Author Topic: General Opera News  (Read 230752 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #180 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...

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Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #181 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
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Hector

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #182 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.

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #183 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
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 08:58:33 AM by knight »
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Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #184 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  :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
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 08:57:21 AM by knight »
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Offline Wendell_E

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Metropolitan Opera 2008-9 season
« Reply #185 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.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #186 on: March 05, 2008, 08:34:18 AM »
What an amazing array. Thanks for posting it.

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

uffeviking

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #187 on: March 06, 2008, 07:32:55 PM »
Who knows him?


Offline Anne

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #188 on: March 07, 2008, 05:12:14 AM »
Looks like young Pavarotti.  Why do you ask?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 05:15:06 AM by Anne »

Hector

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #189 on: March 07, 2008, 06:43:30 AM »
Who knows him?



It's the new President of the USSR...oops, pardon...Russia! Medvedevnedvedeved. Right?

uffeviking

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #190 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

springrite

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #191 on: March 07, 2008, 07:13:28 AM »
Of course Anne is right!


Offline Wendell_E

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #192 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:



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.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 10:56:48 AM by Wendell_E »
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

uffeviking

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #193 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)

Offline Anne

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #194 on: March 07, 2008, 12:08:58 PM »
Of course Anne is right!



Thanks, springrite

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #195 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.



Mike
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 09:57:23 AM by knight »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #196 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
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

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uffeviking

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #197 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.

------

Offline knight66

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Re: General Opera News
« Reply #198 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
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Brewski

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Anthony Minghella is dead (1954-2008)
« Reply #199 on: March 18, 2008, 06:25:16 AM »
Here 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.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY