where he was set to sing French arias under Pablo Heras-Casado, in order to be able to attend the rehearsals sin Bayreuth. The Granada program has been changed, and the wonderful pianist Francesco Piemontesi has stepped in and will play the Ravel Concerto in G. I guess everyone ends up winning: the Granada program seems more attractive to me—but anyone not happy with the change can ask for a reimbursement—, and Bayreuth gets a solid tenor who already knows the role. Only Mr. Alagna’s image comes out tarnished from this affair... ::)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: André on July 04, 2018, 11:52:36 AM
I may be wrong, but I’m not sure Alagna would have managed the opera’s conclusion where, at the end of a long evening he has to sing Mein lieber Schwan, with its high tessitura and soft tones.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on September 15, 2018, 05:14:50 AM
For the First Time, the Met Will Perform Opera on Sundays (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/arts/music/met-opera-contract-sunday.html)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on October 26, 2018, 08:25:44 AM
A review from the Wall Street Journal by Heidi Waleson of Marnie by Nico Muhly.

Quote


By Heidi Waleson
Oct. 22, 2018 2:05 p.m. ET

New York

To appreciate Nico Muhly’s opera “Marnie,” which had its U.S. premiere on Friday at the Metropolitan Opera, the commissioner of the work (the Met also commissioned and produced Mr. Muhly’s “Two Boys”), you have to be willing to be unmoored. With its whispering, overlapping choruses and unsettled orchestra, Mr. Muhly’s music reflects the slippery world of the troubled protagonist, a liar and a thief who trusts no one and doesn’t know why.

The premise of the opera’s source materials—Winston Graham’s 1961 novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film adaptation—seems quaint today: Marnie’s criminal tendencies and, most important, sexual frigidity were caused by childhood trauma and could be “cured” through Freudian analysis. Mr. Muhly and his librettist, Nicholas Wright, have skillfully critiqued that assumption while leaving the basic arc of the story intact. In their opera, Marnie has every reason to feel betrayed and assaulted because she is, at every turn. The story is set in the late 1950s, and all the men Marnie encounters feel they have the right to put their hands on her, or worse. As embodied by the remarkable Isabel Leonard, Marnie refuses to be a victim, however; her most vivid characteristic is ferocious self-control. With her rich yet keenly focused mezzo-soprano, Ms. Leonard makes a magnetic, complex heroine. You might not like Marnie, but you have to respect her.

The psychological-thriller plot is deftly laid out in quick, snapshot scenes. Marnie has a pattern: She adopts a new name and hair color, gets a job, steals the company’s cash, and then repeats the process in another city. She gives the money to her unpleasant mother (a gravelly-voiced Denyce Graves), who doesn’t know about Marnie’s crimes but tells her she’s bad; we don’t know why. At a new job, she is caught stealing by the owner, Mark Rutland, who blackmails her into marriage and tries to rape her on their honeymoon. Mark, sung with authority by baritone Christopher Maltman, is a very 1950s mix of aggression and sentimentality. He apologizes to Marnie, bribes her to see an analyst (where a version of the childhood trauma is revealed), and tries to conceal her past crimes. But, finally, Marnie’s salvation is not through a man or analysis; it is the discovery that her mother betrayed her, and that she can free herself.

Mr. Muhly’s choruses powerfully conjure up Marnie’s sense of the world as a place of constant threat. In Act I, as the ensemble sings “All night long, the guilty hear malevolent voices,” words like “judgment” and “discovery” jump out of their muttered, layered phrases, and the unstable harmonies seem to slide over one another. At a party, as the guests gossip about Marnie, short motifs get a propulsive, repetitive energy reminiscent of the music of John Adams. Four Shadow Marnies (Deanna Breiwick, Dísella Lárusdóttir, Rebecca Ringle Kamarei, Peabody Southwell) amplify Marnie’s presence in a kind of murmuring Renaissance quartet. The orchestra plays with extremes to create tension, setting high, twittering woodwinds against groaning brass. Mr. Muhly also supplies arresting orchestral voices for the main characters, most notably a sinuous oboe for Marnie and the muted trumpet for Terry, Mark’s brother, that matches the spiteful menace conveyed by the countertenor Iestyn Davies. The solo vocal writing is also skillful, establishing undercurrents of emotion without showiness.

Michael Mayer’s production presents the world through Marnie’s eyes. Sliding panels swiftly alter the configuration of the set, and the gauzy, indistinct projections are as slippery as the music. (Julian Crouch and 59 Productions designed the set and projections; Kevin Adams did the complementary lighting.) Only Marnie wears real color. Her stunning period dresses by Arianne Phillips leap out in brilliant hues of yellow, pink, blue and green. There’s even a formal orange gown with a silver-lined cape (“Balenciaga,” she says). The Shadow Marnies also get bright frocks and coats. Mr. Mayer’s efficient direction keeps Marnie aloof from the chattering crowds around her, whether in an office or at the pub. However, the fox hunting scene, in which Marnie’s beloved horse falls on a jump and has to be shot, required too much suspension of disbelief, since everyone, except for a pile of undulating dancers—presumably the fox and the hounds, choreographed by Lynne Page—was standing still. A mere shadowy projection of galloping horse legs couldn’t match the driving force of the narration.

The large and excellent supporting cast included Anthony Dean Griffey as the vengeful Mr. Strutt, bent on exposing Marnie’s crimes; the boy soprano Gabriel Gurevich, a surrogate child for Marnie’s mother; and Janis Kelly as Mark and Terry’s domineering mother. Additional notable cameos came from Ian Koziara as Derek, another of Marnie’s assailants; Stacey Tappan as Dawn, a co-worker; and Ashley Emerson and Will Liverman as a poker-playing couple with an agenda. The Met Chorus was impressive, and conductor Robert Spano, making his Met debut, held all the forces together while capturing the sinister yet seductive instability of Mr. Muhly’s score.

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

One person commented:

Quote


"... In Act I, as the ensemble sings 'All night long, the guilty hear malevolent voices...'"

That's a lyric? What's next, an opera based on Microsoft's annual report?


 8)

Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Cato on October 30, 2018, 02:09:44 PM
A (very short) excerpt from the Muhly opera Marnie:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Jpl39PXL7Ek
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on October 31, 2018, 02:07:05 AM
Very listenable to, though the vocal line sounds like Douglas Moore which goes back 60 years and the accompaniment is like Glass. If it came to a theatre near me, I would give it a go.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: Wendell_E on November 01, 2018, 02:15:03 AM
Very listenable to, though the vocal line sounds like Douglas Moore which goes back 60 years and the accompaniment is like Glass. If it came to a theatre near me, I would give it a go.

Mike

It'll be part of the Met's "Live in HD" series on November 10, I'm planning on seeing it. I mostly missed the premiere on the Met's Sirius/XM station because I had a live Barbiere di Siviglia that evening, but there'll be another broadcast on the 7th.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: knight66 on November 01, 2018, 04:25:18 AM
If it is on in my town, I will try to get along, though we will have someone staying with us. Thanks.

Mike
Title: Re: General Opera News: Kurtag's Endgame
Post by: Cato on November 09, 2018, 07:20:02 PM
Kurtag's opera is in the news:

Quote


...It was in Paris during this period that Mr. Kurtag first saw Samuel Beckett’s play “Endgame.” The encounter set him on a lifelong journey, studying Beckett’s works and creating music inspired by them. Six decades later, on Nov. 15, this odyssey — and the career of one of the last living giants of 20th-century music — will culminate in Mr. Kurtag’s long-awaited, long-delayed first opera, based on “Endgame,” at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Mr. Kurtag’s career has been full of unfinished projects, among them several operas; Alexander Pereira, the general director of the Teatro alla Scala, has been waiting to present the premiere of “Endgame” for nearly a decade. He has persevered, he said, because Mr. Kurtag is “probably the most important composer in the world at this moment.”

...In an interview last month in his attic study at the Budapest Music Center, where he lives with his wife, Marta, Mr. Kurtag, 92, spoke about the importance of opera to him. (Stuffed with papers and books, the study has whole shelves devoted to Beckett.) The art form, he said, brought together his two great passions: the spoken word and the singing voice.

Mr. Kurtag said he had reached back to Claudio Monteverdi for inspiration. The Italian Renaissance composer, whose “Orfeo” was one of the first operas, made it clear that words and score need to be equal partners. In Monteverdi, Mr. Kurtag said, “the text doesn’t move to the background in favor of the music.”...


See:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/arts/music/gyorgy-kurtag-opera.html?fbclid=IwAR3UcpegPwdTV-iE5lSi7WrYpJ5EjklbwFXquTnGPwcB0pTRrYgF2rKF-TU (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/arts/music/gyorgy-kurtag-opera.html?fbclid=IwAR3UcpegPwdTV-iE5lSi7WrYpJ5EjklbwFXquTnGPwcB0pTRrYgF2rKF-TU)
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: GioCar on November 10, 2018, 10:28:43 PM
^^^

On Nov. 15 we (king ubu and I) will be there! I just can't wait.
Title: Re: General Opera News
Post by: king ubu on November 11, 2018, 02:59:44 AM
^^^

On Nov. 15 we (king ubu and I) will be there! I just can't wait.

Same here!  8)