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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!

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.


--- Quote from: 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."

--- End quote ---

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. 


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):
(the Polish TV server - I find it more reliable)
(the Polish Radio server - it works. Sometimes)

That's tomorrow (or, practically, today), April 22nd 2007 18:00 - 20:00 CEST (UTC+2).

Thank you, Maciek! If my figuring is correct, that would be 1.00 PM US tomorrow, left coast. I shall listen!


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